Originally created 01/17/97

Prep Notes - Silver Bluff asked why it's not playing South Aiken



Silver Bluff coach Hoover Johnson has received three letters in the last week asking why his team isn't playing South Aiken.

South Aiken, as a Class AAAA school, does not benefit from playing Silver Bluff, a Class AA squad, due to the point system.

"We can play a Class AAAA team and lose and get more points then if we play a Class AA team and win," South Aiken coach Donnie Holland said. "In the regular season, we can't afford to play them. Class AAAA is different than A, AA or AAA."

Holland said he did extend an invitation to Silver Bluff and Aiken to play in this year's Thoroughbred Classic. Both schools declined to play in this season's event.

Last season, South Aiken defeated Silver Bluff 60-52 in the championship game of the classic.

South Aiken and Silver Bluff could have played in the Thoroughbred Classic because the Class AAAA points system does not include tournament games. South Aiken played one non-AAAA school (Midland Valley) but cannot afford to play another one to have any hopes of being a No. 1 seed in the Class AAAA Upper State playoffs.

The Thoroughbreds can drop one school or two games from their schedule before their points are tallied entering the Class AAAA playoffs. Johnson said he understands why South Aiken can't play his squad.

"It wouldn't benefit them at all," Johnson said. "They get more points for playing AAAA schools than they do for a AA school. I understand that."

Johnson said he hopes the letters cease. Holland hasn't received a letter about a South Aiken-Silver Bluff matchup.

Both coaches quickly put to rest that there was a feud between them.

"I haven't heard a word about it until he called me (Thursday)," Holland said jokingly. "Don't send me any (letters). He (Johnson) can get them all."

DRENNON'S COMING: Scealita Drennon, the South Carolina area's top player, will lead McCormick into a girls matchup at Strom Thurmond on Saturday night.

Strom Thurmond edged McCormick in the first meeting despite 31 points from the 6-foot-2 Drennon.

"She's big and she does a good job on the boards," Rebels coach Carson Ware said. "She can definitely take over the game - she can score over 30 points a game. She had 31 against us last time."

RECRUITING: Aiken punter Mike Abrams will visit Virginia this weekend.

N.C. State and Wake Forest are also after the 6-4, 225-pound punter. The pursuit of Abrams has really taken off since the playoffs and his performance in North-South All-Star practices. He averaged 40.6 yards a punt this season and had a 70-yarder against Midland Valley and a 74-yarder in a loss to Berkeley in the Class AAAA, Division II semifinals.

"I understand," Abrams said. "After they find their top position players, then they start looking for kickers and punters."

Hornet players Jamal Reynolds and Neely Pageand North Augusta's T.J. Watkins will visit Clemson this weekend. Strom Thurmond defensive ends Chancey Gilchrist and Asinia Knight visited Georgia Military College on Thursday.

NATIONAL HOOPS: Former Westside star William Avery will lead Oak Hill Academy, ranked No. 18 in the nation by USA TODAY, into the Coaxial National Hoops Classic in Columbia, Ohio this weekend.

Also in the field is No. 4 St. John's Prospect Hall out of Frederick, Md., led by 6-7 junior shooting guard Jason Capel, and No. 18 Dematha High of Hyattsville, Md. Capel is the younger brother of Duke guard Jeff Capel.

Former Hephzibah star Donald Littlewill be part of a Durham, N.C.-based Mount Zion Christian Academy squad that will compete in the Capital City Challenge at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Mount Zion (16-0), ranked No. 2 in the nation, will meet Washington, D.C.-based Archbishop Carroll (12-3). Mount Zion defeated Carroll in overtime in an earlier meeting.