Wesleyan rolls as Wilkins hits milestone

LILBURN -- The Wesleyan girls are ranked No. 16 in the national preseason rankings by ESPNU and the Wolves showed why Saturday, routing a team from Alabama.

Now the four-time defending Class A state champions will go up against some of Georgia's best teams.

The Wolves are one of five state-ranked teams in the eight-team Wesleyan Turkey Tip-Off, which will be held Monday through Wednesday at the Wesleyan's Yancey Gymnasium.

As a tune up, Wesleyan crushed Spain Park of Hoover, Ala., 76-29 in the Coaches vs. Cancer event at Berkmar as Holli Wilkins reached a career milestone in the season opener.

Wilkins, who has signed with Furman, went over 1,000 points while scoring a team-high 15 in the easy victory and also pulled down eight rebounds.

Georgia signee Kaelyn Causwell had 10 points for the Wolves and junior Brittany Stevens handed out seven assists.

"I was happy with the way we played," coach Jan Azar said. "We got to play a lot of players and everyone played well."

The competition figures to be a lot tougher in Wesleyan's tournament.

"Our goal every year is to play the best teams we can," Azar said. "Our tournament should be a good test for us and for all the other teams that are playing."

The No. 1-ranked Wolves will face Hardaway of Columbus in the final game of the opening round Monday at 7:30 p.m. Play begins at 3 p.m., with Brookwood, ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAA, playing Southwest DeKalb.

The other first-round games are Douglas County, No. 5 in AAAA, against Lovett, No. 6 in AA, at 4:30 p.m., and Hillgrove, No. 5 in AAAAA, versus Mays at 6 p.m.

The semifinals are Tuesday at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

It's the first time that the Wesleyan girls have staged their own tournament, but the Wolves have played in plenty of them during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays each year as they get ready for their annual trip to the state tournament.

Wesleyan, which has won eight state titles in 10 years, is trying to become the first school to win five championships in a row since the Hart County girls won six straight from 1989-1994.

The big national test for the Wolves will come in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona just before Christmas. Also in the event is two-time defending Class AA state champion Buford, ranked No. 17 by ESPNU.