In the Sugar City Classic last week, Richmond Academy proved it's not a one-man team.
Playing without star guard Antwan Dent for the entire tournament, Richmond Academy won the Savannah event by defeating Class AAAA No. 1 Beach 65-58 in the finals.
The Musketeers, a Class AAA school, beat four Class AAAA teams in five days in winning the title. Guard Charlie Williams was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after scoring 60 points in four games and shooting over 58 percent from the field.
Williams also did a good defensive job on Beach star guard Tarik London, who has signed to play at Alabama next season. The 6-foot senior scored 13 points while holding London to 11 points.
"We needed somebody to step up," Williams said. "We learned that we can play without 'Twan (Dent) in case something happens in the season."
Dent suffered a hairline fracture in his right wrist against Westside on Dec. 20 but is expected to play tonight when Richmond Academy (11-1) entertains Glenn Hills.
Lamatavous Collins, better known as "Redd" to his teammates, and forward Ronald Glenn were also selected to the all-tournament team. Collins scored 60 points in four games, including 21 points against Beach.
"Our goal is to win the (Class AAA) state championship, with or without 'Twan," Collins said. "It was a team thing; we were always on the same page. We did everything together - we ate together, we slept together, we hung out together and we played basketball together."
Williams filled some big shoes himself. Point guard Ty Shine left ARC for a Cincinnati high school last summer.
"It was an honor but I wanted to share it with Redd," Williams said. "The whole tournament he blew up (played good). I figured it was up for grabs between me and him."
Playing together and unselfishly was one of the things Musketeer coach Don Brock was most happy about. In a 64-52 win over Johnson, nine different Musketeers scored.
"On the offensive end, they were looking for each other and making the extra pass when they saw someone had a better shot," Brock said. "I know we've got a pretty good basketball team that is playing good ball."
Williams and Collins said that there are still some great players in Augusta despite the loss of Shine, now at Cincinnati (Ohio) Withrow, and ex-Westside star William Avery, now at Oak Hill Academy.
"There's a lot of people that we have who are underrated," said Williams. "The media likes to talk about Avery and Shine, but there are still a lot of good hoopsters right here."
Collins said the Musketeers have a lot of good players who are capable of having a big game. Teammates Chris Jackson and Chevazz Brown are perfect examples.
Collins, a forward, decided not to move with his family to Baltimore two weeks ago. Instead, he is staying with his grandparents, Gladys and Henry Collins, in Augusta so he can finish his senior season.
"I knew the team needed me and I needed the team," Collins said. "Coach (Don) Brock is like my second daddy. He makes sure I stay out of trouble and do the right things."
Richmond Academy has a big week that includes games with new region foe Swainsboro, which won the Class AA state championship last year, on Friday and arch-rival Josey on Saturday.
Brock wants his team to forget about the Sugar City Classic. It's the games now that are going to move the Musketeers toward their goal of reaching the state playoffs and the state championship.
"That's what I have been preaching to them in practice - what are you going to do now?," Brock said. "You can't bask in the glory. Success has a tendency to make you complacent and it's very easy for this group. We have to keep them going in a positive direction."
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