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Basketball preview: GAC Spartans

GAC's Jasmine Hill

GAC's Jasmine Hill

GAC SPARTANS

BOYS

Region: 6-AA

Coach: Eddie Martin

2010-11 record: 28-5

Returning regular:

Cole Hobbs, Sr., 6-6

Others to watch:

Delano Spencer, Jr., 6-3

Collin Swinton, Jr., 5-9

Andrew Lewis, Jr., 6-6

Rob Armstrong, Sr., 6-7

Outlook: Malcolm Brogdon, who led the Spartans to back-to-back state titles, is now playing for Virginia and his absence for this season was compounded when A.J. Davis transferred to Buford, the team that GAC beat in the championship game last season. That left just one returning starter, 3-point threat Cole Hobbs. Brogdon averaged 25.7 points and 11.9 rebounds both county bests while also handing out 3.6 assists per game. Davis was second on the team in scoring (12.5) and rebounding (6.8). Hobbs averaged 7.0 points last season and will now be counted on to shoulder the offensive load along with Parkview transfer Delano Spencer, who was a Region 8-AAAAA first-team all-star as a sophomore. Spencer averaged 16 points last season for Parkview after scoring 17 per game as a freshman.

Worth noting: Eddie Martin took the Spartans to the Final Four in each of his first three seasons as coach, losing in the semifinals his first year. He has more than 600 victories at Brookwood, Norcross and GAC, winning five state titles. He won three straight Class AAAAA crowns at Norcross before coming to GAC, where he is 88-9.

Roster

No. Name Ht. Class

3 Delano Spencer 6-3 Jr.

4 Troy Morrison 5-9 Jr.

5 Collin Swinton 5-9 Jr.

10 Cole Hobbs 6-6 Sr.

14 Cam Boyd 6-0 Fr.

20 Tyler Hamilton 6-1 Soph.

21 John Lamay 6-3 Sr.

32 Chris Bartolomei 6-4 Jr.

33 Terrance Palmer 6-2 Soph.

34 Rob Armstrong 6-7 Sr.

42 Jaye Stackhouse 6-0 Fr.

43 Andrew Lewis 6-6 Jr.

GIRLS

Region: 6-AA

Coach: Cal Boyd

2010-11 record: 25-8

Returning regular:

Brianna Cummings, Soph., 5-10

Others to watch:

Sydni Means, Soph., 5-5

CiCi Buford, Jr., 5-9

Celine Tally, Sr., 5-7

Jasmine Hill, Jr., 5-9

Outlook: GAC reached the Final Four in each of Cal Boyd's first two years as coach, losing in the semifinals the first season and in the title game to Buford last March. But the Spartans face an uphill battle to make it three-for-three. Although just one senior started in the title game last season, GAC will also be without three other regulars this season. Leading scorer and rebounder Kristina Nelson transferred to Buford, Shannon Cranshaw moved back to Florida and softball standout Sierra Lawrence decided not to play basketball after signing a scholarship with Michigan. Left as the top returnee is sophomore Brianna Cummings, who was second on the team in scoring (12.7) and rebounding (5.5) a year ago. Stepping in at point guard for the graduated Chandler Alverson is Sydni Means, a key contributor last season as a freshman.

Worth noting: The Spartans went 17-2 after an 8-6 start last season. Both of the losses came against Buford, a team they also beat. The only other Georgia team to beat the Wolves was Class A state champion Wesleyan. With a young team, GAC will have to make strides as the season goes along and use its quickness to overcome a lack of size.

Roster

No. Name Ht. Class

1 Sydni Means 5-4 Soph.

4 Allison Shrake 5-5 Soph.

5 Brianna Cummings 5-11 Soph.

10 Skylar Brody 5-5 Jr.

12 Celine Tally 5-8 Sr.

13 Gabby Adams 5-10 Fr.

15 Jasmine Hill 5-10 Jr.

22 CiCi Buford 5-10 Jr.

23 Sierra Lawrence 5-8 Sr.

24 Lauren Wolaver 5-9 Sr.

33 Cosette Mahre 5-7 Fr.

SCHEDULE

Nov. 16 Wheeler at Norcross (girls)

Nov. 17 Milton at Norcross (girls)

Nov. 19 at N. Gwinnett (boys); Mill Creek at Norcross (girls)

Nov. 21 P. Ridge at N. Gwinnett (boys)

Nov. 22 M. Creek at N. Gwinnett (boys)

Dec. 2 at Lovett

Dec. 3 Columbia at Wheeler

Dec. 6 TherrellDec. 9 at S. Atlanta

Dec. 10 Lovejoy (boys)

Dec. 16 Decatur

Dec. 27-30 at Arby's Classic (boys)

Jan. 6 at Clarkston

Jan. 7 M. Jackson

Jan. 13 Buford

Jan. 14 St. Pius at Wesleyan (girls)

Jan. 17 at Cross Keys

Jan. 20 Blessed Trinity

Jan. 21 Orr Academy, Ill. at Norcross (boys)

Jan. 24 at Westminster

Jan. 28 at Butler

Jan. 31 Clarkston

Feb. 3 at Decatur

Feb. 7 at Buford

Feb. 10 Cross Keys