Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ahmed Hill, Christian Keeling, Laney, Josey, and Richmond headline Tuesday's great showcase of Augusta basketball




Aquinas graduate Ahmed Hill scored 20 points to lead Virginia Tech to an 87-59 over Charleston Southern Tuesday. The game was the third consecutive time the sophomore has scored 20 or more for the 10-1 Hokies. Laney graduate Christian Keeling led Charleston Southern with 24 points, a career high for Keeling, who already has won two Big South Conference Freshman of the Week awards in his first month playing college basketball.

Many of Augusta's most devoted hoops fans watched closely as two of this decade's best local players squared off. David Beard, a Glenn Hills graduate, posted on Facebook this clip from the game, which tells of the many times the ESPNU announcers showered praise on our hometown heroes:




Meanwhile in Augusta, Keeling's alma mater Laney's girls and boys teams marched to Wednesday's title game at the Holiday Roundball Classic



Thousands of people (if Facebook's stats are accurate) watched @AugBball's Facebook Live broadcasts of Laney's girls and boys teams advance past Hephzibah and Butler, respectively, to Wednesday's Holiday Roundball Classic championship games at Paine.

The Lady Wildcats, the state's top AA team, knocked off Hephzibah 71-61 behind 25 points from Aubriana Bonner, 18 by De'sha Benjamin, and 13 by Jhessyka Williams. Temple signee Emani Mayo scored 26 points and her sister Nicolette Mayo added 18 for the Lady Rebels in defeat.

Laney will face Richmond in Wednesday's 7:00 P.M. championship game after Jasmine Robinson led the Lady Musketeers to a 56-46 win over Aiken by scoring 35 points Tuesday.




Laney's boys top Butler to earn a spot opposite arch rival Josey in Wednesday's championship round




Laney sprinted out to a huge lead over Butler, then weathered a Bulldog comeback, and finally extended a second half lead to coast to a semifinal win that avenged a loss to the Bulldogs suffered only four days ago. The Wildcats' reward is a showdown with Josey, which overcame a double digit deficit to top Glenn Hills in double overtime Tuesday.

Senior Dominique Hurst scored four points in the final minute to lead the Eagles to the 59-56 win:



Hurst's heroics were made possible only after teammate John Williams's prayer was answered when he banked in a three pointer just before the fourth quarter buzzer sounded to tie the game and force overtime:


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