2021 Basketball Guide

Page 1

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The Newnan Times-Herald

2021 - 2022

Poised & prepared

L L A B T E BASK 2021-2022


Basketball GAME schedules East Coweta boys Schedule

11/13 6 p.m. burn, GA) Sunshine State Basketball @ Jackson High School 12/4 6 p.m. Explosion (Atlanta, GA) Pace Academy (Atlanta, 12/28 4:30 p.m. 11/16 7:30 p.m. GA) St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Carver (Columbus, GA) TOC Showcase Classic Lauderdale, FL) 11/18 7:30 p.m. 12/10 7:30 p.m. Sunshine State ExploPaideia (Atlanta, GA) Newnan (Newnan, GA) sion-Coconut Creek HS 11/23 6 p.m. 12/18 TBA 1/4 7:30 p.m. Spencer (Columbus, GA) Lemon Street Classic Hiram (Hiram, GA) 11/30 7:30 p.m. 12/18 6 p.m. 1/11 12 p.m. Carrollton (Carrollton, GA) Lithonia (Lithonia, GA) @ Pebblebrook (Mable12/2 7:30 p.m. Lemon Classic Showcase ton, GA) Langston Hughes (Fair12/28 TBA 1/14 7:30 p.m.

Campbell (Smyrna, GA) 1/15 4 p.m. Northgate (Newnan, GA) 1/18 7:30 p.m. McEachern (Powder Springs, GA) 1/21 7 p.m. @ Mt. Zion (Jonesboro, GA) 1/22 5:30p Callaway (Hogansville, GA) 1/25 7:30 p.m.

@ McEachern (Powder Springs, GA) 1/28 7:30 p.m. Pebblebrook (Mableton, GA) 2/1 7:30 p.m. @ Campbell (Smyrna, GA) 2/4 7:30 p.m. @ Newnan (Newnan, GA) 2/5 1:30 p.m. Lanett (Lanett, AL)

East Coweta girls Schedule 11/18 5:30 p.m. Paideia (Atlanta, GA) 11/22 6:30 p.m. Carver (Columbus, GA) 11/23 Noon @ Hardaway (Columbus, GA) 11/30 6 p.m. Carrollton (Carrollton, GA) 12/3 6 p.m. Langston Hughes (Fair-

burn, GA) 12/8 6 p.m. Landmark Christian (Fairburn, GA) 12/10 6 p.m. Newnan (Newnan, GA) Preview Game 12/20 4:00p Jackson (Atlanta, GA) 12/21 2:30 p.m. Lithia Springs (Lithia Springs, GA)

Carrollton Christmas Showcase 1/4 6 p.m. Hiram (Hiram, GA) Location: East Coweta High School 1/11 6: p.m. @ Pebblebrook (Mableton, GA) 1/14 6 p.m. Campbell (Smyrna, GA) 1/15 2:30 p.m.

Northgate (Newnan, GA) Springs, GA) 1/18 6 p.m. 1/28 6 p.m. McEachern (Powder Pebblebrook (Mableton, Springs, GA) GA) 1/21 6 p.m. 2/1 6 p.m. @ Mt. Zion (Jonesboro, @ Campbell (Smyrna, GA) GA) 1/22 4:30 p.m. 2/4 6 p.m. Callaway (Hogansville, @ Newnan (Newnan, GA) GA) 2/5 Noon 1/25 6 p.m. Lanett (Lanett, AL) McEachern (Powder

Newnan Cougars b oys Schedule

11/13 2:30p @ Midtown (Atlanta, GA) 12/21 4:30p 1/7 7:30p GA) @ Riverdale (Riverdale, 12/7 7:30p South Paulding (Douglas- Campbell (Smyrna, GA) 1/25 7:30p GA) @ Callaway (Hogansville, ville, GA) 1/11 7:30p @ Campbell (Smyrna, GA) 11/16 7:30p GA) 12/28 5:30p @ McEachern (Powder 1/28 7:30p Heard County (Franklin, 12/10 7:30p Carrollton (Carrollton, GA) Springs, GA) McEachern (Powder GA) @ East Coweta (SharpsLaGrange Tournament 1/15 Springs, GA) 11/19 7:30p burg, GA) 12/29 11:30a Dale Green MLK Tourna1/29 4:00p Banneker (College Park, 12/11 3:00p Opelika (Opelika, AL) ment at Bishop Snyder Washington (Atlanta, GA) GA) Northgate (Newnan, GA) LaGrange Tournament (FL) 2/4 7:30p 11/27 8:00a 12/14 7:30p 12/30 1:00p 1/17 East Coweta (Sharpsburg, Duluth (Duluth, GA) Pebblebrook (Mableton, Notasulga (Notasulga, AL) Rock Springs Christian GA) 11/30 7:30p GA) LaGrange Tournament Academy (Milner, GA) 2/8 7:30p @ Heard County (Franklin, 12/17 7:30p 1/4 7:30p MLK Classic at Newnan @ Pebblebrook (MableGA) McIntosh (Peachtree City, @ Mt. Zion (Jonesboro, 1/22 3:30p ton, GA) 12/3 7:00p GA) GA) Arabia Mountain (Lithonia, 2



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Newnan Cougars girls Schedule

11/13 1 p.m. 11/30 6 p.m. 12/14 6 p.m. Heritage (Newnan, GA) GA) @ Riverdale (Riverdale, @ Heard County (Frank- Pebblebrook (Mableton, 1/11 6 p.m. 1/28 6 p.m. GA) lin, GA) GA) @ McEachern (Powder McEachern (Powder 11/16 6 p.m. 12/2 6 p.m. 12/17 6 p.m. Springs, GA) Springs, GA) Heard County (Franklin, @ Hapeville Charter McIntosh (Peachtree 1/14 6 p.m. 1/29 2 p.m. GA) (Atlanta, GA) City, GA) @ Tri-Cities (East Point, Washington (Atlanta, GA) 11/19 6 p.m. 12/7 6 p.m. 12/18 1 p.m. GA) 2/4 6 p.m. Banneker (College Park, @ Callaway (Hogansville, Heritage (Newnan, GA) 1/15 3 p.m. East Coweta (SharpsGA) GA) 1/4 6 p.m. @ Douglass (Atlanta, GA) burg, GA) 11/20 2 p.m. 12/10 6 p.m. @ Mt. Zion (Jonesboro, 1/22 2 p.m. 2/8 6 p.m. @ Morrow (Morrow, GA) @ East Coweta (SharpsGA) Arabia Mountain (Litho- @ Pebblebrook (Mable11/22 4 p.m. burg, GA) 1/7 6 p.m. nia, GA) ton, GA) @ McDonough (Mc12/11 1:30 p.m. Campbell (Smyrna, GA) 1/25 6 p.m. Donough, GA) Northgate (Newnan, GA) 1/8 4 p.m. @ Campbell (Smyrna,

Northgate Vikings boys Schedule 11/20 2:30p Griffin (Griffin, GA) GA) Osborne (Marietta, GA) 12/10 7:30p 12/29 12:30p 11/22 2:30p @ Northside (Columbus, @ Cristo Rey Atlanta Riverdale (Riverdale, GA) GA) (Atlanta, GA) 11/30 7:30p 12/11 3:00p 12/30 12:30p @ Harris County (Hamil- @ Newnan (Newnan, GA) Southwest Atlanta Christon, GA) 12/14 7:30p tian (Atlanta, GA) 12/3 8:30p @ Morrow (Morrow, GA) 1/4 7:30p @ Whitewater (Fayette12/17 7:30p Creekside (Fairburn, GA) ville, GA) @ Hampton (Hampton, 1/7 7:30p 12/4 4:30p GA) @ Starr’s Mill (Fayetteville, @ Central (Carrollton, GA) 12/28 6:30p GA) 12/7 7:39p @ Heard County (Franklin, 1/8 2:30p

Temple (Temple, GA) 1/11 7:30p @ McIntosh (Peachtree City, GA) 1/14 7:30p Stone Mountain (Stone Mountain, GA) 1/15 4:00p @ East Coweta (Sharpsburg, GA) 1/18 7:30p Whitewater (Fayetteville, GA)

Northgate Vikings girls Schedule 11/20 1 p.m. Griffin (Griffin, GA) GA) Osborne (Marietta, GA) 12/10 6 p.m. 12/29 2 p.m. 11/22 1 p.m. @ Northside (Columbus, Darlington (Rome, GA) Riverdale (Riverdale, GA) GA) 2 p.m. 11/30 6 p.m. 12/11 1:30 p.m. Heritage (Newnan, GA) @ Harris County (Hamil- @ Newnan (Newnan, GA) 1/4 6 p.m. ton, GA) 12/14 6 p.m. Creekside (Fairburn, GA) 12/3 Noon @ Morrow (Morrow, GA) 1/7 6 p.m. @ Whitewater (Fayette12/17 6 p.m. @ Starr’s Mill (Fayetteville, ville, GA) @ Hampton (Hampton, GA) 12/4 3 p.m. GA) 1/8 1 p.m. @ Central (Carrollton, GA) 12/28 5 p.m. Temple (Temple, GA) 12/7 6 p.m. @ Heard County (Franklin, 1/11 6 p.m.

@ McIntosh (Peachtree City, GA) 1/14 6 p.m. Stone Mountain (Stone Mountain, GA) 1/15 2:30 p.m. @ East Coweta (Sharpsburg, GA) 1/18 6 p.m. Whitewater (Fayetteville, GA) 1/21 6 p.m. Harris County (Hamilton,

1/21 7:30p Harris County (Hamilton, GA) 1/22 4:30p @ Griffin (Griffin, GA) 1/25 7:30p Northside (Columbus, GA) 1/28 7:30p Starr’s Mill (Fayetteville, GA) 2/1 7:30p McIntosh (Peachtree City, GA)

GA) 1/22 3 p.m. @ Griffin (Griffin, GA) 1/25 6 p.m. Northside (Columbus, GA) 1/28 6 p.m. Starr’s Mill (Fayetteville, GA) 2/1 6 p.m. McIntosh (Peachtree City, GA)




Poised & prepared

LL BASKETBA 2021-2022


Poised & Prepared On the cover is Ashlyn Settle of Trinity Christian High School. The photo was taken and provided by Tammy McCracken. 6

East Coweta boys

Strong Start: East Coweta Boys Eye Dominant Season


hey’re right where they want to be. Coach Royal Maxwell and his East Coweta Indians are perfect on the season. After five matchups, the team is currently at 5-0. The team’s explosive offense positions the Indians to be a serious contender in both region and non-region play this year, as East Coweta looks to improve on last year’s 16-10 (4-4 league) record. The good news for Indians fans is that this East Coweta team is loaded with talent — and if the team’s 5-0 start is any indication, they know how to use it. OFFENSE The Indians are averaging slightly over 70 points per game — a stat that has opposing defenses worried. East Coweta has controlled the court this year from the first buzzer to the last. Several key players have stepped up their game from last season to bring the Indians success. Scoring leaders for the Indians include Samuel Moss (18 PPG), Delricco Gillespie (14 PPG, 16.8 RPG) and Austen Colton (13 PPG). Moss led the Indians last season in scoring, too, with 21.2 PPG — meaning that East Coweta is likely to see even more firepower from him this season. DEFENSE East Coweta has allowed an average of only 57.6 points per game defensively, putting their margin of victory at nearly 13 points. Joshua Cameron leads the Indians in steals through the first five games, averaging two per contest. Moss tails right behind with 1.8 per game, while the team averages 8.3 steals per matchup. THE PLAN The Indians hope to ride their win streak throughout the regular season and secure a winning region record. Just two seasons ago, East Coweta powered through to finish second in 7-A Region 2 with an impressive 7-3 record. Such a run — and perhaps even better — appears possible this year based on the Indians’ strong start. East Coweta will be put to the test in their first region matchup against Newnan at home on Friday, Dec. 10.




Delricco Gillespie drives down the court with Brian Gillespie right behind him.

1 Samuel Moss 2 Austen Colton 3 Delricco Gillespie 4 Joshua Cameron 5 Brian Gillespie 10 Answer Adams 11 Dylan Colvin 12 Chandler Winston 13 Sage Spade 15 Colt Donley 22 Keldric Owens 23 Saquan Hutcherson 24 Anthony Otero 33 Carby Martin 34 Shaka Massey Head Coach: Royal Maxwell

Saquan Hutcherson with the dunk.


Assistant Coaches: A.J. Ellis, Christopher Seldon, Fredrick Sippial, Pierce Colton 7


East Coweta girls EAST COWETA

Lady Indians Aim for Winning League Record


t’s been a slow climb, but they’re on the way up. The East Coweta girls basketball team looks to score their first winning league record in more than half a decade this season. The Lady Indians came close last year, breaking even at 4-4. Before that, East Coweta suffered through seasons with 2-8 and even 0-10 region records. For Coach Quacy Timmons and the Lady Indians squad, that changes this year. East Coweta has opened the season with a statement, winning two games and losing two in close fashion. Indeed, East Coweta trounced Paideia 106-14 at home in their season opener and came up just two points shy against Carver in their next game. They soon added a win over Hardaway and an overtime loss to Carrollton to bring themselves to a solid 2-2 record that, with just a few breaks, could be 4-0. The Lady Indians should be proud of that and take heart that as the team moves deeper into the season, they should only continue to improve. OFFENSIVE East Coweta stunned with explosive firepower in their opener, as the Lady Indians amassed 106 points. Since then, they have scored an average of 68 points per game, with a season average of 77.5 points per game. The Lady Indians return dynamic players in Aaliyah Ferrell, Tuianna Taggart, Sherry Geboy, Jenaya Boler, Letiya Reeves, Afi Austin, Amya Walker and Sanaa Growe, giving them the experience and depth they need to take the next step this season. DEFENSE It wasn’t just the offense that made a statement in East Coweta’s season opener. The Lady Indians defense held Paideia to just 14 points. Since then, however, their defense has allowed


an average of just over 70 points per game as the team has faced off against stouter competition. THE PLAN With their depth on the court, the Lady Indians have the ability to build on last year’s respectable 16-7 record and continue to improve in league play. This would put the Lady Indians on course for their first winning league record in years and for a win percentage over 70 percent. They’ll be put to the test against Newnan at home in their first region matchup on Dec. 10. Newnan will be seeking to avenge two losses to the Lady Indians last season, and if East Coweta can survive the rematch, they’ll be well on their way to an improved record.



Amya Walker

From Our Winning Team to Yours, Wishing Our Local Teams and Fans a Safe and Memorable Season

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Samuel Moss makes the shot.

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girls ROSTER 0 Aaliyah Ferrell 1 Tuianna Taggart 2 Chole Holland 5 Sherry Geboy 10 Jenaya Boler 11 Letiya Reeves 12 Afi Austin 13 Amya Walker 21 Sanaa Growe 33 Lana Revere 33 Kenzlee Jones 34 Taleah Taggart 45 Lana Revere

Aaliyah Ferrell


Head Coach: Quacy Timmons Assistant Coaches: Carmen Fife, Michael Deshazer

Letiya Reeves 11


Newnan Cougars boys

Starting Strong: Newnan Boys Basketball Opens 5-0


he Newnan High Cougars basketball team looks to improve on last season’s strong 19-9 record: and they’re off to a great start. The Cougars are 5-0 and have won big to earn their unblemished record. This season, Newnan has outscored opponents 365-253 in several statement wins. This is a good sign for Coach Trent Gatzemeyer and his team as they look to build on last season’s 2-6 league record. The Cougars have struggled in league play over the past decade, despite earning several solid seasons. With their offensive firepower and stout defense, they have what it takes to flip the script this year. OFFENSIVE The Cougars are averaging 73 points a game through their first five games, enough to handily put away their opponents this season. Newnan is led in scoring by Wesley Drake (20.8 PPG, 3.5 RBG, 2.8 APG), a dynamic senior responsible for 83 of the Cougars’ 365 points. Drake’s already impressive performance has seen a jump of nearly eight points per game this season and may be the key to league success for Newnan this year. Drake is joined by Zion Brown (17 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.8 APG), who adds another layer to Newnan’s offense.


Wesley Drake DEFENSE The Cougars have allowed only slightly over 50 points per season, giving them an average margin of victory of over 20 points. Brown has been an integral part of the Cougars defense this season, averaging five steals a game. Altogether, the team averages 17.5 steals per contest, helping them stymie opposing offenses. THE PLAN Newnan hopes to overcome region woes behind its explosive offense and solid defense. And if the Cougars keep improving, it looks as though they just might. Newnan will open region play on the road against East Coweta on Dec. 10. The Indians are currently 5-0 and riding a high of their own. It will be a clash of high-octane offenses when the two teams meet, and the matchup just may determine league futures for both schools.



s y o b ROSTER

Treyvon Sinkfield

0 Wesley Drake 1 Darius Zackery 2 Zion Brown 3 Treyvon Sinkfield 4 Derek Mercado Pomales 5 JJ Walden 10 Wheeler Drake 11 Donavon Ackles 12 Ednell Diaz 15 Justyn Reid 22 Tourran Warner 24 Derrius Teagle 33 Jayden Morrison Head Coach: Trent Gatzemeyer Assistant Coaches: Demarcus Wilkins, Kalin Johnson, Reggie Powell

Zion Brown 13


Newnan Cougars Lady Cougars Hope for Winning Season



ould it be their year? The Lady Cougars certainly hope so. Newnan High’s girls basketball team is putting in the effort to earn their first winning season in over a decade this season. On the court, woes have continued for the Lady Cougars, however, as they’ve gotten off to a slow 1-4 start. The good news? There’s still time — and region play has yet to begin. Newnan’s lone win came against the Riverdale Raiders in a solid 52-40 victory on the road to open the season. Since then, however, the Lady Cougars have dropped three straight — a reality they hope to overcome as they improve this season. OFFENSE The Lady Cougars have stuttered this season offensively with the sole exception of their win over Riverdale. In their four games since, they’ve managed to score just slightly over 27 points a game. Senior Ashira Brown has been the Cougars’ offensive star thus far, recording 24 of the team’s 52 points in their win over Riverdale. In the game, Brown also recorded 10 rebounds and two assists. DEFENSE Notably, the Lady Cougars have been fairly strong defensively, allowing an average of just under 50 points per game. Brown led her team in steals against Riverdale with five, followed by senior Sarai Landero with four. Zarayah Hall recorded two blocks in the game. THE PLAN Newnan hopes to improve on their 4-13 (1-9 re-



Sarai Landero gion) record from last season. To do this, the Cougars must notch at least four more wins — a feat entirely possible with the Lady Cougars depth and experience this year. The road to a winning league record may prove harder. They will face off on the road against the East Coweta Indians in their first road test of the season Dec. 10. The Lady Indians are currently 2-2 on the season and are eyeing a winning league record of their own.


Newnan High’s girls basketball team is putting in the effort to earn their first winning season in over a decade.

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The Newnan High Cougars basketball team looks to improve on last season’s strong 19-9 record: and they’re off to a great start.

Wesley Drake

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girls ROSTER


Shermya Green

0 Tyjah Bell 1 Shermya Green 3 Kate Howell 5 Destiny Alexander 10 Kaitlyn Ball 11 Sara Gonzalez 15 Sarai Landero 20 Libby Frederick 21 Shaniyah Watson 22 Ashira Brown 25 Zarayah Hall Head Coach: Shani Jones Assistant Coaches: Alison Sobataka, Brittney Toles, Tiara Calloway Shaniyah Watson 17


Northgate Vikings

s y o b

Looking Up: Northgate Boys Basketball on the Uptick


he Northgate Vikings boys basketball team is 1-2 (0-1 league) on the season, but things are still looking up. The Vikings struggled last season and survived with an overall 2-16 (1-11 league record. Northgate earned their first win of the season in a dramatic 78-58 blowout of Riverdale on Nov. 22 — meaning the Vikings need only one more win to tie last season’s record. But they don’t intend on stopping there. Northgate hopes to earn a winning record this season, and Coach LaVarrett Pearson and his squad are working hard to achieve this goal. OFFENSE Northgate has struggled to find a rhythm offensively this year and averages just 54 points a contest. Their sole win against Riverdale showed promise, however, with the Vikings scoring 24 points over their season average. Should the Vikings kindle this offensive spark, they have the potential to keep their season competitive. DEFENSE Northgate has had moderate success defensively, holding their opponents to just 60 points a game. These stats may be misleading, however, with the Vikings allowing 80 points in their opening loss to Osborne but just 20 in their region opener to Harris County. It remains to be seen which score will prove to be an outlier. The Vikings are working hard to ensure it’s the former.


Lebrun Northington THE PLAN With the right game plan and effort, Northgate is all but certain to improve from last season. The journey uphill may prove long and difficult, but the Vikings are up for the challenge. Their rebuild continues on Friday, Dec. 3 against Whitewater — a region foe they came within five points of beating last season. A win against Whitewater (2-2) would hand the Wildcats their first region loss and may prove a useful barometer for measuring the Vikings’ future success this year.



s y o b

ROSTER Eli Fitzgerald

1 Kenny Orr 2 Lebrun Northington 3 Joshua Orr 4 Adrien Seegopaul 5 Donavyn Bennett-Hill 10 Eli Fitzgerald 11 Andreas Seegopaul 15 Milton Gibbs 21 AJ Smith 24 Dean Wisenbaker 25 William Mcfarlane 30 Isaac Ballard Head Coach: LaVarrett Pearson Assistant Coaches: Brandon Tennie, Cody Savage, Corey Searcy, Jackie Britt

Adrien Seegopaul 19


Northgate Vikings

s l r i g

On the Rebound: Northgate Girls Defying Expectations


t couldn’t have gone much worse for the Northgate Lady Vikings last season. The team earned an astonishing 0-18 (0-12 region) record in a disappointing winless season. Northgate coach Marcellous Johnson and the Lady Vikings squad knew that had to change — and this season it is. The team eclipsed last year’s win total with a nail-biting 47-42 defeat of Riverdale on Nov. 22. The win brought the Lady Vikings up to a 1-1 record and provided hope for the upcoming season. At the time, Johnson noted that the victory was a “good win for the program,” but that the team “still had a long way to go.” And the Lady Vikings are determined to get there. OFFENSE In order to continue improving, the Lady Vikings will need to find a steady offensive rhythm. Currently, Northgate is averaging just 46 points a game. Encouragingly, the team is led in scoring by sophomore Jasmine Arnold — a fact that suggests a brighter future for the Lady Vikings. Arnold currently averages 13 points, nine rebounds and one assist per game. She is supported by junior Bernadette Debondt (seven PPG, two RPG, one APG), and Caitlin Raynor, Charla Clayton and Holly Metz, who each average four PPG. DEFENSE Johnson noted positive defensive plays in his


squad’s win over Riverdale. “We made some key takeaways down the stretch,” he said, noting that, “The five that finished the game started jelling late in the game.” Specifically, Johnson noted that the guards took care of the ball, helping keep Riverdale to just 42 points in the matchup. The Lady Vikings hope this jelling will continue as they advance deeper into the season. THE PLAN This season is about more than just winning for Northgate — although that’s an important part of the plan, too. While the Lady Vikings certainly want to win as many as they can — and are working hard to do it — Johnson is tasked with building a winning culture and a solid foundation that will see Northgate winning not just this season, but in years to come, as well. The Lady Vikings start region play at home against Griffin on Dec. 7. Northgate lost 65-11 to the Bears last season. A win this year would reflect an astounding turnaround and set the tone for the remainder of the season by earning the squad their first region win since January 2020.


Bernadette Debondt


Best of Luck this Season!

A Newnan Tradition since 1953

Brooklyn Walker

1 Bullsboro Drive • Newnan, GA www.hillcrestchapelcares.com • 770-253-4723 21



Hannah Sizemore

Andreas Seegopaul, Kenny Orr 22




ROSTER Hannah Sizemore

00 Lily Sawyer 3 Hailey Jenkins 5 Caitlin Raynor 10 Aareon Walker 12 Abigail Richard 14 Breigh Totten 20 Bernadette Debondt 21 Demetria Parham 22 Charla Clayton 23 Brooklyn Walker 30 Holly Metz 31 Hannah Sizemore 32 Whitley Mariani 33 Jasmine Arnold Head Coach: Marcellous Johnson Assistant Coaches: Elizabeth Barnett, Kevin Jeffers

Holly Metz 23


Trinity Christian Lions Eager Trinity Christian Team Eyes League Dominance


young Trinity Christian team seeks to secure its third winning league record this season. Headed by Coach Will De La Cruz, the Lions have lost just four league games in the past two seasons — a feat on which they hope to improve this year. The talented squad opened the season 0-2 after a close 54-48 road loss to Marist, followed by a 78-48 home loss to Greater Atlanta Christian. At the time, De La Cruz noted the team was still “learning how to win.” It’s something they’ll have to do without their leading scorers from last season: Nicolas Pissis (21.2 points per game, 88 rebounds and 60 assists) and Isaac Brito (17 points per game, 195 rebounds and 104 assists). Together, the dynamic pair accounted for 810 of the team’s 1,333 points, helping drive the Lions to a 17-10 record. As the team moves deeper into the season, De La Cruz believes the Lions have what it takes to win. OFFENSE With the loss of their two best scorers, new Lions have stepped up offensively. The good news for Trinity? Their offensive stars, sophomore Justine De La Cruz and junior Ernesto Almonte, still have long careers ahead of them. Both have averaged 15 points per game through the team’s first two games of the season. Almonte shows promise for the Lions, leading his team with an average of eight rebounds per game. Senior Lewis Robertson rounds out the list of the top three scorers for Trinity with an average of eight points a game. DEFENSE The Lions are operating this season without star


s y o b

Ernesto Almonte

defensive players, as well. Last season, Pissis and Brito recorded 41 and 38 steals, respectively, with Brito earning 28 of the 40 blocks for the Lions last season. As the season progresses, the Lions look to improve on defense. Through two games, Almonte leads the Lions in blocks per game with an average of two, while De La Cruz leads the team in steals per game, also with two. THE PLAN The Lions look to grow as they battle tough non-region opponents heading into January. Trinity opens region play against St. Anne Pacelli at home on Jan. 7. The Vikings proved to be Trinity’s sole region losses last season, as the Lions fell short twice against St. Anne Pacelli in heartbreaking fashion. With a win against the Vikings to open region play in January, Trinity would send a strong message to the remaining teams on their league schedule that, despite being a young team, they’re still a force to be reckoned with.



s y o b

ROSTER Luke Anthony


0 Alex Pissis 1 Josiah Johnson 2 Luke Anthony 3 Jack Thompson 4 Sam Smith 11 Lewis Robertson 13 Justine De La Cruz 15 Ernesto Almonte 20 Jon Koger 20 David Dallas 21 Joshua Dallas 23 Shawn Braxton 24 Porter Haire 30 Ethan McDowell Head Coach: Will De La Cruz Assistant Coaches: Laforrest Leake, Ron Edwards, Todd Burnett, Brandon Barnes

Justin De La Cruz 25


Trinity Christian Lions Trinity Christian Girls Basketball off to Strong Start



he Lady Lions have a lot to be thankful for. The Trinity Christian girls basketball team is coming off a strong 16-9 (6-0 region) season that saw them come up only five points short against Marist in the second round of playoffs. Now, the Lady Lions boast a red-hot win streak with back-to-back victories in their last two games. The team’s first win came against Douglasville in a commanding 67-34 victory that brought the Lady Lions up to 1-2 on the season. The squad followed the win with a 48-38 defeat of Etowah the following day. Just as telling, the Lady Lions lost both its games this season in close fashion, with the team erasing a 13-point deficit at half to force double overtime in a four-point loss to Marist. OFFENSE The Lady Lions have shown offensive firepower through the first four games of the season. Trinity’s girls basketball team currently averages 50.5 points a game, on par with the team’s nearly 54-point average last season. Madison Morge, Lalah Logan, McKinley Heiden, Ashlyn Settle, Aliyah Shaffer and Aubree Settle all return this season to build on their accomplishments from last year. DEFENSE Trinity sports a stingy defense that is allowing just 41.75 points a game — fewer than last season’s average of 43. This is good news for Lions fans who hope to see Trinity replicate its perfect region record. THE PLAN The Lady Lions open their league schedule at


Madison Morge


home against St. Anne Pacelli. Trinity dominated the Vikings in two games last season, outscoring them by a total of 116-25. Trinity ran the table in league play last season, with their only close matchup coming against Heritage in a 44-35 victory. The Lady Lions hope their returning star-power can catapult them to a similar result this season.




ROSTER Kendall Wells

0 Madison Morge 4 Julia Susla 5 McKinley Heiden 11 Ashlyn Settle 14 Aliyah Shaffer 15 Kyva Holloway 21 Lalah Logan 22 Cacie Cutright 23 Zsofia Telegdy 33 Kendall Wells Head Coach: Joe Daniels Assistant Coach/Head JV Coach: Jenny King Assistant Coach: Mike Morge

Ashlyn Settle 27


Basketball GAME schedules Trinity Christian boys Schedule

11/15 7:30p (Fairburn, GA) 12/27 @ Callaway (Hogansville, @ Marist (Atlanta, GA) 12/10 7:30p TOC Holiday Classic GA) 11/20 1:30p Galloway (Atlanta, GA) 12/28 1/7 7:30p Greater Atlanta Christian 12/11 2:30p TOC Holiday Classic St. Anne-Pacelli (Colum(Norcross, GA) Southwest DeKalb (De12/29 bus, GA) 12/3 7:30p catur, GA) LaGrange Toyota Classic 1/11 7:30p LaGrange (LaGrange, GA) Legends Classic @ New12/30 @ Brookstone (Colum12/4 9:00a ton High School LaGrange Toyota Classic bus, GA) W D Mohammed (Atlanta, 12/16 7:30p 1/1 3:00p 1/14 7:30p GA) Miller Grove (Lithonia, GA) East Nashville Magnet @ Heritage (Newnan, GA) TOC Showcase Classic 12/18 4:30p (Nashville, TN) 1/21 1:30p @ Wheeler HS @ Christian Heritage Big South Shootout @ Lithia Springs (Lithia 12/6 7:30p (Dalton, GA) Sandy Creek HS Springs, GA) @ Landmark Christian 1/4 7:30p 1/29 5:30p

@ Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, GA) 2/1 7:30p @ St. Anne-Pacelli (Columbus, GA) 2/4 7:30p Brookstone (Columbus, GA) 2/14 7:30p Heritage (Newnan, GA)

Trinity Christian girls Schedule

11/15 6 p.m. (Fairburn, GA) Galloway 1/11 6 p.m. Donough, GA) @ Marist (Atlanta, GA) 12/10 6 p.m. 12/21 10 a.m. @ Brookstone (Colum2/1 6 p.m. 11/20 Noon Galloway (Atlanta, GA) @ TBA bus, GA) @ St. Anne-Pacelli (Co@ Denmark (Alpharetta, 12/11 2:30p Battle in Buckhead @ 1/14 6 p.m. lumbus, GA) GA) Jefferson (Jefferson, GA) Galloway @ Heritage (Newnan, GA) 2/4 6 p.m. 11/22 1 p.m. 12/16 6 p.m. 1/4 6 p.m. 1/17 2 p.m. Brookstone (Columbus, Alexander (Douglasville, Miller Grove (Lithonia, GA) @ Callaway (Hogansville, @ North Forsyth (CumGA) GA) 12/18 3 p.m. GA) ming, GA) 2/5 12:30 p.m. 11/23 4 p.m. @ Christian Heritage 1/7 6 p.m. 1/22 Noon @ Cedar Shoals (Athens, Etowah (Woodstock, GA) (Dalton, GA) St. Anne-Pacelli (ColumLithia Springs (Lithia GA) 12/3 6 p.m. 12/20 5:15 p.m. bus, GA) Springs, GA) 2/11 6 p.m. LaGrange (LaGrange, GA) @ Pace Academy (Atlan1/8 10 a.m. 1/29 4 p.m. Heritage (Newnan, GA) 12/6 6 p.m. ta, GA) @ TBA @ Eagle’s Landing @ Landmark Christian Battle in Buckhead @ She Got Game Classic Christian Academy (Mc-

Heritage boys Schedule

11/13 12:00p Greenville (Greenville, GA) Druid Hills (Atlanta, GA) 1/7 7:30p Walker (Marietta, GA) 12/5 2:00p Tournament Of ChamBrookstone (Columbus, Georgia Elite 8 Tip Off Arlington Christian (Fairpions @ Wheeler High GA) Classic @ McEachern burn, GA) School 1/11 7:30p 11/15 7:30p Game at State Farm 12/28 St. Anne-Pacelli (ColumFurtah Prep (Acworth, GA) Arena Tournament Of Chambus, GA) 11/17 7:30p 12/7 7:30p pions @ Wheeler High 1/14 7:30p Excel Christian Academy @ John Milledge AcadeSchool Trinity Christian (Sharps(Cartersville, GA) my (Milledgeville, GA) 1/1 12:00p burg, GA) 11/19 7:30p 12/10 7:30p @ Sandy Creek (Tyrone, 1/17 @ Greenville (Greenville, Central Christian (SharpsGA) Dream Challenge GA) burg, GA) Big South Shootout @ 1/20 7:30p 11/30 6:00p 12/18 2:30p Sandy Creek HS @ Central Christian @ Wesleyan (Norcross, Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta, 1/4 6:00p (Sharpsburg, GA) GA) GA) Holy Innocents Episcopal 1/25 7:30p 12/4 5:00p 12/27 10:00a (Atlanta, GA) Creekside Christian Acad-


emy (McDonough, GA) 1/27 7:30p Strong Rock Christian (Locust Grove, GA) 1/29 2:30p Loganville Christian Academy (Loganville, GA) 2/1 7:30p @ Brookstone (Columbus, GA) 2/4 7:30p @ St. Anne-Pacelli (Columbus, GA) 2/14 7:30p @ Trinity Christian (Sharpsburg, GA)


Heritage girls Schedule

11/13 12:00p Greenville (Greenville, GA) Druid Hills (Atlanta, GA) 1/7 7:30p emy (McDonough, GA) Walker (Marietta, GA) 12/5 2:00p Tournament Of ChamBrookstone (Columbus, 1/27 7:30p Georgia Elite 8 Tip Off Arlington Christian (Fairpions @ Wheeler High GA) Strong Rock Christian Classic @ McEachern burn, GA) School 1/11 7:30p (Locust Grove, GA) 11/15 7:30p Game at State Farm 12/28 St. Anne-Pacelli (Colum1/29 2:30p Furtah Prep (Acworth, GA) Arena Tournament Of Chambus, GA) Loganville Christian Acad11/17 7:30p 12/7 7:30p pions @ Wheeler High 1/14 7:30p emy (Loganville, GA) Excel Christian Academy @ John Milledge AcadeSchool Trinity Christian (Sharps2/1 7:30p (Cartersville, GA) my (Milledgeville, GA) 1/1 12:00p burg, GA) @ Brookstone (Columbus, 11/19 7:30p 12/10 7:30p @ Sandy Creek (Tyrone, 1/17 GA) @ Greenville (Greenville, Central Christian (SharpsGA) Dream Challenge 2/4 7:30p GA) burg, GA) Big South Shootout @ 1/20 7:30p @ St. Anne-Pacelli (Co11/30 6:00p 12/18 2:30p Sandy Creek HS @ Central Christian lumbus, GA) @ Wesleyan (Norcross, Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta, 1/4 6:00p (Sharpsburg, GA) 2/14 7:30p GA) GA) Holy Innocents Episcopal 1/25 7:30p @ Trinity Christian (Sharps12/4 5:00p 12/27 10:00a (Atlanta, GA) Creekside Christian Acadburg, GA)

Central Christian b oys Schedule 11/8 7:30p @ Locust Grove (Locust Grove, GA) 11/9 7:30p @ Konos Academy (Fayetteville, GA) 11/11 6:30p T.H.R.I.V.E. Christian Academy (Stone Mountain, GA) 11/19 TBA @ Oaks (Opelika, AL) 11/30 7:30p @ Holy Ground Baptist

Academy (Roopville, GA) @ Arlington Christian emy (Douglasville, GA) Arlington Christian (Fair12/2 6:30p (Fairburn, GA) 1/14 7:30p burn, GA) @ T.H.R.I.V.E. Christian 12/16 7:30p @ Flint River Academy 1/25 12:00p Academy (Stone MounPeachtree Academy (Woodbury, GA) Holy Ground Baptist tain, GA) (Covington, GA) 1/18 7:30p Academy (Roopville, GA) 12/4 2:30p 12/28 8:30p Oaks (Opelika, AL) 1/28 7:30p Hearts Academy (Powder @ Lamar County (Barnes1/19 2:00p Flint River Academy Springs, GA) ville, GA) @ Hearts Academy (Pow(Woodbury, GA) 12/7 6:30p Christmas Tournament der Springs, GA) 2/4 7:30p Konos Academy (Fayette1/6 7:30p Game at State Farm @ Harvester Christian ville, GA) @ Peachtree Academy Arena Academy (Douglasville, 12/10 7:30p (Covington, GA) 1/20 7:30p GA) @ Heritage (Newnan, GA) 1/11 7:30p Heritage (Newnan, GA) 12/14 7:30p Harvester Christian Acad1/22 5:00p

Central Christian g irls Schedule

11/6 Noon 12/7 6 p.m. 1/11 6 p.m. Heritage (Newnan, GA) @ Crawford County Konos Academy (Fayette- Harvester Christian Acad1/22 6 p.m. (Roberta, GA) ville, GA) emy (Douglasville, GA) Arlington Christian (Fair11/9 Noon 12/14 6 p.m. 1/14 6 p.m. burn, GA) @ Konos Academy (Fay@ Arlington Christian Flint River Academy 1/25 6 p.m. etteville, GA) (Fairburn, GA) (Woodbury, GA) Holy Ground Baptist 11/30 Noon 12/16 6 p.m. 1/20 6 p.m. Academy (Roopville, GA) @ Holy Ground Baptist Peachtree Academy Heritage (Newnan, GA) 1/28 6 p.m. Academy (Roopville, GA) (Covington, GA) 1/20 6 p.m. Flint River Academy

(Woodbury, GA) 2/1 6 p.m. @ Harvester Christian Academy (Douglasville, GA) 2/3 6 p.m. Wilson Academy (Lithonia, GA)



Heritage Hawks s Rebound: Heritage y o b Looking for Winning Season


ust five games into the 2021 season, the Heritage Hawks already matched their total number of wins from last year. Currently, the Hawks sit with an impressive 5-0 record — a feat that contrasts sharply with the team’s 5-15 performance last season. Riding a 5-game win streak, the Hawks look poised to return to the top — a place Heritage has traditionally been familiar with. Led by the 2019 and 2020 GISA Coach of the Year Joab Jerome, Heritage recently took the Georgia Independent School Association state title just two seasons ago. Before going 5-15 (0-5 region) last season, the Hawks went 22-7 (10-0 region) in 20192020, and Heritage is looking for similar success this season. OFFENSE The Hawks have averaged 61 points per game this season, with their season-high scoring coming in an 82-61 defeat of Excel Christian Academy. This offensive firepower has been enough to give them slim margins of victory over Furtah Prep (54-52) and Greenville (61-55). Senior Shaun Nichols and teammates Malachi Townsend, Emanuel Melvin and Max Skidmore lead the Hawks in scoring this season. Their dominant performance put the Hawks over the eighth-ranked Walker School Wolverines in the first game of the season. Currently, Nichols leads the Hawks in scoring this season with an average of 15 points per game. The senior is also averaging nearly five rebounds and three assists per game.


Skidmore (13.75 points per game, four rebounds), Markel (9.75 points per game) and Townsend (9.5 points per game) only add to the Hawks offensive might. DEFENSE Heritage’s stout defense has allowed an average of 50.6 points per game this season to give them an average margin of victory of slightly over 10 points per contest. That’s not bad for a team that allowed an average of nearly 62 points last season. The difference has been felt on the court this year, with the Hawks earning their first victory this season behind an incredible steal by Shaun Nichols. With the game tied and just 16 seconds left on the clock, Nichols recorded a steal, an assist and a block to put Heritage on top. The Hawks ability to make plays down the stretch makes them hard to plan for and could see Heritage return to glory this season. THE PLAN That’s the plan, anyway. When the Hawks open region play against Brookstone at home on Jan. 7, they will seek to avenge last season’s 42-34 loss. And that’s only the start. The Hawks were outscored 323-222 last year in league play — a feat Coach Jerome and the Heritage squad haven’t forgotten. The team, which has opened this season playing lights-out ball on the court, plans to flip the script and dominate region play this year. Thankfully for the Hawks, they have just the talent to do it.




ROSTER 0 Owen Markel 1 Emanuel Melvin 2 Carter Bickel 3 Shaun Nichols 4 Malachi Townsend 5 Laeth Haddad 10 Payton Usher 12 Max Skidmore 13 Demetrius Gibson 20 Henry Wilgus 21 Ian Hall 23 James Thorpe 24 Myles Tambro 35 Mason Bolinger Romelo Hill Huzayl Khutliwala Braden Ross Aidan Kotheimer


Sophomore Max Skidmore drives to the hoop.

Head Coach: Joab Jerome Assistant Coaches: Joe West, Zach Slaney 31


Heritage Hawks Lady Hawks Aim for irls g Improved Season


he Heritage Lady Hawks basketball team seeks to build on the squad’s 9-8 record from last season. And seeing as they’re off to a red-hot 3-0 start, they just might do it. Heritage’s strong start to the season has seen the Lady Hawks defeat Drew Carter School Senior Academy (46-26), Greenville (69-68), and Furtah Prep (51-22). It’s something Heritage coach Justin Stephens and his Lady Hawks are thankful for — but the hungry team doesn’t plan on stopping there. Last year, the Lady Hawks recorded a disappointing 2-4 league record — the team’s first losing league record since the 2011-12 season. In the decade since, Heritage often dominated region play with nearly unblemished and even perfect records. The 3-0 Hawks now hope to return to form this year. OFFENSE The Lady Hawks currently average just over 55 points a game, well above their 31-point average last season. The team’s offensive firepower was on full display in a come-from-behind win against Greenville in a 69-68 nail-biter. In the game, senior Haylah Spence led with an impressive 25 points scored. Senior Ella Thornton wasn’t far behind, scoring 18 points to help bring the Lady Hawks to victory. This explosive offensive ability gives Heritage the tools needed to rebound in league play this season. DEFENSE Defensively, the Lady Hawks have proven stingy; notably, they have allowed just 22 and 26 points in two of their three games this season, for


Jazlyn Mena takes the shot.

an average of just 39 points per game. It’s a stat Heritage looks to protect as they continue their difficult non-region schedule heading into January. Currently, the Lady Hawks enjoy an average margin of victory of nearly 16 points, putting them in good shape as they kick off region play against Brookstone on Jan. 7. THE PLAN The Lady Hawks will play to avenge last year’s 54-37 loss to Brookstone in their league opener on the road this season. With a win, Heritage could position themselves as a serious contender in region play this season.


The Heritage Lady Hawks basketball team seeks to build on the squad’s 9-8 record from last season.

Come on cheer for the Heritage Hawks ! Schedule and tickets available at heritagehawksathletics.org

To learn more about The Heritage School, schedule a tour today. Contact: Trevor Hamaker, Director of Admissions 678-423-5393 admissions@heritageschool.com Visit heritageschool.com to explore more 33


The Hawks celebrate after a last second victory against the Furtah Prep Falcons

Senior Shaun Nichols is among Heritage’s top scorers this season. 34





ROSTER 1 Susan Grayton Pass 2 Quinn Wall 3 Mayme Smith 4 Zofia Smith 5 Sara Kate Evans 10 Vivian Sweatt 12 Sara Cushing 14 Jazlyn Mena 15 Ella C. Thornton 20 Haylah Spence 21 Sears Nevins 22 Michaela Mikko

Susan Grayton Pass takes the shot as Haylah Spence and Ella Thornton look on.

Head Coach: Justin Stephens Assistant Coaches: Jarvis Jenkins, Anthony Huff Quinn Wall drives to the hoop. 35


Central Christian Pushing forward oys b despite early season setbacks


t’s been a tough run for the Central Christian Crusaders basketball team. For Coach John White, his team has faced a number of obstacles. Last year, the team finished 16-12 with dreams of getting to the Final Four for the state tournament. Unfortunately, it never came to pass. At State, the Crusaders fall in the first round at home in a heartbreaking 61-60 loss against Unity Christian.


“There were a lot of emotions that night and we came out a little flat,” White recalled. “It was the perfect storm to lose.” This season was poised to take off, but a series of setbacks have left White relying on younger talent. Senior Starting Guard Cody Clark was averaging 15 points per game last season and was looking to CENTRAL CHRISTIAN • 37


CENTRAL CHRISTIAN FROM PAGE 36 return as a scoring leader, but tore an ACL early in the season. Senior Starting Forward Eli Rivers was hobbled by a hairline fracture during an early season scrimmage, and Junior Center Kody Taylor is out due to mono. “So we’ve lost three starters; one for the year and two that probably won’t be ready until January,” White said. “I haven’t had the whole roster that I envisioned not even once this year." As a result, the majority of the team is comprised of 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders with one remaining senior. So far, the team is pushing forward, winning their last match against Holy Ground on the road, 93-46. "We’ve surprised a few teams because we can really shoot. We’ve kept games close, even the ones we’ve lost,” White said. “Our goal is to get to the Final 4 again, but we’ll see what happens."


s y o b

ROSTER 0 Cody Clark 2 Trei Parker 3 Rudy Steidinger 4 Seth Rivers 5 Mark Hayden 5 Kody Taylor 10 Kyle Williams 11 Sam Terrell 12 Grant Prather 14 Landon Summerell 20 Eli Rivers 21 Kaleb Chaney 24 Acai Harrison 33 Landon Brooking Head Coach: John White Assistant Coaches: Justin Stephens, Craig Rivers 37


Central Christian Poised and prepared s l r i g for success


he Central Christian Lady Crusaders are looking to rebound after a tough 2020 season that ended too soon. Girls Coach Kirby Copeland said last year’s team was small, but fought until the end of a truncated season due to COVID-19. “With only five girls, we were always the underdog, but we fought all 40 minutes,” Copeland said. Due to foul trouble, some games were finished with only three players, but Copeland said their effort and relentless attitude on and off the court was something everyone could be proud of. This season, things are shaping up for the team. But a successful off-season helped lay the foundation for their current success, where they’re currently sitting in first place in the GAPPS - II-A West standings. “They worked hard this summer,” Copeland said. “We were running a mile or so at least twice a week and the last time we ran, we had several knock off two minutes from their previous best time. It’s all mental at this age, and I tell them if they can run three laps without stopping, you can definitely run four.” So far the team is buying into the philosophy and, despite a loss against region foes Holy Ground Baptist Academy, are poised for a strong season. “We have eight players this year instead of five, so we can play more 4 on 4, 3 on 3 in practices,” Copeland said.

Among those players include two transfers, Natalie Schneider and Tesia Garett-Hammett. Senior Doria Foxworth returns to the lineup, along with Chloe Earle who was sidelined last season after a successful ACL surgery. “We want to make it to the playoffs, have a winning record and be consistent,” Copeland said. “That’s our goal, day in, day out. We have to compete all four quarters. Even if we don’t meet all our goals, I just want each player to be even better by the end of the year."



CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS girls ROSTER 10 Natalie Schneider 11 Tesia Garett- Hammett 14 Doria Foxworth 15 Chloe Earle 20 Chanira Issacc

30 Emily Kirk 32 Sarah Passow 35 Riley Clark Head Coach: Kirby Copeland


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