Thursday, November 21, 2013

Augusta Christian Outlasts GAIS

We dedicated no coverage to Augusta Christian during the 2012-2013 season.  Prioritization was needed, and I decided the local public school scene and my GAIS Eagles would be the concentration.  That said, we covered that scene like a blanket, recording and sharing virtually every made basket all season. But the ABR Live coverage will be much more selective this season.  Keenan Mann, Will Avery, and I will basically share information about the things we encounter and find interesting.  And our audience will hopefully find our work worthy of attention.

So although the output on this site may narrow, I am happy to report for the first time on Augusta Christian's hoops team.  It is no coincidence that the Lions' first appearance on the site coincides with their first ever encounter with Will's and my GAIS Eagles homeschool teams.  Varsity coaches John Harris (boys) and Nick Isaac (girls) have solid teams that should perform well (understatement!) in the South Carolina Independent Schools Association.

I expected to be impressed by coach Harris' team before our match up Tuesday.  And I was not disappointed.  Senior transfer point guard Jordan Dingle (19 points) played a good floor game and used the pick and roll to score timely baskets in the game's most important moments.  Guard Nick Fortenberry (16 points), who scored his 1000th career point on his first field goal of the season, did Tuesday what he has done his entire time with Augusta Christian:  knock down shots from behind the arc and put pressure on the defense.  And 6'9" junior Calvin Taylor showed signs of improvement, scoring 10 points in the post, off the screen and roll, and on the offensive glass.

To be sure, the Eagles put in a solid effort, jumping out to an early lead and heading into halftime with a 38-34 advantage.  After falling behind 51-47 in the 3rd quarter, GAIS made many big plays to give themselves several chances to win.  Daquarius Johnson and Jaylan Robinson scored 20 and 18 points, respectively.  And DJ Demmons (12) and Kyle Brown (10) also scored in double figures.

Augusta Christian's season opening win against a solid GAIS group makes me feel more confident about placing the Lions near the top of my pre-season top 10 area team's list.  And although I have elected to exclude my Eagles from the same list, I expect this special group of guys to progress very quickly into a team that is very difficult for any team to beat.

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