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Darren Lucas-White Posts 25 in Augusta’s Peach Belt Conference Schedule Opening Win Over Georgia Colleg

Sunday, January 10, 2021

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Left to Right: Tyree Myers, Miguel Arnold and Darren Lucas-White

Darren Lucas-White scored 25 points to lead Augusta to a 69-63 Peach Belt Conference schedule opening win at home over Georgia College Saturday. Lucas-White led a short-handed Jaguar bunch that suited up only eight players as Augusta made its way without the services of starters Miguel Arnold (20 ppg) and Troy Cracknell, among others. The Jaguars, ranked #11 in the most recent National Association of Basketball Coaches poll, improved to 3-0 overall in their first game since defeating Emmanuel College on December 12.

“You have to be confident with it,” Lucas-White said about the shot in the post game interview above. “As soon as I let it go I knew it was in.”

The play of fellow junior Tyree Myers was also indispensable as the point guard scored 15 points, dished out 8 assists and nabbed 3 steals in 39 minutes of action. Lucas-White played all 40 minutes in the contest. While many of Tyree’s contributions were recorded in the stat sheet, like the assist he made to Darren to put Augusta ahead by 5 late in the second half, several of the game’s biggest plays were of the kind that aren’t recorded. After the game, Augusta head coach Dip Metress talked extensively about the difficulty of playing without key players, and specifically about the leadership shown by his starting guards.

“The two guys (Lucas-White and Myers) over there that you interviewed,” Metress started. “We just hopped on their back and said we’ll ride it.”

Tyree Myers – Augusta

About the play Myers made with 2:30 remaining in the game when he dove on the floor to retrieve a loose ball to allow Augusta to retain possession, Metress shared a saying of his. And he described the value of such an action by Myers, as well as other such plays by Lucas-White, Lee Flenor and others.
“First to the floor gets the ball man. They’re always the first to the floor.” Metress explained. “There were a couple other ones. We ran loose balls down and saved them back in. Lee saved one and threw it back, and Darren was there to pick it up. Games like this… these are possession games..”

7-1 Center Tyshaun Crawford defends Georgia College’s Austin Sloan.

While foul trouble allowed for only 18 minutes of playing time for 7-1 center Tyshaun Crawford, who entered Saturday’s game averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds, Augusta received valuable contributions, especially during the second half, from sophomore forward Lee Flenor, who scored 9 of his 11 points after halftime and hauled in 7 rebounds during the game, and freshman John Whitehead, who scored 7 of his 9 in the second half, and also snagged 6 boards in the first college start for the former Glenn Hills High School star.

Darren Lucas-White (left) and John Whitehead III

Whitehead and Flenor scored all 10 points for Augusta during a second half stretch in which the Jaguars outscored the Bobcats 10-4 right after Georgia College took a 52-49 lead, its largest of the game, on a Christian Koneman jumper with 9:59 remaining. The spurt by the pair of forwards began when Whitehead scored on a feed from Crawford, but failed to convert the three point play at the free throw line, cutting the deficit to 52-51 with 9:47 left. Then Wesley Simpson, who along with Kohl Roberts led Georgia College with 14 points, scored on the opposite end to put the Bobcats ahead by three. Whitehead answered by draining a three pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 54 with 8:11 remaining.
“It looked good,” Metress said of Whitehead’s game tying three. “It’s a footwork thing with John. He spends a lot of time at it.”

Flenor followed Whitehead’s pair of buckets with two of his own, the first a nifty catch and finish on a high-low feed from Crawford, and the second a three point play on a physical post move that gave Augusta a 59-56 lead with 5:59 left and brought Augusta’s bench to their feet as they screamed with approval.

The final minutes were “ugly,” to use Metress’s words. But in addition to Lucas-White’s game sealing three pointer, another thing that was as pretty as can be for Augusta’s fans was the 18 footer Myers drained to give the Jaguars a 61-60 lead with 3:47 remaining, which answered two consecutive Georgia College field goals by Austin Sloan and Simpson that put the Bobcats back on top by a point after Flenor and Whitehead’s run.
Metress emphasized the fact that the shot by Myers came on a play that Augusta would usually run for one of its “shooters” who were unavailable Saturday, stressing the versatility and value of a leader like Tyree.

“The things we run for our two-guards, who are usually shooters… that’s not their game,” Metress said about Myers and Lucas-White. “Tyree made that one off the screen that he usually doesn’t even shoot. His footwork was great.”

After Myers put the Jaguars ahead, Lucas-White’s bomb from the right corner was the only other field goal Augusta scored in the remaining 4 minutes. I asked Darren in our post game interview what he screamed when he ran back down court after he made the game sealing three pointer.

“The only thing I said was…” Darren laughed. “‘I need that’. That’s all I said.”

Augusta “needed” everything Darren and his seven other available teammates had to give Saturday. And they certainly delivered.

Full Game Replay

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CSRA Sports Wrap Podcast – Episode 2

Because its regular season just ended, this week’s show is heavily focused on the high school scene, with an equal focus on both the area’s boys and girls side

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Because its regular season just ended, this week’s show is heavily focused on the high school scene, with an equal focus on both the area’s boys and girls side.

CSRA Sports Wrap Podcast – Episode 2

***Special Note: Starting at the 24:30 mark in the video above, Chad explained his understanding for why Evans didn’t play Milton Friday. After seeing the episode, Evans head coach and athletic director Kevin Kenny contacted us and asked to be interviewed so he could correct the record and give his first hand account of why the region tournament for the area’s class 6A region was canceled, and for why the game against Milton didn’t happen. Here is the interview with Coach Kenny, a direct response to the 30 second explanation Chad gave starting at the 24:30 mark of episode 2 (above).***

Evans Head Coach and Athletic Director Kevin Kenny’s Response to Episode 2

Show Notes – Episode 2

Segment 1 – A tour through the regular season

0:00 – 4:15

The impact of the virus on the high school season, using North Augusta’s boys as an example

4:30 – 6:35

Chad’s Fantastic Five (plus a 6th man) freshmen

6:35 – 8:15

Describing and showing of the most eye catching individual highlights of the season

Girls Basketball in Focus…

8:15 – 11:50

Focusing on girls basketball, Charles describes what it has been like to see Laney take a step back and watch Cross Creek, Butler and Josey all take down the Lady Wildcats and assert themselves as forces to be reckoned with.

11:50 – 18:30

More about local girls basketball…

Chad weighs in on the changing of the guard on the girls side and Jordyn Dorsey’s excellence on the court AND in the classroom is highlighted as we hear from Jordyn herself.

But before we hear from Jordyn we take a tour through pretty much the entire area when it come to girls hoops. Finally, we hear from Jordyn at about the 18:00 mark.

***The CSRA Sports Wrap Podcast is also available in an audio only format. Here is the SoundCloud version of Episode 2:***

***And here is the SoundCloud audio version of Coach Kenny’s response to Episode 2***

Segment 2 – Court Side Seats

Focusing on recent thrillers we witnessed:

– Butler vs Laney (Doubleheader)

– Wheeler vs Kell

– Augusta Christian vs Ben Lippen

– Butler vs Westside

– Fox Creek vs Strom Thurmond***

18:30 – 20:15

Butler vs Laney (girls)

20:15 – 21:30

Butler vs Laney (boys)

21:30 – 23:30

Chad talks about Butler’s stacked roster and its dominant final week of the regular season, with blowout wins over Laney and Westside.

23:30 – 24:15

And we finish the Butler talk by showing the bucket Brionna Sims (of the Lady Bulldogs) scored Friday to eclipse the 1,000 point barrier, as well as the celebration that followed.

24:30 – 25:15

What happened to Evans vs Milton?

25:15 – 27:30

Class 6A Showdown

#1 Wheeler vs #2 Kell

Scoota Henderson – The next Sharife Cooper, Ant-Man Edwards, Collin Sexton

Wheeler – The defending Class 7A state champion

27:30 – 32:00

Augusta Christian vs Ben Lippen

Augusta Christian’s January surge and a rundown of its key players.

Is freshman Elijah Crawford the best player in the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA), which is the high school home of Zion Williamson?

32:00 – 33:30

About Elijah Crawford’s progression throughout the years and his work with trainer Darrin Shine. Can Elijah Crawford (a freshman) one day become a the kind of player Scoota Henderson (a junior) is?

33:30 – 35:35

Butler vs Westside – For the Class 2A regular season region championship

Charles talks about a favorite player of his, senior point guard Ronnie Striggles.

35:35 – 37:25

Fox Creek vs Strom Thurmond

***Segment 3 – Augusta University Basketball Update***

37:25 – 40:20

Augusta University vs Flagler Doubleheader

The Lady Jaguars improved to 4-1 in PBC play

40:20 – 42:40

We hear from men’s head coach Dip Metress, who explains why his team, even though it has been severely impacted by the loss of 5 players for the rest of the season, will not be “opting out.”

43:30 – 47:00

Previewing next week’s show

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