On Jan. 4, the Spalding High Jaguars whipped Jackson High 79-45 at home to improve to 8-3 overall at the time. Davin White scored 17 points, Ricky Brittian added 11 and Devin White chipped in 10 for the balanced Jags over the winless Red Devils of Jackson. It was Spalding’s 4th win in the last 5 games.
Also on Jan. 4, the Spalding and Griffin High girls basketball teams won games in dominating fashion -- the Lady Bears of Griffin High got 17 points each from Alexis Roberts and Markenda Lindsey to trounce region foe Ola 46-24 while Dee Dee Matthews had 20 points and 13 rebounds and her teammate Grenishia Daniel chipped in 19 points to lead the Lady Jags of Spalding to a 63-50 win over Jackson High.
In the Griffin game, Roberts had 7 rebounds and she scored 15 straight points in one stretch. Lindsey helped the cause by snagging 12 rebounds against Ola.
That same night, the Griffin High boys team won its second straight game, a 58-39 win over Ola, after starting the season with five straight losses. Across town, the Griffin Christian Crusaders, ranked fifth in GISA Class AAA, smashed Flint River 71-34 at home thanks to a big game from center Lee Neidert (12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks).
On Jan. 5, the Griffin Christian Crusaders basketball team rallied from 11 points down at halftime to defeat Furtah Prep 67-53 at home. Point guard Anthony Lewis led the Crusaders with 15 points and Austin Craft chipped in 12 to lead the team to its 10th win in 11 games.
Basketball wasn’t the only sport headlining January of this year. Griffin High standout defensive end Xzavier Dickson made his college choice official on Jan. 5 at the 2011 Under Armour High School All-Star Football Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. He took a break from the game to sit with his family and announce
that he would attend the University of Alabama in the fall to play college football.
Other newsworthy sports happenings in the area included:
* Job applicants poured in from around the state and country to try to land the head football coach position at Spalding High School after former coach Clint Ashmore resigned. (Jan. 7)
* Spalding wins another overtime basketball game, this time a 42-20 triumph over the Eastside Eagles on the road. That same day, the Griffin Bears only scored 26 points in a huge 63-26 loss to Woodland-Stockbridge. (Jan. 7)
* The Spalding High Jags and Lady Jags’ swim teams finished in the top 20 at the Panther Park Swim Invitational in Augusta. The Lady Jags finished 10th while the Jags finished 15th. (Jan. 7)
* The GCHS Crusaders and the Griffin High Lady Bears scored road victories in region play. (Jan. 7)
* The Griffin High girls basketball team got a game-high 29 points from Jahmiya Clemons to defeat region foe Union Grove at The House. (Jan. 18)
* Faith Christian Academy’s boys basketball team snapped Twiggs Academy 72-49 in a home blowout. (Jan. 18)
* Griffin Christian had three players in double figures to lead the Crusaders basketball team past the Arlington Christian Eagles 66-59. It was GC’s first win ever over Arlington. (Jan. 22)
* The Spalding High relay swim teams narrowly missed the state finals, missing out by two seconds for the girls and one second for the boys at the University of Georgia swim meet. (Jan. 22).
* The FCA Lions basketball team ended its regular season with a 70-54 win over Trinity Christian at home to finish 8-7 heading into the ICSGA playoffs. (Jan. 28)
* The Spalding boys won their fifth overtime game of the year, a 69-58 win over Jackson on the road to stay in third place while the Griffin boys ended their three-game skid with a 60-54 win over Ola High. (Jan. 28)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a 12-part series conducted by the Griffin Daily News highlighting the top sports stories of 2011. This will culminate in a top 10 stories list on Dec. 31, 2011.