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Cedar Shoals Thumps Miller Grove; Advance To 5A Finals

Cedar Shoals has been knocking on the door of the championship game the last two seasons in the semifinals and it just would not open. Losses of one and two points in the semifinals prevented the Jaguars from playing for a state championship. Saturday at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga the Jaguars kicked the door down and left no room for making a third straight semifinal loss.

Powerhouse and defending 5A champion Miller Grove has won seven titles in the last eight years were on the other sideline. The Wolverines are under the direction of first-year head coach Rasual Chester however the expectations at Miller Grove are the same, win championships.

George Wilson III put Miller Grove up 7-5 with a three-pointer with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, that would be the last time the Wolverines would lead. Cedar Shoals broke off one of their patented runs that never left the game in doubt.

Phlandrous Fleming nailed a three as the first quarter ended to put Cedar Shoals up 14-7. Fleming converted a three-point play to open the second quarter and A.J. Jones dropped in a three-pointer to cap a 15-0 run to give Cedar Shoals a 20-7 lead, the Jaguars never looked back.

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Miller Grove and Cedar Shoals tip it off in the semifinals

“We have been playing a lot better defensively which forces teams to take bad shots and we have been great on the defensive boards which leads to transition buckets and it helps us find our rhythm,” Cedar Shoals head coach L’Dreco Thomas said about making massive runs all season.

Snipe Hall drilled a three to give Cedar Shoals a 42-16 lead in the third quarter that sent the Jaguars on their way to a 59-38 victory. The win is not so much a surprise as is the manner of it and margin of victory.

Fleming finished with a game-high 25 points, Stavion Stevenson scored 15, Hall tallied nine while Jones chipped in seven for Cedar Shoals.

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Phlandrous Fleming shoots technical foul shots during Cedar Shoals’ semifinal victory over Miller Grove 

“My staff came up with a great game plan and the players worked the plan to a T,” Thomas said. “(The players) were focused and confident.”

Cedar Shoals (27-4) held Miller Grove (21-9) to a season-low 38 points and held leading scoreer Naquante Hardy (20ppg avg) to a season-low five points. Before losing to Cedar Shoals, Miller Grove had only lost to McEachern (7A semifinalist), Wheeler (7A Sweet 16) and Columbia (5A Sweet 16)  from the state of Georgia.

“We knew we had to limit (Hardy’s) scoring opportunities and know where he was at all times,” Thomas said. ” I think switching defenses throughout the game gave them problems. We never let them get in a rhythm and we didn’t give up transition buckets.”

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Jaguar boys will play for their first-ever Georgia state championship

Cedar Shoals earned its first-ever appearance in the state championship for the boys program in school history. The girls program won the 1992 state championship under head coach Charles Turner and last played for a state championship in 1999 (lost to Pope).

Cedar Shoals will play for the 5A championship four miles from its campus at the University of Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum.

The second-ranked Jaguars will face top-ranked Buford in the finals. Buford (28-2) earned its spot in the finals by defeating Fayette County (23-8) 83-60 behind 25 points and 14 rebounds by sophomore Marcus Watson. Alex Jones finished with 23 points while David Viti added 16 for the Wolves. Buford is the Region 8-5A champion and has not lost this season to a team from Georgia. Buford and Cedar Shoals have been ranked 1-2 since mid-January by multiple polls in the state.

“It’s an honor just to play in the state finals. To play in it in our hometown makes it special,” Thomas said.

It will be the fourth meeting this season between the two teams with Buford winning all three previous meetings. All three were competitive games with the region championship game having the largest margin of victory of the three contests.

Total Sports Coverage carried all three previous Buford-Cedar Shoals contest this season. Each game is available via the following archive links below…

Regular Season Game 1 at Cedar Shoals  

Regular Season Game 2 at Buford 

Region 8-5A Championship Game 3 at Cedar Shoals

“Buford is a great basketball team. We can’t look at it as they beat us three times, because right now those loses don’t count,” Thomas said. “The winner of this one gets the biggest prize. We will focus on their strength and things that we feel we can be exploited and instill those in our guys and just go play. We can’t worry about the past.”

Two teams that know each other well, one win is all they need to be the Georgia 5A state champ.

One can only think an expected near capacity crowd at Stegeman Coliseum will be ready to bring the funk and the noise in the Wednesday nightcap.

 

 

 

 

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Clarke Central-Cedar Shoals On TSC

Total Sports Coverage will carry the 50th edition of the Classic City Championship LIVE between Cedar Shoals and Clarke Central on Friday September 23rd. Clarke Central leads the overall series 34-15 and have won the previous eight games and 10 of the 11 eleven. It will mark the region 8-5A opener for both schools.

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Both schools are breaking in new coaches. Cedar Shoals has former Clarke Central and Thomasville head coach Leroy Ryals leading the Jaguars. Ryals posted a 7-1 record against Cedar Shoals as head coach of Clarke Central. The Gladiators are led by former University of Georgia baseball head coach David Perno, who won a state title in football at Clarke Central in the mid-80’s.

Currently Cedar Shoals is 3-1 and Clarke Central is 2-2.

Joel Hillsman will be on the play-by-play call. Hillsman, an Athens native, has broadcast high school sports across six states the last seven years, will be calling his third game in this storied Georgia series.

Listen live as the pregame will begin at 7:15 pm et with kickoff at 7:30 pm et from Waters-Wilkins Stadium.

Cedar Shoals Advances To Region Finals

The Cedar Shoals Jaguars broke open a two-point halftime lead in the second half to defeat Heritage of Conyers for the third time this season 53-39 to advance to the Region 8-5A championship game. Cedar Shoals outscored Heritage of Conyers 30-18 in the second half.

Junior Phlandrous Fleming stepped up again in a big game for the Jaguars as he has all season with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jerrick Mitchell was the only other Jaguar in double figures with 10 points and several nifty assists (4) while commanding the offense and pushing the pace enough to push Cedar Shoals over the top.

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Phlandrous Fleming knocks in two of his game-high 24 points vs Heritage-Conyers

Heritage (18-8) was led by Charles Moore’s 10 points and was the only double figure scorer for the Patriots. Bryon Abrams finished with 8 while Isaiah Bans finished with 7 points. Heritage Conyers will take on Salem in the 3rd place game on Saturday

Cedar Shoals (25-2) will look to avenge their only region loss of the season in the championship game when they take on Gainesville (20-4), 60-55 wire-to-wire winners over Salem in the other semifinal. The Red Elephants defeated Cedar Shoals 80-77 in double overtime back in December. Gainesville is led by Mr. Georgia Basketball contender D’Marcus Simonds. Simonds did not start against Cedar Shoals in the regular season but came off the bench to score 40 points in the victory.

Cedar Shoals, a 2015 Final Four team, will be seeking its second straight region title and third since 2012  under head coach L’Dreco Thomas, who surpassed 100 wins earlier this season.

Catch all of the action from the Region 8-5A Championship game right here on Total Sports Coverage beginning at 7:30pm et.

 

 

Jaguars Break Losing Streak

Cedar Shoals has been searching for a win for quite a while, 15 games to be exact. The previous 14 games, including the school’s first-ever winless season in 2014, came under the watch of head coach Scott Wilkins.

Wilkins, in his second term as head coach of the Jaguars, coaches in a stadium which bears his name; Waters-Wilkins Stadium and is the all-time winningest head coach in the 40-plus year history of the school. Wilkins was 106-50-1 when he departed the program in 2007 after going 9-2. John Waters won 102 games in his 14 seasons as head coach of the Jaguars.

Cedar Shoals snapped the streak with a 20-3 victory over Heritage-Conyers Friday night on homecoming, giving Wilkins his 107th win as a head coach, all at Cedar Shoals.

“It feels great, I didn’t think it would take this long, 15 games but it’s better than 16 games,” Wilkins said

Quarterback Greg Smith’s rushing touchdown allowed the Jaguars to lead 6-3 at halftime. Jerphari Colbert added two touchdown runs in the second half for the final 20-3 margin.

“I’m excited for our players. They’ve been through a rough stretch and they are staying the course, they are seeking to restore the tradition that is Cedar Shoals football and I’m happy to be apart of it,” Wilkins said. That tradition includes a Class 4A (highest class in Georgia at the time) runner-up finish in 1995 to Josey.

Cedar Shoals (1-4; 1-3) will look to win its second straight game since  on the road against region foe Loganville. Heritage-Conyers (0-5; 0-4) will travel to region 8-5A leader Lanier (5-0; 4-0) next week. Lanier was off this past week.

High School Football Scrimmage Action

The High School Football season is upon us even if it is more than a week away from officially starting around the region, a region where the weather in August has been historically kind. Before all the “classic” game action and bevy of TV games hits us in a week or so, reps and experience against live competition is underway via scrimmage action. It’s that time when booster clubs slowly begin to ramp it up because they support a team/school/program that may have a shot at winning a state title.

Here are some results and notes from scrimmages held on Friday.

High School Football
High School Football

North Gwinnett 9 Stephenson 7: Stephenson’s defense was swarming to the ball most of the night but the North Gwinnett defense struck first scoring on a short fumble return for a touchdown when Bobby Young stripped the running back and scored.

Lovejoy 27 Peachtree Ridge 21: Lovejoy amassed 330 yards of offense in only two quarters. Junior Wide Receiver Preston Williams caught two touchdowns. Williams missed all of last season with a hip injury after having a productive summer on the 7-on-7 circuits.

Tucker 24 Marist 3: Dominic Sanders scored three touchdowns for Tucker including 71-yard TD run in the first quarter.

Byrnes (SC) 42 Erwin (NC) 26: Byrnes’ Shaedon Meadors had a 42yd touchdown reception and running back Isaiah Hill scored a 52-yard touchdown on a screen play.

Buford 47 Berkmar 0: Buford did well in the tune up and Berkmar will take morale victories and seek to improve as they play in the rugged Region 8-6A in Georgia. Buford plays in Class 3A.

Camden County 40 Milton 7: Harrison Poole scored touchdowns of 42 and 80 yards, he is a sophomore. Junior Antonio Wimbush scored on an 80-yard touchdown and recorded a sack. Ryan Johnson returned a punt 53-yards for a touchdown and Wimbush had a punt return over 30-odd yards as well. Camden threw the ball more than a couple of times meaning, it’s in their playbook, they’ll decide when to pull it out. Treyvon Paulk of Milton may have went over 70 yards on the ground but that is not official.

Gainesville (GA) 28 Grayson (GA) 27: Highly-touted and Clemson commit QB Deshaun Watson passed for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aares McCall led Grayson on the ground with over 100 yards. Grayson scored a defensive touchdown in the game.

Valdosta 7 Ware County 6: Quarterback? Valdosta trailed 6-0 in the middle of the 4th quarter to the Georgia 2012 5A runner-up Ware County Gators before ending a drive, led by quarterback Jacob McMillan, in the end zone. Valdosta is searching for a quarterback since starter Cole Massengill went down with a season-ending injury in practice earlier this month.

Cedar Shoals 35 Oconee County 21: Senior QB Darius Jordan threw 4 TD passes for Cedar Shoals. Breon Mitchell had 2 scores, Tyler Hitchcock, Sam Hemphill and Ryan Huff also scored touchdowns.

Other scores of interest:
Mauldin (SC) 21 Greenville (SC) 14
Coffee County (GA) 21 Cook (GA) 7
Lowndes 41 Thomasville 0
Jacksonville (FL) 12 Brunswick (GA) 0
Walton 33 South Cobb 7
Hart County 44 Habersham Central 17
Gaffney (SC) 36 Woodruff (SC) 35
Mill Creek 20 Parkview 13
Hiram 26 Harrison 21
B.T. Washington (GA) 41 Douglass (GA) 0

Dontai Robinson Pours in 39 In Cedar Shoals Boys Win; Cedar Shoals Girls Win Second Straight

Cedar Shoals defeated Heritage-Conyers 74-67 in an overtime win in Conyers, GA  Tuesday night. Dontai Robinson led the way with 39 points while D’Andre Mahaffey and Jamyhia Mattox put in 13 each.

Cedar Shoals improves to 8-9; 6-3 on the season and will face crosstown rival Clarke Central (12-4; 6-4) on Saturday. Clarke Central defeated Cedar Shoals at Cedar Shoals 65-52 in their first meeting earlier this season in mid-December. Clarke Central lost 66-63 to Apalachee on Tuesday night.

May the hoop be with you
May the hoop be with you

Cedar Shoals Girls improved to 15-2 after a 49-36 win over Heritage-Conyers on Tuesday night. Cedar Shoals is ranked in the Top 10 in some state polls and will face Clarke Central on Saturday prior to the boys game. Clarke Central will enter the meeting with a 11-6 record and lost to Cedar Shoals 38-30 in their first meeting earlier this season in mid-December.

Clarke Central Tops Cedar Shoals In Classic City Rivalry

The Clarke Central Gladiators (5-5) were assured of a playoff spot no matter the outcome when they entered Waters-Wilkins Stadium at Cedar Shoals High School last night to face their crosstown rival the Cedar Shoals Jaguars (4-6). That was the last thing on their mind as they knew they could not lose to the Jaguars were playing for only pride and bragging rights as they had been eliminated a week earlier from the playoffs.

Cedar Shoals started out the game playing like they wanted to send the Glad into the playoffs with a losing record while at least finishing .500 as the defense held on Central’s first possession. The Jags came right down the field scoring on a 4-yard touchdown run by Brandon Whitehead-a tight end by trade who had to play running back due to injuries to the leading rusher Adrian Washington, and the Jaguars had an early 7-0 lead.

The Gladiators would answer that drive by driving themselves for a score to knot the game at 7 after a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Johnson to Denzel Maxey capping a 12-play 56-yard drive with 1:08  left in the first quarter.

After the Gladiators held the Jags on a fourth down on their next possession they went 75 yards in 8 plays scoring on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Johnson to Amir Williams to take a 14-7 lead with 7:11 left int he fourth quarter. Cedar Shoals would move it again on their next drive before Brandon Whitehead fumbled and the Glad recovered and the first half ended 14-7 with the Glad leading.

Cedar Shoals would strike first int he second half after Central was forced to kick again after a punt that would have had the Jags pinned inside their own 20 at the 19, instead on the second attempt the Glad decided to fake it and it failed giving Cedar the ball on the Central 48. Darius Jordan would lead the Cedar offense again directly to the end zone on just 3 plays. After a 32-yard run by Jordan he would hit Chris Middlebrooks on a 15-yard fade pattern in the right corner to pull the Jags to within one at 14-13 after the extra point was blocked.

Central again would come right back and answer with a 5-play 61-yard drive capped with another Cameron Johnson touchdown pass and he found Amir Williams again from 32-yards out and a 21-13 Gladiator lead going in to the fourth quarter.

Central would tack on another touchdown with Jelani Payne scoring on the ground from a yard out to stretch the lead to 28-13 with 8:41 left in the contest. Cedar Shoals would not go away however. After Jordan fumbled it away on their next possession, the defense held and Cedar would use it to score when Jordan found Middlebrooks again from 30-yards out to pull the Jags to within eight points, 28-20, with 2:28 left.

Clarke Central was unable to move it and had to punt it back to Cedar Shoals with 1:17 remaining and 70 yards and a two-point conversion away from tying the game. The drive started good with Jordan hitting Quentin Hall for 12 yards on the first play but personnel issues caused clock management problems after that and the Jags would fall short for the fifth consecutive time to Clarke Central.

Cameron Johnson finished 9-14 158 yards passing with 3 touchdowns, Amir Williams had 75 yards and two touchdown receptions, while Jelani Payne went for 110 yards on the ground for Clarke Central.

Darius Jordan finished 11-18 170 yards two touchdowns and an interception passing, Brandon Whitehead was a yard shy of a hundred-yard rushing for 99-yards and a touchdown while Chris Middlebrooks had four receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

Clarke Central will travel to East Paulding (10-0) next week in the first round of the state playoffs.

Cedar Shoals Looking To Continue Positive Start

The Cedar Shoals Jaguars, located on Athens Georgia’s “Eastside”, are quietly beginning to roar in the opening month of the high school football season. Off the jump the credit goes to Athletic Director Roger Edmonds. Edmonds put forth a thorough and detailed search to find the next head football coach and bring the program back to heights it has seen in the past while seeking to exceed them.

The Cedar Shoals Jaguars play in the rugged but below radar Region 8-5A in Georgia

“The selection process was long and difficult. We had many good quality candidates, but in the end we decided that good was just not good enough”, Edmonds said about the coaching search.

Early indications on the field, around the school and in the community is that Edmonds found such coach south of the Georgia border in Palm Gardens, FL in one Chris Davis

Davis has the Jaguars off to a 2-0 start with the latest victory coming in the waning moments over a very game Elbert County (Class AAA in Georgia) squad headlined by highly touted running back Tyshon Dye. The Jags won 35-28 late in the fourth quarter by running back Adrian Washington going in from two yards out to cap the win with 60-odd seconds remaining. Washington, being courted by several schools-with Auburn the favorite, finished with 217 yards and 2 touchdowns.

“We came back four times from behind, that showed me this team will not quit”, Davis said

The last time the Jags were 2-0 was 2007, the last of 14 years by former head coach Scott Wilkins-who never had a losing season at Cedar Shoals and whom the stadium is partially named for.

Dye on the flip side went for 117 yards on 18 carries (including a 65-yard touchdown run). Minus the touchdown run, that’s 52 yards given up to one of the nations premier backs, Dye also scored on a kick return. Title-rich Buford, who fell to Cedar’s region foe Gainesville last week, held Dye to 66 yards rushing in a 14-3 week one loss by the Blue Devils.

Next up for Cedar Shoals is region play, region 8-5A this is stacked with quality teams (Gainesville, Clarke Central, Flowery Branch, Heritage-Conyers and Apalachee to name a few)  and is a very underrated region in the state scheme of things regardless of classification.

The Jaguars open region play hosting Flowery Branch this Friday, a Flowery Branch team that Davis describes as a team that, “They have a  good run game, their good at the second level, well coached and play with a lot of energy”, Davis pointed out.

For the Jaguars, a region play opening game win would provide good footing for the remaining region slate that is ahead. With Washington running the rock, Jordan passing it more than many have seen  in the Jaguar program/history and a defense that is out to gang tackle you, the Cedar Shoals Jaguars are headed in the winning direction. Chris Davis is just getting started while providing quite the appetizer.