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County stars shine in hoops season finale

Staff Photo: John Bohn South Gwinnett's Brandon Williams (5) of the Home team, guards Peachtree Ridge's Kevin Barnes (21) of the Visitors during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star boys basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn South Gwinnett's Brandon Williams (5) of the Home team, guards Peachtree Ridge's Kevin Barnes (21) of the Visitors during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star boys basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Peachtree Ridge's Jordan Capps (23) scores for the Vsitors team during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star boys basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday. At left is Brookwood's Khalil Abdullah (20) of the Home team.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Mill Creek's Nadiya Miller (15) of the Visitors team, is guarded by Buford's Mackenzie Darrah of the Home team during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star girls basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn South Gwinnett's Colette Onenda (10) of the Home team drives the ball while defended by Meadowcreek's Courtney Fields (12) of the Visitors team during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star girls basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday. The Visitors Team defeated the Home Team 93-74.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Collins Hill's Darius Joell (11) of the Visitors team, drives the ball past Central Gwinnett's Brian Egejuru (5) of the Home team during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star boys basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Courtney Gardner (24) of the Home team drives the ball while defended by Mill Creek's India Dillard (33) of the Visitors team during the 6th annual Gwinnett Senior All-Star girls basketball game played at Grayson on Wednesday.

LOGANVILLE -- There are certain things fans attending the Gwinnett County Senior All-Star Basketball Games have come to expect each year.

Those at the sixth annual edition of the event Wednesday night at Grayson High School were not disappointed.

There was plenty of scoring, nifty passes and even a little defense now and then, and there were also some players who don't necessarily have the visibility of some of the bigger stars who stood out on the big stage.

In the boys game, the story was Lanier's Jordan Harper, who struck for six of his team's 21 3-pointers on his way to 22 points as his team, coached by current Lanier junior varsity coach and former Duluth coach Jonathan Hemingway, raced past the opposition, coached by Archer assistant and former North Gwinnett head coach Len Garner, 115-103.

Earlier in the evening, it was Greater Atlanta Christian's Cii Cii Buford who poured in a game-high 22 points as her team, coached by former Shiloh mentor Dale Grant, downed a team coached by former Grayson assistant Jack Sarfaty 93-72.

"I think that's the most (3-pointers) I've ever hit in a game, defense or not," said Davis, who also pulled down five rebounds and handed out two assists on the night. "It was fun. I've never done anything like this before, and against some of the best players in the state."

Indeed, some of Gwinnett's, and the state's, best players were on display in the game, including Daily Post Boys Player of the Year and recently crowned Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAAAA State Player of the Year Brandon Goodwin of Norcross.

And both teams put on a shooting clinic, with Duluth's Shamus Goss and Buford's Isaiah Williams each contributing a trio of 3-pointers as part of Team Hemingway's onslaught, while Buford's Kyle Doyle, Berkmar's C.J. Foster, Dacula's Jaylen Williams and Shiloh's Evyn Smith each hit two 3-pointers for Team Garner, which hit 11 from behind the arc on the evening.

It was a 3-pointer with three seconds left in the first half from Mill Creek's Trevon Shaw that helped Team Hemingway, which had trailed by as much as 11 points late in the opening frame, take a 48-46 lead into intermission.

Team Hemingway then broke open a 50-50 game with a 21-9 run early in the second half, and never looked back.

Peachtree Ridge's Jordan Capps was the only other player in double-figure scoring for Team Hemingway with 14 points, though Shaw wound up with seven points and seven rounds, while Peachtree Ridge's Kevin Barnes added four points and eight boards and Goodwin chipped in eight points, five rebonds and three assists.

Doyle led Team Garner with 20 points and added five rebounds, while Williams added 14 points and four assists, Buford's A.J. Davis and Foster each had 12 points, Brookwood's Khalil Abdullah finished with six points and 10 rebounds and Smith scored eight points.

In the girls game, Buford was the big story, especially in the first half, when she scored 16 of her points and had many of her five rebounds.

It was a great opportunity for a player who played on a GAC team with several higher-profile underclassmen like Brianna Cummings and Sydney Means to stand out.

"This is our last game, all of us, playing in high school uniforms," Buford said. "We tried to give it everything we had. It was really fun because I'm in a different region from (most) of (these players). ... It was fun to play in their competition. I know a lot of those girls from growing up and AAU (ball). So, it was good to get together."

Team Grant built big leads several times throughout the first half, though Team Sarfaty mounted several comebacks, including cutting what had been as much as a 16-point lead down to 33-28 after a drive down the lane from Brookwood's Courtney Gardner with 7:38 left in the opening frame.

But Team Grant went on an 18-9 run over the remainder of the half to take a comfortable 51-39 lead at halftime, and cruised in the second half.

Duluth's Joi Jones also had a big game for Team Grant with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and seven steals, while North Gwinnett's Peyton Whitted added 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals and Mill Creek's Nadiya Miller contributed 12 points.

Gardner and Brookwood teammate Rebecca Walker each scored 12 points to lead Team Sarfaty, while Buford's Mackenzie Darrah (nine points, six rebounds) and Parkview's Marissa Mandeldove (eight points, four assists, six steals) also had a strong night.