Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Night's Scoreboard - Including special Ladies First section

***We've been posting ALL of the latest high school hoops news to @AugBball on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pretty much live as updates roll in. Here at Rob Drew and I are working on a big high school hoops roundup, a college roundup, and several CSRA All Star Bowl (football) player profiles.

So check us out on social media and see us in the gym!***

This weekend our best live reporters, Rob Drew and CJ Guthrie, are tracking, among other things, the progress of several of the area's top girls basketball teams as state champion hopefuls North Augusta, Laney, Josey and other promising squads take center stage.

Tyliah Burns - North Augusta

AugBball's Friday Night Scoreboard

Ladies First

North Augusta (3-0) @ Cross Creek (2-1)

Laney (3-1, 1-0) @ Butler (2-1, 1-0)

Jaiden Hamilton - Laney

Boys Scoreboard

#6 North Augusta (2-1) @ Cross Creek (2-2)

Omarion Byrd - North Augusta

#9 Laney (2-1, 1-0) @ #3 Butler (2-1, 0-1)

Ronnie Striggles - Butler

Augusta Christian (4-0) vs Fox Creek (3-1)

Nate Dunlop - Augusta Christian

#7 Silver Bluff (1-1) at South Aiken (1-2)

John Green - Silver Bluff

#8 Thomson (4-0) @ Aiken (0-1)

Maison Hall - Aiken

#1 Glenn Hills (4-0, 1-0) @ Harlem (1-3, 0-0)

Travis McRae (2015) - Glenn Hills

Saluda (2-0) @ Strom Thurmond (2-2)

Hephzibah (2-1, 1-0) @ Jefferson County (1-3, 0-1)

Westside (0-4, 0-1) @ Screven County (0-3, 0-1)

Glascock (0-3) @ Lincoln County (1-0)

Covenant Christian (1-0, 1-0) @ South Aiken Baptist (2-2, 2-0)

Wardlaw (2-1) @ Jefferson Davis Academy (1-0)

Faith Christian (0-0) @ Curtis Baptist (1-2)

***We will add complete coverage of the area's girls teams soon.***

Thursday, November 29, 2018

#5 Lakeside ran away from #7 Silver Bluff. Is Lakeside the area's best team? Is Kalen Williams the best player?

Lakeside's Kalen Williams finishes the season's top play so far.

#5 Lakeside used a 28-4 third quarter blitz to defeat #7 Silver Bluff at home Wednesday to improve to 4-1 for the season and continue to provide support for the argument, made by my colleague Rob Drew and others I'm sure, that the Panthers are the area's best team. Another belief that is held by many - that Lakeside also has the area's best player - was reinforced when star senior point guard Kalen Williams let loose for 26 points, including 2 that lit local social media feeds ablaze:

The Panthers' only loss came in last weekend's famed "Holiday Hoopsgiving" tournament in Atlanta to Carmel Christian, a nationally regarded team and defending North Carolina state champion. Lakeside's 4 victories were by an average margin of 13 points, with the last two over Richmond (75-64) and Silver Bluff being the most impressive. The Panthers also returned most of their top contributors from last season's class 6A state playoff elite 8 squad. So Lakeside may very well deserve the area's top spot in the hearts and minds of area hoops fans.

As for Williams and whether or not he is the area's best player... I think the correct response to that is that such things are decided on the court. And that they become crystal clear throughout the grind of an exciting pre-region schedule, like most teams are playing now, and later a grueling region and post season slate. Kalen sure seems to have adopted the "let my play do my talking" outlook. And his play shouted loudly Wednesday when the player with the quickest first step around ran off 18 points during Lakeside's pivotal 28-4 spurt that broke open a 39-32 halftime lead held by the Panthers.

Kalen's big dunk Wednesday had to be the most impressive play of the season. He walked the ball up the court against a bigger and similarly athletic defender, blew past him clean between mid court and the free throw line, and, having cleared just enough space to gather himself, threw the ball down with authority from high above the rim over the hand of that same defender, who was high above the rim on the contest as well.

The defender mentioned above is Latavian Lawrence, who just happens to be one of the area's most exciting "breakout players," which is to say that most of the people who follow hoops on the Georgia side of the border aren't familiar with him yet. Lawrence, a junior, is listed at 6-5, and he scored 22 points against Lakeside after netting 25 in Tuesday's 84-57 win over Barnwell.

13 of Lawrence's points Wednesday came during the first half, when he showed a full range of offensive abilities:

The same thing, basic unfamiliarity with the player, that may have caused many AugBball readers to not know about Lawrence, may have caused people to disagree with my ranking Silver Bluff #7 on AugBball's recent "top 10 area teams" list. And many of those same people may believe that last night's result means the Bulldogs don't belong. I would disagree. Having Lakeside run away from you in the second half in their home gym does not preclude a team from being among the area's best.

Silver Bluff, the #6 ranked class 2A team in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association preseason poll, will get a chance to get back on track Friday with another difficult road game at South Aiken, which finished last season in the semifinals of the class 4A state playoffs. Lakeside is off until Tuesday, when they will visit Emerald.

***See our player and team rankings at this link:***

***Read about AugBball's special "Ladies First" coverage set for this weekend at this link:***

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tuesday Night's High School Boys Scoreboard, including scoring leaders, records, and next game information for all area teams

***See our player and team rankings at this link:***

***Read about AugBball's special "Ladies First" coverage set for this weekend at this link:***

North Augusta, Silver Bluff and Strom Thurmond roll as SC takes the stage

Junior Kaleb Cooper led North Augusta with 22 points in Tuesday's win over Dutch Fork.

#6 North Augusta 72, Dutch Fork 62

Kaleb Cooper (22 points), Chris Wilder (14) and Omarion Byrd (14) led the way for the Yellow Jackets, who made 12 three pointers. North Augusta (2-1) will visit Cross Creek (2-2) Friday.

#7 Silver Bluff 84, Barnwell 57

Silver Bluff, which was also voted #6 in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association's preseason class 2A rankings, was led by Latavian Lawrence (25 points) and Darius Johnson (17). The Bulldogs travel to #5 Lakeside tonight for their second game in two days before visiting South Aiken Friday to end a busy first week of action.

Augusta Christian 72, Fox Creek 54

Sophomore Tray Moseley - Augusta Christian

Wednesday's Augusta Chronicle's front page of the sports section features what had to be an exciting performance by the 2018-19 Lions, which handed Fox Creek its first loss by outscoring the Predators 42-29 in the second half. Star senior Nate Dunlop, who scored 30 points in the win, credited his teammates, an impressive group of active guards, for turning up the defensive pressure in the game. Here's a link to David Lee's feature:

Augusta Christian (3-0) will face Thomas Sumter Academy Thursday at Augusta Prep in the quarterfinal round of the Garden City Classic tournament. Fox Creek (3-1) will take on Westminster in the same tournament.

Strom Thurmond 60, South Aiken 53

The class 3A Rebels picked up a nice road win over the Thoroughbreds, who reached the semifinals of the class 4A state playoffs last season.

Aiken (0-0) at Richmond (3-2)

Greenwood 65, Midland Valley 53

Midland Valley (0-1) will host #10 Evans (4-0) Friday.

Class 2A, region 4's opening night

#3 Butler (2-0) at #1 Glenn Hills (3-0)

John Whitehead scored 25 points, making 3 three pointers to lead Glenn Hills. Fellow junior Emmanuel Jones added 22. Jones buried all 10 of his free throws in the final period, the most pressure packed moments of this heavyweight battle.

Five players scored 10 or more points for Butler: Jyheem Rollins 18, Richard Visitacion 13, Ronnie Striggles 10, Quantavious Franklin 10, Davian Burns 10.

Glenn Hills (4-0) will visit Harlem (1-3), and Butler (2-1) will host #9 Laney (2-1) Friday.

Josey 51, Westside 39

Josey (3-1) will visit Laney Saturday, and Westside (0-4) will go to Screven County (0-4) Friday.

#9 Laney 53, Jefferson County 47)

Laney (2-1) will visit Butler (2-1) Friday, and Jefferson County (1-3) will host Hephzibah (2-1) Friday.

Screven County (0-2) at Hephzibah (1-1)

Hephzibah's scoring leaders:

Travis Sturgis - 18
Robert Johnson - 16
Jaylen Blount - 15
Breylon Davis - 12

Hephzibah (2-1) will visit Jefferson County Friday.

Showdown in Middle Georgia

#2 Baldwin (1-1) at Dublin (0-1)

Hypesouth's rankings of Middle Georgia's best teams:

More games on Georgia's side

Greeenbrier 65, Cross Creek 64 (OT)

Greenbrier (3-3) will travel to Burke County (0-0) Friday while Cross Creek (2-2) hosts North Augusta.

Lincoln County 59, Harlem 58 (OT)

Lincoln County (1-0) will host Glascock next Tuesday. Harlem (1-3) will host Glenn Hills Friday.

Westminster 45, Edmund Burke 41

Westminster plays Fox Creek Thursday at 4:00 at Augusta Prep.

SC private region opens league play
(SCISA's class 1A, region 4)

King (0-1) at Wardlaw (0-1)

South Aiken Baptist 64, Community Christian Academy 38

South Aiken Baptist (2-2) will host Covenant Christian Friday.

Coming this weekend from AugBball


AugBball's "Ladies first" weekend will highlight the area's exceptional girls basketball teams

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

AugBball's "Ladies first" weekend will highlight the area's exceptional girls basketball teams

Josey visits arch rival Laney Saturday in a rematch of last season's state championship game.

The ladies will be shown first this weekend at AugBball when six of the area's best girls teams play in compelling matchups, some of them region matchups and others interstate duels. In action will be fellow back-to-back state champions North Augusta and Laney, as will be Josey, a state playoff runner up from a season ago, as well as defending region champion Burke County, and Cross Creek, Grovetown and Butler, which all played in last season's state playoffs.

North Augusta's Tyliah Burns (right) and Laney's Jaiden Hamilton (left)

Friday, November 30

North Augusta at Cross Creek

Laney at Butler

When these two dynasties met each other last week at Glenn Hills, the Lady Yellow Jackets proved they are the team best positioned for a three-peat:

But Laney played with fire against North Augusta. And I expect them to prove this weekend that the road to Georgia's class 3A state championship will still go through their neighborhood in 2019.

Saturday, December 1

Josey at Laney

All 5 of Josey's losses last season came at Laney's hands, including two region games, a holiday tournament championship game, a region championship game, and eventually a state playoff championship game. The Lady Eagles will be determined to stop that pattern from continuing.

The area's best rivalry takes place this Saturday.

Butler at Grovetown

A matchup between a couple teams aiming to show they belong on the big stage will wrap up the "Ladies first" AugBball presentation this weekend.

Tuesday Night's High School Boys Scoreboard, including scoring leaders, records, and next game information for all area teams

Richard Visitacion and #3 Butler visit #1 Glenn Hills to open region play

Class 2A, region 4's opening night

#3 Butler (2-0) at #1 Glenn Hills (3-0)

Josey (2-1) at Westside (0-3)

Jefferson County (1-2) at #9 Laney (1-1)

Screven County (0-2) at Hephzibah (1-1)

Showdown in Middle Georgia

#2 Baldwin (1-1) at Dublin (0-1)

(Baldwin is ranked #6 and Dublin #8 in Hypesouth's rankings of Middle Georgia's best teams:

More games on Georgia's side

Greeenbrier (2-3) at Cross Creek (2-1)

Lincoln County (0-0) at Harlem (1-2)

Edmund Burke (0-0) at Westminster (0-2)

Faith Baptist at Alleluia (0-2)

South Carolina's full compliment of teams are in action

Dutch Fork (2-1) at #6 North Augusta (1-1)

Barnwell (0-0) at #7 Silver Bluff (0-0)

Fox Creek (3-0) at Augusta Christian (2-0)

Strom Thurmond at South Aiken

Aiken (0-0) at Richmond (3-2)

SC private region opens league play
(SCISA's class 1A, region 4)

King (0-1) at Wardlaw (0-1)

Laurens Academy (2-1) at Curtis Baptist (0-1)

South Aiken Baptist (1-2) at Community Christian Academy (0-1)

Coming this weekend from AugBball


AugBball's "Ladies first" weekend will highlight the area's exceptional girls basketball teams

RJ Phillips - CSRA All Star Bowl Player Profile

***Chad’s note: RJ Phillips is one of many CSRA All Star Bowlers who will be profiled by AugBball as we approach the CSRA All Star Bowl Week, December 10th - 14th (Link to All Star Game site).***

RJ Phillips - 14 TDs, 20 yards per catch for Swainsboro last season

RJ Phillips - CSRA All Star Bowl Player Profile

-by Robert Young for AugBball

Twelve yards. That is how close Swainsboro High senior R. J. Phillips was to
breaking the single-game Georgia state record for receiving yards. But the 6’ 2” wideout
dropped the pass that would have given him the record.

Even without the record, Phillips’s eight catches for 313 yards and four
touchdowns against Washington County High School in the second game of the season
sent a message to defensive backs around the state: Corralling Phillips in the 2018 season
would be no easy task. He went on to reach the end zone 14 times, while racking up 765
receiving yards, numbers that put him first and second in the state, respectively, for the 9-
win Tigers.

Despite this season’s individual success, Phillips says winning the region against
Jeff Davis High School was his high point.

Surprisingly, no colleges have contacted the University of Alabama fan, but that
should change with a strong performance in next month’s all-star game.

“I’d like to play some more if given the chance,” Phillips said.

Something tells me that with a 3.0 GPA and hands like glue, R. J. Phillips will be
grabbing passes in a collegiate stadium somewhere next year.

Monday, November 26, 2018

AugBball's rankings for the top high school basketball teams and players

John Whitehead (Glenn Hills) in a game in 2016

The high school hoops season just finished its first full week, at least for the teams on Georgia's side of our border with South Carolina. This week will see the joining in on the live action of South Carolina's teams. And as early as Tuesday we will see our first two region matchups, including a rivalry game between Butler and Glenn Hills, an early season tradition every year since the regions were realigned at the beginning of the 2016 season:

Before this week's full unveiling of the 2018-19 regular season, complete with all of the area's top teams and players in action, I share with you our answers to the two questions I get the most:
  1. Which are the area's best teams?
  2. Who are the area's best players?
Rob Drew and I have watched 20 teams play already this season. We added the knowledge gained observing their early season play to the accumulated experience covering the sport over the years to come up with this top 10 teams list:

Top 10 Area Teams (Chad's list*)

  1. Glenn Hills (3-0) - Next game home vs Butler Tuesday at 7:30
  2. Baldwin (1-1) - At Dublin Tuesday at 7:30
  3. Butler (2-0) - At Glenn Hills Tuesday at 7:30
  4. Aquinas (2-2) - Off Tuesday
  5. Lakeside (3-1) - Home vs Silver Bluff Wednesday at 7:00
  6. North Augusta (1-1) - Home vs Dutch Fork at 7:30
  7. Silver Bluff (0-0) - Home vs Barnwell Tuesday
  8. Thomson (4-0) - Off Tuesday
  9. Laney (1-1) - Home vs Jefferson County Tuesday at 7:30
  10. Evans (4-0) - Off Tuesday

*For now my list will serve as AugBball's official rankings. But because Rob's list and mine differ in a few significant ways, I show his complete list here too:

Top 10 Area Teams (Rob's list)

  1. Lakeside
  2. Laney
  3. Glenn Hills
  4. North Augusta
  5. Thomson
  6. Greenbrier (2-3) - At Cross Creek Tuesday at 6:30
  7. Josey (2-1) - At Westside Tuesday at 6:30
  8. Aquinas
  9. Baldwin
  10. Richmond (3-2) - Home vs Aiken Tuesday at 6:30

Notes about our top 10 teams lists:

Robert and I agreed that Glenn Hills is our area's most talented team because the combination of athleticism and skills possessed by juniors Emannuel Jones (6-7) and John Whitehead (6-5) make them an unmatched pair:

I place Baldwin very high because I believe that entering coach Buck Harris's fourth season in Milledgeville, the Braves are a machine that is programmed to play hard, defend and take and make high percentage shots. After splitting a pair of contests with Jones County and Hancock, the Braves will have their full compliment of (football) players back just in time for this week's pair of road games against class AA state playoff sweet sixteen teams from last season, Dublin (Tuesday) and Washington County (Saturday).

I placed special emphasis on Butler's preseason scrimmage game win over Aquinas because I think very highly of the Fighting Irish, which won the class A state title last season:

The last significant difference between my list and Robert's is the inclusion of Silver Bluff as my #7 ranked team. The Bulldogs were predicted to finish #6 in South Carolina's class 2A by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association, and they return the key players from last season's 17-7 squad. This week will provide a test for the team with high expectations when it faces Lakeside, a class 6A state playoff quarterfinalist last season, Tuesday, and South Aiken, which finished in the class 4A state playoff semifinals a year ago, on Friday.

Top 15 Area Players (Chad's list)

***This list only includes players we've watched in person already this season***

  1. Emmanuel Jones - Glenn Hills - 6-7 Junior
  2. Nate Dunlop - Augusta Christian - 6-6 Senior
  3. Kalen Williams - Lakeside - 6-2 Senior
  4. John Whitehead - Glenn Hills - 6-5 Junior
  5. Trez Ruffin - Josey - 6-3 Senior
  6. Christian Chambers - Evans - 6-2 Junior
  7. Chris Williams - Aquinas - 6-8 Junior
  8. Richard Crawford III - Greenbrier - 6-0 Senior
  9. Omarion Byrd - North Augusta - 5'10 Junior
  10. Vontrez Roberts - Richmond - 6-8 Senior
  11. Jonathan Taylor - Aquinas - 6-0 Junior
  12. Zy Wright - Aquinas - 6-4 Junior
  13. Zander Hamilton - Thomson - 6-4 Senior
  14. Jyheem Rollins - Butler - 6-2 Senior
  15. Kobe Stewart - Cross Creek - 6-4 Junior

Top 15 Area Players (Rob's list)

  1. Emmanuel Jones
  2. Kalen Williams
  3. Nate Dunlop
  4. Trez Ruffin
  5. John Whitehead
  6. Richard Crawford III
  7. Zy Wright
  8. Ty Briscoe
  9. Jonathan Taylor
  10. Dykese King - Lakeside - 5-10 Junior
  11. Cam Cabarrus - Evans - 6-2 Senior
  12. Zander Hamilton
  13. Tucker Gilbert - Lakeside - 6-6 Senior
  14. Vontrez Roberts
  15. Jyheem Rollins

Notes about our top 15 players lists:

It's a testament to how impressive Emmanuel Jones' combination of size and skillset is that even after he only played spot minutes as a sophomore on last season's class 2A state semifinal team, both Rob and I put him at the top of our lists after a red hot start to the season for the junior:

Nate Dunlop looks bigger, stronger and more athletic at the beginning of his senior campaign. Add those improvements to his shooting stroke and ball handling skills, and it is easy to know why Division I American University and Division II Augusta have already offered a scholarship to the 6-6 guard from Augusta Christian:

Kalen Williams, who scored 1378 points in the three seasons before this his senior season, could easily be tabbed our area's best player, if for no other reason than for his ability to leave defenders standing there watching him get to the basket and finish:

Both in wins over Richmond and Westside, and during losses to Josey, Laney and Glenn Hills, Richard Crawford has shown that he will ensure that Greenbrier has a chance to win any game it plays. The four year starter has gotten it done from behind the three point line as well as from the charity stripe, trips to which he has earned by attacking the basket constantly.

**Robert's major differences from my list came from his inclusion of Lakeside's Ty Briscoe, Dykese King and Tucker Gilbert. I am glad he listed those players because I wanted to include them in my list. But I just couldn't find the room.***

Friday, November 23, 2018

Corby McIntire - CSRA All Star Bowl Player Profile

***Chad’s note: Corby McIntire is the first of many CSRA All Star Bowlers who will be profiled by AugBball as we approach the CSRA All Star Bowl Week, December 10th - 14th (Link to All Star Game site).***

Corby McIntire - Hephzibah

Corby McIntire - CSRA All Star Bowl Player Profile

-by Robert Young for AugBball

At 6'4” and 315 lbs. Corby McIntire is used to getting his way on the football field. Don’t believe it? Ask one of the 37 defensive linemen who lined up against the senior, only to find themselves “pancaked” at the end of a play. Pancaking an opponent is a source of pride for the Hephzibah High School stud.

“It feels good to know that they can’t control their body,” he said. “I’m in control of what their body is doing.”

In addition to manhandling opponents unfortunate enough to line up across from him, McIntire takes pride in being a part of the team that set the school record for wins, eight, in a season and hosting a playoff game.

Tusculum University, Limestone College, and Shorter College have all expressed interest in the Ole Miss fan, and he hopes that a strong performance in the all-star game will pique the interest of a few more teams.

“I’m looking for more exposure,” he said. “But I really want to just have fun with my last high school game.”

Now that Hephzibah’s season is over, McIntire can turn his attention to manhandling opponents on the wrestling mat.

When McIntire needs additional motivation, he looks to the following: "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful," a quote made famous by motivational speaker Eric Thomas.

Friday, November 16, 2018

AugBball to match all donations made to the Golden Harvest Food Bank at all CSRA All Star Bowl Week activities, beginning with Saturday's Media Day event

The CSRA All Star Bowl Week is hosting its Media Day Saturday, November 17, at Patriots Park between 1:00 and 6:00 P.M. A special feature of the Media Day event will be the presence of the Golden Harvest Food Bank "Dip Jar." The All Star Games’ presenting sponsor, AugBball LLC, has pledged to match all donations made to the Dip Jar until the total equals the amount shown in the attached image, $26,000, which is what it costs to operate the Golden Harvest Food Bank’s Masters Table Soup Kitchen for one month.

At Media Day the 250+ all stars will have their pictures taken, conduct interviews, receive their All Star Bowl t-shirts, and meet their coaches. We invite to Saturday’s event the All Stars’ families, teammates, classmates, coaches, fans and people in the community who want to contribute by swiping your debit or credit card to make a $26 donation. However much you swipe, your contribution to the Food Bank will be multiplied by 2!

Come see the All Stars this Saturday and help us help the Golden Harvest Food Bank turn every dollar they receive into $9.

Link to November 14 press release announcing November 17 Media Day details

Press release announcing AugBball’s presenting sponsorship of the 8th CSRA All Star Bowl Week

Press release by The SUVtv announcing the live broadcast of December 15th’s Senior Bowl, Junior Bowl, and Underclassmen Bowl Games

Link to CSRA All Star Bowl Rosters

Monday, November 12, 2018

Details about 11 area players who excelled over the weekend in NCAA Division I and II action

Tuesday night will be AugBball's first in person look at Zep Jasper since 2016.

Rob Drew will report live on the @AugBball Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts Tuesday night from an exciting matchup between two NCAA tournament teams from a season ago: The College of Charleston (2-0) and Rhode Island (1-0). Charleston freshman Zep Jasper (Laney '16) started and played 35 and 34 minutes in his team's first two games, and he is averaging 10.5 points and 4 rebounds per contest for the defending CAA champions.

Ahmed Hill's Hokies and Malik Dunbar's Tigers start the season in the top 20

Seniors Ahmed Hill (Aquinas '14) and Malik Dunbar (North Augusta '15) are playing on college basketball's biggest stage because Hill's Hokies are currently ranked #16 and Dunbar's Tigers have cracked the top 10 at #9 in ESPN's latest rankings. Hill, who has started for Virginia Tech for most of his college career, scored 11 points in Tech's 87-59 season opening win over Gardner Webb Friday. And after scoring 16 points in his team's opener, Dunbar contributed 8 in Auburn's impressive 88-66 win over Washington.

The Tigers host Mississippi College Wednesday at 8:00 P.M. Eastern. The Hokies host Ball State Thursday at 11:30 A.M.

Christian Keeling and Darius Williams played well but took their lumps against majors Florida and Baylor

Charleston Southern's preseason All Big South Conference first teamer Christian Keeling (Laney '16) was the only Buccaneer to reach double figures when he scored 17 points in a 76-46 loss at Florida Friday. A 30 point loss is painful no matter the opponent, but Keeling sure looked like a player in the clips showing him in this video made by the @csusports Twitter account:

Junior Darius Williams (Josey '15) is off to a hot shooting start in his first season at Prairie View A&M (1-1) after making 6 of his 7 three point attempts in the team's first two games. Williams started both games and played 27 minutes in the Panthers' impressive season opening win at Santa Clara. Then he scored 16 points on 5 for 5 three point shooting Monday night at Baylor in a loss. He only played 10 minutes in that game, and this Facebook post explains why, at least the best I can tell from watching on my monitor:

Division II Spotlight

In a pair of double digit wins for Queens (3-1) over the weekend, junior point guard Daniel Carr (Midland Valley '16) continued his strong start to the season, both in scoring and distributing the basketball. In an 85-68 win over Emmanuel College Friday, Carr scored 15 points, making all 3 of his three point attempts, and dished 8 assists. And in Saturday's 85-69 win over Young Harris, Carr scored a season high 19 points and handed out 6 assists.

For the season, Carr is averaging 17 points and 7 assists, and he is shooting 47% from the field, 48% from the three point line, and 93% from the free throw line for the Royals, who entered the season ranked #7 in the Division II poll.

Queens will host West Georgia Wednesday at 8:00. Here is the link to watch:

Augusta's Williams and Clayton State's McRae posted big numbers in weekend splits

Deane Williams and Aubrey McRae notched double doubles in each of their first 2 games.

Deane Williams posted a pair of double-doubles in Augusta's games at Barton College's 45 Second Classic in Wilson, North Carolina, last weekend. Williams scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Friday's 77-73 win over Mount Olive Friday. And his third block of the game was the most important one because it preserved Augusta's 3 point lead with less than a minute remaining:

The senior Williams then recorded another 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 blocks in Saturday's 89-76 loss to Barton College.

Clayton State, which received more top 25 votes than any team not officially listed in the preseason Division II rankings, also split a pair season opening games this weekend. Senior Aubrey McRae (Glenn Hills '14) scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Friday's 82-61 loss to #3 Lincoln Memorial. And he tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds Saturday in a 77-73 win over Tusculum.

The Lakers will travel to Mount Olive this Friday for the first of two games there with the second being against Barton. Because Augusta and Clayton State are Peach Belt Conference rivals, it will be interesting to compare this weekend's results for Clayton State to last week's for Augusta against the same two opponents.

The Jaguars will play at Paine College Saturday at 7:30 before returning to Christenberry Fieldhouse next Wednesday to play Benedict in their home opener

Limestone's TJ Sheppard and Mars Hill's Jashawn Brooks scorched the nets in North Carolina

Playing in the same four team event at Wingate University, local products TJ Sheppard (North Augusta '13) and Jashawn Brooks (Laney '15) posted high scoring figures for Limestone and Mars Hill, respectively, last weekend. 

Sheppard's Limestone squad had success in the win column, notching a pair of overtime wins, with the first being a 92-88 win over Brooks and Mars Hill Friday, and the second a 95-93 victory over Wingate Saturday. It was in that second game when Sheppard exploded for 34 points, making an astonishing 8 three pointers in only 9 attempts.

Jashawn Brooks started the season fast for Mars Hill.

Brooks turned in a strong scoring effort in his first game since transferring from Augusta University after the end of the 2016-17 season. In Friday's loss to Limestone the junior scored 28 points, making 5 of his 9 three point attempts. He also scored 15 points Saturday in a 70-53 loss to Belmont Abbey.

Mars Hill will host North Greenville Tuesday at 7:00, and Limestone will host Anderson Wednesday at 7:30.

Reggie Reid led Texas A&M Commerce to a pair of wins to open the season

Reggie Reid (Harlem '15) scored 16 points and dished out 4 assists in each of Texas A&M Commerce's first two wins last weekend. Commerce is the preseason pick to win the Lone Star Conference and Reid was picked to be the player of the year in the conference. Having notched an 89-82 win over Oklahoma Christian and a 76-56 victory against Newman, Reid's Lions start a four-game-in-five-days stretch Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Zep Jasper and San Antonio Brinson headline a list of 8 area players who distinguished themselves on the opening day of NCAA hoops

Zep Jasper (Laney '16) scored 15 points in his College of Charleston debut.

***Follow @AugBball on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for area hoops news, updates and highlights as they happen, or as close to that as possible!***

Zep Jasper scored 15 points, making 3 of 5 three pointers, en route to the College of Charleston's 85-73 season opening win at home over Presbyterian Tuesday.

The Laney graduate ('16) started and played 34 minutes in his freshman debut. After spending the first year after high school graduation at a prep school, and redshirting last season while practicing with the team, the point guard expressed excitement about finally taking the court as a Cougar after the game in a short Facebook update:

"FELT GOOD TO BE BACK OUT THERE," Jasper wrote in all caps after the game while posting the picture you see at the top of the screen.

The wait had to be worth it for the former Augusta Chronicle Co-Player of the Year, who, in front of 3,700 fans made a pair of key jump shots to widen the gap between the Cougars and the Blue Hose during a key second half stretch.

Jasper is one of three area players on teams that made last season's NCAA tournament. The Cougars were the champions of the Colonial Athletic Association. The College of Charleston will visit Western Carolina Saturday at noon before returning home to take on Rhode Island at home next Tuesday in an early season showdown between promising mid major programs.

Keeling and Sellers reach double figures in blowout win over Columbia International

Also in Charleston's Division I basketball orbit are two more former Augusta area Players of the Year, Charleston Southern's Christian Keeling (Laney '16) and Timmy Sellers (Glenn Hills '18). The duo started and helped lead the Buccaneers to a season opening 100-68 win over Columbia International Tuesday. Six players scored in double figures, including 13 for the junior Keeling, who was a preseason first team all Big South Conference pick. Sellers chipped in 10 points in his first collegiate game.

Eric Graham (Grovetown '18) notched a double-double for CIU in his first college game, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Bucs travel to Florida Friday for a 7:00 P.M. game against the SEC power house. CIU will face Milligan Wednesday at home at 7:00 P.M.

San Antonio Brinson built on a strong ending to last season

Outside of Charleston, Thomson graduate ('16) San Antonio Brinson scored 14 points in NJIT's 81-78 season opening overtime win over Colgate. The 6-8 sophomore carried the momentum forward that goes back to the final game of the season last year when Brinson scored a career high 15 points.

Dunbar and #11 Auburn coast to a win over South Alabama

Senior Malik Dunbar (North Augusta/Spring Valley '15) scored 16 points in #11 Auburn's 101-58 stomping of South Alabama in front of 7,700 rowdy Tiger fans. Dunbar, who stars in the beginning and the end of this hype video, scored 12 straight points in a late game stretch that saw Auburn earn a lead as large as 47 points.

Emani Mayo started the season fast in Temple's win

Sophomore Emani Mayo (Hephzibah '17) followed a standout freshman campaign with an efficient shooting night to start year two, as the sharpshooter made both of her three point attempts and scored 13 points in the Lady Owls' 75-61 win over Delaware State. The Hephzibah product averaged 10 points and more than 30 minutes played per game last season, starting 27 of Temple's 31 games.

Reggie Reid tabbed as Lone Star Conference preseason POY

Texas A&M Commerce's Reggie Reid (Harlem '15) is expected by those doing the predicting to add an Lone Star Conference Player of the Year award to his list of honors received, which include an Augusta Chronicle Player of the Year earned at Harlem his senior season after he posted per game averages of 22 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Reid posted similar numbers in Tuesday night's exhibition game loss (91-84) to Utah Rio Grande Valley. The senior scored 23 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in the loss. 

The Lions play their first regular season game Friday at 6:30 Eastern against Oklahoma Christian.

Monday, November 5, 2018

An early, early look at local players making an impact in college basketball

Drez McBride is one of several Augusta raised NJCAA standouts from last weekend.

Daniel Carr scored 18 points and dished out 6 assists for Queens Saturday in an 87-74 loss to Northern State in the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. The junior point guard who led Midland Valley to a state championship in 2016 ran the show for the 7th ranked (Division II) Royals in the team's 2 games last weekend. Carr, a preseason second team all (SAC) league player, tallied 17 points and 8 assists in Friday's 101-87 win over William Jewel in the opening night of the Classic.

Queens will play Emmanuel College this Friday at 7:30 in Hickory, North Carolina.

JUCO Spotlight

I have about a dozen reasons to make this the season I add junior college coverage to AugBball because that is about how many good players will make a major impact at two year schools in places close like Georgia and South Carolina, and far away like Nebraska and Iowa. Here is a rundown of the players and teams that shined during the first official weekend of NJCAA action:

Tre Gomillion scored 13 points on 5 for 5 field goal shooting, and he grabbed 8 rebounds in Gordon State's 74-73 season opening victory over Cleveland State Community College. The freshman, who led Aquinas to a state title last season and earned Augusta Chronicle Player of the Year recognition the season before that, followed Friday's performance with another good one Saturday. In a 101-94 win over Roane State Community College, Gomillion tallied 18 points and 8 rebounds on another perfect outing (8 for 8) from the field.

Tre Gomillion led Aquinas to a state title in 2018.

Gordon State's 2-0 start to the season brings optimism that the team can make a big improvement over last season's 7-24 season record. The team will take on Santa Fe College this Friday at 8:00 P.M.

Rand posts Lincoln County type numbers and Williamson commits to D1 USC Upstate

Ahmad Rand (shown here in 2016) scored 26 points in USC Salk's loss Saturday.

USC Salk, home of no fewer than 5 local players, went winless in its first two games, including an 83-68 loss to the nation's #1 team, Northwest Florida State Friday, and a 90-80 loss to Coastal Alabama Saturday. Lincoln County graduate ('17) Ahmad Rand scored 26 points Saturday, making 11 of 14 field goals. The 6'8" center also grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 4 shots, posting a line that recalls his time at Lincoln County, where he led the Red Devils to a deeper run in the class 1A state playoffs than anybody I know can remember for LC.

Rand's teammate Kevin Williamson, who graduated from Aiken last May after leading the Hornets to two consecutive region titles and two straight class 4A quarterfinal finishes, also scored 10 points Saturday after posting 9 in the opener. Many 4 year college coaches made a mistake in not signing Kevin after last season, but Division I USC Upstate capitalized by securing his commitment over the weekend:

Tez Collins (North Augusta '18) scored 8 points and 5 points, respectively, in the two games for Salk, and Rod Culver (Fox Creek '17) scored 9 on 3 for 4 shooting in Saturday's game.

Drez McBride wasted no time getting started putting the ball in the basket

McCook's Drez McBride (Butler '18)

McCook Community College's Drez McBride (Butler '18) scored 12 points Friday in a 125-78 win over Louisiana Christian Prep, and he logged another 17 Saturday in another win over the MCC All Stars. Both games were part of the MCC Tip-Off Classic. McCook (Nebraska) will take on Air Force Prep Tuesday at 5:00 P.M. Eastern.

Barton big in Southeastern's win

Deandre Barton (Butler '17) scored 12 points in Southeastern's 86-84 win over Kirkwood Community College Saturday, helping his team finish the weekend with two wins after a comfortable 89-63 victory over Carl Sandburg College Friday. Southeastern (Iowa) will play Bryant and Stratton College Wednesday at 8:00 P.M. Eastern.

Andrew wins a pair and a host of Augustans contribute

Andrew College topped Chattahooche Valley Community College 72-71 Friday and Southern Basketball Academy 78-64 Saturday. A handful of local players contributed:

Tim Williamson (Glenn Hills ‘18):
Friday - 5 pts, 3 reb, 3 as
Saturday - 5 pts, 9 as

Moses Jones (Cross Creek ‘16):
Friday - 3 pts
Saturday - 5 pts

Javen Whitehead (Josey ‘17):
Friday - 2 pts
Saturday - 6 pts

Keith Littles (Butler ‘18):
Saturday - 6 pts