Saturday, February 11, 2012

Game of the Night: Georgia Elite Christian at Augusta Eagles

Watch video from Saturday's Game of the Night

Today marks the first time the Augusta Basketball Report's "Game of the Night" features two "independent school" teams.  The Augusta Eagles, the area's only team on which homeschool students can compete, has quickly earned the respect of many basketball fans in the greater Augusta area.  Playing a mixture of public school, private school, and independent/prep school teams, the Eagles have quickly proven themselves to be up to the most difficult challenges available.

The Augusta Eagles
And fans who skipped Friday's Laney-Josey contest to see how the Eagles would fare against Georgia Elite Christian, a "club" team that features 7' junior center and future University of South Florida Bull John Egbunu, were certainly not disappointed.

The Eagles, a team of guards, none of whom are taller than 6'2" used multiple strategies to slow down Egbunu, who finished with 10 points, and teammate Micah Smith, a 6'7" forward.  While a group of Eagles continuously clogged the paint to neutralize Georgia Elite's inside duo, they had to constantly recover to outside shooters like Georgia Elite junior guard Drew Davis, who also has committed to join the South Florida basketball program upon graduation.

The most impressive thing about the Eagles' 57-51 victory was probably that it came after Augusta's leading scorers, Matt Miller and Austin Crown, went much of the first half without recording a point.  The Eagles, normally a consistently good shooting team, only scored 8 first quarter, and 23 first half, points.

But Crown was effective in other ways - defending, rebounding, and setting up teammates - throughout the game.  And he eventually got red hot from the field, scoring 23 points, including 20 during the second half.  And Miller joined his back court partner, making key defensive plays and grabbing difficult rebounds, while eventually logging 17 points in the win.  In addition to the two leading scorers, junior guards Paul Jones and Dominic Brown made important shots at key times.

Davis led Georgia Elite with 14 points, including 4 three pointers, and Egbunu scored 10 points in the loss.

The Augusta Eagles next play Monday in Columbia, South Carolina, versus the Heathwood Hall Highlanders, the South Carolina Independent Schools Association's (SCISA) defending AAA state champions, Monday at 6 P.M.

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