For the second year in a row, the West Forsyth girls won’t have to go anywhere to play in a holiday tournament with a loaded field. Instead, the Lady Wolverines will host the 16-team Wolverine Winter Classic on Dec. 27, 29 and 30. West’s boys also will participate in a six-team round robin on those days.
The Lady Wolverines open play on Saturday, Dec. 27 against MLK (Atlanta).
"It’s a solid bracket that hopefully will give us a tournament-like atmosphere," Lady Wolverines coach David May said. "It’ll give us a look at what a region tournament schedule will be like, with short turnarounds and having only a day to prepare for a different opponent."
May, who organized the event, had to make late schedule changes—his team was originally scheduled to play Madison County (Madison, Fla.) in the first round—but Mountain View asked out of the bracket last Friday to avoid Region 7-AAAAAA rival Mill Creek. Instead, Sequoyah jumped in to West’s bracket and will open with Madison County.
Maryville (Tenn.), Mill Creek, Hillgrove, and Booker T. Washington (Memphis, Tenn.) round out West’s bracket. Mill Creek, Sequoyah and Hillgrove were all state tournament teams in Georgia last season; Washington finished 20-9, and Maryville was a region finalist.
The Forsyth Central girls, meanwhile, play Roswell at 4 p.m. on Saturday in a Gold bracket game, all of which will take place at Vickery Creek Middle School. Roswell reached the second round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs last season, but the Lady Hornets lost Purdue signee Andreona Keys and are 1-10 this year.
Also in Central’s bracket are Starrs Mill, Central Gwinnett, Duluth, Alpharetta, Mountain View and Upson-Lee.
Two boy’s teams from Florida dropped out of what was to be an eight-team, tournament-style event, leaving May scrambling. The remaining six teams—West, Central, Starr’s Mill, Alpharetta, North Springs and Mill Creek—will each play three games in the morning and early afternoon.
West plays Starr’s Mill on Saturday, Central on Monday and North Springs on Tuesday; all of the Wolverines’ games are scheduled for 10 a.m. Central plays Mill Creek at 1 p.m. Saturday and Alpharetta at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
GAME TO WATCH
Sequoyah vs. Madison County, Fla. (Dec. 27, 4 p.m.)
Sequoyah’s guards will have their hands full with the 11-2 Lady Cowboys and, more specifically, 5-foot-7 Jameica Cobb. Her 31.4-point average is not an aberration; Cobb scored more than 24 points per game and 1,008 points overall last season. Sequoyah made quick work of Central last Monday; the Lady Chiefs are 10-1 this season and ranked No. 24 in Georgia by Maxpreps.com.
TEAM TO WATCH
Booker T. Washington (Memphis, Tenn.)
The Lady Warriors don’t have a single player listed over 6-foot, but Washington wins (20-9 last year, 8-2 this season) anyway. Freshman Carnessia Griggs leads Washington with 12.4 points, 6.5 assists and nearly five steals per game; the Lady Warriors average 17 steals a game. Senior Brandy Davis (12.1) and freshman Derrinesha Jackson (10.2) score in double figures, while Sky-Lynne Bright is the lone double-digit rebounder (10.6 per game). They’ll be tested right away by Hillgrove, which lost Georgia signee Mackenzie Ingram.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Central Gwinnett senior guard Alexandra Frazier
Central will be somewhat familiar with Forsyth County, though not for good reasons—the Knights fell to North in the first round of last year’s state playoffs. Frazier earned Region 8-AAAAAA player of the year and all-state honors as a junior by scoring 19.4 points per game. The 5-foot-8 guard committed to East Carolina in September over 30-plus college offers and has shown no signs of slowing down as a senior. Frazier put up 19.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in the Black Knights’ first eight games.
A look at where other Forsyth County high school basketball teams are playing during the winter break:
• Pinecrest boys/girls at George Walton Academy Christmas Tournament in Monroe, Ga., Dec. 27, 29, 30.
• Lambert girls at Deep South Classic at Brookwood, Dec. 27, 29, 30.
• Lambert boys at Pickens Holiday Classic in Jasper, Ga., Dec. 27, 29, 30.
• North Forsyth girls at Carolina Invitational in Charleston, S.C. , Dec. 27, 29, 30.