Monday, December 19, 2016

#8 Butler tops #7 Richmond in tournament quarterfinals; AugBball coverage plans for Semfinal round at Paine

Richmond's DT Stephens tries to finish in Monday's game.

Junior Drez McBride's 16 points and Butler's 10 total threes made by 5 different players propelled the Bulldogs to a 72-65 win over Richmond Monday in the quarterfinal round of the Holiday Roundball Classic at Paine College. Senior Jerry Leverette scored 12 points, all on made three pointers, three of which he drained during the first half while the Bulldogs sank 9 triples before intermission.

McBride sliced through the lane in the third quarter and threw down a striding left handed dunk to give Butler a 54-36 advantage. Richmond's Jason Weaver (18 points), DT Stephens (17 points), and Moses Williams then led a comeback attempt that brought the Musketeers to within 3 points of the Bulldogs with less than a minute remaining when Weaver's free throw made the score the 68-65.

But senior Will Lambert blocked Stephens's attempt to further reduce the deficit and time ran out on the Musketeers, which fell for the third straight time against a ranked AA opponent. The win helped set up an all AA final four at Paine. Tuesday's semifinal round features four teams ranked at one time in the past weeks in the top ten in GHSA expert Kyle Sandy's statewide tally of the Georgia High School Association's best AA teams.

#8 Butler faces #9 Laney at 8:30 in the evening's final game

This is a rematch of Butler's 75-72 region win Friday at Laney. The other semifinal matchup pits #7 Josey, a winner Monday over Hephzibah, against Glenn Hills, which spent several weeks in the top 10, including time in the third slot, before losses to Lakeside, Butler, and Laney knocked the Spartans off of the latest weekly list.

Laney's Aubriana Bonner drives to the basket in Monday's win at Paine.

The girls semifinal games include a 4:00 P.M. matchup between Richmond and Aiken and a 7:00 duel between Laney, the state's top AA team, and Hephzibah, which features twin guards Emani Mayo, who has signed with Temple, and Nicollette Mayo.

The Lady Wildcats, along with North Augusta's Lady Yellow Jackets, are playing better than any high school team. Junior Desha Benjamin and senior Aubriana Bonner combined to score 57 points in Saturday's 85-66 win over Mays, which entered the game ranked #2 in class AAAAAA.

Tuesday's AugBball Coverage Plans

Highlights and updates will be shared from the @AugBball Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts during Josey's matchup with Glenn Hills. The Laney-Hephzibah girls game and the Laney-Butler boys game will be broadcast live on Facebook at the @AugBball Facebook page. More news is coming regarding the Facebook Live broadcasts, which are new to the mix.

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