Area Sports...

January 23, 2002

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Tigers Stun Leopards, 58-56
Needing only two points to tie, Commerce tried to win the game on their last possession of regulation.
But Brown, who nailed five three-pointers on the night, missed the mark from beyond the arc with eight seconds, followed by Reed, who also missed a three point attempt with four ticks left.
However, Slayton, who finished with 11 points on the night, got the ball back, and didn’t miss from inside the arc as his 15-foot attempt settled in the bottom of the basket as time expired.
Other Tigers adding scores in the win were Casha Daniels, who had three; and Dustin Martin, who finished with two.
Adam Bagwell added five points in the contest, but controlled the boards for Commerce, snagging 13 rebounds.
Commerce heads back into region play this week, rematching 8-A front runner Wesleyan Friday, Buford Saturday and Lakeview Tuesday.
The team also took on Rabun Gap this past Tuesday but results weren’t available as of press time.
Gregg said limiting turnovers will be key to the team’s success in those contests.
“We’ve got to learn to value the basketball.”
Carelessness with the basketball hindered Commerce in their 18-point loss Friday night, committing 27 turnovers in dropping their fourth region contest of the season.
Gregg pointed out that the team—down by 19 at intermission—shot 56 percent from the floor to cut the lead to eight twice in the second half, but were done in by miscues with the basketball.
"The biggest thing in that game is what it's been all year long—turnovers," Gregg said.
The charity stripe also loomed large in the Tigers’ loss to Providence Academy Friday.
The Stars were nearly automatic at the free throw line, hitting 16 of 18 attempts.
Conversely, Commerce was all but absent there, hitting none of their three attempts.
Nick Slayton was the only Tiger in double figures in the loss with 10 points.
Following Slayton were Bagwell and Brown, who both had eight; Randolph, who finished with five; Martin, who added four; and Kenny Flint, Daniels, Scott White and Vonté Reed, who all had two.
The Tigers continued their rocky region road as Buford handed them 17-point setback last Tuesday.
The Wolves led 18-10 after a quarter and 30-23 at the half. Buford then outscored Commerce 16-9 in the third to take a 14-point edge into the final period.
The Tigers were led by a trio of scorers in double figures in the loss. Randolph led the team with 13 points, Slayton followed with 12 and Brown added 10.
Others adding scorers were Daniels, who had three; Bagwell, who finished with two; and White, who added one.

Lady Leopards take 10th win
With only a handful of games left, the Lady Leopards sit in a better position than they did last year at this time.
Banks County only won six games all of last year. This year, the Lady Leopards have already won 10. Last year at this time, they were 3-8 on the road and 2-4 at home. Now, Banks is 6-3 on the road and 4-4 at home.
And now, five games from the end of the season, the Lady Leopards have a chance to make their record even better and extend their season a few more games. Banks has two home games remaining before a three game road schedule to close out the year.
The Lady Leopards were scheduled to face top-ranked GAC Tuesday Results were not available at press time. Friday, Banks will host Rabun County, and the Lady Leopards will host Oglethorpe Tuesday.
Banks County has two more subregion games remaining against teams they played closely with before.
The Lady Leopards ended a three game losing skid last weekend and they did so in big fashion.
Banks outscored its two opponents 123-69. One of the wins was a much-needed victory over sub-region foe Apalachee.
Saturday, the Lady Leopards took a 60-28 win over Commerce on the road.
Banks dominated most of the game after the first quarter. The Lady Leopards went on a 15-1 scoring run in the second period to jump ahead. Junior Ashley Campbell solidified Banks’ position, sinking a three at the half-time buzzer to put her team on top 26-7.
Banks went on to out score the Lady Tigers in the reamining two quarters and take the win.
Ashley Freeman led the team with 16 poins. Campbell added 15 points. Campbell also had three three-pointers.
Others scorers were: Ryan Varner, six; Dana Garrish, five; Megan Williams and Joni Martin, four; Kayla Duncan and Maggie Elrod, three; and Jessica Kennedy and Jennifer Webb, two.
Banks County had a strong second-half againt Apalachee Friday night to take a 63-41 win.
The Lady Wildcats had the game tied in the second quarter, but the Lady Leopards were able to pull ahead in the fouth quarter, outscoring Apalachee 23-7.
Freeman was the leading scorer with 23 points. Campbell again piled on the threes. She scored 17 points with four long balls. Duncan was also in double digits with 2 points.
Others scoring included: Garish, six; Webb and Martin, two; and Kennedy, one.

Lady Raiders needing complete game
If high school basketball games were 16 minutes — not 32 — the Lady Raiders would have gone 2-1 last week.
Instead the squad dropped three more contests to fall to 4-13.
Second-half meltdowns led to two of those setbacks.
“In two of the three games this past week (versus Stephens and Oconee) we were leading at halftime,” said Madison County head coach Tim Cook. “We just can’t put four quarters together. We come out of the locker room and the other team turns the heat up and we don’t.”
The coach also said his squad needs to show more tenacity.
“When the ball is loose we all look around like ‘Who’s going to get it,’” said Cook. “And while we’re looking around the other team picks it up...There’s no excuse for that.”
Madison County, which hosted Hart County Tuesday night — details weren’t available as of press time — will travel to Elbert County Friday night at 7 p.m.
“Elbert is starting to play pretty good,” said Cook, who added that he expects Elbert to press his squad to force mistakes. “People are going to press us. But we haven’t lost games because of the press. We’ve just been inconsistent.”
Here’s a brief recap of last week’s action.
A third quarter collapse wiped out a strong first half for the Lady Raiders in a 51-35 loss to Oconee County Saturday.
Trailing 16-9 early in the second quarter, Madison County went on an 11-2 tear, with Rebekah Faulkner draining a three-pointer from the top of the key with just over a minute left before intermission, cutting the Lady Warrior lead to one point, 18-17. Bridget Browner knotted the score with a free throw and Jessica Bentle nailed a 10-footer from the middle of the paint to put Madison County up by two, 20-18, as time expired in the first half.
But Madison County couldn’t hold the lead as the Lady Warriors outscored the home squad 18-4 in the third quarter.
Madison County, which hit just 42.9 percent (9-for-21) of its free throws in the game, was led by Faulkner, who tallied eight points. Tiffany Ledford and Melanie Elrod scored six apiece, while Abbi Osley, Bentle and Browner each had five.
The Lady Raiders led Stephens County, 23-22, at the half last Tuesday night in Toccoa, but fell 48-39 as the Lady Indians held Madison County to just 16 second half points.
Ledford led the team with 19 points, while Faulkner had nine and Bentle chipped in seven.
The Lady Raiders hit eight of nine free throws on the night.

Wrestling teams at state dual qualifiers Saturday
Wrestling teams from Jefferson and Jackson County will participate Saturday in their respective area dual tournaments, the first since the Georgia High School Association’s decision last year to annually recognize state dual meet champions. The top two teams from Saturday’s events will advance to the state meets, to be held in various locations Feb. 16.
Jefferson’s Area 4-A meet will be held at Wesleyan, and team duals will begin at 10 a.m. The host Wolves are widely considered the second-best team in the area, behind Jefferson.
“Wesleyan is strong,” Dragon head coach Doug Thurmond said earlier this week. “Our guys are looking forward to wrestling them.”
Wesleyan backed out of a planned dual meet with Jefferson earlier this season, citing school exams as the reason, though the Wolves’ basketball teams kept their date with Berkmar the same night.
Commerce has chosen to not participate in Saturday’s event.
The state dual meet tournament will be held at Adairsville.
Jefferson finished second in the Chattahoochee Invitational last weekend. See related story on Page 2B.
Jackson County’s Area 4-AAA dual tournament will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. at Loganville. The Panthers are one of several teams thought to be strong enough to qualify for the state event, including Madison County, Winder-Barrow and Loganville.
The Class AAA state dual meet tournament will be held at Winder-Barrow.

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