2013-14 was a terrific year for the county in boys basketball. Augusta Christian brought home a SCISA State Title, Augusta Prep won 20 games and made their first trip to the GISA State Finals, Evans had another strong year winning the Sub-Region, and Lakeside set a school record for wins and advanced to the State Playoffs for the first time. When you have these type of achievements, obviously there were some impressive individual performances. Also, we have had more talented individual players from time to time, but I cannot recall a year where the talent pool in the county was deeper. It made my job extremely tough. I even decided to add a third team because I felt we had so many deserving young men. So, here is your 2013-14 All County Boys Basketball Team.
Sam Powell (6-3, Sr. Forward / Lakeside)
Powell completed a stellar career for the Panthers by averaging a team best 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He surpassed 1,000 points for his career, was named First Team All Region, Sub-Region Player of the Year, and is on the All-County 1st Team for the second straight season. He was a leader that everyone on the team looked up to and will be sorely missed next season. Powell was the key reason Lakeside was able to post a 19-7 record and earn the school’s first state tournament berth.
Jordan Dingle (6-2, Sr. Point Guard / Augusta Christian)
Dingle was the player that made the Lions go. He transferred in from South Aiken and made a seamless transition. Dingle is the consummate point guard and seemed to do a little bit of everything for ACS. He averaged 15 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 rebounds per contest and led the Lions to a 22-7 mark and the SCISA State Title. He was named to the SCISA/GISA All-Star Game, First Team All-Region, and was named to the SCISA State All-Tournament Team. He is a highly sought after recruit with offers from Jacksonville University and Western Carolina. He is also being recruited by Ga. Southern, Winthrop, Lincoln Memorial, Miami (OH), USC-Upstate, and Arizona Christian University.
Solomon Gause (6-4, Jr. PG / Grovetown)
Gause is the most talented player in the county. If he has a solid summer and continues to improve as a senior, he will have plenty of college teams knocking on his door next season. He led the county in scoring at 17.2 points per contest. He also chipped in 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 steals. He nailed 45 three-pointers while shooting a solid 37 percent from beyond the arc. He will be the favorite for Player of the Year honors heading into next season.
Justen Hartfield (6-1, Soph. PG / Greenbrier)
Hartfield is the most underrated player in the county, and maybe the entire CSRA. I really like his game. His high basketball IQ is easy to see when you watch him play. This season he led the Pack with 14.6 ppg. and 3.4 assists per contest. He was one of only two 10th Graders to earn First Team All-Region honors. He will be a handful for opposing teams to deal with for the next two years.
Patrick Lawrence (6-2, Sr. G-F / Evans)
Lawrence was a steady presence for the Knights this season. He led the team in minutes played and did everything head Coach Kevin Kenny asked of him. He topped the Knights in scoring (14.8 per game), rebounding (8.6 per game), and tied for the top spot with 40 three-pointers made. He also played terrific defense. And earned a First Team All-Region nod.
Mike Downing (6-2, Sr. Forward / Augusta Prep)
Downing wrapped up an outstanding career at Augusta Prep by leading the Cavaliers to the school’s first State Title Game appearance and a 20-8 mark. He was a four-year starter at AP and topped 1,000 points for his career. This season he did it all for Coach Mike Guthrie, averaging 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. The argument could be made that no player in the county was more important to their team than Downing.
B.J. Raymond (5-10, Jr. Guard / Lakeside)
Toughest omission from 1st Team. He just did so much for the Panthers this season. He averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per contest. He will have several scholarship offers in football, but I would not be surprised if a few schools did not take a close look at him in hoops, too.
Matlin Marshall (5-11, Jr. Guard / Evans
Marshall averaged 11.4 points and 2.1 steals per game. He nailed 40 three pointers and was 2nd Team All-Sub Region and All-Region. He is a very good on ball defender as well.
K’Lon Lovett (5-10, SR. Guard / Evans)
Lovett averaged 11 points and 4.4 boards per game. Lovett earned 1st Team All Sub-Region and Second Team All-Region. Tough player that will be missed by the Knights next season.
Torien Beard (6-2, Jr. Guard / Harlem)
Outstanding all around performer for the Bulldogs. Averaged 12.4 pts., 7.1 rebounds, 41 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. Was a tough omission from the First Team. I will be surprised if he is not a first-teamer next year.
Kayshawn Marshall (6-3, Sr. Forward / Greenbrier)
Marshall averaged a double-double this season with 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He was First Team All-County and All-Region as a junior. He is a tremendous leaper and will likely have a chance to play at the next level.
Nick Fortenberry (5-9, Sr. Guard / Augusta Christian)
A four-year starter for the Lions, he was able to cap his senior campaign with a State Championship. He has unlimited range on his jumper and is being recruited by Arizona Christian University. He averaged 12 pts., 4 assists, and 3 steals per game.
Logan Morris (5-11 Jr. Grovetown)
Kameron Mason (6-2 Sr. Evans)
Rayshaun Morris (6-1 Jr. Harlem)
Jake Gilbert (6-7 Jr. / Lakeside)
Calvin Taylor (6-9 Jr. Augusta Christian) Being recruited by Wake Forest, Ga. Southern, Davidson, and UNC-Charlotte
Madison Williams (6-3 Soph. / Augusta Christian) Already being recruited by Xavier, George Mason, and Georgia Southern
Demetrius Middleton (Grovetown)
Raymond Abraham (Grovetown)
Rod Demmons (Greenbrier)
Jakob Nelson (Greenbrier)
Austin Hubert (Harlem)
Luke Harmon (Lakeside)
Trovonte Brown (Lakeside)
Zach London (Augusta Christian)
Christian Guthrie (Augusta Prep)
Danny Rosenblum (Augusta Prep)
Coach of the Year: John Harris (Augusta Christian)
This was a challenging decision. I could have easily gone with Kevin Kenny. He led Evans to 18 wins and a Sub Region title. He has also built the program into the model of consistency for the county. Jody Hilley would have been a great choice. He led Lakeside to a school record in wins and its first trip to the state playoffs. Mike Guthrie at Augusta Prep was also in the mix. He guided the Cavs to 20 wins and the school’s first trip to the state title game. However, in the end I decided to go with John Harris of Augusta Christian. Harris, a former standout player at Augusta Christian and Evans, took over a good Lions team and made them great. He had talent with point guard Jordan Dingle, rising star Madison Williams, Senior leader Nick Fortenberry, and big man Calvin Taylor. However, no one thought of Augusta Christian as a championship team. Especially since they played in the same region as Hammond, which is led by one of the nation’s premier players in Seventh Woods. The Lions played a tough schedule and lost some games along the way, but facing those tough tests prepared ACS for post season and they took home the school’s third state title, finishing with a 22-7 mark.
The Eric Marshall Player of the Year Award: (This award is named in memory of former Greenbrier star Eric Marshall)
Co-Winners: Jordan Dingle (Augusta Christian) and Sam Powell (Lakeside)
Okay, this is a bit of a cop out, but I really tried my best to decide between the two and simply could not. I gave serious consideration to Grovetown’s Solomon Gause as well. In the end, I felt that Dingle and Powell were both deserving of the award. Dingle led Augusta Christian to a state title and is easily the most heavily recruited player in the county. He will likely be able to choose from more than a half dozen scholarship offers. He has great size for a point guard and used that to give opposing guards fits on both sides of the court. He is unselfish and his basketball IQ is off the charts. Dingle is honestly a coach on the floor and will make an excellent point guard at the next level. Powell was a three-year starter for the Panthers and topped 1,000 career points this season. He was called on to guard big men, rebound versus taller opponents, shoot from the outside, take the ball to the basket, and lead the younger players at Lakeside, and he handle each task almost flawlessly. Lakeside may have to wait a long time to find another Sam Powell. Congrats to both players on an outstanding season.