Originally created 01/04/06

Lions sweep Cavaliers



Tuesday night's wins over Augusta Prep were the first basketball games of 2006 for the Augusta Christian basketball teams.

For Augusta Christian girl's coach Keith Walton, it was also the first time this season he's had a full roster.

"We when ran out of the locker room I thought I was looking at a different team," Walton said. "It's good to have everyone back."

The Lady Lions (9-3) defeated Augusta Prep (1-10), 74-28, with 11 available players. Walton, who had fielded as few as six varsity girls less than a month ago, welcomed back senior Sarah-Beth McKinney.

"She gives a lot to our team outside of just scoring. She's a leader," Walton said. "She's still trying to get her basketball legs back."

McKinney came back after severely spraining her ankle in the third game of the season. She returned to form Tuesday night with a game-high 17 points, including eight points in a first half that saw the Lady Lions take an early 14-0 lead.

"I felt like I was back to normal," McKinney said. "It's better when we have more people on the bench to come in. We have a deep bench when we're healthy."

Eighth-grader Elizabeth Alewine added 14 points off the bench for Augusta Christian.

Junior Mary Beth Horton led the way for Augusta Prep with seven points.

- Augusta Prep's boy's team hasn't dealt with as many injuries as their cross-town rivals, but the Cavaliers suffered a huge loss when senior point guard Michael Crosland injured his ankle during practice Monday.

Crosland, GISA's Region 4-AAA leading scorer, didn't play and saw his team fall, 72-31.

"It obviously showed how valuable Michael is to us," Augusta Prep coach Mark Guthrie said. "Not only is he our leading scorer, but he's our best defender."

The Lions took advantage early with a high-speed offense and managed a 10-0 lead in the game's first four minutes.

Seniors Josh Whitaker and Wayne House both had 12 points, while senior Chad Brantley came off the bench to score 10, which included a 4-point play and a 3-point play in the second half.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 863-6165 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.