Eskridge Shoots Columbia By Chamblee

Dr. Phil is back on the bench and as the calendar turns to February the Eagles are beginning to hit their stride. The Eagles have shook off a 6-4 start to the season to lock down the two-seed in Region 5-5A with a 79-51 win over Chamblee Tuesday night and finished the month of January with an 8-1 record.

Chamblee used energy and emotion to jump out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter 14-4 after a Jalen Knowlton basket. The Bulldogs led 16-7 after a quarter of play showing confidence while seeking redemption from a 55-point loss earlier this season at Columbia.

Columbia (16-6; 8-3) began the second quarter with a 8-0 run to pull within one and continued to chip away from there. Chamblee (12-10; 4-8) continued to maintain the lead throughout the quarter however were held scoreless the last 2:34 quarter. Kenton Eskridge nailed a three-pointer as the horn sounded to give Columbia it’s first lead of the game 30-29 at halftime.

Both teams exchanged the lead over the first four minutes of the third quarter as. Jalen Cobb hit a three-pointer to put Columbia up 38-36 with 3:29 remaining in the third and the Eagles never trailed again.

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May the hoop be with you

Columbia held a 47-44 lead as the fourth quarter and Kevon Eskridge opened the flood gates with a three-pointer to begin a 9-0 Eagles run. It was all Columbia from there as Kevon Eskridge went on to hit five more treys in the final frame as the Eagles put up 32 points in the quarter, rolling to the victory. Columbia hit 13 three’s in the game.

“Sometime you have to get use to the opponents gym, we’ve never played here (this is the second season of Chamblee’s new gym),” Columbia head coach Dr. Phil McCrary said. “It took us a while to get going, we sustained the punch they threw at us, kept our composure and believed in the game plan.”

Kevon Eskridge finished with 26 points (8 three-pointers), Jalen Cobb put in 16, T.J. Boykin tallied 12 while Kenton Eskridge put in 11 for Columbia.

Columbia’s only loss this calendar year was to region leader Miller Grove, who swept the Eagles in two regular season meetings. Dating back to the Tournament of Champions at Wheeler high school in late December the Eagles have won 9 of their last 11 games.

Odell Ferrell finished with a team-high 15 points, Glen Robinson put in 14 while Jalen Knowlton chipped in 10 for the Bulldogs.

 

 

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Pebblebrook Rallies To Defeat Wheeler

A capacity crowd filled the Cobb County Civic Center for the much anticipated Georgia Region 2-7A clash between Pebblebrook and Wheeler. The capacity crowd was treated to a game that featured highlight dunks, passes, blocks and a tale of two halves.

Wheeler started showing signs of playing to the preseason accolades bestowed upon them in the first half behind the play of Jordan Tucker, E.J. Montgomery and Darius Perry to build a 14-point lead deep into the second quarter. Perry’s play defensively on Collin Sexton resulted in some early fouls however the Louisville commit held Sexton to ten hard-earned points in the first half.

Wheeler seemed to have figured out Pebblebrook’s zone defense early and often in the first two quarters. Tucker came out aggressive with ten first quarter points and finished the half with 12. Montgomery (19 points in the game) tallied 12 while Jordan Usher (13 points in the game) finished the first half with nine, mainly on open dunks off finds from Perry. Wheeler’s 14-point lead was trimmed to nine (42-33) by halftime after Elias Harden had a solid second quarter for Pebblebrook with seven points and finished the half with 11.

Talent-laden Wheeler pushed their lead to fifteen in the opening two minutes of the third quarter on a Kenny Aninaye (10 points in the game) bucket for a  50-35 lead with just over six minutes left in the third quarter.

That’s when the game changed.

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Drue Drinnon hit a pair of three-pointers, Sexton put in a couple of buckets with a pair of free throws and Elias Harden drilled a deep three as the Falcons went on a 15-2 run pulling the Falcons to within two, 52-50 with just under four minutes to play. Pebblebrook tied it moments later 57-all on a Harden fast break layup.

Pebblebrook continued the momentum to take a 63-62 lead on a pair of Sexton free throws with 42.1 remaining in the third quarter. Through the course of the season Wheeler has struggled with holding leads or coming from behind against foes that have not folded, despite the talent level and heavy national schedule (Wheeler posted a 6-3 out-of-state record this season).

The fourth quarter is winning time and Pebblebrook showed its resolve overall as team. Drinnon stripped Montgomery after missing at the rim and hit Sexton for a fast break layup to give Pebblebrook a 74-73 lead with 1:54 remaining. Pebblebrook would never trail again.

Perry missed a three that was waved off due to a timeout being called by head coach Doug Lipscomb with 2.5 seconds left. After the timeout Perry again missed a deep three giving Pebblebrook the 80-77 “home” win despite the contest being played at a neutral site.

Pebblebrook’s home gym was determined prior to the season to be to small to hold the anticipated crowd and yet the Cobb County Civic Center almost was not able to handle the standing room only crowd.

Sexton (Alabama) finished with 35 points (19-22 FT), Harden put in 16 while Drinnon tallied 13 (11 in 3rd quarter) for the Falcons.

Pebblebrook (14-5 overall; 6-1 region; 2-4 OOS) will travel to region foes Campbell (11-11; 2-6), Westlake (14-9 overall,7-1 region; 3-6 OOS) and Wheeler to close the regular season. The Falcons defeated Campbell 104-88 behind Sexton’s 53 points earlier this week. Westlake defeated Pebblebrook in overtime 80-78 on a Jamie Lewis game-winning three pointer despite 44 points from Sexton.

 

 

 

 

 

Shorthanded Cedar Shoals Wins

The Cedar Shoals Jaguars were without three starters for their region 8-5A game against Johnson-Gainesville on Friday night.

Three-year starter Phlandrous Fleming (Charleston Southern) still laced up the Nike’s to post 28 points and 12 rebounds while Damaerra Lowe tallied 21 points and 7 assist as the Jaguars defeated Johnson-Gainesville (8-14; 1-8)  70-48 for their fifth victory in the last six games.

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Starters Stavion Stevenson (college visit), Quenjarvis “Snipe” Hall (knee) and AJ Jones (knee) did not play. Senior Tyquon Mitchell has been valuable the last two seasons off the bench when called upon and chipped in 10 points in an expanded role Friday for the Jaguars.

Cedar Shoals (20-3; 9-2) will close the regular season at home for senior next Friday against Loganville (11-10; 3-6). Cedar Shoals defeated Loganville 72-53 at Loganville earlier this season.

McEachern Built For Deep Run, Title

The McEachern Lady Indians have been known to play a national schedule most of the past ten years under head coach Phyllis Arthur. 2016-17 has been no different however the national schedule has produced more learning curve losses than wins save a trip to Texas.

The Lady Indians went 4-1 with a runner-up finish in the Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville, TX, their best mark in a national event this season.

McEachern spent much of late November and December on the road from Maryland to Washington D.C and to New York and Texas.

Their overall record reflects 6 losses, five to national (non-Georgia) opponents and an in-state loss to nationally-ranked Norcross in the season opener for them (it was Norcross’ third game of the season).

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McEachern Head Coach Phyllis Arthur

“I told the team our mentally must be tough because we have a tough next few days.They had school, a home game, travel, a game, a day off, a game, travel, then school and a game and we went 3-1 and picked up two region wins I think because they know ..we give them some down and rest time. In New York we lost the first one due to poor prep by time. When we got settled it was 6:00 and we played at 8:30 basically  when we got there it was time to play, we make no excuses we got beat.

When the dust settles McEachern will have played only six home games. Five region 3-7A games and one non-region game (Greater Atlanta Christian).

“Everybody wants home and home and we don’t care about playing at home. Most teams we want to play will only play us in a tournament or showcase setting, so we go play’, Arthur said.

Arthur in each championship postgame interview has always acknowledged playing a national schedule and remains firm to continuing to do so.

“We want to play the best and will go play the best”, Arthur said.

Said formula has produced  four state titles in the last five seasons, all in Georgia’s highest classification at the time. The Lady Indians finished 6-5 in national games and won in every state they played in but did not win in two games played in Washington D.C.

“Playing a tough schedule is what we do. We played five games in seven days, we are mentally tough that’s the only way we can survive. I gave them Wednesday off to rest”.

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McEachern Lady Indians celebrate 2014-15 state championship

The Hillgrove victory proved to be expensive for McEachern. In addition to looking and playing tired in a 14-point win, the Lady Indians lost senior Symone Oliver for the season with a broken ankle. Oliver (3.4ppg, 3.5rpg) played in 19 games this season while being an emotional anchor as a senior that only knows winning championships in her high school career.

McEachern enters the weekend 15-6 overall mark with Chanel Wilson (unsigned), Que Morrison (Georgia) and Lyndsey Whilby (Texas Tech) leading the way and will host Marietta tonight. They will close with road trips to Kennesaw Mountain and North Paulding before finishing the regular season at home against Hillgrove

If the past is any guide, once the Lady Indians complete their national schedule, the end has resulted in hoisting the state championship trophy, a goal that lives daily within the team.

Jaguars Fall To Buford, Defeat Gainesville; Move Up In Polls

Buford’s Marcus Watson struggled most of the night but made plays when they needed to be made as the Wolves snapped Cedar Shoals’ 11-game win streak with a 75-70 overtime victory Friday night in Buford. Watson banked in a 25-foot three-pointer with less than 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter tying the game at 65-all. Phlandrous Fleming missed a jumper as time expired sending the region foes to overtime.

In overtime Watson blocked Fleming, recovered it, started the break and found David Viti for the layup giving Buford a 71-67 lead in overtime with just over a minute remaining. Top-ranked Buford sealed the victory from the free throw line the rest of the way.

Viti led Buford (14-2; 6-0) with 23 points (16 in the first half), Watson and Alex Jones each finished with 12 while Dawson Wehunt chipped in with 11.

Fleming posted a game-high 24 points, A.J. Jones tallied 15 and Snipe Hall finished with 11 (8 in the fourth quarter) for third-ranked Cedar Shoals (15-3; 5-2).

Less than 24 hours later Cedar Shoals went right back on the road to face class 6A No.1 Gainesville. The Jaguars, playing without Snipe Hall due to an injury suffered in the loss to Buford, got 33 points and 15 rebounds from Phlandrous Fleming an overcame a halftime deficit to beat previously undefeated Gainesville (16-1) 63-60.

Fleming did the bulk of his scoring from beyond the arc (4 three-pointers) and at the free throw line (15-20 FT). Fleming sealed the victory by going 7-of-10 from the line in the fourth quarter. A.J. Jones finished with 11 while Stavion Stevenson chipped in 8 points as Cedar Shoals (16-3; 5-2) handed the Red Elephants their first home loss in three seasons.

K.J. Buffen-returned earlier this week from injury for the first time this season, lead Gainesville with 22 points. Jarred Russer put in 13, Xavier Bledson tallied 11 and Bailey Minor was held to 6 points for the Red Elephants.

Cedar Shoals moved up to No.2 in both major state polls after the split and Eagles Landing lost to Union Grove over the weekend. The Jags return to action Tuesday night against No.10 Flowery Branch before visiting rival Clarke Central on Saturday.

Jags Win 10th Straight; Eye Historic Week

Updated: Cedar Shoals (15-2) defeated Loganville 72-53 behind 18 points each by Phlan Fleming and Snipe Hall. Stavion Stevenson put in 16. The Jaguars have now won 11 in a row and will face Buford this Friday in Buford. Buford defeated Cedar Shoals 72-66 in the region opener for both in December. Cedar Shoals has not lost since that contest.

The Jaguars will be the second opponent to face Buford in the new $21 million Buford City Schools Arena. The multiple-purpose arena will host the Georgia 7A state semifinals in late February and is located directly across from the high school. Buford  hosted the first basketball games earlier this week as both Buford boys and girls defeated Johnson-Gainesville.

Earlier: Stavion Stevenson led Cedar Shoals with 19 points as the Jaguars improved to 4-1 in region 8-5A with a 65-41 victory over Johnson-Gainesville Wednesday night. Phlandrous Fleming added 12 points while Snipe Hall chipped in 10.

The Jaguars hit the floor again Thursday evening in a rare school-week back-to-back to take on non-region foe Washington. The game was moved up from Saturday to Thursday in advance of inclement weather forecasted for the north Georgia area.

Cedar Shoals improved to 14-2 by winning its tenth consecutive game 65-39 over Washington-Atlanta. The Jaguars took command of the game with a 23-point third quarter and lead 51-23 entering the fourth quarter. Snipe Hall led the Jaguars in scoring with 10 while Stavion Stevenson and A.J. Jones added nine apiece.

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High School Basketball

Cedar Shoals (14-2; 4-1) will hit the road next week for three straight games against region foe Loganville (9-6; 1-3), a rematch against region foe and class 5A No.1 Buford (12-2; 4-0) and undefeated class 6A No.1 Gainesville (13-0).

Top-ranked Buford defeated Cedar Shoals 72-66 behind 26 points from Donnell Nixon and 25 points from Marcus Watson in December.

Cedar Shoals will only be the second opponent to face Buford in the new $21 million Buford City Schools Arena. The multiple-purpose arena will host the Georgia 7A state semifinals this in late February and is located directly across from the high school. Buford  hosted the first basketball games earlier this week as both Buford boys and girls defeated Johnson-Gainesville.

Cedar Shoals split two meetings with then region opponent Gainesville last season, losing 80-77 in the regular season in Athens in December but won the region 8-5A championship game in February in Winder over the Red Elephants 70-48.

It will be the first time in recorded history Cedar Shoals will face No.1 teams from Georgia in different classifications in back-to-back games while being ranked in the top-10 of multiple state polls.