Like many teams, Shaw basketball hasn’t had its full compliment of players for long after many were a part of the football team which played in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. On Tuesday at the Columbus Showcase, though, the group looked strong in an 82-75 win over Manchester.
The injury, which occurred during the Eagles’ 22-20 win over Twiggs County last Friday, is a hairline fracture on the top right rib, located just beneath the collarbone. If the injury was to one of his lower ribs — even just three further south — Swaney said that its likely Smothers would have been able to play through it.
Marion County still has state championship aspirations as the No. 1 overall seed in the Class A-public playoffs. To get there, though, they'll need some major contributions for its supporting cast. Do-it-all star athlete Lorenzo Smothers, who joined the top 10 in all-time touchdowns for the state of Georgia, will miss the rest of the playoffs, according to a text from coach Mike Swaney.
Good teams learn from past experiences. That’s been a common thread spoken by Central coach Jamey DuBose throughout the football season. Yes, the team was disappointed to come up short in the state quarterfinals last year, but there were things about the team that kept it from being prepared for the hurdles that come in pursuit of a state title. Things DuBose said the team has learned from and improved on this season.
Central hosts McGill-Toolen, Pacelli travels to Mt. Paran Christian, Spencer is at Dawson County and Brookstone is at Aquinas. Not featured in the video are Manchester and Marion County, which play at Brooks County and host Twiggs County, respectively.
Manchester has come a long way from a 3-7 record last year and a 1-2 start to the season. It is 8-3, in the second round of the state playoffs and has its eyes set on more as it prepares for Brooks County on Friday.
Marion County has become accustomed to its position as the top contender in Class A-public. Two years ago, it won a state championship. Last year, it rode a long winning streak into the playoffs and earned the top overall seed before losing to Hawkinsville in the state semifinals. The Eagles are, once again, the No. 1 seed in the classification, a point that coach Mike Swaney was quick to dismiss on Wednesday.
Brookstone had one hiccup in the final four weeks of its regular season, dropping a close game to Dooly County to close out the month of October. Other than that, coach Scott Pethtel didn’t have a whole lot to complain about with where his team was entering the first round of the Class A-private playoffs.
Seven years was a long enough wait. Drew won its first playoff game in program history, and first in three tries, with an upset 70-34 win over Class AAAAA No. 1 seed Carver Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Central defensive backs John Broussard and Darius King stopped Lee wide receiver Henry Ruggs near the goal line on a fourth-and-goal play in overtime to preserve Central's 20-13 win, sending it to the semifinals for the third time in school history.
Carver fell to a 2-seed in last year's playoffs and lost in the first round. This year, it is back atop its bracket and looking to make a deep run once again. It begins its pursuit against Drew on Friday.
Central faced Prattville in a rematch in the state quarterfinals last year and lost. This year, the Red Devils are hoping that experience will help them prepare for another quarterfinal rematch, this time against Lee-Montgomery.
David Mitchell has covered high schools and athletes in the Bi-City area for three years for the Ledger-Enquirer. Prior to joining the Ledger-Enquirer, Mitchell worked at the Gainesville (Ga.) Times. He is a graduate of Starr’s Mill High School and the University of Georgia.