Columbia County has never been known as a basketball hotbed, but on Saturday night at the sixth annual CSRA middle and high school all-star games, county players served notice that they can handle themselves just fine on the hardwood.
A record number of Columbia County players took part in the event played at Augusta State's Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Of the 58 middle school all-stars, 14 (seven boys and seven girls) were from Columbia County. The previous high was nine. The group from Columbia County did more than just show up.
In the boys game, Lakeside standout C.J. Marshall used his amazing quickness to weave his way to the MVP award as he led his team to a victory. Marshall is a three-sport star (football, basketball and baseball) who is definitely a player to watch in the future.
In the boys high school game, only one Columbia County player was selected. Lakeside star Earl McCromman would have to carry the county's torch in the annual cross-state clash. In the high school game, the premier players from Georgia take on the top talent that South Carolina has to offer. Team Georgia fell behind early, but rallied for a 73-67 victory.
Despite solid efforts from South Carolina signee Dominique Archie (Josey, 12 points) and Butler star Tyrese Harris (13 points), 5-foot-6 point guard Earl McCromman used his ball handling and defensive pressure to be named the game's MVP despite scoring only seven points.
You can catch all four all-star games today and Friday at 4 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 62.
When signing day came and went 10 weeks ago, a few Columbia County kids were not heard from.
Cheng Ho from Evans was being courted by Harvard and chose to wait to see what happened with his Ivy League opportunities.
Ho has since been placed in a prep school by Harvard.
Greenbrier standout Daniel Landon also had to play the waiting game. For him, patience certainly paid off.
Last week, Landon committed to play at Valdosta State.
The Blazers were the 2004 Division II National Champions after topping Pittsburg State 36-31 in the title game. Blazer coach Chris Hatcher was named the National Coach of the Year in Division II.
Landon will get an opportunity to play for one of the most successful programs in the nation.
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