It was an interesting season on the hardwood in 2004-05.
On the boys' side, Evans seemed to be the clear-cut top team, but Greenbrier surged at the end to earn a state playoff appearance.
It was truly a toss-up between those two for the county's top team.
At Lakeside, Earl McCrommon did his best to help Lakeside fans forget about the graduation of Matt Scott (the school's all-time leading scorer). He had some monster games despite being the focus of the opposition's attention all season.
Greenbrier dominated the girls scene. Like the boys, they earned their first-ever state tournament berth. The scary thing about Greenbrier is that four of their top five players will be back next season, and three are just sophomores.
Greenbrier's Rich Poythress averaged 12 points for the season and led the county with 10.4 rebounds per game.
Photo by Kevin Martin
Augusta Christian emerged as a team to watch with record-breaking individual performances by Jordan Little and Sarah Beth McKinney.
Here is a look at the All-Columbia County Boys & Girls Basketball Teams:
Boys 1st Team
G - Earl McCrommon, Sr. (Lakeside)
McCrommon was the county's top scorer all season, averaging nearly 23 points. He played so well offensively that his defensive prowess was not talked about. He is ultra quick and fearless on the floor.
G - Glenn Miller, Jr. (Evans)
Miller transferred to Evans from Augusta Prep. Many thought the rise in competition would be tough for Miller to handle, but all you had to do was watch him shoot the ball one time. He has a beautiful stroke and big-time range. Averaged 13 points.
F - Reggie Rice, Jr. (Greenbrier)
Greenbrier's Reggie Rice, already one of the top football players in the county, also has become one of the top basketball players.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Early in the season it seemed as though Rice would run away with the County Player of the Year Award. He single-handedly carried the Pack while Rich Poythress and Eugene Rogers were injured. Terrific athlete and leaper. Averaged 17 points.
F - Hank McCladdie, Sr. (Evans)
Consistent performer. At the end of some games you'd think he did not do much, but McCladdie always seemed to have 15 points and eight or nine rebounds. Not flashy, but was extremely productive for the Knights this season. Like Rice, he was an early favorite for Player of the Year. Averaged 15 points and 8.2 rebounds.
F - Rich Poythress, Jr. (Greenbrier)
Hurt for a large portion of the season, but when healthy he was the county's top interior scorer and best rebounder. At 6-foot-3, he uses his 225 pound frame to dominate in the paint. He might be a better prospect in baseball, but he is one heck of a basketball player. Averaged 12 points and led the county with 10.4 rebounds per game.
G - Jerome Manuel, Jr. (Evans)
Manuel was a great addition to the Knights this season. He gave them ball handling, defense and he was a capable scorer. Led county in assists at six per game.
G - Sonjay Boyd, Sr. (Harlem)
Boyd has had a solid career for the Bulldogs as a three-year starter. A double-figure scorer who can shoot the three.
Andre McCladdie, Jr. (Harlem)
Good athlete. Averaged 10 points per game. Harlem was very balanced, this season, but McCladdie came on strong as a scorer.
Chris Johnson, Jr. (Greenbrier)
Not a big scorer, but extremely steady. Ran the Pack with efficiency. Also, hit the 3-point shot that propelled team into the state playoffs. Averaged nearly four assists and more than three steals per game.
Aaron Crais, Sr. (Augusta Prep)
Averaged 10 points. Top scoring threat for the Cavs this season. When he got hot he could put up some big numbers.
Matt Hebbard, Sr. (Evans)
DeMarcus Morris Soph. (Harlem)
Sean Hackshaw, Jr. (Harlem)
Eugene Rogers, Sr. (Greenbrier)
Luther Holmes, Sr. (Greenbrier)
Peyton Marsh, Sr. (Lakeside)
Josh Whitaker, Soph. (Aug. Christian)
Kyle Redd, Jr. (Aug. Christian)
Michael Crosland, Sr. (Aug. Prep)
Coach of the Year
Casey Dees (Greenbrier)
Evans High School basketball stars Glenn Miller (left) and Hank McCladdie helped lead their team to several victories.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
This was another tough choice. Kevin Kenny led Evans to a solid season. They were the top team in the county virtually all season. They also beat Greenbrier two of three meetings this season.
Greenbrier, however, might not have had a great overall record, but Dees and the Wolfpack had to deal with injuries to two of the best players - forward Rich Poythress and guard Eugene Rogers.
When those two got healthy, Greenbrier immediately became a contender for a state playoff spot. They knocked off perennial state power Baldwin and beat Evans late in the season. They also earned the school's first-ever state tournament berth.
Girls First Team
G - Michelle Sweic, Soph. (Greenbrier)
Sweic is a gamer and has a great feel for the game. She increased her scoring average to 17 points this season and averaged more than five assists and five steals.
G - Jordan Little, Jr. (Augusta Christian)
Little emerged as one of the county's top players. She was First Team All-Region and averaged 15 points along with 5.2 assists and 5.5 steals. She also was one of the area's top 3-point threats.
G - April Woodard, Jr. (Harlem)
Perhaps the best pure talent in the county, Woodard is capable of taking over games. Despite opposing defenses keying on her she still managed to average 17 points, including a season high of 38 points. Definite college prospect.
F - Melissa Lewis, Jr. (Greenbrier)
Lewis was last season's Co-Player of the Year. She backed up last season's performance with 18 points and eight rebounds. She gave Greenbrier an inside presence and, like Woodard, she will have an opportunity to play at the next level.
F - Sarah Beth McKinney, Jr. (Augusta Christian)
McKinney helped lead ACS to 16 regular season wins. She was a First Team All-Region selectionand she averaged 11.5 points and led the county in rebounding at 13 boards per game.
G - Abby Alexander, Jr. (Augusta Prep)
Terrific floor general for the Lady Cavs. Four assists and 5.3 steals per game.
G - Tiffany Blackburn, Soph. (Greenbrier)
Hands down the best outside shooter in the county. Averaged nine points. If she works hard she could be a great player before her career is over.
F - Lynlee Satcher, Soph. (Augusta Christian)
Satcher was an excellent pole player for the Lady Lions. She averaged 10 points and 7.3 rebounds.
F - Caroline Hull Sr. (Augusta Prep)
Averaged 9.4 points including a season high of 24. Hull had a solid career for the Lady Cavs.
G - Brooke Jackson, Soph. (Greenbrier)
Two or three weeks ago Jackson would not have made the Second Team. She stepped up her game, however, as Greenbrier made their playoff run. She had the biggest 3-pointer in Lady Pack history against Effingham County that sealed a state tourney berth. Stats do not tell the story with Jackson; she does all the little things.
Larrie Reece, Jr.
Mary Hannah Lynn, Sr.
Katelyn Gibbs, Sr.
Bekah Gibbs, Sr.
Lauren Middleton, Soph.
Alisha Simmons, Sr.
Sara Oland, Fr.
Kacee Camp, Fr.
Perrin Fryer, Jr.
Essence Nixon, Fr.
Coach of the Year
Garrett Black (Greenbrier)
He had some great talent and did an outstanding job. Last season he had the guts to start a freshman at point guard and to keep several freshmen on the squad. Some folks scoffed at that move. All this sophomore class has done is win 40 games over the past two seasons. Establishing, then breaking, the school record for victories with a softball state title and a quarterfinal appearance in hoops. The scary thing is that Black has nearly everyone back next season.
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