NO REST FOR THE WEARY: Forgive the Griffin Christian boys if they’re a step slow these days. The Crusaders are in the midst of a huge stretch of games: Starting Nov. 29, the GC boys played 8 games in 15 days and oh by the way, had to deal with morning classes on days after long road trips, classwork, homework and maintaining some sort of social life. A piece of cake, right?
QUIET PLEASE: The Griffin Christian fans were shocked Tuesday evening as they were rooting for their Lady Crusaders against the visiting Furtah Lady Falcons. The GC students were making noise to distract one of the Furtah players at the free throw line when all of a sudden, Furtah player Yuki Johnson shushed the home crowd like she was a librarian or something. The stunned GC students couldn’t believe an opposing player would shush them like that. They were actually quiet for a few seconds....but Johnson’s teammate eventually missed the free throw.
SIMILAR RESULTS: The Spalding and Griffin boys and girls, both in Region 4-AAAA Div. B, have played four teams from Division A so far and they have the same exact records vs. the other subregion.
The Griffin and Spalding boys are both 3-1 vs. Division A teams while the Spalding and Griffin girls are both 2-2 vs. Division A.
The local teams will start Division B play on Friday, Jan. 4 — Griffin travels to face Jonesboro while Spalding travels to play Riverdale.
WE’RE COOL: Spalding boys head coach Kemo Spear was pleased with his how his team supports each other. He said when Spalding played well against Dutchtown Tuesday, the bench guys were waving towels in support and during timeouts, the Jags did chest bumps with each other as they came to the bench.
“I like to see the guys cheer for each other on the bench,” Spear said. “I’m glad they have each others’ backs.”
WORKING OVERTIME: Griffin Lady Bears guard Ashton Elliott sank several treys in the team’s big 46-44 win over Dutchtown on Dec. 7 including two in the fourth quarter which helped Griffin take a big lead. Elliott, not really a long distance shooter as a freshman last year, said she’s been working on her long-range shooting this year.
“I have been working on my three-point shot a lot. I plan to be good at hitting them,” said Elliott. “I spend all my free time trying to get better as a player.”
THE BANK WAS OPEN: During last Friday’s Spalding-Woodland girls game, Lady Jags senior guard Shaquoria Reid banked in a 3-pointer from 30 feet out to put the Jags down 53-50 with 3 seconds left in the game. The home crowd went wild, but there was only one problem: In high school, the clock keeps running. Woodland won the game without in-bounding the ball, and all Spalding had to show for the comeback effort was an addition to their highlight reel.
MASH UNIT: The Griffin boys team has been hit by the injury bug lately. Tae Mayes suffered a broken finger, Terrell Collier cut his foot on glass and now guard J.R. Ellis had his shoulder dislocate on him in practice. Collier has since played sparingly on his lacerated foot, but Ellis will be out this weekend.
“I hate to see the guys get injured, but that means other guys will have to step up when they get extended minutes,” Bears head coach Prelvis Paster said. “We will not make excuses around here.”
THE SPALDING CRAZIES: Woodland boys players Justin McCullough and Mark Bussey were unfortunate targets of the Spalding High student section last Friday. When Bussey first touched the ball against the Jags, he was immediately showered with boos from the students, stunning him so much that he air-balled his first shot. This lack of affection for Bussey continued throughout the night and McCullough received the same treatment when he entered the game.
The Jags students have done this for the last few seasons and it has an effective, if not comical, impact on the games.
SCHOOL SPIRIT: After the Spalding boys scored 6 straight points in dramatic fashion late in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 75-64 win over Dutchtown, the Jaguar crowd gave the team a nearly five-minute standing ovation. To cap it off, one of the Spalding students sitting in the first row leapt on to the court during a time out and performed a flawless front flip.
(GDN Sports Intern A.J. Flanigan contributed to this story.)