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Gwinnett Grads: Davis, Hagans lead conference honors

When Dan Davis left Providence Christian, he knew he would miss a place he loved. But he couldn't resist a college-level coaching job at his alma mater.

And he's doing just fine at Auburn-Montgomery.

The South Gwinnett grad was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He led his team to a 20-8 regular season record, including a 15-5 mark in SSAC play.

Shiloh grad Ashley Hagans, a junior at Brenau University, also had a big haul from the SSAC, earning the league's newcomer of the year honors. She also was a first-team all-conference selection.

The junior transfer led the league in scoring (21.2) and steals (3.5).

Berry senior guard Chris Clark, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, also was first-team all-conference. He averaged 10.6 points and made 38.3 percent (57 of 149) from 3-point range.

BASKETBALL

Trio of freshmen honored by GSAC

Three freshmen Gwinnett grads - Piedmont's Justin Rush and LaGrange's Dillon McLaughlin and Stefanie Schuck - received freshman honors from the Great South Athletic Conference.

Rush, a Dacula grad, was named the GSAC men's freshman of the year after leading all of the league's freshman in scoring (11.5). He also was eighth in the conference with a 46.0 shooting percentage.

McLaughlin, a Wesleyan grad, was on the all-freshman team after averaging 9.0 points. He had a conference-best 88.9 free-throw percentage along with team highs of 65 assists and 27 steals.

Schuck, a North Gwinnett grad, averaged 9.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and made 37.9 percent of her 3-pointers.

Graham powers OT win with career high

Peachtree Ridge grad Zach Graham led a late charge Wednesday night as Ole Miss defeated host Arkansas 98-91 in overtime.

The Rebels' Michael Washington opened the OT scoring to spark a 9-0 run that closed with seven consecutive points by Graham, a sophomore. He finished with a career-high 20 points.

Rowland's big shots lead win

Two big shots from Parkview grad Ty Rowland gave Georgia College and State University a 73-72 overtime win over 11th-ranked USC-Aiken last weekend.

The junior's three-point play with 55 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 68. In OT, he made the game-winning basket with 16 seconds left. Rowland finished with 14 points.

FOOTBALL

Burton, after years at Tech, takes OSU job

Nathan Burton has been at Georgia Tech as a player or coach since 2000, but now the Greater Atlanta Christian grad is branching out.

Burton has accepted an offer to be the defensive graduate assistant coach at Oklahoma State, where he will work with the team's linebackers. His first game with the new program is Sept. 5 - against his longtime rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs.

SWIMMING

Slack helps Harvard to Ivy title

Harvard, behind a strong effort from GAC grad Ali Slack, won the Ivy League title last week, ending rival Princeton's four-year reign.

Slack's 200 free relay opened the meet with a win, powered by her personal-best time of 22.92 seconds. She went on to take sixth in the individual 50 free race at 23.49.

The sophomore helped the 200 medley relay to third on Day 2 of the championships, in addition to placing fifth individually in the 100 butterfly (56.24).

Slack then closed the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 100 free (50.98) and a runner-up finish with the 400 free relay, which set a school record at 3:21.36.

SOCCER

Bennett wins prestigious award

Erskine College (S.C.) senior Kyle Bennett, a member of the school's soccer program, has received the prestigious Murphy Osborne Scholar-Athlete Award, given to one male and one female athlete in the Conference of the Carolinas.

The Parkview grad, the first Erskine male athlete to earn the conference award, sports a 3.9 GPA. A biology major and chemistry minor, Bennett plans to attend the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine at Virginia Tech later this year.

SOFTBALL

Bandy wins weekly award

Emory's Kim Bandy, a Duluth grad, was selected as the University Athletic Association player of the week in softball on Wednesday.

Bandy hit .428 the previous week as Emory won three of four games. She also had four RBIs for the Eagles (11-1).

For the season, Bandy is hitting .341 with 13 RBIs and 12 runs scored.

Mathis leads hot start

The Georgia Perimeter softball team is off to a 9-2-1 start with the help of Grayson grad Lauren Mathis. Mathis is hitting .344, second-best on the team, with two home runs.

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@gwinnettdailypost.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.