At press time, we were on the eve of the Georgia High School Association basketball playoffs getting underway, and the county has plenty to cheer about.
Both teams from Evans and the Harlem boys will be in action this week. The Evans girls (18-8) were at home Tuesday against Bradwell Insitute
(14-12). The Lady Knights had a terrific run during the Region Tournament before bowing out in the championship game to Warner Robins 70-50. The Evans 1-2 punch of Jasmine Stone and Allysha McFarland just might lead the Knights on a state playoff run.
On the boys’ side of the ledger, Evans and Harlem each will make a state playoff appearance tonight. Evans (23-5) is a No. 3 seed after beating Warner Robins 80-63 in the region tournament consolation game. The Knights will be on the road versus Jenkins County (20-8) tonight. Jenkins almost stunned Effingham County in their region title game before falling 60-59 to the 24-4 Rebels, led by junior JaKeenan Gant.
Harlem also makes a state playoff appearance. The Bulldogs (15-14) will have their hands full tonight as they travel to Vidalia (26-1), which has been among the top Class AA teams all year.
However, it is not likely Vidalia has faced any guard better than Reggie Reid. Harlem’s sensational sophomore comes into the game averaging 26.7 points, seven rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 3.7 steals per game. Also, the 6-0 guard has gotten to the free-throw line an eye-popping 341 times. That’s 11.6 attempts per contest. He has nailed 247 of his attempts for a 72 percent average.
Big wins for GSU
The college baseball season opened over the weekend in Statesboro, as Georgia Southern played host to No. 29 Georgia for a three-game series. The Eagles are likely feeling pretty good about themselves after taking two out of three from the Bulldogs in front of a three-game attendance record of 9,225 fans.
A pair of former Greenbrier High School standouts led the way for the Eagles this weekend. Junior third baseman Ben Morgan and senior first baseman T.D. Davis each had huge weekends versus UGA. In the series opener, UGA earned a one-run victory 6-5, but Morgan was outstanding. The 5-9, 175 pound sparkplug had two hits and scored two runs. Davis was 1 for 4 at the plate and scored a run for the Eagles. In Game 2, Davis led the way as GSU collected a hard-fought 3-2 win. The 6-4, 235 pound senior was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Morgan did not get a hit in Game 2, but he walked twice, swiped three bases and scored two of the Eagles’ three runs.
The Columbia County duo, however, saved their best work for the series finale Sunday. The Eagles trounced Georgia 11-2 as Morgan collected a career-high four hits, including a three-run homer in the second inning. He finished the contest 4 for 5 with a double, a home run, three runs scored and three RBI. Not to be outdone, Davis went 2 for 3 with a double, a home run, scored a pair of runs and also drove in three runs for the Eagles.
I have a feeling the University of Georgia might regret not offering these two scholarships.