On paper, it was just a nonregion victory. For the Lakeside boys basketball team, Saturday's 1-point win at home against Elbert County was a godsend.
"We needed a game like that," Lakeside coach Ryan Morningstar said. "Especially after not playing well against Greenbrier the day before, I was proud of the way the guys stepped up. Cody (Marsh) started taking open shots when he had it and he hit them."
Marsh, a sophomore starter, led the Panthers with 17 points in the come-from-behind win, but it was another sophomore that came through in the clutch.
Lakeside 10th-grader Levi Hanks, who splits time on the Panther junior varsity and varsity squads, nailed two free throws with just more than a minute left to give Lakeside a 1-point lead.
The foul shots proved to be the difference in the game; neither team scored again, and Lakeside went on to claim its second win of the season.
Greenbrier's 61-38 home win Friday over Lakeside was seen by one of the biggest crowds at a Columbia County game this season. In fact, some would-be spectators were turned away at the door.
Greenbrier athletic director Scott Chadwick estimated the gym seats 2,000 people. He said that after the seats are filled, the school is not allowed to let anyone in.
"I knew it would be a big crowd, but I didn't think we'd sell out in the first quarter," he said.
All 12 Columbia County high school basketball teams were in action last weekend, but no player had a bigger game than Augusta Prep's Jim Hull.
The sophomore star netted 43 points in an 80-76 win over Tattnall Square on Saturday night. Combined with Friday's 25-point effort in a loss to Mount De Sales, Hull totaled 68 points and the Cavaliers improved to 7-4.
Augusta Christian's Casey Brush erupted for 25 points in a 60-48 win over Patrick Henry on Friday to give the Lady Lions their second win of the season. In the boys game, Augusta Christian's Phillip Swain nailed four 3-pointers, and 11 Lions scored in a 66-31 victory to improve to 5-1.
Greenbrier coach Casey Dees and his Wolfpack basketball team have slowly emerged as the top team in Columbia County. Greenbrier has knocked off all three county rivals and entered the week with a 7-1 record (the best in the county) with wins over Lakeside and Aquinas last weekend.
Senior Anthony Williams scored 20 and 22 points, respectively, in the two games, and guard Nolan Belcher drilled five 3-pointers.
Although it's not the important region matchup it once was, Augusta Christian and Augusta Prep will face off Saturday for private school bragging rights. Both the boys and girls games will take place at Augusta Christian, with the girls game starting at 6 p.m.
Bragging rights II
Another nonregion game of interest will take place Friday at Evans High School. Evans' boys and girls basketball teams will face Harlem in a pair of Turkey Tip-Off Championship game rematches. The contests will begin with the girls game at 6:30 p.m.
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