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Spartans suffer stinging first loss

Photo: Karl L. Moore<br> GAC's Malcolm Brogdon (22) goes up for the shot in front of Milton's DaiJon Parker (23) and Shaquillle Johnson (21) during Saturday night's game.

Photo: Karl L. Moore
GAC's Malcolm Brogdon (22) goes up for the shot in front of Milton's DaiJon Parker (23) and Shaquillle Johnson (21) during Saturday night's game.

NORCROSS — On second thought, let’s start over.

Forgive Greater Atlanta Christian’s defending Class AA champion boys for thinking that after a quarter against visiting Milton in GAC’s second annual early season basketball showcase Saturday night.

The previously unbeaten Spartans (3-1) fell behind 17-2 within the game’s first 11 minutes and never recovered, losing uncharacteristically lopsidedly, 73-35. The loss ruined the Spartans’ 48- and 42-point dominations of Lovett and Therrell and 14-point handling Friday of highly regarded South Atlanta. Defending AAAAA champion Milton win ran its streak to three, following its lone 71-61 shortfall to Miller Grove.

“A lot of teams have one or two guys you can stop and put a dent in what they do, but Milton can hurt you at every position, coming off the bench, too,” Spartans coach Eddie Martin said.

Milton (7-1) was quicker and dominant, leading 23-12 on Shannon Scott’s two foul shots a minute before halftime, then 58-21 on Kevin Kornegay’s fast-break layup with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. The Eagles held their biggest advantage, 70-27, on Jordan Loyd’s layup with 3:19 left, once both teams’ reserves were in.

So few games so far this season might have been to blame for GAC, whose three games were fewer than many teams had in the season’s opening weeks. Martin, however, didn’t feel disadvantaged by the late start, instead saying it enhanced his players’ conditioning and allowed them to practice their offense.

Milton had all the offense Saturday, though, as four of its players scored in double figures and 10 did all together. Shannon Scott, Jordan Loyd and Julian Royal all bucketed 13, while DaiJon Parker chipped in 12.

GAC got points from its likely sources, though Malcolm Brogdon was the Spartans’ only double-figure scorer with 12, including six in the second quarter. Collin Swinton netted seven and Kyle Scales five for the Spartans.

Martin said games so early in the season are ideal opportunities to experiment in preparation for more meaningful region games beginning in January.

“I’m not sure we’re even playing our best five yet,” Martin said.

In other games:

Fayette County 75, Rockdale County 73

Adam Smith’s 33, L.J. Erves’ 18 and Maurice Williams’ 15 propelled Fayette to a 31-29 halftime advantage and ultimate victory. Bernard Thompson and C.J. Wilson led Rockdale with 25 and 23, respectively, while Darion Clark chipped in 10.

Tucker 47, Central Gwinnett 42

Francis Kallon scored 10 and Brian Egejuru and Darius Joell netted eight apiece, but it was too little to stop Tucker from outscoring the Black Knights 23-8 in the fourth quarter and winning. Tucker got 23 from Miles Harris and eight from Trevor Berkley.

Norcross 65, East Hall 55

Alonzo Nelson-Ododa netted 14 to lead the Blue Devils, while Chris Bolden and E. Victor Nickerson added 13 and 10, respectively. Joshua Hampton’s 23 and Kymon Woods’ 12 helped East Hall come from 20 points behind in the third quarter to within 14 twice in the fourth, but Norcross rebuilt its biggest lead to 61-40 on a 3-point shot with 2:12 left.