Monday, November 14, 2016

Tuesday's AugBball Game of the Night double-header; plus Saturday's standouts from the high school games and scrimmages

Saturday saw several standout performances from high schoolers, some playing in the first official games of the season at Butler and Augusta Christian, and others distinguishing themselves in the scrimmage games in Evans in preparation for Tuesday's AugBball Games of the Night:

Tuesday's double-header AugBball Games of the Night: Richmond at Grovetown (5:00 Girls, 6:30 Boys)


Top left: Jasmine Robinson (Richmond), Troy signee
Top right: Destiny Marshall (College of Charleston signee)
Bottom left: DT Stephens (Jr, Richmond)
Bottom right: Eric Graham (Jr, Grovetown)


Dunlop leads Augusta Christian in season opening comeback win 

Nate Dunlop scored 32 points to lead 55-54 Augusta Christian comeback win over Augusta Prep. The 6'5" sophomore made 5 threes as the Lions overcame a 24-8 first quarter deficit and a 25 point effort by Prep's dynamic point guard Ryan Jolly.

Dunlop has poured in the points since entering high school, scoring 18 points while making 4 threes per game as a freshman. This season Dunlop has begun to take advantage of even more of his impressive set of skills, namely his ability, given his size, to post up smaller players and score in the paint.

New coach Charles Welch, who holds an impressive record coaching junior college basketball at Aiken Tech, talked about his team's composure in Saturday's game, and about Dunlop's performance, in this interview at Augusta Christian Monday before the Lions practiced:





Tuesday's opponent, Alleluia, which features another sharp shooter who scores in loads, Ben Dresser, will pose another challenge to the Lions. The game, which tips off at 7:30 at Augusta Christian, should be highly entertaining because Dunlop and Dresser can shoot and score better than almost everybody in town. And Alleluia is surely looking to even the score after the Lions were victorious in last season's matchup.

Butler's wing combo spelled doom for the Panthers


Juniors Drez McBride and Keith Littles combined to score 33 points in front of a packed gym Saturday as Butler topped Lakeside 85-77 in the AugBball Game of the Night. In a game with no shortage of scoring (9 players scored 10 or more points), it was the timing of the buckets delivered by McBride and Littles that made all the difference.

The Bulldogs threatened to run away from the Panthers after a sizzling start from the sharp shooting duo. Before the frenzied crowd could catch its breath from cheering the home team, Butler led 10-1. After Lakeside pulled to within 5 points just before intermission, the pair combined to score 16 of Butler's 26 third quarter points as the Bulldogs took a 61-44 advantage right before the third quarter ended.

In total, McBride and Littles scored 26 of their 33 combined points in the first and third quarters, creating too big a hole for Lakeside to dig out of before the final buzzer.




Richmond-Grovetown makes Tuesday's AugBball Games of the Night a Double-Header


Jasmine Robinson signed with Troy University last week

Richmond's Jasmine Robinson, who signed her national letter of intent with Troy University last week, finished strong in Richmond's 51-47 win over Crestwood in a scrimmage game Saturday at Evans Middle. Her fourth quarter performance, in which she repeatedly attacked the basket, scoring two field goals and burying 7 straight free throws, showed nicely what makes Richmond's point guard so effective. She is an extremely good athlete who can over power and blow past most defenders. And she has a nice shooting touch. The fact that she dominated the final stretch after a Crestwood run cut the Lady Musketeers' lead to 2 at 36-34 shows her will to win.
Her determination certainly will be tested Tuesday because Grovetown returns its own division I signee in Destiny Marshall, who is destined for the College of Charleston. Marshall shares many of Robinson's traits, and her Lady Warriors will want to start strong Tuesday in a bid to repeat this season the success they enjoyed last year as region 5A tournament champions. I talked to Grovetown coach Jamie Echols and to Marshall last week before Destiny signed her letter of intent:





Richmond's boys are my preseason pick to be the area's best team


If Richmond's girls team is the underdog in the first half of Tuesday's double-header, the boys squad has to be considered the favorite. The Musketeers topped the Warriors twice last season when the teams were region 5A rivals. With the new alignments, the teams meet in a non league matchup to tip off the new season, and if Saturday's scrimmage game between South Carolina defending state champ AC Flora is a predictor, my preseason pick was solid:


As you can see above, the team's pair of lefties, 6'5" forward Moses Williams and 6'1" guard DT Stephens are in mid season form. Williams punished AC Flora's giant front line by scoring in every way, finishing shots with either hand, playing very physically, and outworking his opponents with non stop activity. Any coach preparing for Richmond should worry about how to stop him.

Grovetown's first year coach Mark Epps will rely on sharp shooting junior Eric Graham, whom I featured recently in a special "splash brothers" post and in part two of the AugBball boys high school hoops preview. Juniors Manny Bryson and Chance Fugghett also have experience, as do several newcomers.

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