SNELLVILLE -- Kris Watkins is off to quite a start as a 24-year-old first-time head coach with the South Cobb boys.
Watkins, who took over the Eagles this season after Daniel Bowles moved to Brookwood, is 6-1 and in the semifinals of the Deep South Classic.
South Cobb defeated Grayson 60-49 on Monday at Brookwood and will face fellow Cobb County entry Osborne today at 5:30 p.m.
Watkins is the son of North Gwinnett girls coach Tony Watkins and played for his father at Shiloh. He was an assistant with the North Gwinnett girls for a year before going to South Cobb as an assistant to Bowles.
A year later, he is the Eagles' head coach at an age when most coaches are just hoping to be assistants.
"It's been a good start for me and the team," Watkins said. "We don't have a lot of players back from last season with experience, but they all play hard and we've had success so far."
Derrick Norman scored 16 points, and Jeremey Meyer had 11 points and nine rebounds to lead the Eagles against Grayson (7-3).
Down by 14 points early in the third quarter, Grayson cut the South Cobb lead to two points late in the period and was down by just four with midway in the fourth quarter. The Eagles, though, went on a 10-2 spurt to put the game out of reach.
Javarris Smith had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Rams, and Ciavy Wiles contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds. But Grayson couldn't cash in at the foul line, going 15-for-36.
South Cobb outscored Grayson 18-11 in the second quarter to go up 28-19 at intermission. The Rams shot 14 free throws in the first half to none for South Cobb, but hit just five of them.
Smith had 11 points for Grayson by halftime, while Norman led the Eagles with eight points.
In Osborne, the Eagles will face a team they are familiar with. The schools have a non-region game scheduled later this season.
"They know us and we know them," Watkins said. "There won't be a lot of surprises."