Sherida Triggs scraped together 30 tickets for friends and family who made requests, but she figures some other people she e-mailed will attend her homecoming game of sorts.
Triggs and her Old Dominion women's basketball teammates play at Georgia State today at 7 p.m., hoping to cap a dominating run through Colonial Athletic Association play this season. The Monarchs are 18-8 this season, including 16-1 in conference play.
Most of those wins have come far away from Triggs' home, but today is a different atmosphere for the Meadowcreek graduate. Usually her cousin and his family come to her home games in Virginia, but today a much bigger
rooting section is expected in Atlanta.
"I just like to have my family and friends there because I'm so far away from where I grew up," Triggs said. "It'll be like the old days (today) when everybody got to watch me play in high school. For a lot of them, it will be the first time they've ever seen me play college basketball."
What they'll see is an improved player, particularly on the offensive end. Never a huge offensive threat in high school, Triggs' scoring has improved greatly at the college level.
She averaged 6.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 29 starts last season, but has picked it up this season. The junior averages 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds, and converts 59.2 percent of her shots.
"I have a much better all-around game now," Triggs said. "I've developed my game well since high school. I'm growing into my abilities as a post player. I score more now. In high school, all I could do was rebound and defend. I still have that kind of mentality on defense, but I can score a lot better."
Triggs, who has one more college season, hopes to pursue professional basketball overseas after graduation.
Millen wins ACC title
Virginia's John Millen had a huge meet at the ACC Championships, highlighted by a victory and an NCAA qualifying time in the 1,650-yard freestyle.
The Parkview grad also placed second in the 500 free and was on a first-place 800 free relay that set an ACC record at 6 minutes, 27.16 seconds. Millen's winning 1,650 free time was 15:03.09.
The Cavaliers won their eighth straight ACC title at the meet.
Buff rejoins Silverbacks
Parkview grad Monica Buff, a senior soccer player at Vanderbilt, has joined the Atlanta Silverbacks for a
second season. She played in all 14 games last summer during the Silverbacks' inaugural season. Buff was an second-team All-SEC selection last fall.
Fassinger wins Southern Conference title
Brookwood grad Dan Fassinger won the Southern Conference title in the one-mile run last weekend, helping his Western Carolina squad claim the team championship. His winning time was 4 minutes, 18.07 seconds.
Fassinger also was second in the 800-meter run and third in the 3,000. The junior also anchored a winning distance medley relay that set a school record of 10:05.02.
Miller scores at SEC meet
South Gwinnett grad Ryley Miller, a runner at Georgia, was eighth in the one-mile run at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships earlier this week. He also joined teammate Kris Ward, a Providence Christian grad, on a sixth-place distance relay team.
Buford's Morgan named top A-Sun freshman
Kennesaw State's Andre Morgan was picked as the Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year after an impressive debut season that saw him average 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. The Buford grad had several big scoring nights this season, including 35 points vs. North Florida and 30 vs. Campbell.
A pair of local players from Gardner-Webb also were honored by the Atlantic Sun. Central Gwinnett grad Brian Bender was on the All-Conference second team as well as the All-Academic team. He was joined on the All-Academic team by teammate and Parkview grad Ricky McPhee. Bender averaged 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds this season.
Williamson, Causey get Academic All-American nods
North Georgia basketball players Katie Williamson and Matt Causey were named second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans earlier this week. Williamson, a North Gwinnett grad, has a perfect 4.0 GPA and Causey, a Berkmar grad, has a 3.75 GPA.
Both players also were honored this week as first-team All-Peach Belt Conference selections. Williamson averaged 14.8 points this season and ranked in the conference top 10 in eight statistical categories, including a conference-best 91.9 free-throw percentage. Her career 88.2 free-throw percentage is tops in school history.
Causey led the Peach Belt in scoring (23.3), assists (6.6) and free-throw percentage (86.2).
Miaway named to All-Panhandle team
Norcross grad Archie Miaway, a men's basketball player at Tallahassee Community College, was named to the All-Panhandle Conference first team on Thursday. The sophomore, also a first-team pick last season, led Tallahassee in scoring (14.7 per game) this season.
Little earns SSAC athletic, academic acclaim
Brewton-Parker senior Ashley Little made the All-Southern States Athletic Conference basketball team and also was on the SSAC All-Academic team. The Central Gwinnett grad averaged 11.9 points this season.
Greater Atlanta Christian grad Chris Clark, who plays for Berry, made the SSAC All-Freshman team.
Joining Little on the All-Academic team were Reinhardt's Mattatha Brunson (a North Gwinnett grad), Emmanuel's Whitney Glenn (Shiloh) and Shorter's Larry Savage (Brookwood).
Woods earns honorable mention nod
Erskine senior Melissa Woods, a Collins Hill grad, received All-Carolinas-
Virginia Athletic Conference honorable mention honors for women's basketball. Woods leads the CVAC in assists with 192 (6.9 average) and also averages 10.8 points.
Woods hit a pair of game-clinching free throws on Wednesday night as Erskine defeated Mount Olive 58-56 in the CVAC tourney. She had 11 points and five assists in the victory.
Kulavic gets SCAC award
Norcross resident Katie Kulavic, a St. Pius grad, was named the SCAC Newcomer of the Year after helping the Oglethorpe women's basketball team to its first NCAA tournament berth. Oglethorpe's record of 21-6 was its best in 16 seasons of competition.
Paul earns player of the week accolades
Columbus State sophomore Allison Paul, a former standout at Greater Gwinnett Christian, was named this week as Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week for fastpitch softball. Paul was 10-for-19 the previous week with five RBIs and also made three pitching starts, including a four-hit victory.
Paul's highlight of the week was her second walk-off, grand-slam home run of the season.
Thompson also slamming
North Georgia softball player Lynsey Thompson, a Central Gwinnett grad, hit a walk-off grand slam as North Georgia defeated Georgia College in Game 1 of a doubleheader split. Thompson and Brittany Barnes, a Brookwood grad, had two homers each for North Georgia in the doubleheader.
Wilson on fire for Georgia St.
Georgia State senior Wesley Wilson, a Meadowcreek grad, is off to a blazing start for the school's 5-2 baseball team. Wilson is batting .563 with two home runs, a triple, a double and 10 RBIs. He had a grand slam and five RBIs in the first half of a doubleheader vs. UNC-Ashville and added the game-winning RBI in the nightcap.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to will.hammock@gwinnett
dailypost.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.