Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer League News and Notes

The Augusta Basketball Report provided highlights and analysis of much of the 2011-2012 high school basketball season.  We enjoyed becoming more familiar with the area's teams and providing information to interested players, fans, and coaches.  June is the first time since the official basketball season that the coaches and players come back together as a unit.  New players are integrated, returning players step into leadership roles, and returning leaders look to help take the team to new heights.

The Richmond County summer league began play this week, and the Augusta Basketball Report has been present for much of the action.  We are excited to share our thoughts about the area's teams after a brief look at the early summer action.

Laney Wildcats
It seems logical to me to begin with the Wildcats because Coach Jerry Hunter's squad was not only the lone area team to win a state championship last season, but Laney is the only area state championship boys team since the 2008 Glenn Hills Spartans group.  Those who believe the Wildcats are due for a major step back underestimate both the potential of Laney's impressive underclassmen and the fine coaching staff.

Junior Curtis Hightower, the lone returning starter, brings experience and energy to the new squad.  Rising sophomores Jashawn Brooks and Jalen Taylor bring size (both are roughly 6'4") and skill.  Brooks is a pure shooter, and he is also very athletic.  Taylor also shoots well, but he excels slashing to the basket.    Laney's young group includes other promising players.  We believe that the coaching staff will do a great job developing this group and building on the unprecedented success the Wildcats have experienced during the past three seasons.  Watch the video below for an early look at Laney's squad.

Familiar Guards Do Battle
If the Laney game provided an early look at some new faces, the Glenn Hills-Westside game gave observers the opportunity to see some of the area's best, and most experienced, guards compete in a game that resembled a regular season contest.  Westside's senior Frank Booker, Glenn Hills' junior Aubrey Mcrae, and Aquinas' junior Michael Scott (Scott is playing with the Spartans to get some extra playing time in June) have all played major minutes since their freshman seasons.  And after a slow first half, Scott and Booker matched up with each other and provided many exciting moments before Booker's final shot barely missed, giving the Spartans a one point overtime win.  Watch the videos below to see some of the action from Wednesday's contest.

Cross Creek Starts 2-0
The Razorbacks have used a trapping defense and effective outside shooting to begin the summer with wins over Jefferson County and Butler.  Treaire Moore, the team's leading scorer, has been hot from deep.  And we think he is one of the area's underrated guards.  Cross Creek has several other promising players, and we look forward to following this group's progress.

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