Prep Focus: 3 players reach milestones
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Three area girls basketball players began their respective seasons by reaching scoring milestones.

- Westminster senior Katelyn Matthai scored her 1,000th point against Mount Vernon Presbyterian. She was honored last week before the Wildcats' game against Augusta Christian.

- Butler junior guard Ashley Watts tallied her 1,000th point last week in a win over Josey. Watts scored 31 points that night.

- Warren County senior Candice Warthen hit her 2,000th point Friday against Thomson, finishing with 29 points in her team's 52-40 win. The University of Arizona recruit could finish her career with more than 2,500 points.

CLOSE CALLS: Midland Valley's boys pulled off their second overtime win of the season Saturday night to improve to 5-1. Three of the Mustangs' five wins this year have come by three points or fewer.

It's a point of pride for coach Mark Snelgrove and his senior-heavy team. Nine of the 12 players on the Midland Valley roster are seniors, including 6-foot-9 center Byron Coleman and leading scorer Nolan Meyer (20 points per game).

"This is just another game we wouldn't have won last year," Snelgrove said after Saturday's win over Dutch Fork. "But we have guys who have played since they were freshmen and sophomores. They've played together for so long, and now they've got some confidence in themselves."

Silver Bluff, which lost to Midland Valley in OT, plays host to the Mustangs on Wednesday.

TOUGH OPENER: North Augusta and Aiken begin region play this week in South Carolina.

The North Augusta girls will open with the best team in the region. They travel to Dutch Fork tonight against what promises to be one of the top Class AAAA teams in the state.

Dutch Fork lost only once in the region last season, beating North Augusta 56-40 and 55-48.

TOUGH FOE AHEAD: The Aquinas boys have won four of five games to start the season but await a difficult matchup next week.

The Irish will play host to Wilkinson County on Monday night to open Region 4-A play. Wilkinson County is one of the top teams in the state.

The Warriors advanced to the state quarterfinals last season and have blown out six opponents this year.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

BOYS BASKETBALL

Laney (4-1) at Josey (5-0), 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Laney rebounded from a tough loss Friday night (Swainsboro) by trouncing Toombs County 78-49 a day later. Laney and Josey will also meet Feb. 2.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Butler (5-2, 4-1) at Hephzibah (6-1, 4-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Both teams have lost to Glenn Hills in the region, but they should remain factors in the title race. Butler stunned Hephzibah 40-37 last year on its way to a 10-0 region start.

Staff writer Billy Byler contributed to this story.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.

From the Tuesday, December 15, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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