Originally created 04/08/01

Martin, Mitchell earn Georgia player honors



Some observers said she has the best looking shot of any basketball player around, boys included.

For three years, she has been the heart and soul of Thomson's Lady Bulldog basketball team. And now, Thomson's Monique Martin is The Augusta Chronicle's Georgia girls player of the year.

Josey's Tony Mitchell started for four years, averaging more than 20 points per game and double figures in assists each season. His efforts garnered him Georgia boys player-of-the-year honors.

Laine Bradshaw proved that dynamite comes in small packages. The 5-foot-5 Briarwood junior averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 steals and 6.6 assists per game to help the Lady Buccaneers to the Georgia Independent School Association's Class AA Final Four.

In Independent boys basketball, Nick Jones helped Curtis Baptist to a 20-10 record this season, averaging 19.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3 steals per game.

Martin, a three-year starter, led the area in scoring at 32 points and 11 rebounds per game. The junior led Thomson in scoring during the team's 23 games this year.

She also averaged four steals while contributing two assists per game.

Mitchell dazzled Augusta basketball fans for the past four seasons and led the area in scoring this season, averaging 26 points and 9.6 assists per game.

The 5-foot-11 senior signed earlier this season with The College of Charleston.

Georgia boys coach-of-the-year honors went to Butler's Rob Johnson, who guided the Bulldogs to a 21-9 finish and an appearance in the second round of the state tournament. Johnson helped lead Butler into the state sectionals for the first time since 1997.

Playing with little size, the Bulldogs used quickness and athleticism to finish third in Region 3-AAAA behind Thomson and Statesboro during the regular season. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the region tournament, then upset Region 2-AAAA champion in the first round of the state tourney before losing to Creekside in the state sectionals.

Washington County's Allan Gray was named girls coach of the year after helping Washington County to an 18-8 record, the Region 3-AAA girls title and an appearance in the state sectionals. Gray helped transform a youthful team into a state contender.

Clayton Parrish, who helped Briarwood's Lady Buccaneers into the state tournament, was named Independent Schools coach of the year. Parrish coaches both the boys and girls squads at the school and had led the Buccaneers to two consecutive appearances in the state Final Four before this year.

Meanwhile, Augusta Christian coach Mike Gold was named the Independent Schools boys coach of the year after guiding a young squad to a fifth consecutive region title before losing in the GISA Class AAA quarterfinals to Central Fellowship.

Augusta Christian won a rugged region that included Brentwood and Westminster, two schools that combined to win 40 games this season.

Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or timmorse@augustachronicle.com.