Area Sports...

December 20, 2000

Official in Leopards' GAC game to be written up
The Banks County Leopards will have a week of rest and practice over the holiday break before they return to the court in the WJJC Holiday Classic in Commerce next weekend.
Banks County is coming off a frustrating 77-45 loss to Greater Atlanta Christian Friday night.
"We never got a chance to see how we could play," Leopard head coach Mike Ruth said. "I feel we can play with them if we are given an equal chance."
GAC went to the free throw line 33 times in the game. The Leopards' leading scorer Victor Bonds got three fouls in the first two minutes of the game, and a little over a minute into the third quarter got his fourth foul and a technical.
Senior Chris Ivey was also removed from the game and suspended for two more for a controversial intentional tripping call.
Steven Caudell was also called for intentional foul; however, Caudell was not removed from the game.
"I pulled my starter out of the game midway through the third quarter to keep them out of trouble," Ruth said.
Ruth also said that he, BCHS principal Jan Bertrang and GAC coach Tim Vick were planning on writting up the Peach State officiating crew from Friday's game. Vick could not be reached for comment on the game.
The process of writing up an official involves filing a form with the Georgia High School Association, said Doc Sisk, head of the Georgia Mountains Officials Association. Sisk said the GHSA reviews the complaints and can view game film, talk to coaches and administrator or talk to the officials from the game.
"If the GHSA feels the claims are substantiated, they can take action," he said.
Sisk said the GHSA could suspend an official, the most severe penalty, or send the official a letter of reprimand.
Friday's loss was the Leopards' first since their season opener against Johnson in late November.
Mike Ivey led Banks County's scoring with 16 points. Cody Whitlock was also in double digits with 11 points.
Also scoring were: Casey Murray, five; Ryan Loggins, four; Dustin Bonds, three; and Will Gordon, two.
VS. UNION COUNTY
The Leopards had a better outing against Union County. Banks downed the Panthers 71-54.
"They had a one-three-one half-court trap and our kids were able move the ball against it," Ruth said. "We played well and had good team effort."
V. Bonds and C. Whitlock both scored 21 points against Union County. M. Ivey added an additional 18 points.
"Whitlock had a heck of a game," Ruth said. "He came off the bench and played well."
Gordon added four points in the Leopards' win. Bray Maxwell put three points on the board and helped with nine assists.
C. Ivey and Murray both had two points each.
Banks County hit three of five free throws in last Tuesday's game.



Jefferson thunders over Tallulah Falls
THE STOCKINGS are hung by the chimney, and the shoes are hung in the locker room.
After blasting through region opponenet Tallulah Falls Friday at home, the Jefferson Dragons are taking some time off to celebrate Christmas this week.
Next week, it will be back to the hardcourt, as the Dragons travel to Habersham Central to participate in the Raiders' Christmas tournament.
Jefferson's boys set a new school record for points scored in a single game against Tallulah Falls, with 138. Buzz Wehunt played only 20 minutes, but led the team in scoring with a school-record 60 points. The effort broke the previous milestone of 59, held by brother Richard Wehunt.
"This was one of those games where we could have gone out and played sloppy," remarked head coach Bolling DuBose. "Good teams don't play down to the level of their competition. They go out there and take care of business early, and I think our guys did that."
Dantonio Chandler threw in 21 points, and Michael Newton added 20. Chris Kinsey added two to give the Dragons 103 points from the two wing positions.
"We're obviously proud of Buzz," DuBose continued. "There are not many guys who can score anywhere close to that in a game."
Wehunt was 22 for 29 from the floor, a 76 percent shooting effort. He hit 10 three-pointers, and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity line.
The previous team scoring mark of 124 was established against Dawson County during the 1992 region tournament.
"We just shot the ball extremely well," DuBose said. "Everybody got to play."
Tallulah Falls fell behind early, after trying to keep up with Jefferson's fast-paced full-court game.
"They helped get a lot more possessions than we normally would," DuBose said. "Obviously, it was a good night. We played well against them offensively and forced a lot of turnovers."
Also playing well against Tallulah Falls were Kevin Jacobs' Lady Dragons.
Annie Goza dropped 22 points through the hoop, and Brooklyne Marlowe contributed 13 to Jefferson's overwhelming 88-25 win. Nearly half of the Lady Indians' points came in the fourth quarter, after the game was well out of reach.
In the latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution rankings, updated Tuesday, Jefferson's boys are fourth.
Buford is sixth in the girls' Class A rankings. Despite giving top-ranked Class AAA Hart County a scare recently, the Lady Dragons did not crack the top 10.
TIGER TRANSITION
Transition is a key word in basketball, but more so at Commerce this week.
Hampered by tremendous success on the football field, the Tiger basketball team was scheduled to face its first opponent Wednesday. Commerce was slated to meet Prince Avenue in the Spartan Invitational at Athens Academy.
The Tigers are ranked seventh in the AJC poll, due mostly to the fact that Michael Collins is considered one of the top 100 prep players in the nation.
Jefferson and Commerce will meet in a region showdown Jan. 5 in Commerce, and will close the regular season Feb. 9 in Jefferson.



Panther grapplers short by a nose in Avado Brands Invitational
THE JACKSON County wrestling team is taking time off for the holidays before resuming its season Jan. 3 in a three-team dual match at North Forsyth.
The Panthers continued a season of dramatic improvement last week with a second-place showing in the Avado Brands Invitational at Morgan County.
The feat marks the second time in as many weeks that Jackson County fell second to Morgan's first. The margin was much closer this time, however. In fact, it couldn't have been closer.
When the final tally was completed, Jackson County was a mere half-point behind the host Bulldogs in team points. A single match featuring either Jackson County or Morgan County could have swung the outcome in the Panthers' favor.
Still, second by one half-point to the defending Class AA state champions on their home turf is an impressive accomplishment.
Nine of 14 wrestlers earned medals in the tournament, including three tournament champions.
Jason Powers (103), Rusty Colley (125) and Jared Herrington (135) took the next step in what is already an impressive season for each, all winning gold medals in their respective weight classes.
Chris Kubiak was second at 145. Five Panthers ­ Matt Potts (130), Adam Ledbetter (152), Travis Ingram (160), Casey Berryman (215) and Brian Gower (275) finished third in the event.
Potts' and Berryman's only losses in the tournament were to the eventual champions in their classes. Chris Kinsey and Chris Autry both won matches and contributed team points, but lost to eventual tournament champions. Jonathan Sanders (140) also scored team points.
Michael Henderson fell victim to a bad draw in the 189-pound bracket, losing to top seed and eventual champion Jay Bernstein of Morgan County in the opening round. Lee Reece (171) also participated in the tournament.
In the crucial area competition, Jackson County finished ahead of area powers Elbert County and Loganville for the second straight time.
The Panthers have area dual matches coming up against such teams as North Forsyth, Eastside, Elbert County and Winder-Barrow, in addition to a number of tournaments where they will also see area teams.

Lady Tigers Beat Leopards In Overtime
It took the Lady Tigers an extra period but they were able to beat Banks County 70-61 on Saturday.
Commerce jumped ahead of the Lady Leopards early, taking a 14-10 first quarter lead. Again in the second quarter, the Lady Tigers stayed ahead of Banks County, going into the half with a 32-28 lead.
Commerce made a run in the third quarter, nearly doubling their lead to 49-38 by the end of the quarter.
But in the fourth quarter, the game changed hands. With less than three minutes to play, the Lady Leopards shut down the Commerce offense and began making a run to tie the game.
With only 11 seconds in the game, Banks County inbounded the ball and hit a three to tie the game at 59 with less than five seconds to play, sending the contest into overtime.
But in overtime, the Lady Tigers regrouped and took over the game.
Commerce outscored the Lady Leopards 11-2 to take their third win of the season.
Monique Diamond led the scoring for Commerce with 16 points.
The Lady Tigers were scheduled to play Wednesday at the Spartan Invitational. They'll take on the Oconee County Lady Warriors at 4:00. Win or lose, they play again on Thursday.


Lady Raiders pick up wins, momentum
Riding a six game winning streak, girls' head basketball coach Tim Cook said his improving squad is on the verge of accomplishing a team goal set early in the season.
"Our goal after losing two games early was to win the rest of our games before Christmas, and we're two games away from doing that-but these games don't really count. The real season starts Jan. 6," Cook said, referring to the date that region play kicks into full swing.
Madison County, ranked number 10 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week, kept their focus over the weekend, according to Cook. The team trounced Monroe Area 68-31 Saturday while topping Loganville 48-31 on the road Friday. The squad now carries an 8-2 mark heading into the Athens Academy Christmas tournament Wednesday.
"(The players) were mentally ready and that's a credit to them," Cook said. "That's the key to our success- to be mentally ready."
Cook added that he hopes they have yet to play their best ball.
"I hope we're not peaking now," Cook said of his squad's recent winning streak. "We've reeled off five or six wins against some quality teams...We've just got to keep focusing and do what we do best."
The Lady Raiders will have a chance to extend their wining streak to eight games during this week's action. The team will face Athens Academy in the opening round of the Christmas tourney tonight (Wednesday). Should they win, they will face the winner of Oconee and Commerce at 7 p.m. Thursday. The consolation game is set for 4 p.m. that afternoon night.
SATURDAY VS. MONROE AREA
While the Lady Raiders fought, scratched and clawed to pick up a 39-30 win Dec. 1 over Monroe Area on the road, Saturday's home match-up with the Purple Hurricanes was a different story.
By the time the third quarter rolled around, the Lady Raiders found themselves up 58-18 as they coasted to a 27 point win.
"We're playing a whole lot better as a team now," Cook said comparing the team's performance with the last encounter with Monroe Area. "I think we caught Monroe at a good time, they'd just played Hart and had to turn around and come play us in our place."
The team suffocated the Lady Purple Hurricanes with defense in the first half, allowing only four points in each of the first two quarters to build a lopsided 34-8 lead.
In fact, Monroe Area didn't get into double figures in scoring until they hit a bucket with 4:51 left in the third quarter to make the score 44-11.
The Lady Raiders eventually built up a 40-point lead in the second half before whittled the lead down in the fourth quarter against the Lady Raiders bench players.
Brittany Escoe turned in her second consecutive double-figure performance in the win, picking up 14 points on the evening.
FRIDAY VS. LOGANVILLE
The Madison County Lady Raiders did a number on Loganville defensively Friday, surrendering only 16 points over the last three quarters of the contest to claim a 17-point win.
Cook said a key defensive switch after a quarter of play led to the Lady Raiders' stymieing of the Loganville offense.
"Loganville does a great job with their man offense," Cook explained. they can just wait around and pop one on you....I think we did a good job defensively in the first quarter but we shifted to a zone defense and the kids responded well and took charge....I think we took control of the game midway through the second quarter even though we trailed at the half. They were confident and didn't panic and that comes with an older group of girls."
The Lady Raiders, who bested Loganville 52-33 earlier in the season, fell behind 15-7 after the first quarter. After Cook made his defensive change, the Madison County responded by outscoring the Lady Red Devils 8-2 in the second period, and then dominated Loganville in the third quarter, outscoring them 21-7 lead to take a 36-24 lead into the fourth quarter.
Senior Ashley Myers was the offensive force the second half for Madison County, scoring 12 of her team-high 16 points in the second half. Escoe also registered in double figures with 10 points on the night.


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