Area Sports...

January 10, 2001

Lady Leopards down Apalachee, to face Dawson, Towns
The Lady Leopards earned a split over the last two games and will hope to improve their subregion record with two upcoming bouts with Dawson County and East Hall.
"If we can win these next two on the road, it will really help us in the subregion," said head coach Mike Gordon.
Banks County will travel to Dawson Friday night before hosting Region 8-AA north foe Towns County Saturday night. Tuesday, the Lady Leopards will face East Hall.
"Dawson County is up and down," Gordon said. "Towns County is capable and physical.
"East Hall is quick in every position and they'll be tough to play. But we are going to go after them."
The Lady Leopards stand at 4-8 on the season and 1-1 in the subregion.
VS. APALACHEE
Banks County will go into the weekend coming off a 51-25 whipping of Apalachee.
The Lady Leopards jumped ahead 13-2 in the first quarter and never looked back, riding a 26-8 halftime lead to victory.
The entire Banks County squad saw playing time Tuesday evening.
Haley Crumley, the Lady Leopards' leading scorer, added 22 points and two three-pointers to her statistics. She is averaging 16 points per game.
Other scorers included: Ashley Freeman, eight; Laura Carlyle, seven; Megan Williams, five; Regina Veal, Dana Garrish, Ashley Strickland and Maggie Elrod, two; and Joni Martin, one.
The Lady Leopards hit only 32 percent from the free-throw line, landing seven of 22 attempts.
VS. RABUN COUNTY
The Lady Leopards lost a close one 48-45 to Rabun County Friday night.
Banks County led the game in the first and second quarters but fell behind in the third because of several missed shots.
"We just can't make our shots in the third quarter," Gordon said. "The opportunity is there, we just aren't hitting them."
Rabun County outscored the Lady Leopards11-7 in the third quarter to help themselves to the victory.
Crumley again led the scoring for Banks County, this time with 14 points.
Freeman returned from a month-long injury hiatus to put 16 points into the Lady Leopards' effort. She had been sidelined due to a hip injury.
Also scoring for Banks County were: Williams, five; Carlyle, four; and Veal, Martin and Elrod, two points each.
The Lady Leopards hit 12 of 19 from the line.
Rabun County's top scorer, Katie Hendricks, put 14 on the scoreboard. Their only other player in double digits, April Welch, scored 12 points.



Jefferson remains perfect in duals at 11-0
THE JEFFERSON wrestling team will travel to Lexington Saturday to participate in the Patriot Classic at Oglethorpe County High School.
The Dragons will host West Hall next Wednesday at 5 p.m. Beyond that, the team has only one home dual meet remaining, Jan. 26 against Habersham Central.
Jefferson finished a close third in last week's Amicalola Classic at Dawson County.
Sophomore sensation Hunter Garner found himself atop the heap again Saturday, claiming the gold medal at 140 pounds. Jeremy Smith (152) and Blake Gooch (130) also finished first in their respective weight classes.
Nathaniel Wilson continued a remarkable recovery from last year's injury, taking second at 112. Scott Nix downed second seed Tony Smith of North Forsyth and finished second only to Jackson County's Jared Herrington at 135.
11-0 AFTER DUAL WINS
The Dragons stretched their dual meet win streak to 11 last week with wins over Wesleyan and Walker.
Head coach Doug Thurmond said this week that the wins were important for his team heading into the state tournament next month.
"That was real nice," Thurmond said. "Both of them are in Class A, and Wesleyan is in our area."
Jefferson topped Wesleyan 63-9, and Walker 47-3.



Jackson County starts 2-0 in 8-AAA south
BOTH THE girls' and boys' basketball teams from Jackson County Comprehensive High School got past Loganville Tuesday, improving both teams to 2-0 in subregion 8-AAA south play.
The Panthers will host Winder-Barrow Friday at 7 p.m. in another subregion matchup. Road games against north subregion opponents Stephens County and Franklin County are on tap for Saturday and next Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in those.
B.J. Wilmont powered Ron Garren's boys in Tuesday's 76-51 win, scoring 27 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. Dustin David added 15 to the score.
For the Lady Panthers, Megan Elliott put up 21 points and Nikki Sosebee 18 in a 60-36 win.
Tuesday's wins, combined with another pair of victories last Friday over Eastside, placed the Panthers at the top of the subregion standings midway through the first round of games.
With just five teams in the subregion, the Panthers have defeated half their subregion opponents, with the Friday trip to Winder and a home meeting with Monroe Area remaining in the subregion's first slate of games.
Jackson County will meet all four subregion opponents again over a two-week stretch beginning Jan. 23.
BOYS DOWN RANKED EAGLES
Friday's home win over Eastside marked the first time this season that the Panthers have defeated a ranked Class AAA team. The Eagles, who are seventh in the latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Tuesday, were fourth at the time of the win.
"That was a big win for us. It gave us a game up on everybody," Garren said. "The win Friday put us in position to compete for the championship."
Garrren's boys nearly pulled off another big upset Saturday, playing third-ranked Hart County even through the first half before a 14-2 third-quarter run gave Hart the 63-49 win.
"We missed five layups in transition," Garren said, referring to his team's difficulty in the third frame. "We cut it to nine and had the last shot in the third quarter, but lost it out of bounds." The Bulldogs responded by hitting a 75-footer at the buzzer to close the quarter.
"I was disappointed in the fact that we didn't play well in the third quarter," Garren continued, "but Hart County has an outstanding team. Hart County and Eastside are the two best teams in our league, and those are the two we want to focus on."
If the Panthers get another shot at Hart County, it will be in the region tournament, which will be held Feb. 12-17.
Garren got a bit of bad news last week, when he was told that Adam Hughes may miss the rest of the season due to injury. Hughes suffered a hernia during the week, and may require corrective surgery.
Wilmont missed a pair of games early in the season, also due to a hernia.
"Adam played his finest game of the year at Dacula," Garren said of Hughes' efforts in last Wednesday's 54-50 win, "then we find out the next day he has a hernia." Hughes was to find out yesterday (Tuesday) if the injury requires surgery.
"We've kind of had to go back to the drawing board," Garren said. "Hopefully some other players will step up and give us some good play off the bench."
Wilmont had 22 and 12 boards in the Dacula victory. David threw in 10 points.

Dragon Defense Wears Out Tigers, 65-58
For all of the scoring potential, last Friday night's match-up of the No. 4 Jefferson Dragons and the No. 7 Commerce Tigers turned into a defensive battle.
Holding Michael Collins to 20 points, including only nine after the first period, the Dragons lived up to their ranking and handed the Tigers their first loss, 65-58, before one of the best basketball crowds in recent Tiger history.
"In my 21 years in Commerce, it was the first time they quit selling tickets at the gate," noted coach Rex Gregg. "It was the largest crowd we've had in Commerce since I've been here."
The Dragons, noted for their offense, won this game with defense. After Michael Collins scored 11 first-quarter points, Coach Boling DuBose rotated Buzz Wehunt, Dantonio Chandler and James Harrison in to the man-to-man defense to take on Collins, and they effectively shut him down the rest of the way. Collins only put up six shots in the second half.
But the Tigers played strong defense as well, holding Wehunt, who had averaged 28 points, to 16 on the night.
The Tigers led the game 18-10 at the end of the first quarter and 28-26 at the half, but Jefferson's relentless defense began to pay off in the third period, causing a number of Tiger turnovers as Jefferson took control of the game on a 15-3 run.
"We fought hard and our guys gave a great effort, but we couldn't cut it back down," said Gregg. "In the final analysis, they were in better basketball condition than us. Seven of their first eight players have been playing since October ... We've got to get better play out of our point guards. They had 10 turnovers between them, most of them in the crucial third period. That's inexperience. Jefferson came out and played a full-court pressure to try to wear us out, and they did a good job."
Twion Shealer stepped in for Commerce to lead the offense with 24 points which, combined with his 10 rebounds, made for a "great" game, according to Gregg. Casey Gary also performed well. He scored only two points, but had six assists and 12 rebounds.
Others scoring included Wes Massey and Brody Bearden with five points each, and Dustin Martin with two.
Shaudrick Martin picked up the slack for Jefferson. He scored 16 points and dominated the boards with 14 rebounds.
Gregg said he's anxious to play the Dragons again, and thinks the Tigers can improve.
'We've got to have some other players step up," he noted, "besides the three (Collins, Shealer and Gary)."
VS. RABUN GAP
The Tigers traveled to Rabun Gap on Saturday and, though they won 96-58, Gregg said there were some worrisome moments.
"Casey picked up two fouls in the first quarter and then Twion got two. I was sweating it," he said.
But Collins kept the worry to a minimum, scoring 30 of his 34 points in the first half as the Tigers surged to a 96-58 victory to improve their record to 6-1.
"Dustin Martin gave us a big lift in the second quarter. He came in and scored eight points," said Gregg.
Martin had 12 in all. Shealer added 11, Vonté Reed nine, Adam Bagwell and Rob Brown seven each, Steven Bihss five, Massey four, Bearden three, Gary two and Scott White one.
Collins and Shealer dominated the backboards, getting 11 and eight rebounds respectively. Bihss pulled down seven and Martin grabbed six. Massey had six assists, Collins five and Gary four.
The Tigers were to travel to Wesleyan Tuesday night.


Lady Raiders' winning streak snapped at eight games
A team that hadn't lost since late November will now look to start a new string of victories after falling this past Friday, halting an eight-game winning streak.
The team is set to take on Elbert County on the road Friday and will also lockup with Athens Christian at home Saturday. The squad will then take on Stephens County at home on Tuesday.
The 11-3 squad split contests in their two-game home stand this weekend. Top-ranked Hart County dealt Madison County their first setback on the hardwood since November 28 as they pulled out a 55-44 win in front of a packed house in Danielsville. However, the Lady Raiders were able to rebound a night later and put Winder-Barrow away 53-39.
SATURDAY VS.
WINDER-BARROW
The Madison County girls' basketball team marched past Winder Saturday night in the 14-point win.
Madison County led 14-9 after one quarter, but the Lady Bulldoggs battled back, taking an 18-17 lead with just under four minutes to go in the first half. The Lady Raiders stole the momentum at the end of the half, taking a 26-20 lead into the locker room after baskets in the final 90 seconds of the quarter from Heather Jones, Aiyana Hunter and Ashley Collins.
Madison County, which entered intermission with three post players - Ashley Myers, Tera Bellamy and Sheena Mason with three fouls each - outscored Winder 18-4 in the third period, leading by as much as 22 points and carrying a 44-24 into the final eight minutes of play.
Jones paced the Lady Raiders with 17 points. Collins finished with eight. Hunter and Myers had seven. Bellamy tallied four. Stacie Beard and Renee Mathews each chipped in three. Sheena Mason added a bucket and Valerie Norman and Tiffany Ledford had one point apiece.
The team was 16-of-34 from the free throw line.
FRIDAY VS.
HART COUNTY
The Lady Raiders came up on the short end of a clash between two top-ten AAA squads as the number one ranked Lady Bulldogs caught a fourth quarter spurt and surged past Madison County in the final period of play.
In a game of momentum swings, the Lady Raiders battled back from a 10-point second-quarter deficit and whittled the Hart County edge to a single point, 37-36 in the open moments of the fourth quarter with a jump shot from Sheena Mason.
However, the Lady Bulldogs dominated Madison County when it counted-down the stretch.
Hart County answered Madison County with a 14-5 run to push their lead out to a comfortable 51-41 edge with only three minutes remaining in the contest, putting Madison County's upset bid to rest.
Maya Fouch led the Lady Bulldogs in the subregion win, registering 16 points while Archarya Croft tallied 11.
Seniors Brittney Escoe and Ashley Myers paced the Madison County squad, each talling nine points while Renee Mathews threw in eight.
Madison County had the top ranked team on the ropes in the opening minutes of the contest.
The Lady Raiders stormed out of the gate, clamping on to a 6-0 lead.
However, the momentum swung to the favor of Hart County as the Lady Bulldogs responded with a 20-5 run over the last 6:45 of the opening period to claim a nine-point advantage after a quarter of play.
The Lady Raiders weren't able make up much ground in the second quarter against the Lady Bulldogs' pressure defense as they trailed 29-22 at intermission.
But the Madison County defense then shook up Hart County in the third quarter as the Lady Raiders only allowed four points over the last five minutes of the period, outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 15-8 in third quarter to cut the lead to 37-34 heading into the fourth quarter.


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