Last season, the Lady Lions of Augusta Christian posted 17 wins and with standout guard Amaura Brandt returning, hopes for this year’s basketball squad were understandably high.
So far, ACS has not disappointed. Sure, the Lady Lions lost to Franklin Road in the title game of the Augusta Christian Christmas Classic, but prior to that, the Lady Lions had raced out to an 11-0 record.
In those 11 wins, Augusta Christian was winning by more than 17 points per contest.
Brandt has been tremendous this season. Even in the team’s loss to Franklin Road, she poured in a game-high 19 points, which included five 3-pointers. She currently is averaging 15 points per contest, but she can do much more than just score. She also hauls in more than six rebounds per game, dishes out more than three assists and averages nearly four steals per contest.
Brandt’s stellar play has the Lady Lions primed to make a run in South Carolina Independent Schools Association this year.
Augusta Christian will take the floor next on Tuesday at home versus Pinewood Prep.
Pacers and Jags will have familiar look in 2012
With former Evans star Michael Holder entering his eighth season as an assistant coach at USC Aiken, it should come as no surprise that Holder has created a bit of a Columbia County pipeline to Aiken for standout baseball players.
This season will be no different, as six players who will suit up for USC Aiken on the diamond in 2012 played their high school ball in Columbia County.
Even though it has been more than a decade since Michael’s father, Terry, coached a game in Columbia County, the Holder name still carries a lot of weight. And it should.
The elder Holder won eight state titles in a 12-year stretch, split between Evans and Greenbrier from 1988-99.
Michael himself was a standout player for his dad at Evans, and was a part of two state championship teams before going on to star at Georgia Southern. Now, he keeps a smile on his boss Kenny Thomas’ face with all the talent he helps bring in from baseball-rich Columbia County.
Here is a look at the six former Columbia County players who will play at USC Aiken this season:
Ben Black (Lakeside): Right-handed pitcher, redshirt freshman, 6-foot, 180 pounds.
Teddy Leverett (Evans): Outfielder, senior, 5-7, 155 pounds; hit .324 last season.
Tyler Bourdo (Augusta Christian): Second base, senior, 5-9, 190 pounds; hit .314 last season.
Sam Daniel (Greenbrier): Right-handed pitcher, redshirt freshman, 6-2, 190 pounds.
Derek Beasley (Harlem): Left-handed pitcher, sophomore, 5-11, 170 pounds; went 5-3 with an ERA of 3.40 last season.
Bradley Spires (Evans): Right-handed pitcher, freshman, 6-1, 170 pounds.
Augusta State University head coach Chris Cooper would love nothing more than to keep some of Columbia County’s talent from heading to Aiken. And, despite entering just his third season, he might be making some headway.
It does not hurt that ASU improved dramatically a year ago. After a tough first season in 2010, Cooper guided the Jags to the Peach Belt Conference title game last season. This year’s Jags also will feature a half-dozen players from Columbia County:
Jeff Rice (Evans): Infield, sophomore, 5-9, 165 pounds; led team with a .315 average last season.
Justin Thigpen (Greenbrier): Infield, sophomore, 5-11, 170 pounds; hit .222 last season.
Matt Blume (Evans): Right-handed pitcher, sophomore, 6-3, 170 pounds; went 1-0 with an ERA of 2.81 last year.
Kyle Golden (Evans): Right-handed pitcher, senior, 6-2, 200 pounds.
Preston Pye (Lakeside): Outfield, sophomore, 5-7, 160 pounds.
Taylor Camp (Harlem): Catcher, freshman, 5-11, 175 pounds.