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Augusta’s Inside Play a Thing of Beauty in 78-73 Win Over Lander

Lee Flenor and Tyshaun Crawford combine for 38 points and 23 rebounds, dominating the paint in Augusta’s second straight win



Tyree Myers – Augusta

Augusta topped Lander 78-73 at home Wednesday in the first of two games this week at Christenberry Fieldhouse for the Jaguars, who, after winning a pair of games in the last three days, are showing signs of progress while competing with a limited roster after several players were sidelined for the remainder of the season right before the beginning of Peach Belt Conference play.

Lee Flenor led Augusta with 21 points and 9 rebounds, including 4 points in the final minute. Flenor’s late scoring run expanded a 72-71 lead that Augusta claimed with 1:29 remaining when Tyshaun Crawford, who contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds, netted a pair of free throws after being fouled on a putback attempt. Flenor then scored on a beautifully executed set play with 45 seconds remaining after he handed the ball to junior point guard Tyree Myers and rolled to the basket so Myers could feed him a perfectly placed bounce pass for a layup to give Augusta a 74-71 lead.

Head coach Dip Metress explained the play as part of this post game interview with Augusta’s play-by-play announcer Charles McNeil. To my surprise, the action was not drawn up in the huddle in the same way it unfolded on the court:

In the extended interview, you heard Metress repeat the sentiment he expressed after Augusta’s road win over Columbus State Monday, calling Augusta’s play Wednesday “ugly.” And there were stretches the Jaguars earned that description, like during the first half when Augusta surrendered a 20-7 lead by turning the ball over 12 times. Several were the “live ball” kind that led to breakaway layups by Lander’s Sydney Robinson, who came off the bench to go nuclear in 26 minutes of action, scoring 31 points on 12 of 16 field goal shooting. Robinson made 7 of his 10 three point attempts and several times appeared to have taken over the game.

But Metress also conceded that Augusta’s 49% field goal shooting and its 38% clip from deep for the entire game was much better than he had thought it had been before McNeil mentioned the official statistics. Metress had to be pleased with his team’s offensive effort during the second half, when Augusta scored 50 points while shooting 54% from the field, making 2 of 3 three point attempts and converting 18 of 23 free throws, all while committing only 3 turnovers.

Tyshaun Crawford – Augusta

Metress referred to Augusta’s current “1980’s” brand of basketball, meaning the Jaguars emphasize their strength inside, out of necessity because Miguel Arnold, who was the team’s leading scorer through two games, and Troy Cracknell, who along with Arnold make two of the conference’s most accomplished three point shooters, are two of the players who will be forced to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines. 

Because of the absence of its sharpshooters, Augusta has relied heavily on the inside play of Flenor and Crawford, Augusta’s 7-1 center who has been double and triple teamed relentlessly throughout the first seven games of the season. The pair dominated the second half Wednesday by combining to score 23 points and grab 13 rebounds in the final 20 minutes. Crawford’s 8 rebounds in the half equaled the total for Lander’s entire team. And the Jaguars outrebounded the Bearcats 22-8 in the half and 45-25 for the game. Augusta’s inside dominance also showed in the free throw attempts for both teams. The Jaguars attempted 26 freebies, making 21 two days after sinking 20 of 23 attempts in the win over Columbus State. Lander only shot 8 free throws in the game.

Metress has every right to fret because of the limited player availability Augusta has been forced to adapt to in the middle of the season. But multiple players who began the season as reserves are stepping into featured roles to help save the day. An example is senior Shawn Moss, who barely saw the floor before last Saturday when he returned to action under a minutes restriction after going through the proper COVID protocol process to bury 3 three pointers against Georgia Southwestern. Wednesday, he continued to make progress in becoming a steady contributor by sinking all 3 of his three point attempts and scoring 11 points in 24 minutes of action. And Timmy Sellers, who had scored 9 total points in the season’s first six games, tallied 7 against Lander alone to help Moss make Augusta’s bench a real factor in the win. Finally, freshman John Whitehead might not have played his best game Wednesday, but his 18 points against Columbus State Monday was indispensable in Augusta’s snapping a two game losing streak.

For the rest of the season Augusta might not have its full roster, or its best three point shooters. And the way the Jaguars will play because of those factors might be out of step with the “2020’s” trend of how the game is being played. But if Augusta can experience some luck and avoid losing any more key players this year, we might discover that the brand of basketball that was played when Metress first became a Jaguar assistant coach circa 1989 can still be the superior way to play the game, especially when 7-1 center Tyshaun Crawford is on your team!

Tyshaun Crawford – Augusta

After all, look at these statistics from Wednesday’s game and decide for yourself which team is playing the “ugly,” and which is playing the “aesthetically pleasing,” brand of basketball.

Three Point Shooting

Augusta: 3-8

Lander: 8-30


Augusta: 45

Lander: 25

Free Throws

Augusta: 21-26

Lander: 5-8

And before you make your decision, don’t forget the most important statistic of all:

Total Points

Augusta: 78

Lander: 73


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



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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