The Fayette Citizen-Sports Page

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Landmark evens score with SACA


Now they’re even.

In one of the most hyped high school basketball games in Georgia in many years, the War Eagles of Landmark Christian avenged a December loss with a 73-71 win Friday night over Southwest Atlanta Christian before a crowd of more than 5,000 at Georgia Tech.

It was no surprise who finished as the top scorers for each team. Landmark’s Randolph Morris and SACA’s Dwight Howard poured in 25 points apiece, with Howard pulling down 15 rebounds to Morris’ 11. The matchup between the two big men (Morris is listed at 7 feet, Howard at 6-11) drew a crowd that included a number of NBA scouts and college coaches.

But the big story in this game was Landmark’s stunning comeback from a 15-point deficit at the end of the third quarter. Morris gave his team the lead with about a minute to play, a few seconds after Howard fouled out, and the War Eagles, who scored 33 points in the final period, held on for the win.

SACA held on to the top spot in this week’s state Class A poll, with Landmark at No. 2, followed by Whitefield. With all three of those teams in Region 5-A, postseason games starting next week could prove very interesting.

In other local boys action, the Sandy Creek Patriots may not know until Sunday afternoon when they will play when they host the Region 4-AAAA playoffs starting Monday. After a 58-54 loss to North Clayton and a 60-57 win over Woodward, the Patriots were 13-3 in region play going into last night’s home game against Douglas County.

A win in that game and another victory Friday against Northgate could put Sandy Creek in a three-way tie for first place with Douglas County and Lithia Springs — all with three losses apiece and all with 1-1 records against each other. Coach Maurice Triche said this week that he did not know for certain what tiebreaker methods would be used in such a situation.

Fayette County swept McIntosh in varsity action Friday night. The Tigers defeated the Chiefs 71-39 while t he Lady Tigers took home a 62-47 victory over the Lady Chiefs. Fayette’s boys were led in scoring by Steve McNease with 20 points and Sheldon Harris led the team in rebounding with 11.

“Fayette played a good defensive game,” said Tigers coach Andre Flynn.

The Starr’s Mill Panthers defeated Mundy’s Mill 64-53 Jan. 27, as Caleb Graham,

who finished with 26 points, got the Panthers going early with 8 first-quarter points to help the home team grab an 18-8 lead. Mundy’s Mill took a brief lead in the third period, but Starr’s Mill regrouped and led by as many as 15 in the fourth. Mike Mock scored 14 points, Mark Harris added 9 and Vinnie LeDonne 8.

The Panthers lost a 40-34 game to Carver Friday night. Mike Mock

led the Panthers with 23 points, more than two-thirds of his team’s total.

Starr’s Mill opened up a 5-0 lead to start the game, but Carver came back and led 13-8 after one quarter. Mock scored all 10 of his team’s points in the second to go with his four points in the first period. The third quarter was a snooze, as Starr’s Mill outscored Carver 5-3 to cut the lead to six. The Panthers closed to within two late in the game, but Carver hung on with good foul shooting.

The Lady Panthers downed Mundy’s Mill 53-34 Jan. 27, behind 13 points and six assists from Ashley Marine and 13 points and six rebounds from Jenny Norman. The team shot 21 of 45 from the floor and had 12 steals in the game.

The big quarter for Starr’s Mill was the second, where the team was 6 of 7 from the field, 3 of 4 from the free throw line and forced six turnovers while

holding Mundy’s Mill to only one basket.

Friday night saw the Lady Panthers fall 58-50 to a tough Carver team that only has one loss the entire season. Marine scored 17, pulled down 12 rebounds and had three steals. Angela Garza scored 10 off the bench.

Starr’s Mill was 8-15 going into this week’s games against East Coweta and McIntosh. Carver was scheduled to play Riverdale last night, with the top seed in the region tournanment likely on the line.

McIntosh split its varsity games Saturday against Lithia Springs on a night when a power surge knocked out the scoreboard and some of the lights in the McIntosh gym in the early going. Lady Chiefs coach Steve Kidd credited his team’s increased defensive intensity for its 57-51 win.

The Lady Chiefs sprang to an early lead and, according to the announcer, led 19-10 when the timekeeper’s stopwatch said the first quarter was over. When the scoreboard lights came on just before the half, the home town fans must have felt they were waking from a dream, because Lithia Springs’ Lady Lions had cut the lead to 28-24.

But in the third quarter, McIntosh again put up 19 points and held the visitors to 10. Kristen McKillop led the rally for McIntosh, scoring 12 of her game-high 22 points in the period.

Just as they did at Lithia Springs two weeks ago, the Lady Chiefs shot poorly from the free throw line. As a team, they hit only 17 of 34 free throws. But McKillop and senior Christa Mann hit clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the win. McKillop hit 6 of 8 and Christa Mann 7 of 11 from the line. Haynes Kleimeyer rebounded well in addition to scoring 15 points for McIntosh. Nekia Hicks had 21 for Lithia Springs, including a pair of late 3-pointers that narrowed the final margin.

In the boys’ game, Lithia Springs pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 61-38. McIntosh had kept the game close through three quarters, trailing 36-30 with eight minutes to go. Jason Williams led McIntosh with 11 points. Eleven players scored for Lithia Springs, led by Anthony Hodge with 13.

The Lady Bobcats of Our Lady of Mercy have had a rough ride since the Christmas break, but still had a 12-9 record going into the regular season’s final three games.

“Injuries have been a small factor but we are all healthy now and still can’t quite seem to hit our stride,” said coach Clay Cushman. “Hopefully we will finish strong and make a statement about where we are as a program.”


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