It’s a busy Saturday of basketball at GAC with six games featuring some of Georgia’s best teams, including three from Gwinnett County and two, North Gwinnett and GAC, undefeated.
The GAC Showcase presented by Blue Collar Basketball begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with a slate of six games. The first two games feature out-of-county teams Columbia, a Class AAAA state runner-up last year, versus Kell and Class AAAAAA runner-up Hillgrove against Cartersville.
The Gwinnett action begins at 3:30 p.m. with defending Class AAAAAA state champion Norcross facing the Class A defending champion Greenforest Christian. Missing football player Lorenzo Carter, Norcross is led by Andre Chatfield and Rickey Madison.
North Gwinnett, anchored by T.J. Howard Ahmad Caver, faces North Cobb Christian in the 5 p.m. game. Originally scheduled as the final game, North Gwinnett officials requested to move its start time earlier in the day since the Bulldogs face Norcross in the state championship football game that night.
Led by Isaiah Wilkins, the unbeaten host Spartans, defending Class AA champions, face Luella. Miller Grove faces St. Francis in the 8 p.m. nightcap.
From the 12 teams, there are 10 college commitments including Norcross’ Harvard-bound Chatfield and Virginia commit Wilkins from GAC.
Dacula’s Gibbs a driving force for Dacula
In his return home to Dacula after two years at the private St. Francis, Keshawn Gibbs has not missed a beat from his junior high standout days.
The versatile Gibbs is averaging 17 points a game with eight rebounds and five assists. A savvy player, Gibbs often draws the bulk of the attention from opposing team’s defenses limiting his shot opportunities. Gibbs has answered from the free-throw line, making a scorching 89 percent. In the Falcons’ loss Tuesday to Central Gwinnett, Gibbs scored 12 of his 23 points from the line on just 15 attempts.
“He’s just a good player who knows what to do to be successful,” Dacula coach Russ Triaga said earlier this season.
Collins Hill’s Mitchell returns from ankle injury
Collins Hill’s Devin Mitchell, an Alabama commitment and one of the county’s leading scorers from a season ago, returned to the Eagles Tuesday night in a win over Duluth, scoring a modest nine points.
The senior Mitchell twisted his ankle late in November against North Cobb Christian in the Jared Cook Invitational. He attempted to play against Meadowcreek on Dec. 3, scoring a team-high 18 points, but stressed his calf muscle and coach Eric Nathan opted to hold Mitchell out until the injury completely healed. He is expected to return to the starting lineup Saturday at home against Shiloh.
Team Archer cruising
There is the 7-0 record, the lopsided wins. But for Archer’s girls it’s more than just the results.
The Tigers’ attack comes from every angle. In their first six games, four different players have led the team in scoring averaging 15.3 assists per game. Only three players, Amber Skidgel, Linsey Marchese and Autumn Newby, average more than 10 points per game, but the team numbers are stunning nonetheless.
In the first three quarters (with blowout wins those are the ones which count) Archer’s team is outscoring its opponents 321-131 in its first six games. In those six games, it’s forcing 29.3 turnovers with 21 steals and winning its games by more than 30 points.
Skidgel hits 1,000
It’s not just team numbers piling up for Archer.
Last Friday in a win over Grayson, Georgia commit Amber Skidgel hit her 1,000 career point. A 52 percent shooter from 3-point range, Skidgel leads the Tigers with a 14.5 points per game average.
Downed Frazier hopes for Friday return
Admittedly, Alexandra Frazier’s absence limited the Central Gwinnett offense Tuesday night against Dacula where, despite a solid defensive effort, the Black Knight lost at home.
Out with a high ankle sprain since Dec. 3, the Daily Post Super Six selection hopes to return for Friday’s game against Archer.
“We wanted to get her as close to 100 percent as possible,” Central head coach Jason Adams said. “We didn’t want this to be something that lingers.”
With wins on Tuesday night, the Grayson and Shiloh girls teams each picked up their third wins of the season and victories in Region 8-AAAAAA.
For the two teams, the three wins alone are a mass improvement over last season where combined the squads won five total games.
• What: GAC Showcase presented by Blue Collar Basketball
• Where: GAC
• When: Saturday
12:30 p.m. — Columbia vs. Kell
2 p.m. — Hillgrove vs. Cartersville
3:30 p.m. — Norcross vs. Greenforest Christian Academy
5 p.m. — North Gwinnett vs. North Cobb Christian
6:30 p.m. — GAC vs. Luella
8 p.m. — Mill Grove vs. St. Francis