Originally created 02/23/01

Prep playoff preview



Class AAAAAt Burke County High School

PEACH COUNTY boys

Coach: Rickey Wray

Record: 9-8

Key players: F Steve Cherry (Jr., 6-3); C Tavares Carson (Sr., 6-4); G Kovan Slaughter (Sr., 5-8)

Outlook: The Trojans dominated Region 2-AAAA this season behind leading scorer Steve Cherry, who averages 17 points per game. Peach defeated Kendrick in the Region 2-AAAA championship game.

PEACH COUNTY girls

Coach: Maxine Cherry

Record: 14-13

Key players: F/G Maegean Nottingham (Sr., 5-8); G Marquita Davis (Jr., 5-6); C Sydney Scott (So., 6-0).

Outlook: The Lady Trojans will have their hands full tonight with Glenn Hills. Leading scorer Maegean Nottingham leads the team, averaging 12 points per game. Center Sydney Scott can dominate on the inside.

GLENN HILLS girls

Coach: Bernard Bowman

Record: 25-2

Key players: G MarQuita Lacey (Sr., 5-3); F Marian Whitfield (So., 5-8); G Sheena Carpenter (Jr., 5-6).

Outlook: After surviving a scare from Statesboro in the region semifinals last Thursday, the Lady Spartans responded with their best effort to beat Hephzibah in the region championship game. Glenn Hills needs to play with that kind of intensity to be successful in the state tournament.

THOMSON girls

Coach: Lee Hutto

Record: 13-13

Key players: G/F Monique Martin (Jr., 5-9); C Natasha Roberts (Sr., 6-0); G/F Latasha Ross (Jr., 5-4).

Outlook: If the Lady Bulldogs are to be successful, they have to have other players step up besides Monique Martin. If tonight's game turns out to be Martin's show, Thomson is in trouble.

UPSON LEE boys

Coach: Tracy Caldwell

Record: 19-7

Key players: F Donnell Carson (Jr., 6-4); G Donte Dawson (Jr., 5-10); Stantavious Walker (Sr., 5-11).

Outlook: After getting off to a hot start to start the season, Upson-Lee has cooled down. Even though last weekend's Region 2-AAAA tournament was a disaster, Upson-Lee plans for the state tournament to be different. Donnell Carson leads the team at 17 points per game.

HEPHZIBAH girls

Coach: Wendell Lofton

Record: 22-6

Key players: F Tamara Gilyard (Jr., 6-0); F Leighla Holder (Jr., 6-1); G Aytiya Scott (Jr., 5-5).

Outlook: Hephzibah, as usual, finds a way to peak during the postseason. Excellent ball-handling could be key to the Lady Rebels' success and Aytiya Scott is playing as good as anyone.

BUTLER boys

Coach: Rob Johnson

Record: 20-8

Key players: G Willie Green (Jr., 5-11); F Hayward Dock (Jr., 6-3); G Charlie Hairston (Jr., 6-0).

Outlook: Butler played well at times in last week's region tournament then played bad at times. If the Bulldogs put it together, they could stun Peach County.

THOMSON boys

Coach: Michael Thomas

Record: 22-5

Key players: G/F Othello Hamilton (Sr., 6-4); G Donald Williams (Sr., 6-2); C Laterrance Casey (Sr., 6-8).

Outlook: The Bulldogs have already shown several times this season they can play with the state's best. The Bulldogs didn't play well in its loss to Statesboro in the Region 3-AAAA championship game, but expect the Bulldogs to be a different team in the state tournament.

GLENN HILLS boys

Coach: Richard Wallace

Record: 19-8

Key players: F Brandon Clemons (Sr., 6-4); G William Conley (Sr., 5-8); F Mario Briscoe (Sr., 6-0).

Outlook: Mario Briscoe put on a show last week in the region tournament and if the Spartans are to advance in the state tournament, they need some other players besides Briscoe to step forward.

SPENCER girls

Coach: Collins Jones

Record: 24-4

Key players: G Nikita Bell (Sr., 5-10); G Nikkie Fluellen (Sr., 5-7); W Monique Coverson (Sr., 5-8).

Outlook: Spencer may be the most dangerous team in the tournament, all-state and North Carolina signee Nikita Bell and Nikkie Fluellen average more than 20 points each per game.

KENDRICK boys

Coach: Donald Stroy

Record: 15-12

Key players: F Andre Dye (Sr., 6-0); G Maurice Williams (Sr., 5-8); F Chris Woodard (Jr., 6-3).

Outlook: Kendrick is a relatively young team with very few seniors but is very quick and shoot the ball well.

SHAW boys

Coach: Richard Green

Record: 16-14

Key players: G Brad McKenzie (Sr., 5-11); G Decarlos Hughley (Sr., 5-7); F Courtney Ellison (So., 6-3).

Outlook: Shaw has been sporadic at times this year but the guard combination of Brad McKenzie and Decarlos Hughley are a solid combination.

SHAW girls

Coach: Yvette Allen

Record: 24-4

Key players: G Amma Bem-Oko (Sr., 5-6); G Ashley Godfrey (Sr., 5-9); F Nyisha Taylor (Sr., 5-11).

Outlook: The Lady Raiders can be dangerous when the rest of the team contributes. Amma Ben-Oko is a solid guard with some nifty moves and is a solid points guard.

COLUMBUS girls

Coach: Ashley Powell

Record: 22-5

Key players: G Ketia Swanier (Fr., 5-6); F Bonica Smith (Jr., 5-8); G Lindsay Dunton (Sr., 5-10).

Outlook: Freshman Ketia Swanier has shown promise, averaging more than 14 points per game. The Lady Blue Devils finished as the Region 2-AAAA runnerup, falling to Spencer 50-47 in the championship game.

STATESBORO boys

Coach: Lee Hill

Record: 24-5

Key players: F Jeremi Newkirk (Sr., 6-6); P Jeremy Mincey (Jr., 6-4).

Outlook: Statesboro, who graduated six starters off last season's team, is playing its best basketball of the season. Jeremi Newkirk is the team's only senior.

STATESBORO girls

Coach: Lee Hill

Record: 24-5

Key players: P Raiven Wooten (Sr., 5-9); G Jennifer Lemon (Sr., 5-3).

Outlook: With a young squad, the Lady Blue Devils are back in the state basketball tournament. Raiven Wooten leads the team in scoring.

Class AAA

At Richmond Academy

EFFINGHAM COUNTY girls

Coach: Nate Hayes

Record: 19-9

Key players: F Ramona Wright (Sr., 6-0); G Wendy Gray (Sr., 5-10); G Shon Gibbons (So., 5-6).

Outlook: Effingham, after a slow start, is playing its best ball of the season. Wright is averaging 18 points per game while Gibbons is averaging 10.

LIBERTY COUNTY girls

Coach: Carolyn Kelly

Record: 18-8

Key players: G Nicole Jernigan (Jr., 5-5); G Deborah Williams (Jr., 5-5); F Chandra Baker (Sr., 5-10).

Outlook: The Lady Panthers hay be small but don't let that fool you. Nicole Jernigan and Deborah Williams are a solid guard combination that can give any opponent trouble.

APPLING COUNTY girls

Coach: Tonya Long

Record: 20-7

Key players: F Cherwonna Walker (Jr., 6-2); C Shalisha Zinnamon (Sr., 6-1); F Jennifer Williams (Sr., 6-0).

Outlook: Appling County has been successful this season with its tall lineup that keeps the Lady Pirates in the game with second-chance opportunities.

JEFFERSON COUNTY girls

Coach: George Samples

Record: 19-7

Key players: G Taliah Roberts (Sr., 5-9); P Jessica Jackson (Sr., 5-10); P Krystin Kelly (Sr., 5-9).

Outlook: Jefferson County must play consistent if its plans on earning a trip to the south sectionals. Taliah Roberts has been a staple for the Lady Warriors but other players must step up.

TATTNALL COUNTY boys

Coach: Doug Hassol

Record: 21-7

Key players: C Kenny Battle (Sr., 6-2); G Robert Rock (Sr., 6-1); G Aubrey Davis (Jr., 5-8).

Outlook: The Warriors feature a very balanced scoring attack. Eight players on Tattnall's roster average between four to 10.5 points per game. Kenny Battle leads the team at 10.5 points.

RICHMOND HILL boys

Coach: Jimmy Hires

Record: 16-8

Key players: G Keon Blige (So., 6-1); W Michael Bashelor (Sr., 6-2); G Centurion Wood (Sr., 6-0).

Outlook: Richmond Hill lost some players early to some injuries but is still a dangerous team. Keon Blige leads the team with 16 points per game.

WASHINGTON COUNTY girls

Coach: Al Gray

Record: 15-7

Key players: C Candace Tallington (Sr., 6-0); G Markeisha Reeves (Jr., 5-3); F Rameeka Swint (Sr., 6-1).

Outlook: Washington County is playing its best basketball of the season and could be a dangerous team in the state tournament. The Lady hawks feature an inside game with Candace Tallington and Rameeka Swint while Markeisha Reeves is an excellent ball-handler.

RICHMOND ACADEMY girls

Coach: Pat Rivers

Record: 12-14

Key players: F Nametris Norman (Sr., 5-9); G Leah Wilson (Sr., 5-6); C Marie Reid (Fr., 6-0).

Outlook: The ARC girls are youthful but showing signs of maturity as the postseason begins. This is ARC's first trip to the state tournament since 1998. Marie Reid and Nametris Norman lead the team in scoring at 12 points per game.

LANEY girls

Coach: Otis Smart

Record: 20-7

Key players: G/F Sheena Freeman (Jr., 5-8); F Shakethia Brown (So., 5-9); G Nafeesah Ameen (Sr., 5-5).

Outlook: Injuries to leading scorers Sheena Freeman and Nafeesah Ameen have saddled the Lady Wildcats late in the season. However, if Laney regains its health, the squad could go deep in the tournament.

SWAINSBORO girls

Coach: Bobby Andrews

Record: unavailable

Key players: G Adrienne Moore (Sr., 5-8); F Shatoya Hunt (Sr., 5-9); C Nikki Robinson (Jr., 6-1).

Outlook: Swainsboro picked up where it left off last season, capturing the Region 2-AAA title last week. The Lady Tigers feature a potent perimeter game while Nikki Robinson can dominate on the inside.

SWAINSBORO boys

Coach: Bobby Andrews

Record: unavailable

Key players: G Maurice Mincey (Sr., 5-8); D Damien Coleman (Sr., 6-1); P Trey Robinson (Sr., 6-6).

Outlook: After a slow start due to the school's football success, the Tigers captured the region basketball title and appear to be on its way to regaining its status as a basketball power. Maurice Mincey and Damien Coleman combine to form a lethal guard combination.

LANEY boys

Coach: Norman Bonner

Record: 19-8

Key players: F Cory Tyler (Jr., 6-2); G Nick Figgs (Sr., 5-11); F Leon Paschal (Sr., 6-2).

Outlook: Laney is back in the state tournament for the first time since 1991. The Wildcats must find a way to control its turnovers and make its shots count in order to advance.

CROSS CREEK boys

Coach: Tracey Gamble

Record: 7-19

Key players: G Rodney Johnson (Sr., 5-11); G Ramon Espinal (Sr., 5-11); F Miguel Grosvenor (Sr., 5-11).

Outlook: In just their second season, Cross Creek is in the state basketball tournament with a chance to do some damage. But if the Razorbacks are going to beat Swainsboro, they must control find a way to control their mistakes.

RICHMOND ACADEMY boys

Coach: Robert Rhodes

Record: 20-5

Key players: G Darrin Shine (Jr., 5-9); G Ricky McPherson (Sr., 5-11); C Kevin Mack (Sr., 6-3, 180).

Outlook: If they play consistently, Richmond could make a run through the state tournament. Darrin Shine is an excellent ball-handler and the rest of the team must step forward. The Musketeers are in the state tournament for the first time since 1995.

WESTSIDE boys

Coach: Marvin Fields

Record: 10-17

Key players: G Mike Avery (Sr., 5-10); F Marlon Bussey (Sr., 6-3).

Outlook: Westside is in the state tournament for the first time since 1996. The Patriots have been playing well lately and must continue their late-season run to advance.

APPLING COUNTY boys

Coach: John Kenny

Record: unavailable

Key players: unavailable

Outlook: unavailable