Another Columbia County boys high school basketball season is in the books. The 2012-13 campaign saw Evans and Harlem each make the Georgia High School Association state tournament and Augusta Christian make the South Carolina Independent Schools final four.
There also were plenty of great individual performers and performances. Kevin Kenny’s Evans squad continued its dominance in the county. The Knights were 23-6 overall and a perfect 11-0 versus county foes. Harlem’s state playoff appearance was the first for the Bulldogs in 11 years, and Augusta Christian joined Evans in posting a 20-win season as the Lions finished 20-6.
Here is this season’s Boys All-County Team
Evans, junior; 6-0 point guard
Foreman is the straw that stirs the drink for the Knights. He affects the game in so many ways. He simply does everything well and is a complete team player. For the season, Foreman led the Knights in scoring at 16.5 points per game. He also dished out 5.2 assists per game and had 2.4 steals each contest. Foreman was a First Team All-Region selection. He should attract some college attention next year.
Harlem, sophomore; 6-0, point guard
Reid followed up his tremendous freshman campaign with an incredible sophomore year. He led the county and was third in the entire Augusta area in scoring at 27.0 points per game. He scored 30 or more points 11 times, including a career-high 43 points in a mid-December loss to Evans. Reid also averaged 7.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals. His ability to get to the basket is remarkable for such a young player, as evidenced by his 375 trips to the free throw line this season. That’s 12.5 attempts every time he laces up. He has a chance to re-write the record books in Columbia County over the next two seasons.
Harlem, senior; 6-1, shooting guard
Farmer was a great complement to Reggie Reid. If teams focused too much of their attention on Reid, Farmer made them pay. He used his deft outside touch to pour in 14.1 points per game. He had a pair of 28-point outings versus Columbia County opponents. He nailed 57 three-pointers this season, which was only four shy of his school record. He also shot 80 percent from the free-throw line. He will be sorely missed next season.
Greenbrier, junior; 6-3, forward
Marshall emerged as the leader for a young Wolfpack squad. His consistent scoring and 100 percent effort kept Greenbrier competitive this season. For the year, Marshall averaged 14 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He made the All-Tournament Team at the Battle at the Border event in Landrum, S.C. Marshall scored more than 20 points five times and was named First team All-Region in 2A-AAAAA.
Lakeside, junior; 6-3, forward
Powell emerged as one of the county’s top players this season. He increased his scoring average by nearly nine points per game from 2011-12, averaging 14.8 per game for the year. He also grabbed nearly seven rebounds per night, despite usually giving up size to his opponents most nights. For his efforts, he was named First Team All Region in 2A-AAAAA.
Evans, senior; 6-3, forward
Talk to any coach in the CSRA and they will tell you that Buchanan never lets up. His tremendous effort paid off in 2012-13 as he averaged 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He was usually facing bigger players, but won the head-to-head battle most nights. He was definitely the top post player in the county as he helped Evans notch 23 wins. He was named First Team All-Region.
Grovetown, sophomore; 6-0, guard
Has a chance to be a special player for Grovetown. He can flat-out shoot the ball. He nailed 64 three pointers this season and averaged 10.5 points per game. First Team All-Region
Evans, junior; 6-1, guard
Lovett’s emergence was a real key to Evans’ success. He shot the ball great from long range and played solid defense. Second Team All-Region, 8.6 points per game.
Evans, senior; 6-4, center
Scored 7.4 points and grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game. Another key role player who helped Evans go 11-0 versus the rest of the county. Second Team All-Region
Augusta Christian, junior; 5-9, guard
Averaged 14.2 points per game and dished out 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals. Named All-Region and made the All Tournament Team in the SCISA State Tourney.
Lakeside, sophomore; 5-10, point guard
Has a very bright future. Terrific athlete with a lot of natural ability. Averaged 10 points and three assists per game.
Augusta Christian, senior; 6-0 guard
Roper was the Lions best all-around player. He averaged 10.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals. He was named All-Region and made the SCISA-GISA All-Star game.
Evans: Patrick Lawrence, Matlin Marshall
Greenbrier: Justen Hartfield, Connor Sigrist
Grovetown: Solomon Gause, Kimani Meekins
Harlem: Torien Beard, Austin Hubert, Cameron Brown
Lakeside: Bryce Adair
Augusta Christian: Austin Roper, Justin Greenway
Augusta Prep: Mike Downing, Ben Guthrie, Caleb Lifsey
Coach of the Year
Jody Hilley (Lakeside)
This was tough. Marty Griffin took Augusta Christian to the SCISA Final Four. And, of course, Kevin Kenny, who has dominated this award, guided Evans to a 23-6 record. Also, the Knights were 11-0 in the county and made the state tournament.
In the end, I had to go with Hilley. Sure, the Panthers won only eight games this season. But this pick was about more than wins and losses. Former Lakeside Head Coach John Kucela resigned abruptly just a couple of weeks before the start of the season, and Hilley was chosen to take over a team that was already predicted to struggle.
And yes, they struggled early. But as the season went on the Panthers became more and more competitive. The team never gave up, and they gave their opponents fits all year. Keep in mind they lost to 23-win Evans by one point on two separate occasions, and by just four points in their only other meeting. After starting the year 1-8, the Panthers went 7-9 over the final nine games and lost eight of those games by four points or fewer. Hilley should be commended for the job he did in 2012-13.
Player of the Year
Reggie Reid (Harlem)
Reid is only a sophomore, but he has already topped 1,200 career points. His 27-point scoring average this season was more than 10 points higher than any other player in the entire county. He poured in 43 versus Evans and scored 30 or more points 11 times. I signed a college scholarship and I only topped 30 points once in my entire high school career (and I was a senior).
He also ripped down 7.1 rebounds per game despite standing only 6 feet tall. His 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game were among the leaders in the CSRA as well. He made 273 free throws this season.
That was more than 150 more than any other player in the county.
If he continues to work on his game, especially his outside shooting, he will get plenty of attention from college recruiters over the next couple of seasons.