Anne Marie Armstrong's time on the Georgia women's basketball team's bench was short-lived. The freshman from Wesleyan is now a starter for longtime coach Andy Landers.
Armstrong had played her way into the lineup after a slow start to her college career, scoring in double figures in each of the Bulldogs' last four games. The first game of that stretch saw her score 13 points and grab four rebounds in a win over Alabama State, an effort that earned her starts in 13th-ranked Georgia's last three games.
In that starting role, the versatile 6-foot-3 standout hasn't disappointed.
She had 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks in a win over Southern Miss and most recently had 11 points, three rebounds and three steals in a win over Alabama-Birmingham.
Armstrong is averaging 12 points over the past four games, while making 50 percent of her field goals. She's made 10 of 17 shots in the Bulldogs' last two outings, upping her season average greatly to 7.9 points.
The Bulldogs (7-0) need Armstrong to keep that play up entering a Sunday home game against in-state rival Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets (5-1) are ranked 23rd nationally, but have a 3-28 all-time record against the Bulldogs. However, Tech won 57-42 last year and has won all three of its games in the series in the past seven seasons.
Reeves gets league honor
Parkview grad Kimberly Reeves was named Great South Athletic Conference player of the week last month after a huge game against Salem. The Agnes Scott sophomore scored 32 points (on 11 of 17 shooting) and grabbed eight rebounds in that game, an 80-70 loss to Salem.
Reeves averages 10.7 points and 7.7 rebounds on the season.
Florida sophomore Jordan Jones, a sophomore transfer from South Carolina, scored a season-high 25 points last Sunday as the Gators beat Florida International 71-60. The Collins Hill grad made 5 of 10 shots from 3-point range (9 of 16 overall). ... Norcross grad Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, but it couldn't rescue Wake Forest in a 78-68 loss to William and Mary. ... Ole Miss defeated Arkansas State 79-57 Wednesday behind a big game from Peachtree Ridge grad Zach Graham, who had 17 points and made 4 of 5 shots from 3-point range. ... Meadowcreek grad Teondre Williams had 19 points last Saturday in Oregon's 89-66 win over Montana State.
Four Gwinnett players in SEC title game
Today's SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome will feature four Gwinnett products, two on each side.
It will be the second game this season in the Atlanta venue for Alabama's local players, defensive lineman Lorenzo Washington and wide receiver Darius Hanks. The Crimson Tide also played in the Dome for the season opener vs. Virginia Tech, and also played there in last year's SEC title game with Florida. The Dome experiences were new for Washington, a Grayson grad, and Hanks, a Norcross grad, since they didn't play there in high school.
That isn't the case with Florida defensive lineman Omar Hunter and fullback T.J. Pridemore. The two made regular appearances in the Dome with their Buford teams. They were redshirts last season when the Gators beat Alabama for the SEC crown.
Graham, Turner key for Richmond
Gwinnett grads Tremayne Graham and Pierre Turner are both starters for defending FCS champion and fourth-ranked Richmond, which takes on Appalachian State today in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.
Graham, a sophomore cornerback from Parkview, has made 34 tackles (20 solos) and has two interceptions (returning one for a touchdown) this season. He had eight tackles, one for a loss, in last week's 16-13 playoff win over No. 9 Elon.
Turner, a senior defensive end, had two tackles in last week's victory. The Collins Hill grad has 24 tackles (three for losses) on the season.
Mill Creek grad Austin Wilson worked his way into a key role at center for Chattanooga, playing in 9 of 11 games this season for a 6-5 team. A tight end in high school, Wilson closed his season by facing Alabama All-American Terrence Cody. ... Brookwood grad and South Carolina running back Kenny Miles rushed 17 times for 114 yards in last Saturday's 34-17 win over rival Clemson. ... Though South Florida lost 31-10 to Miami, Buford grad Demetris Murray had three carries for 18 yards. ... Cameron Kenney, a Dacula grad, caught three passes for 33 yards in Oklahoma's 27-0 win over rival Oklahoma State.
Pradilla named GSAC's top player
Piedmont College star Jorge Pradilla repeated as Great South Athletic Conference player of the year after a strong senior season.
The Mill Creek grad won the league's triple crown with 19 points, seven assists and 45 points. He also was named to the GSAC's all-academic team, along with Piedmont teammates Josh Mitchem, Jake Krieger and Joey Krieger (all Shiloh grads) and Joe Banford (Apalachee).
Piedmont's Nick Weatherby, a Grayson grad, joined Pradilla on the All-GSAC team. He was second in the league with five assists. Teammate Brian Ruelbach, also a Grayson grad, was named to the all-freshman team.
Piedmont's women's team also was well-represented in the conference honors, led by first-team selections Justine Clay of Buford and Kaitlyn Induni of Collins Hill. Clay was third in the league in goals (10) and points (29) and second in assists (nine). Induni had a 1.30 goals-against average at goalkeeper and a .809 save percentage.
Teammates Katherine Metz (Peachtree Ridge) and Macie Rooke (North Gwinnett) made the all-freshman team. Clay also was an all-academic team along with Sara Lindsley (Greater Atlanta Christian) and Jessica Powell (Central Gwinnett).
Locals help GPC to national runner-up finish
Georgia Perimeter College's men's soccer team finished second in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament with the help of some local players.
Alejandro Duque (Collins Hill/Phoenix), Kingsley Morgan (Norcross), Kehinde Adeshigbin (Central Gwinnett), Mohammed Issahaku (Norcross) and Richard Cayonne (Loganville resident) were on the national runner-up team. Issahaku and Cayonne played every minute for a defense that allowed only two goals in three double-overtime games.
Shepherd breaks Charleston record
College of Charleston swimmer Caitlin Shepherd, a Dacula grad, broke the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke earlier this month. Her time was 1 minute, 7.70 seconds at the South Carolina Gamecock Invitational.
Shepherd originally attended Georgia College and State University before joining the Cougars as a walk-on swimmer in the fall of 2008. She also is a member of the school's 200 medley relay team that swam 1:49.16 this year.
White named all-tourney
Former Dacula standout Sara Beth White, a volleyball player at North Greenville University, was named to the NCCAA Regional All-Tournament Team. Her team lost a close four-set match in the first round of the NCCAA tourney, but she led the way with 15 kills.
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 email@example.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.