Area Sports...

 June 14, 2000


CHS coaches guide Ga. All-Stars to wins
The Georiga All-Star boys' team came home as the top winners in this weekend's action at the Southen Hoops All-Star Classic in Lakeland, Fla.
CHS coach Rex Gregg was the head coach for the team, and Tiger assistant Jimbo Stephenson made up part of the staff that saw Georgia beat South Carolina and Florida.
Teams from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina will converge on Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., for a two-day tournament.
Georgia opened the tournament with a 113-88 win over Florida Friday night. Mitchell-Baker's Gabriel Lee and Westside-Macon's Gerald Fitch led Georgia with 24 points each. Carrolton's Stephen Thomas added 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Georgia finished off the tournament Saturday with a 106-100 win over South Carolina. Georgia trailed 50-47 at halftime, but outscored South Carolina 59-50 in the second half to take the win.
Fitch led the scoring again with 24 points, 13 boards and five assists. All eight players scored eight points or better.
Many of Georgia's team members have already signed with major colleges around the southeast.
Other members of the team include Chris Daniels, Monroe-Albany; Kyle Davis, Early County; Antonio Hayes, Mitchell-Baker; Brendon Plavich, Dalton; Gerald Riley, Baldwin; Demetrius Smith, Calloway; Stephen Thomas, Carrolton; and Joe Weubring, Marist.


Summer basketball camps under way for Leopards
Banks County High School kicked off the summer basketball season this week by participating in area team camps.
The boys' team is hosting two legs of the Jackson County team camp this week, while the girls are at Madison County high and middle schools. Banks County will host boys' games at its new gym and its old gym, since Jefferson's gym is unavailable due to renovations.
LADY LEOPARDS
The Banks County girls are one of 11 teams competing in Danielsville. The Lady Tigers began by playing Oglethorpe County, Winder-Barrow, Ath-ens Christian and Nathanael Greene Academy. Other teams in the Madison County girls' camp this summer include: Stephens County, Commerce, Jackson County, Prince Avenue and Greene County.
BOYS' CAMP
Boys' mini-games are also being played at co-hosts Jackson County Comprehen-sive and Commerce high schools.
A total of 14 teams will be involved in the camp, including: Buford, Madison County, West Hall, Monroe Area, Wes-leyan, Rabun County, Franklin County, Hart County, Gainesville, Clarke Central and Winder-Barrow.


Postseason under way at JCPRD
The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department is currently holding its end-of-season tournaments in a number of baseball and softball divisions.
The most contested division looks to be 7- and 8-year-old boys' baseball, the only division with two undefeated teams during the regular season. A pair of Jefferson teams ­ the Tigers and Mariners ­ finished the regular season with perfect 10-0 marks. Nicholson's Diamondbacks and Maysville's Indians, both 7-2-1, are looking to play spoiler against the two top teams. Not far behind are the South Jackson Orioles and West Jackson Rangers, both at 7-3. The division's championship game is slated for Monday at 7 p.m., in Hoschton.
In the 9- and 10-year-old boys' league, Jefferson's Marlins stand as the JCPRD's only other undefeated team, at 10-0. The South Jackson Diamondbacks are hot on their tails, at 9-1. Also looking to make some waves in the tournament are a pair of Nicholson teams, the 7-2-1 Giants and 7-3 Cubs. Jefferson's Pirates (6-3-1) and Orioles (6-4) are looking for underdog wins. The 9-10 boys' final will be held at Benton Elementary Monday at 7 p.m.
Final standings were tight in the 9-10 girls' softball group, with the Jefferson Reds, Maysville Cardinals and West Jackson Astros all knotted at 7-3. Close behind were the West Jackson Devil Rays, at 6-3-1. The 9-10 softball final is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, at Jefferson field number three.
In other boys' action, the 11-12 North Jackson Hillcats (8-2) hope to continue their winning ways against four other teams with winning marks. Nicholson's 13-14 Mudcats (7-2-1) led their final division standings by only a half-game over the 7-3 Muck Dogs from West Jackson. Both tournaments will conclude Saturday at 7 p.m., the 11-12 at Jefferson field four, and 13-14 at the Lamar Murphy Park complex.
Nicholson's Indians (7-8 girls) led their pack at 8-1-1, and hope to make Saturday's 6 p.m. final on Jefferson field two. The 11-12 West Jackson girls' Lookouts (7-2) will be the favorite to reach that division's 6 p.m., Saturday final. The 11-12 girls are the only division featuring a double-elimination tournament.


Home not so sweet for Crane in Lanier Slim Jim race
Pendergrass' Ryan Crane was looking to make a big-time run on rookie of the year points Saturday at Lanier National Speedway in the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series.
Coming into the race, Crane had logged numerous hours on the Lanier asphalt in recent weeks, testing Goodyear tires. Everything was in the 17-year-old's favor.
Everything, that is, except luck.
After qualifying 20th, Crane powered his Fresh Frozen Foods Monte Carlo to 10th just before the midpoint of the 200-lap All Pro race. The night was not a good one for rookies. Rookie points leader Casey Yunick pitted on lap 90, and contenders Billy Mills, Greg Pope and John Gerstner all either spun or were involved in accidents, putting them at least a lap down. Crane looked to be well on his way to earning the Moroso Performance Parts Rookie of the Race award.
Crane maneuvered his ride smoothly through 95 laps, including getting by a pair of near-misses that could have ended his night.
On lap 95, Crane was third in a line of bumper-to-bumper cars flying around the track at nearly 100 miles per hour on the straightaways. The lead car in the pack spun coming out of turn four, and the second car slammed the brakes, trying to avoid a collision. All three cars suffered damage in the incident, with Crane's the most serious.
Though the damage seemed to be only cosmetic at first, Crane's car began to overheat within the next few laps. In the pits, his crew found that Crane's bumper bar had rammed into his air intake, closing off air to his radiator. Crew members worked frantically to saw it away from the frame, but broke three saw blades in the process. When Crane finally reentered the race, he was dozens of laps down and behind a number of rookie contenders. He limped home to a 27th-place finish, completing 147 of the 200 laps.
"We were all running real close," Crane said after the race. "When some guy checks up in front of you like that, there's not much you can do. And of course, it's going to happen in front of the hometown crowd."
The night was not a total loss, as Crane's fourth-place finish among rookies moved him into third in the season rookie standings. Yunick padded his rookie points lead, and will not likely be caught for at least two more races. The series has 11 races remaining in its 17-event schedule, including Friday's inaugural race at Cincinnati's Kentucky Speedway.


Rangers grab Major League title in 2-0 pitching battle
Zeb's Rangers pitcher Ben Jeffers, who nearly pitched a perfect game last week, outlasted mound opponent Chaz Perry Saturday in the Major League championship game as he was nearly flawless again. The Ranger ace went six innings, striking out 17 batters, while surrendering a single hit, walking none and allowing no runs in his squad's 2-0 victory over the Armour Plumbing and Well Lumberjacks.
In fact, Jeffers only allowed Lumberjacks to put two balls in play during his stellar effort-a single by Jesse Compton and a groundout to first base by Perry.
While Perry didn't match Jeffers' numbers, he turned out a solid performance nevertheless as the Lumberjack starter went five innings and struck out nine while surrendering seven hits, two runs and no walks.
The Rangers, who upped their record to 14-2 in claiming the championship, were led offensively by Jason Wynn and Chris Ford, who both came up big with RBIs in the contest. Wynn accounted for the Rangers' first run when he singled in Jeffers in the first inning. Ford then gave his squad an insurance in the third inning as he ripped a triple to bring home Drew McCurley
Also picking up hits for the Rangers were Jeffers and Zeb Osley, who collected two singles each and McCurley who had a single.


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