Lee Falls 103-81 To Young Harris

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The final 103-81 score may not indicate what coach Tommy Brown and his young Lee Flames took from Saturday evening's loss to a solid NCAA Division II North Georgia team.

After Friday night's loss to Young Harris and a tough first half against the Nighthawks, the Flames responded with a vastly improved effort in the second 20 minutes.

After shooting only 29 percent in the first half and making only 1-of-13 3-point attempts, the Flames found themselves down 55-29 at the break. On the other hand, North Georgia was blistering the net at a 69 percent pace and making 3-of-5 shots from behind the arc.

The young Flames looked like a much different team in the second 20 minutes and actually cut a 31 point Nighthawks lead down to 15 points. However, North Georgia found a way to kick their offense back in gear and quickly destroyed any hopes of a Lee comeback attempt.

"Yes, I think we found something to build on tonight," said coach Brown after his Flames slipped to 3-2 on the year after the second round of the Peach Belt/Gulf South Challenge. "Our kids did not quit tonight and gave us a really good effort in the second half. I think we were still a little stunned after last night's game in the first half."

Corey Billingsley came up with another solid effort for the Flames and finished the contest with 22 points. He also collected five rebounds and was 8-of-14 from the field plus 4-of-5 from the free throw line.

Tyquan Roberts came back from a sub-par performance on Friday to convert 9-of-10 free throws and hit 5-of-10 field goal attempts in finishing with 19 points. Valentino Thomas also stepped up his game with 16 points.

The Flames, paced by 11 rebounds from Chad Lee, came out on the top end of the battle on the boards 38-36. Lee joined with Stedmon Ford with six points apiece.

"At times we were playing with three freshmen on the court and no seniors," noted Brown. "I think these young men grew up a bit in this tournament and realize the type of competition they will be facing."

North Georgia got a double-double and a sparkling effort from Ishmael Hollis. He had 27 points and 12 rebounds. "We worked hard to try to recruit Hollis," admitted Brown. "I think our NCAA provisional period and his having a girlfriend at North Georgia hurt our cause."

Six Nighthawks scored in double figures. Shaquan Cantrell came off the bench to score 19 points as did Michael Varrichione, who had 13 points and nine rebounds.

North Georgia finished the game by shooting 57 percent from the field and 69 percent from 3-point range. Lee improved vastly in the second half and finished the contest with a respectable 41 percent shooting percentage. However, they could convert only 29 percent from behind the arc but stepped up their game to make 22-of-30 free throws.

Turnovers continued to hurt the Flames but they also cut down in that department, 15 floor mistakes to 19 assists. The veteran North Georgia club responded with 24 assists to only nine turnovers.

"We were a little loose with the basketball at times and certainly have time to work on improving that phase of our game," explained Brown. "Again, I will stress to our players that this is the type of competition we will be facing each night in the Gulf South."

The Flames will take a brief break and will return to action on Dec. 9 and host Truett-McConnell in a 7 p.m. tip off in Walker Arena.


Dalton State Cross Country Adds Weekend Trip To Gainesville

Dalton State cross country teams have added the second annual University of North Georgia Invitational. Roadrunner men’s and women’s teams will visit the UNG campus in Gainesville for this Saturday’s morning runs.   The women will start a 6K race at 8:15 a.m. The 8k men’s event will follow at 9:00 a.m. The 14 women’s team scheduled to run Saturday are Agnes Scott, ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Sweeps GPS In Volleyball

Notre Dame volleyball coach Ted Hackett  wasn't real sure how well his team would play on Monday evening against non-district rival GPS, but he seemed pretty happy following the 2-0 win over the Bruisers in a match that took just over 35 minutes. The first set wasn't close as Notre Dame broke from a 13-13 tie to win by 25-13 as senior Mallory Hein recorded the last 12 service ... (click for more)

Youth Pleads Guilty In 2011 Club Fathom Shootings; Rakestraw Gets 3 Years In Prison

A teen who was 15 at the time nine people were shot outside Club Fathom downtown on Christmas Eve 2011 pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault on Tuesday. Brandon Lebron Rakestraw, who is now 18, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Don Poole. He received a three-year prison term to serve. Rakestraw has been in jail for 10 months. Prosecutor Jason Demastus ... (click for more)

Over 2,500 Athletes, Plus Thousands Of Fans And Supporters, Set For Chattanooga, North Georgia For Sunday's Ironman Event

Over 2,500 athletes, along with thousands more of fans and supporters, will be in Chattanooga and North Georgia for Sunday's Ironman competition. The competitors will first swim 2.4 miles in the Tennessee River before biking 112 miles (56 miles each way) and running a 26.2-mile (two and a half loops downtown, the Southside and the North Shore) marathon. The bicycle course ... (click for more)

Congrats To Super Citizen Helen Burns Sharp - And Response

Congratulations to super-citizen Helen Burns Sharp on both her initial IDB lawsuit and on Chancellor Fleenor's ruling.  Also, I wish her well on her current action. It's a shame that a private citizen such as Ms. Sharp has to invest so much time and money to keep a government agency honest.  Three cheers and thumbs up.  I thank her.  R.J. Johnson  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)