Prep sports notebook: Perry High basketball climbing in 2-AAAA standings

January 30, 2013 

Victorious in nine of its last 10 games through Saturday, the Perry boys basketball team hopes to take full advantage of a favorable schedule in the last 10 days of the regular season. Counting Tuesday’s game with Region 2-AAAA leader Westside, three of Perry’s final region games are scheduled for the Panther Pit, and all will be played in Houston County. If Perry -- third in the region when the week began -- can climb to first or second in the standings, it will earn a bye into the semifinals of the region tournament and an automatic berth in the Class AAAA state tournament.

After losing 97-85 to Rutland in the semifinals of the Veterans Holiday Tournament, Perry’s record stood at 5-5 and the team was yielding an average of 66 points per game. During the last 10 games, the Panthers have allowed an average of almost 10 fewer points per game.

Perry’s recent success may be a foreshadowing of things to come. Sophomores are an integral part of the team makeup. One of them, guard K.J. Smith, leads the team in scoring. Sophomores Larry Felder and Kevin Ford each average over two steals per game. Jemarcus Davis is second on the team in rebounding behind senior Marquez Thomas.

Westfield wrestlers earn GISA state title

Westfield’s wrestling team won the 2013 GISA state duals Jan. 19 at Windsor Academy in Macon. The Hornets topped defending champion Bulloch Academy, 47-26, in the title match.

Westfield coach Mike Thompson said it was his team’s strength in the middle weight classifications that proved to be the difference. The Hornets won each of the five bouts from the 132-pound to the 160-pound classifications for a total of 26 points. Bryce Westmoreland (132) and Josh Jenkins (145) won by major decision. Ben Brooks (138), Griffin Cawthon (152) and Conner Cawthon (160) all recorded pins. Austin Jenkins (170), Ty Forrester (285) and Josh Kinnebrew (106) also earned pins for Westfield. Chandler Bohannon (126) won by decision for the Hornets.

WR, HoCo, Vets all winners at county swim

Veterans won the overall title at the swim championships for Houston County Jan. 24 in Milledgeville. Combining scores from both the boys and girls teams, the Warhawks totalled 321 points to finish well clear of second-place Houston County. Taken separately, Veterans narrowly finished second in both divisions. Houston County won the boys competition by a margin of two points. The Warner Robins girls team ended up five points ahead of the Lady Warhawks.

Northside grapplers get boost

It wasn’t a county championship, but Northside wrestling coach Dan Kelly said his team picked up momentum for Saturday’s Area 2-AAAAA traditional meet after beating Perry and Warner Robins in duals competition Jan. 25. The 36-30 win over the Panthers was especially important because it was Perry that won the county duals championship on Jan. 19.

“It gives us a big lift heading into the area meet,” Kelly said.

The Area 2-AAAAA traditional meet is scheduled for Saturday at Northside. In addition to the hosts, Houston County and Warner Robins will be among the eight schools trying to qualify wrestlers for the state sectionals. Also on Saturday, Perry and Veterans will participate in the Area 2-AAAA duals at West Laurens.

Friday’s Northside-Perry dual wasn’t decided until the last bout when the Eagles’ 113-pounder Graham Bolton recorded a pin.

Northside to honor gridders

Northside has scheduled its football banquet for Thursday at 6 p.m. Dinner will be held in the school cafeteria with the awards ceremony to follow at the Ray Horne Theater.

Contact Chris Deighan at cdeighan@cox.net.

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