With Thanksgiving coming up this week, schedules will be light for former Bartow County athletes competing at the collegiate level. But there were still plenty of locals in action over the past seven days.
Cartersville High product Nedu Evans started the championship match of the Peach Belt Conference tournament, as Augusta claimed a second successive league title. Evans had seven kills and led her team with a .429 hitting percentage in the win, which earned the Jaguars an automatic bid into the NCAA Division-II tournament.
Elsewhere, Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans strung together three great performances in leading the Wildcats to a trio of wins. The Cartersville native shot 57% from the floor, 50% from 3-point range and 100% from the free-throw line. He totaled 57 points, 22 assists and 15 rebounds in the three victories.
On the gridiron, Woodland graduate Manny Jones compiled his best game of the season and arguably the best performance of his collegiate career against Wyoming. He finished with three sacks among nine total tackles.
Cade Archer (Reinhardt Fr., Cartersville) — Archer played one total minute across Reinhardt's trio of games last week. It came in Saturday's 92-85 win over Kentucky Christian.
Jacquez Fountain (Albany Tech Fr., Cass) — Fountain had a rough shooting night in Albany Tech's lone game of the week, finishing 0-for-8 from the field with two rebounds in an 81-61 loss to Tallahassee CC.
Ashton Hagans (Kentucky So., Cartersville native) — Hagans put together one of his best individual weeks as a Wildcat in helping ninth-ranked Kentucky to three nonconference wins. He scored 26 points with six assists, five rebounds, one block and one steal against Utah Valley last Monday. Hagans posted 16 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and one steal versus Mount St. Mary's Thursday. He followed that up with 15 points, nine assists, three rebounds and one steal against Lamar Sunday. Over the three games, Hagans shot 16-for-28 from the floor, 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 22-for-22 from the foul line.
Whitney Harris (Toccoa Falls So., Woodland) — Harris knocked down 4 of 6 shots from 3-point range in scoring a season-high 12 points in an 88-50 win over Trinity College of Florida Thursday. She added two assists, one rebound and one steal in the victory. Harris finished with three points, four rebounds and four assists in a 76-58 loss to Warren Wilson Saturday.
Carter Hedden (Hocking So., Cass) — Hedden didn't score in seven minutes of action in last Tuesday's win at Kent State-Tuscarawas, but he did chip in with seven points Saturday in a home loss versus Lakeland. Despite not scoring, Hedden did finish with three rebounds and an assist in last Tuesday's victory.
Kimora McClinic (Middle Georgia State Jr., Cartersville) — McClinic played three minutes against Georgia Southwestern last Tuesday and didn't see the court versus Martin Methodist Thursday. She had one rebound in her only appearance.
Kyla Michienzi (Piedmont Fr., Cass) — Michienzi had three points, one rebound and one block in 21 minutes of a 77-70 overtime loss Thursday to Emery & and Henry College. She saw seven minutes of floor time against Wesleyan, finishing again with three points and adding two rebounds.
Jana Morning (Berry Jr., Cass) — Morning poured in 16 points, shooting 4-for-4 from deep and 4-for-4 from the line, in a rout of Wesleyan last Monday. She followed that up with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting in a victory over Agnes Scott Friday. Between the two games, Morning combined to record nine rebounds, eight assists, seven steals, two blocks and just one turnover.
Jaylon Pugh (Furman So., Cartersville) — Pugh had five points, three rebounds and a steal in 14 minutes Friday, when Furman doubled up Columbia International by a 90-45 final score.
Josie Summerville (North Park So., Adairsville) — Summerville helped her side move to 4-0 on the season with wins over Buena Vista (Friday) and Olivet (Saturday) in North Park's Thanksgiving Tournament. She had five points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks Friday. Summerville managed only one point, two rebounds and one assist Saturday.
Darius Thrower (Truett-McConnell Sr., Excel Christian) — Thrower and the Bears each had two incredibly similar results this past week. For Thrower, he had eight points and a rebound against Bryan College, and he had nine points and a rebound against Bluefield College. The Bears dropped both games, losing 81-69 and 90-81, respectively.
Alexis Ware (Piedmont Fr., Cass) — Ware posted three points and four rebounds in 15 minutes during Thursday's home loss. She played nine scoreless minutes with three rebounds and an assist in Sunday's bounce-back win.
Nakiyah Washington (Piedmont Fr., Adairsville) — Washington finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, including six offensive boards, in 24 minutes against Emory & Henry. She also had five steals, two blocks and two assists in the defeat. Despite playing just 18 wins in the win over Wesleyan, Washington had seven points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. She has now started Piedmont's past three games.
Carrod Watson (North Georgia Sr., Woodland) — Watson racked up 13 points and nine rebounds in helping North Georgia defeat Morehouse College Wednesday on the road. He also had two assists in the victory. Watson earned a season-high 26 minutes in a 60-57 overtime loss to Tusculum Saturday at home. He finished with 10 points and three rebounds in the loss. Watson had one block and one steal apiece in each of the two games.
Vic Beasley (Atlanta Falcons; Adairsville) — Beasley had one tackle in a 35-22 home loss Sunday to Tampa Bay. Atlanta hosts New Orleans Thanksgiving night.
Terry Berdin (Reinhardt So., Cartersville) — Berdin was listed as a participant but didn't record any statistics, as No. 13 Reinhardt suffered a 17-7 loss to second-ranked Marian in the first round of the NAIA football playoffs Saturday in Indianapolis.
Bryce Burgess (Reinhardt So., Adairsville) — Like Berdin, Burgess saw snaps but didn't record any carries in Saturday's defeat.
Marcus Childers (Northern Illinois R-Jr., Adairsville) — Childers struggled through the air but had success rushing the ball in a 45-17 loss to Eastern Michigan last Tuesday at home. He finished just 12-for-26 passing for one touchdown and three interceptions. On the ground, Childers posted 92 yards on 13 carries with an additional score. His 8-yard rushing touchdown helped NIU stay within 14-7 at halftime before Eastern Michigan pulled away with 24 points in the third quarter. The Huskies trailed 45-10 inside the final minute, when Childers tossed a 9-yard touchdown. The loss drops NIU to 4-7, meaning the Huskies won't qualify for a bowl game even with a win over Western Michigan this Tuesday in their season finale.
Jonathan Cruz (Charlotte So., Cartersville) — Charlotte secured bowl eligibility with a fourth straight win, coming from behind to defeat Marshall by a 24-13 final margin Saturday at home. Cruz missed a 39-yard field-goal try as time expired in the first half that would have made the score 10-10 at the break. He made up for it with a 23-yard boot that did tie the score early in the third quarter. Cruz also made each of his three point-after tries, including two in the fourth quarter, when Charlotte erased a 13-10 deficit with a pair of touchdowns.
Dalen Curtis (Brevard Jr., Cartersville) — Curtis started at tight end in Brevard's first-ever postseason appearance. The Tornados defeated host Carnegie Mellon 42-28 in the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl Saturday in Pittsburgh. Brevard finished the season 8-3, setting a new program record for wins.
Kurtis Feanny (Lenoir-Rhyne So., Woodland) — Feanny drew the start at left guard, as seventh-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne eased past Miles 36-7 in the first round of the NCAA D-II playoffs Saturday in Hickory, North Carolina. The Bears racked up 323 rushing yards in the win. Next up for the 12-0 team is a home tilt against Carson-Newman this Saturday.
Hunter Hardin (Point Jr., Woodland) — Point's starting center, Hardin and the Skyhawks faced an impossible task Saturday on the road at FCS Furman. The Paladins cruised to a 64-7 win against its NAIA foe.
Sean Holton (Davidson Jr., Cartersville) — Holton saw action in a 31-28 loss to Drake Saturday at home.
JaCorey Johns (Wake Forest R-Fr., Cartersville) — A starter at defensive end, Johns recorded five tackles (four solo) in a 39-27 win over Duke Saturday at home.
Manny Jones (Colorado State Jr., Woodland) — Jones was an absolute terror against Wyoming Saturday in Laramie. He might have started at defensive end for the Rams, but he finished most of his plays in the backfield. Jones finished with nine tackles (eight solo), four tackles for loss and three sacks. Despite Jones' best efforts, Colorado State suffered a 17-7 loss and will carry a 4-7 record into Friday's finale versus Boise State.
Jacob Potter (Kennesaw State So., Adairsville) — Potter participated in a resounding win over Gardner-Webb Saturday in Kennesaw. The ninth-ranked Owls will travel to face Wofford in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Nick Root (Carson-Newman R-Fr., Cartersville) — Root and the Eagles snuck past Bowie State in the first round of the NCAA D-II playoffs, pulling out a 17-9 win. The team will head to Lenoir-Rhyne for a second-round matchup.
Avery Showell (Georgia Tech R-So., Cartersville) — Showell broke up a third-down pass and totaled five tackles, including a touchdown-saving stop, in a 28-26 win over North Carolina State Thursday in Atlanta.
Jake Walker (Furman Jr., Cartersville native) — Walker saw playing time in Saturday's rout of Point. Furman will travel to Austin Peay for the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Bryce Wilkins (Reinhardt So., Cartersville) — Wilkins made the participation report for Reinhardt's season-ending defeat Saturday.
Jordan Baldwin (Life So., Woodland) — Baldwin placed 11th in the 200-yard backstroke, 14th in the 100 backstroke and 32nd in the 50 free. He also swam the first leg of the 400 free relay, as Life placed 13th.
Elijah Wilhoit (Life Fr., Cass) — Wilhoit wound up 10th in the 200-yard freestyle, and 18th in each of the 100 free and 100 butterfly races. He joined Baldwin on the 400 free relay team.
Nedu Evans (Augusta Fr., Cartersville) — Evans helped Augusta win its second straight Peach Belt Conference tournament title. She played eight of 10 sets, including each one in the semifinals and finals, over the weekend. Augusta defeated UNC Pembroke 3-1 in the quarterfinals Friday, with Evans posting two kills. The following day, Augusta swept USC Aiken, as Evans contributed four kills, three block assists and one dig. Evans earned just her fourth start of the season in the championship match Sunday. She led the Jaguars in hitting percentage (.429) in a sweep of Flagler, posting seven kills and a block assist. Her 7.5 points were her second-highest total of the season behind an eight-point effort in a four-set win over Flagler earlier this month. Augusta will have a chance to set the program record for wins in a season in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament. The fourth-seeded Jaguars will face No. 5 seed USC Aiken, which they are 2-1 against on the year, Dec. 5 at Southeast Regional top-seed Wingate.