Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Spirit Creek-Langford rivalry

To those who don't know, the most passionate rivalry in area basketball may be between two middle schools, Spirit Creek and Langford. Here's the story:

That link is a throwback Thursday special from July when the Team Power 8th grade AAU team won a Nike PIT AAU tournament game on Langford's Jordan Stringer's almost full court buzzer beater. It's a timely post because so many players in today's Spirit Creek-Langford middle school game (which has caused so much buzz that the BOE has moved it to Butler High) were teammates on that AAU team.

The "Spirit Creek-Langford rivalry" has quickly become a major local happening the last two seasons. Spirit Creek won last year's RIchmond County championship game when Travis Sturgis, now a freshman at Hephzibah High, scored the game winner to knock off Langford, the middle school that has produced so many great players (see Christian Keeling and Zep Jasper). Langford had captured the first win of the recent series during the regular season when Makhi Climons (18 points), Luther Reid (14), and Tyshon Briscoe (11) led coach Remwick Lee's squad to a 52-44 win that I featured here at AugBball:

Depending how you look at it, the third game of the series was last night when Richmond Academy fell to Hephzibah High in a hotly contested JV game that featured Climons, Reid, and Briscoe from the "Langford side" and Sturgis and other key members of that championship Spirit Creek squad on the Hephzibah side.

Spirit Creek alum Eshon Mays led Hephzibah in scoring with 14 points in last night's JV game, as reported by my friend and certainly AugBball's #1 expert contributor, William Gould.

So that brings us to tonight when Langford will try to either even the series at 2-2 or take a 2-1 advantage in the series, depending again on how you look at it. Of course Spirit Creek will have 3-1 on their minds.

Now 8th grader Dajaun Collins, who led all scorers with 18 points in last season's first game which I linked to above, returns for the defending champ. So does Breylon Davis. And Jaylen Blount is a highly talented Hephzibah Middle transfer. Langford's Joshton Mincey, who I'll say is a lefty who shoots and handles and moves around the court in the same way as maybe D'Angelo Russell (recognizing of course the vast differences in levels), will know his way around tonight's rivalry game after shining in last season's.

Again, all these guys play on the same AAU team (along with players from Grovetown and Columbia Middle who are also frequently featured at AugBball.)

That's the story, as I know it at least, for maybe the hottest current area basketball rivalry.

If anybody who is going to Butler wants to tag @AugBball with updates, pictures, and videos, please do. I'll summarize what I get for a big story tomorrow.

I'll be at Augusta Universitys home opener against Claflin to do color commentary for my most highly anticipated game of the week old college hoops season. The Jags are hunting a 3-0 start!

So have yourself a game, Spirit Creek and Langford hoopers and fans. And let's talk afterwards. I'll tell you about the game I saw and you do the same for me!

(By the way... Last Saturday when Lakeside's visit to Butler filled every seat in the gym 2 hours before the boys tipped off, I posted at the @AugBball FB page that "Augusta is a basketball town!"

Am I right y'all?)

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