Area Sports...

DECEMBER 29, 2004

11th annual Battle of the States
BCHS basketball teams play in Hiawassee over the break
The Banks County varsity basketball teams spent three days in Hiawassee Monday, December 27 through Wednesday, December 29, playing in the 11th annual Battle of the States Tournament.
On Monday, the Leopards fell to the Warriors from White County, TN, in a low scoring game. Banks County lost the game, 58-32.
White County went up by nine points to start the first quarter after sinking three consecutive three-point shots. In total, White County earned 33 points from beyond the arc.
“We didn’t play very good at all,” said Banks County coach Mike Ruth. “We don’t shoot the ball very well at all.”
The team shot 26 percent from the floor, 14 percent from the arc and 43 percent from the free throw line. The Leopards couldn’t get their shots to fall, but they did manage to hold the Warriors to 58 points and Ruth said the defensive effort from the team was good.
“They are playing aggressively,” he said. “Our defense was pretty good but our offense was horrible.”
Ruth said poor shot selection is costing the team. Until the team improves offensively, Ruth said they will continue to struggle.
“We are changing our shots and we can’t do that, we have to pump fake, fundamental basketball, pump fake and go up for the shot,” he said. “A team like us, when we get our chances we have to capitalize on them, if we don’t we can’t play with anybody and that’s what has happened in the last two or three games.”
Tony Bedford was the leading scorer with 14 points, including the only three-point shot from the team. Jazz Hulsey scored four points. John Payne, Eli Minish, Josh Miller and Chancey Dorsey each had three. Chaz Elrod put up two.
The boys lost to Towns County in a game played before the break, December 21, 55-41. Ruth said Tuesday’s game was the worst this year.
Hulsey led the offense with 13 points. Not too far behind was Bedford with 11, including nine points earned from the arc. Miller put up eight, Dorsey had four, Cagle had three and Minish put up two.
The Lady Leopards lost their first game in the three-day tournament Monday, December 27, to a team from White County, Ga. The score was 52-38.
“We did not show up,” said Banks County coach Jodie Watkins. “I thought we were improving, I don’t know what happened today.”
Only three members of the team put up points and they are all named Kayla. Kayla Parks led the team with 19 points, she was 50 percent from the line. Kayla Duncan put up 13 points and was 75 percent from the charity stripe and Kayla Sims put up two points in the first quarter.
“Parks is playing with heart,” Watkins said about the sophomore whose been leading in points. “She is playing to win and that’s what we’ve got to have. I feel like sometimes we just go through the motions out there and I keep looking for someone to step up, but it takes more than one kid.”
Parks scored in double digits and had double digits in blocked shots in both the Towns County game and the Lady Leopard victory over Commerce two weeks ago.
The Lady Leopards were victorious once again in a game against Towns county just three days after defeating the Lady Tigers, 69-28. Banks County traveled to Hiawassee on Tuesday, December 21, and won the basketball game 71-57.
Banks County led by six points at the half, 32-26, and extended the lead to 14 points by the end of the third quarter, 52-38. Duncan led the offense with 29 points, she was five-for-six from the line. Parks also scored in the 20’s with 23 points.
Coming up
The Banks County basketball teams will host Dawson County on Tuesday, January 4. Although school is not scheduled to begin again until Thursday, January 6, games will begin early at 6 p.m. The girls junior varsity team will begin at 4p.m.
On Friday, January 7, Rabun County will travel to Homer to take on the Leopards. Friday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. Both junior varsity teams will play on Friday. The games will begin at 4 p.m.
9th grade basketball
The ninth grade girls’ basketball team fell to Madison County on Friday, December 16, 36-18.
“Our offense was slow getting started,” said Banks County coach Tammy Kennedy. “Madison County kept the press on until late in the fourth quarter.”
Brooke Savage led the offense with six points. Porsha Martin and Christian Stevens each had four. Brooke Lewallen put up three points and Allison White added one.

Rakestraw career-high effort sparks Jefferson comeback
Jefferson point guard Jarail Rakestraw picked a great time to notch his career high Tuesday.
The sophomore drained eight 3-pointers en route to a 38-point performance that saw him net his entire output without scoring at all in the first quarter.
The performance helped the No. 6 Dragons (8-3) rally from a 21-point first quarter deficit for a 83-71 win over Cookeville (Tenn.). The game was the first for both teams in the Sweet South Classic hosted by Oconee County.
“I thought from that point on we really played well,” Jefferson head coach Bolling Dubose said of his team’s showing after the initial eight minute period. “And Jarail really never cooled off once he got going.”
Rebounding also played a big factor in the win for the Dragons. Chris Davis pulled down a team-high 15 boards to go along with nine points, and Keonte Keith added 11 points and 14 rebounds.
“We had some kids that really stepped up,” DuBose added.
The Dragons advanced to play Parkview today in the second round of play.
On the girls side, the previously unbeaten Lady Dragons were not as fortunate as their counterparts. Jefferson (10-1) lost for the first time this year 74-46 to Central Hardin (Ky.). Shenita Moon was the only Lady Dragon in double figures with 13 points, as Jefferson turned the ball over 21 times, shot 31 percent from the field and converted just five of 17 foul shots.
“We played pretty poorly to say the least,” Jefferson head coach Brandy Corbett said. “ But they were one of the more fundamentally sound teams I’ve seen.”
She added that a six day layoff may have affected her team’s rhythm and conditioning. The loss set up a meeting with Chattanooga Christian today in second round tournament play.
“I think that most certainly the signature of a good team is how they respond in the face of adversity.”

Hoops Tourney Has Grown Into A Holiday Tradition In Commerce
Over the years, Holiday travels for Commerce basketball players have basically meant the distance it takes to get from home to the old gym on Lakeview Drive.
That’s because, for 17 seasons, the Commerce basketball teams have been holiday home bodies, playing host to area teams and schools from beyond for two-day tournament, four-team boys’ and girls’ tournaments rather than trekking somewhere out of town for pre-January hoop action.
“As long as we can get someone to come play in it and we have the people to put it on, it’s a plus,” Lady Tiger head coach Don Watkins said. “It’s nice to travel but it’s also nice to get some good basketball here for the home folks,”
For the rest of the story see this weeks Commerce News.

Raiders’ losing skid hits three in Sweet South Classic
Free throw struggles sink MCHS in opener
The Raider basketball team was looking for a little holiday remedy but the opening round of the Sweet South Classic only extended Madison County’s woes.
The Raiders (3-6, 2-3) hit less than half of their attempts from the foul line and paid for it Tuesday morning, coming up a point short against Putnam County in a 54-53 setback.
“(Hitting our free throws) would have solved a lot of problems for us,” head coach Steve Crouse said.
Those charity stripe struggles had the Raiders going into this morning’s action looking to stop a three-game losing streak in the losers bracket against the loser of the Holy Innocents-Monticello matchup.
If Madison County won Wednesday morning, it will wrap up tournament play Thursday at 2 p.m. If the Raiders lost, they will play at 11 a.m. Thursday.
In Tuesday’s loss, Micah Sales continued to be a bright spot for Madison County, scoring 23 points to lead the team. But in the end, Crouse said the game hinged on the free throw line where his team hit just 10-of-23 attempts. For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal

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