Originally created 02/28/03

Prep playoff capsules



Georgia

Girls

Class AAA

WHO: No. 1 Hephzibah (26-4) vs. No. 3 Columbus (23-4).

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Macon Coliseum

TOP PLAYERS: Hephzibah - F Jacquelyn Nelson (Jr., 5-8), G Chantal Murray (Jr., 5-5), F Joycelyn Nelson (Jr., 5-8). Columbus - G Ketia Swainer (Jr.).

OUTLOOK: Hephzibah ended Columbus' season last year, but the Lady Tigers might be tougher this time around. The Lady Rebels must overcome a Columbus defense that held its first-round opponent, Cairo, to zero points in the second quarter.

CLASS A

WHO: No. 1 Jenkins County (24-0) vs. No. 2 Clinch County (17-6)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Valdosta State

TOP PLAYERS: Jenkins County-F Vontrease Smith (Jr., 5-11), G Whitney Muckerson (Jr., 5-6), LaKindre Gross (Jr., 5-11). Clinch County-F Rachel Morgan (Sr., 5-10); C Nicole Taylor (Sr., 5-9); F Shayla Edmonds (Fr., 5-9).

OUTLOOK: Clinch County has good depth, but the Lady Panthers will have their hands full. Jenkins County is full of athletes, and when Smith, Muckerson and Gross play well, the Lady Eagles have a legitimate chance to win the state crown.

BOYS

CLASS AAAA

WHO: No. 1 Butler (23-6) vs. No. 2 Bainbridge (21-7)

WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Macon Coliseum

TOP PLAYERS: Butler-G Marcus Walker (Sr., 6-3), G Marcus Curry (Sr., 6-1), F Levert Carter (Sr., 6-4). Bainbridge-C Quorin Jackson (Sr., 6-2, 190), G Jeremy Glenn (Sr., 5-8, 130).

OUTLOOK: Neither team has a superstar, but both squads play solid team ball. Bainbridge is small - the Bearcats don't have a player taller than 6-2 - but they'll try to use speed and quickness to wear down the bigger Bulldogs.

CLASS AAA

WHO: No. 1 Laney (15-12) vs. No. 2 Monroe-Albany (19-8)

WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Christenberry Field House

TOP PLAYERS: Laney-C Rod Briscoe (Sr., 6-4, 180), G Alain Walker (Sr., 5-9, 165), F Donquel Yancy (Sr., 6-2, 180). Monroe-Albany-G Demetric Bennett (Sr.), C Troy Williams (Sr.), F Terrence Ransom (So.).

OUTLOOK: Monroe-Albany began the season ranked No. 2 in the state, but the Hurricanes haven't played great. Bennett, who's signed with SMU, is a force, but he'll have to contend with a balanced Wildcat squad.

SOUTH CAROLINA

GIRLS

CLASS AAAA

WHO: No. 3 Aiken (19-6) vs. No. 1 Dorman (25-1)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Dorman

TOP PLAYERS: Aiken-F Ebony Jones (Sr., 5-6), G Kendra Wright (Jr., 5-3). Dorman-G Jade Hughes, F Brittany Fowler.

OUTLOOK: The Lady Cavaliers held off an upset bid by Lexington in the second round and pulled out a 49-48 win. Dorman has played well all year, winning each region game by at least 15 points. Aiken will have a tough time here.

CLASS AA

WHO: No. 1 Barnwell (22-1) vs. No. 1 Burke (17-6)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Woodland High School

TOP PLAYERS: Barnwell-F Melanie Johnson (Sr., 6-2), F India Clark (Sr., 5-9), G Gale Owen (Sr., 5-4). Burke-G Brittney Whaley (So., 5-8), G Danyell Madison (So., 5-8), F Shana Chapman (Jr.. 5-10)

OUTLOOK: Lately, Burke has been playing good defense, and it'll need to do the same against Barnwell. Against the Lady Bulldogs last year in the first round of the playoffs, the Lady Warhorses blistered them for a big win. It might be tougher this season.

CLASS A

WHO: No. 1 Ridge Spring-Monetta (19-4) vs. No. 1 Jonesville (21-2)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Richland Northeast

TOP PLAYERS: Ridge Spring-Monetta-C Kikki Valentine (Sr., 6-2), F Rasalyn Brunson (Sr., 5-7), G Lawonda Billings (Sr., 5-7). Jonesville-G Tiara Good (Sr., 5-9), Kikki Smith (Fr., 5-8), F Ashley Good (Fr., 5-9)

OUTLOOK: Ridge Spring-Monetta will have an advantage in height, considering Valentine is 6-2 and Jonesville's tallest players are 5-9. But Tiara Good is one of the top players in South Carolina, and she leads an athletic team.

BOYS

CLASS AA

WHO: No. 1 Silver Bluff (20-7) vs. No. 2 Mullins

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Spring Valley High School

TOP PLAYERS: Silver Bluff-F Brandon Wallace (Sr., 6-9, 210), F Bobby Davis (So., 6-5, 195), G Brandon Bussey (Sr., 5-8).

OUTLOOK: Silver Bluff is on a hot streak, winning 16 of its last 17 games. Aside from Wallace, Bussey has played well, and he scored a game-high 20 points in the Bulldogs' 68-38 win against Waccamaw last Tuesday.

CLASS A

WHO: No. 2 Blackville-Hilda (14-8) vs. No. 1 Hemingway (22-3)

WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Sumter High School

TOP PLAYERS: Blackville-Hilda-G Brandon Isaac (Sr., 6-2, 165), G Elliot Williams (Sr., 5-11, 185), G Mickenzie Atterberry (Sr., 6-3, 195). Hemingway-C Josh Dollard (Jr. 6-6, 225) F Tony Nesmith (Sr. 6-5, 215); F Andre Gladden (Sr.6-1, 160).

OUTLOOK: A basketball tradition, this is the seventh time in the last eight years Hemingway has made it to at least third round. The Tigers score a lot of points - they average about 90 per game - and their defense revolves around a full-court press. Blackville-Hilda will have a tough time advancing.

- Josh Katzowitz