golfers off to slow start
Banks County's boys' golf team will take to the road this week.
The Leopards will travel to Providence to face Apalachee at 4
p.m. Thursday afternoon.
"It will be our first away match and it will be an experience
for us," head coach Chris Colwell said.
Thursday's match will be Banks' first against Apalachee, a school
in its first year.
The Leopards dropped their opening match to Elbert County last
week. Banks shot 171 while Elbert shot 154 in the event.
"We looked pretty good," Colwell said. "Most of
them were a little nervous. But after four holes they calmed
Brandon Brown and Matt Dale had the low scores for Banks. Both
shot a 39. Drew Sparks shot a 46, Jason White had 51 and both
Cody Whitlock and Josh Crocker shot 57.
Banks County had a match against Franklin and Rabun Gap Monday.
The results were not available at presstime
After a loss to Elbert in the sea- opener last week, the JV Leopards
will face Habersham Central and Franklin County next Wednesday
at 4 p.m. at Scales Creek.
The Leopards were scheduled to take on Habersham Central Tuesday
afternoon. The results were not available at presstime.
Banks shot a 221 against Elbert County last week, while the Blue
Devils had a lower 177.
Jacob Fountain had Banks' low score with 49. Jeff Jackson shot
a 54 and Justin Crocker shot 56.
Dragons' Third Win In Four Meetings Knocks Lady Tigers From Class
A's Elite 8
In the end, the Lady Dragons were just
a better team, but it may take a few days for the Commerce Lady
Tigers to appreciate just how successful they were this year.
Coach Don Watkins' girls ended their season with a 50-34 loss
to cross-county rival Jefferson in the Class A quarterfinals.
Their 23-6 record is the best for a CHS girls' basketball squad
since the 1989 team went 25-3 and lost in the Final Four.
"Your goal is always the state championship, but you have
to be realistic," Watkins says. "Out of all those teams,
only the state championship team leaves happy. Making the Elite
Eight? We'd take that every year."
The girls' had advanced to the quarterfinal round by beating
Athens Academy Friday night, 59-50, on the strength of a 17-2
second-quarter run. On Friday, it was the Lady Tigers who went
cold in the second quarter as Jefferson mounted a 16-1 run that
saw the Lady Tigers go 0 for 21 from the field. The fact that
Shemika Reed picked up two early fouls and spent most of the
first half on the bench didn't help.
The Lady Dragons were already up 14-9, but at the half had built
a 30-10 lead.
"They scored the first basket of the half, but we came back
and closed it to 11 by the end of the third quarter," said
Watkins. "Then the Dragons turned the ball over and
Commerce couldn't capitalize.
"From then on, they pushed the lead back up," Watkins
The Lady Dragons also benefited from a balanced scoring attack.
"We felt like if we could keep their top two scorers at
40 points or below that we had a good chance," Watkins said.
"Lee DuBose had 14 and Annie Goza had 10. We accomplished
that goal, but we didn't expect another player to get 18."
That other player was Melinda Floyd, who in the second quarter
hit five consecutive three-pointers.
"We were not giving her the open shot, though it may have
looked like it at times. We didn't rotate to that side fast enough,"
Still, had he known Jefferson would score but 50 points, Watkins
would have been optimistic. Unfortunately, the Lady Tiger offense
sputtered, helped along by a persistent Lady Dragon defense.
Sheka Wheeler led the Lady Tiger offense with 12 points and pulled
down five rebounds. Charlene Gaither added 11 points, Reed scored
eight and had seven assists, and Monique Diamond scored three
as the Lady Tigers shot 25 percent from the floor.
VS. ATHENS ACADEMY
To get to the quarterfinals, the Lady Tigers had to get past
Athens Academy Friday night.
They trailed 17-14 after the first quarter, but used a 13-2 second
quarter to take a 27-19 half time lead. After three periods,
they led 45-33 and won 59-50.
"The big key was we had a real good second quarter that
put us ahead by eight at the half," Watkins said. "We
expanded it to 45-33, but early in the first quarter, they made
a run and closed it to three points, 52-49. We answered with
a 7-1 run and closed it out. That got us to Saturday's game."
Reed scored 16 to lead the offense and had 10 rebounds. Diamond
scored 11 and had four assists. Wheeler and Gaither scored nine
points apiece, and seniors Anita Pittman and Lauren Ladd had
eight and six respectively.
"We didn't give up any easy baskets. Basically, we played
good defense," Watkins said.
The Lady Spartans' leading scorer, Elizabeth Guess, got into
foul trouble early and ended up with 13 points, only two of which
came in the first half. Elizabeth Whitehead scored 26 to lead
the Lady Spartans.
down Cedar Shoals 4-1 in season opener
The Madison County baseball team not only
had to battle Cedar Shoals in their season opener, they also
had to combat frostbite.
But the diamond Raiders picked up a 4-1 win over the Jaguars
Monday night in "chilly" temperatures that more suggested
mid-January basketball than diamond action.
It was the Raiders' pitching that warmed up during the frigid
night with starter Joseph Hardigree (1-0) working five and two-thirds
innings in the win, surrendering one earned run and three hits
while striking out seven.
"He threw well," head coach Charlie Giffeth said. "He
pitched aggressively and had good command of his breaking ball."
Chad Youngblood came in and provided quality relief, nailing
down the save by retiring the last four Cedar Shoals batters
of the contest.
Offensively, Griffeth said his squad "got a lot of two out
hits, which is a good sign" but added that the team struck
out too many times in the contest.
The Madison County squad will travel to Augusta over the weekend
to take on Westside Friday night at 6 p.m and Greenbrier at 11
a.m. Saturday morning. The Raiders will then take on a south
Georgia squad, Effingham County, at 1:30 following the Greenbrier
Griffeth said competiton from the weekend road trip would "be
a good measuring stick" for his squad, adding that any team
from Augusta "is usually pretty good."
In the Monday night contest, the Raiders drew first blood in
the second inning with Jonathan Pou ripping a single up the middle
to bring home Adam Jordan, who pinch ran for Andy Coile.
But the Jaguars quickly evened things up in the bottom half of
the second as Greg Bennett slammed a shot over the left field
wall to start the inning, knotting the contest at one run.
But Hardigree soon silenced the Cedar Shoals following the shot
as the senior worked himself in a zone, setting down 12 of the
next 13 batters.
With the Jaguar offense in check, Madison County took control
of the contest of the next three innings.
The Raiders claimed their edge in the top of the third, getting
a two-out single from Youngbood. Madison County then followed
with an insurance run in the fourth inning with out the luxury
of a hit as Adam Nash walked, went to second on a wild pitch
and eventually came home after a wild pitch.
Andy Coile then drove home the Raiders' fourth run of the game,
tattooing a shot off the wall with two outs to score Hardigree.
Hardigree cruised along until the sixth inning when he hit a
batsmen and then issued his first two walks of the contest, loading
the bases with two outs. Coach Charles Griffeth then lifted his
starter an inserted Youngblood, who picked up a strikeout to
end the sixth inning, then retired the side in order in the seventh
to seal the victory.