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ATLANTA CAGERS
www.CagerHoops.net
Forsyth County Georgia
AAU and YBOA Basketball Organization

A Big Step Forward!

Cager girls stronger than ever in 2008

10U Girls win AAU state Championship
10U Girls win AAU state Championship
11U Silver wins Tri-County Shootout
11U Silver wins Tri-County Shootout
13U Blue with one of many trophies!
13U Blue with one of many trophies!
15U finishes in National top 5!
15U finishes in National top 5!
13U Silver on the Medal Stand
13U Silver on the Medal Stand

The 2008 season was another big step forward for the Cagers girls program. It was a tremendous challenge to top our 2007 success, but the talented teams and coaches managed to do just that.

For the second year in a row, the 9U age group presented a tremendous developmental opportunity for local girls. Coaches Doug Metzger and Clay Roney had a feisty bunch that improved greatly as the season progressed and made the semifinals in multiple tournaments. The adjustment from rec league to travel basketball is a huge one, and beginning the transition at this age bodes well for the future success of the girls and the program.

Coach Rodney Storms and his 10U girls were one of the strongest teams in the organization. In addition to winning the AAU DII state championship, they won the Pistols Invitational tournament and qualified for Nationals in both YBOA and AAU. Taking the AAU route, the team was undefeated in pool play and made a strong showing against tough competition in bracket play as well. The sky is the limit for this bunch!

We were fortunate to have two strong 11U teams for the first time this year. Both Gregg Jones' Blue squad and Mike Croce's Silver team made the semifinals of the YBOA state championships (thankfully they were in opposite semifinals, so we didn't have a civil war!). The Silver team also won the Tri-County Shootout and reached two other semifinals. The time and effort some of these kids are putting in year-round will definitely pay future dividends.

We were also blessed to have two strong 13U teams this year. Coach Doug Fields' remarkable Blue squad finished with a final record of 31- 6. The team had 7 appearances in tournament finals and brought home 3 first-place trophies. Coach Bruce Kidwell's Silver team also had a stellar year, finishing second in the Dawson Smith Memorial Jam and Southeastern Super Regional and earning a bid to the national championships.

The 14U age group was equally strong. Coach Dan O'Donnell's Blue squad finished #3 in the state and qualified for nationals despite a decimating run of injuries and bad luck. And coach Cliff Roberts' Silver squad won the YBOA DII state championship and made a strong showing at nationals as well. And Victoria Barclay finished #2 in the national free throw shooting competition, adding more hardware to our trophy case.

The 15U girls had their best season to date, finishing #5 at nationals and #2 in Georgia, with a 2nd place Southeastern Super Regional finish and Peach State Classic championship thrown in for good measure. Were it not for a miracle buzzer beater that edged the girls out in Orlando, this team could well have won the national championship. Five girls from this squad received prestigious individual honors: TJ Howell and Christy Hewatt were named to the Peach State Hoops All-Tournament team, Kelsey Turchi was named to the YBOA National Championships All-Tournament team, Haley Chapman won the National Three-Point Shooting Championship, and Lindsey Smith won the National Free Throw Shooting Championship.

In sum... WOW!! State championships, national top ten rankings, multiple tournament titles. We can't wait for 2009!

Congratulations Cagers!!

Georgia Rules

15U girls storm through YBOA DI National Championships with 5-1 record!

Turchi drives on Texas
Turchi drives on Texas
Richards leads defense
Richards leads defense
Rice boxes out Cougars
Rice boxes out Cougars
Morris flying to ball
Morris flying to ball
Malone locks up on D
Malone locks up on D
Howell wins tip
Howell wins tip
Gazaway looks inside
Gazaway looks inside
Cox leads offense
Cox leads offense
Chapman and Smith win national honors
Chapman and Smith win national honors

The 15U girls spent the week of July 4 in Orlando slugging it out for the YBOA national championship with some of the finest teams from around the country. When the smoke cleared, our squad had the second-best record in the land, trailing only the national champion Georgia Peaches. It was an impressive showing for Georgia teams, with the Atlanta Select joining the Cagers and Peaches in the national top five.

The week began with a character-building game against the Kentucky Cougars. We clearly showed the rust of being apart for six weeks, as the Cougars opened up a 14-point lead. While we chipped away here and there, the Cougars maintained an 11-point lead with 6 minutes to go. Then a furious rally culminated in the first Cager lead of the game on a bucket by Kelsey Turchi with 5 seconds to go, and the 51-49 win was a great way to get the week started. Turchi finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Logan Morris chipped in 8 points and 6 boards.

Game two featured a breakout performance by new guard Danielle Gazaway, filling in for injured star Christy Hewatt. Gazaway led a 44-25 win over the Georgia Hotshots with 12 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Cara Malone and Kayla Richards split 14 points in the victory. Pool play concluded with another amazing comeback versus the San Antonio Roadrunners. Down 10 points in the 3rd, the girls came roaring back to take a 50-48 lead with 11 seconds to go, and held on for the victory. Turchi had 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Malone, Turchi, and Megan Cox all hit key jumpers to fuel the comeback.

Due to an inexplicable scheduling process, the fourth game was a rematch against the Roadrunners, and no less exciting. Once again, our girls came back from a large deficit in the fourth quarter. Haley Chapman hit two critical free throws to enable us to take our first lead 47-46 with a minute to go. Unfortunately, however, this time the Texans were able to hit the last second shot to give us our only defeat of the week, a 48-47 loss at the buzzer.

This placed our girls in an elimination game versus the cross-town rival Atlanta Select, who were seeded first overall in the tournament. Still stinging from the Roadrunner loss earlier in the day, our girls played one of their finest games, a 56-49 victory. TJ Howell contributed a double-double for our squad, with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Michaela Rice went for 8 points, 4 rebounds, and stellar defense against the Select's superior size.

The final game was against the Running Saints, coached by longtime friend / rival Kincaid Lee. Our girls were able to stretch a 2-point halftime lead into a hard-fought 51-37 victory over the rapidly improving Saints. Lindsey Smith contributed 8 big rebounds for our girls, and Turchi led in scoring with 15.

Our 5-1 record was second only to the national champion Georgia Peaches, who finished 6-0 and won the tournament. Only one step away from the title!

Individual Honors

In addition to the second best record, our girls won three individual All-American Awards:

  • All-Tournament Team: Kelsey Turchi
  • National 3-Point Shooting Champion: Haley Chapman
  • National Free Throw Shooting Champion: Lindsey Smith

All in all, it was a huge week for our program. The girls will be finishing their season with exposure events over the next few weeks. We couldn't be more proud of them.

Congratulations Cagers!

Clash of the Titans!

15U girls outlast national heavyweights to win Peach State Classic

15U Brings home the big prize!!
15U Brings home the big prize!!
Turchi sets up offense
Turchi sets up offense
Malone for two
Malone for two
Cox on the break
Cox on the break
Chapman looks inside
Chapman looks inside

The 15U girls went to the north Georgia mountains this weekend to square off with some of the top teams in the southeast, and came home with a 5-0 record and a huge tournament title.

The weekend began with a tougher-than-it-sounds 58-36 victory over the gritty Lady Spurs from Rome. Kelsey Turchi led the way with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Cara Malone chipped in 10 points to go along with 4 assists. The second pool play game was against the AAU titlist Pensacola Flames, who were fresh off of a 35-point game one victory. Our girls slowly pulled away over the course of the game, stretching a 14-point halftime lead into a 50-28 victory. Christy Hewatt led with 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Logan Morris played her typical all-around good game, with 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 4 assists. Pool play concluded with a 79-18 victory over the Lady Hawks, in which Michaela Rice scored 20 points and Lindsey Smith exhibited all-round brilliance with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. Haley Chapman added 10 points and 6 boards, and began a trend of grabbing key rebounds that lasted the entire weekend.

The semifinal game pitted our girls against the Carolina Cyclones, who finished #2 in the country at the national championships last year. The game was close throughout, with multiple lead changes. Down 51-50 with 5 seconds to go, Malone hit two free throws to ice the 52-51 victory. TJ Howell contributed 6 points and 9 huge rebounds, and added 2 blocks and a steal to her stellar defensive efforts in the paint.

The final was against the AAU superpower Atlanta Flames, who had beaten our girls in a close one in an exposure tournament earlier this season. The referees commented before the game that they had seen both teams play and "this is going to be a classic". They were absolutely right, with both teams swinging from the heels the entire time in the up-tempo match-up. Turchi hit two free throws with 11 seconds to go to stretch our lead to 4, and tough defense on the last trip preserved our 68-64 victory and the championship. Hewatt had a monster game with 28 points and 9 rebounds, and Megan Cox added 9 critical points and exhibited continued brilliance in running the offense.

The girls will be taking some time off to finish up the school year and participate in their high school events, then re-convening for a run at the national championships in late June.

Congratulations Cagers!

Young Guns

Cager girls take another state championship / invitational

10U Wins AAU State Championship!
10U Wins AAU State Championship!
11U Silver takes first place!
11U Silver takes first place!

Congratulations to the 10U Cagers for winning the AAU State Championship last weekend! Coach Rodney Storms and his girls added this impressive showing to their YBOA Super Regional finals appearance, putting them in the enviable position of having to decide which National Championship bid to accept! Way to go girls!

Meanwhile, the 11U Silver team broke through after some near misses this season to win the Tri-County Shootout over a tough 11-team field. Coach Mike Croce's team has been improving all season and it was only a matter of time before they made it to the medal stand.

Congratulations Cagers!

Six Pack!

14U Blue and Silver win state title, secure bids for Nationals

The Cager girls continued the momentum this weekend at the 14U state championships, with a state title and guaranteed top three finish for our Blue and Silver squads.

Cliff Roberts' 14U Silver team brought home the Division II state championship, compiling a 4-1 record. The girls fought their way back to avenge their pool play loss to the NE Georgia Angels in the title game.

Meanwhile, Dan O'Donnell's 14U Blue posted a 4-1 record to guarantee a top three finish and secure a bid to nationals. Due to the double elimination format the remainder of the games will be played in the next week or two, but there are only three teams left standing and we are one of them. Since the top four get Nationals bids it looks great for the home team!

This brings the number of teams qualified for nationals to six, with our 11U and 9U teams to play their qualifying tournament in two weeks. We'll be cheering for you!

Congratulations Cagers!

Super Super Regional!

Four Cager teams qualify for Nationals in Dawson Jam

Cox on the drive
Cox on the drive
Hewatt tough inside
Hewatt tough inside
Howell skies over shooters
Howell skies over shooters
Morris headed to the hoop
Morris headed to the hoop
Smith in open floor
Smith in open floor
Chapman studies defense
Chapman studies defense

The weekend of April 25-27 saw the Cagers hosting the annual Dawson Smith Memorial Jam, which for the first time was elevated to a qualifying tournament for nationals. We attracted the largest field in the state for the third year in a row, with 108 teams participating. And the home teams held up very well against the tough competition, with our 10U, 13U Blue, 13U Silver, and 15U teams all making the finals and earning a bid to the national championships in Orlando in July.

The 15U girls returned from the exposure tournament circuit to YBOA play in grand fashion, posting an impressive 5-1 record. The weekend started with a 42-33 victory over a very good Atlanta Select team. Kelsey Turchi led the way with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Our girls led by double figures most of the game, but the Select closed to one point in the fourth quarter. Then sharpshooter Haley Chapman nailed consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 7 and ice the victory. The girls finished with a 3-0 record in pool play with a 56-21 victory over the Dawsonville Lady Tigers and a 65-21 victory over the Chattahoochee Cougars. Lindsey Smith led in rebounding against the Tigers with 8, and TJ Howell and Christy Hewatt tied for high scoring honors with 8 points each. Cara Malone chipped in multiple assists to pace the win. Logan Morris and Michaela Rice each scored in double figures to lead the victory over the Cougars.

The playoff round began with a tough quarterfinal win over the Lady Shooters. Chapman led in scoring with 13, with Rice contributing 12 and Megan Cox 10. Cox also led the girls in assists and provided excellent floor leadership throughout. The game was close until the middle of the second half, when our girls pulled away to a 58-44 win. The semifinals were against the Atlanta Celtics, also undefeated through the quarters. Howell posted her first double-double of the year, with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way. Hewatt was the leading scorer with 13, and 80% free throw shooting from the team was instrumental in the 49-42 Cager victory.

The final against the Georgia Peaches was one for the ages, with both teams clearly worn out and trying to hang on. The fourth quarter saw a dozen lead changes before our girls went down to a 59-55 defeat. Hewatt was huge in the finals with 17 points, and Howell again led in rebounding with 8.

Coach Doug Fields' 13U Blue squad returned to the medal stand for the fifth time this season, reaching the finals of Division I with a 4-0 record before falling by 10 to the defending national champion Forest Park Fury. Coach Bruce Kidwell's 13U Silver team earned their bid by posting a 4-1 record in Division II, with a heartbreaking finals loss to the Georgia Hotshots. And coach Rodney Storms' 10U girls made their YBOA debut by posting a 4-1 record and reaching the finals before losing a close one as well.

With four teams out of nine already qualified for the national championships, this is shaping up as potentially the best season ever. The girls will be participating in the various age group state championships in the next few weeks, and we anticipate more trophies are on the way!

Congratulations Cagers!

Rolling through March

Cager girls impressive in opening month

All smiles after win!
All smiles after win!
10U Cagers Dominate!
10U Cagers Dominate!
13U Blue brings home another trophy!
13U Blue brings home another trophy!

The Cager girls have picked up right where they left off last spring, with multiple impressive showings throughout the region. Looks like another banner year is in the offing.

Leading the way has been coach Doug Fields' 13U Blue team. After finishing first and second in their first two tournaments of the month, they returned to the medal stand this weekend as champions of the March Madness event in Calhoun. The weekend began with a 49-41 pool play win over the Lady Volunteers, followed by 49-35 win over the Calhoun Swarm. This qualified the girls for the semifinals against our rapidly improving Silver team coached by Bruce Kidwell. The All-Cagers event went to the Blue 48-36, leading to a rematch with the Vols for the title. The game was decided in the last seconds on a Hunter Pugh-to-Keeley Chester-to-Kayla Richards relay and layup with 1.2 seconds left on the clock. It was an exciting end to an action-packed weekend.

The 10U girls opened their season in an extremely impressive fashion, rolling to the championship of the Pistols AAU tournament in Atlanta. Coach Rodney Storms and the girls rolled to a 5-0 record, with an average margin of victory of 24 points. The run included wins over some very strong clubs, including the Pistols Gold, Pistols Purple, Georgia Pearls, North Georgia Heat, and Lady Shooters. The sky is the limit for this dynamic young team.

Meanwhile, the 14U Blue and 15U girls spent the weekend at Georgia Tech in a regional exposure event. The field was very strong in both age groups, with several top teams in attendance. Coach Dan O'Donnell's 14U Blue team shook off a heartbreaking 3-point loss to the Atlanta Celtics in the opener to roar back to a 5th place finish. After a runner-up performance in their first outing in the Easter Classic last weekend the future looks bright for this group.

The 15U girls opened with a strong win over the Charlotte-based Queen City Dynasty. Nailbiters against the Atlanta Flames and Georgia Peaches propelled the girls to a 4th place finish.

All in all, it was a great weekend to cap off the month of March. The future looks bright.

Congratulations Cagers!

Slammin' Opening Weekend!

13U Blue girls open with dominating performance

Blue with the Trophy!
Blue with the Trophy!

The season tipped off this weekend for two Cager teams in the Georgia Slam-n-Jam tournament in Alpharetta. Our 13U Blue team rang in the season in style without ever being seriously challenged on their way to a 4-0 record.

The opener on Friday night saw our girls defeat the tough Pistols Purple squad, and this was followed by a 69-22 mashing of the Pistols White and strong 54-25 win over our own Silver team on Saturday.

The wins advanced the girls to the finals for a rematch against the Purple. While the score was indeed closer, the outcome was never seriously in doubt in a hard fought 62-49 conquest. We expect big things in the future from coach Doug Fields and this group!

Pictured from left are Kayla Richards, Morganne Shobe, Natalee Laye, Hunter Pugh, Emily Adams, Kristie Mason, Kim Blake, Keeley Chester, Caitlin Dabbs, Sam Croce, Carlin Light.

Congratulations Cagers!

Tryout Information

For info on other age groups please contact the coaches directly at the addresses below.

You Could Be Part of a Great 2008!

The stars are aligning for a very special season

How do we top 2007? With two teams finishing in the national top 10, a state championship, and over 20 tournament trophies, it will be difficult indeed. But with the players and coaches we have returning the sky is the limit... all we need is YOU!

The season has already gotten off to a wonderful start, as YBOA has bestowed on us a very special honor. Our annual girls tournament (the Dawson Smith Memorial Jam) has been the largest invitational in the state for two years running, and next spring it will become a national qualifying event. The Dawson Smith Super Regional will be held April 23-25, meaning that all the best teams in the southeast will be coming to our backyard to play for a bid to the national championships! We have several teams that have the goods to qualify... all we need is YOU!

For information on the upcoming season / tryouts, please contact the relevant coach. (NOTE: YBOA and AAU have changed the age requirements in the girls division. The age cutoff date was formerly January 1, but it has been moved back six months to July 1. This means in effect that girls can be six months older than last year and still qualify for a lower age group.):

9U Girls (Born on / after 7/1/97): Doug Metzger
10U Girls (7/1/96): Rodney Storms
11U Blue Girls (7/1/95): Gregg Jones
11U Silver Girls (7/1/95): Mike Croce
13U Blue Girls (7/1//93): Doug Fields
13U Silver Girls (7/1/93): Bruce Kidwell
14U Blue Girls (7/1/92): Chuck Anderson
14U Silver Girls (7/1/92): Cliff Roberts
15U Girls (7/1/91): Ralph Smith
16U Girls (7/1/90): To be determined
10U Boys: Doug Shook
11U Boys: Mike Dolan
12U Boys Blue: Joe Morris
12U Boys Silver Steve Sullivan

We are currently looking for qualified coaches for 9U and 16U girls. Interested candidates should contact girls director Ralph Smith at basketball@cagerhoops.net.

Think About the Future!

7U pre-Cagers dazzling in Georgia Coliseum

The Future is Bright!
The Future is Bright!
Craven on the break
Craven on the break
White attacks the basket
White attacks the basket
Edwards looks for pass from Bertz
Edwards looks for pass from Bertz
Herrera and Bertz call for ball
Herrera and Bertz call for ball
Ogbogu with the block
Ogbogu with the block
Pasonski with the D
Pasonski with the D
Smith sneaks up on Adeleia
Smith sneaks up on Adelia and D'Souza

The Cagers-in-training program was in full force last weekend, with a select camp for 7U stars Saturday followed by an intra-squad game at the half of the UGA-Davidson women's game in Athens Sunday. The girls did a tremendous job the entire weekend.

Saturday featured a half day session with coach Bert Tucker, formerly of UGA and now a professional trainer in the Atlanta area. After the session Tucker commented "These girls are awesome. Great instincts for the game and the ability to go right or left at will... and they are only 7! When they get to be 10 they will really be something!"

Sunday saw the girls sprinting on court to the roar of the crowd and playing six minutes at the half, scoring 8 points and having a ball. The University then provided a private tour of the players' locker rooms and training facilities, which was a great behind-the-scenes look at how big time hoops works. A great time was had by all.

Looking forward to seeing this bunch in silver and blue a lot more in the future. Congratulations Cagers!


It was a VERY Good Year!

Cager girls take another step forward

9U The Future is Bright!
9U The Future is Bright!
12U Super Regional Champs!
12U Super Regional Champs!
#2 13U Team in GA!
#2 13U Team in GA!
14U Blue Brings Home 5 Trophies!
14U Blue Brings Home 5 Trophies!
15U Going to D1 AAU Nationals!
15U Going to D1 AAU Nationals!

The 2006 season was so successful that topping it seemed a daunting task, but the girls program took another big step forward in 2007. A sampling of the accomplishments is as follows:

  • We had at least one team in each age group from 9U through 16U for the first time, and we had multiple teams in several age groups. This has resulted in the Cagers becoming the second largest travel basketball club in the state of Georgia
  • We made it to the medal stand in nearly 20 tournaments, led by the 14U Blue (five trophies) and 12U (four trophies). Seven teams visited the podium in all.
  • The 13U Blue team finished #2 in the Division One state championships
  • Three teams (15U, 14U Blue, 13U Blue) qualified and are going to the division one national championships. In addition, one team (12U) won the American Division at the state championships.

It was truly a special season. A breakdown by age group is provided below.

Lisa Godwin's 15U team earned a bid to the AAU Division 1 national championships by winning the Greenville Super Regional by 18 points in March. Coupled with a tournament championship in the Easter Classic and a heartbreaking 1-point loss in the finals of the Georgia Tech exposure tournament (we hit a jumper right at the buzzer that was disallowed for not being launched in time), the team had an outstanding year.

The 14U Blue team finished with a 23-4 record versus age group competition and made the finals in five tournaments out of seven. Championships in the Southside Run-n-Gun and March Madness tournaments were overshadowed by a co-championship in the inaugural Southeastern Super Regional, which earned the girls a bid to the Division 1 national championships. Tom Gwaltney's Silver team also turned in several strong outings and picked off some tough teams over the course of the season.

We were fortunate to have three teams in the 13U age group, a first for our program. Carlyle Hewatt's Blue team finished #2 in the state and gave the state champion Forest Park Fury a mighty struggle before taking an eventual six-point loss. The 2nd place finish earned the girls a bid to the Division 1 national championships. The Blue also made a name for themselves by making the finals of the Georgia Slam-n-Jam. More titles would have been a certainty had the girls not been playing up in the 14U age group for much of the year. Cliff Roberts' Silver team also did the organization proud by finishing third in the American Division of the National Qualifiers. Bruce Kidwell's White team improved dramatically from their school season and finished with 10 big wins. They will continue to play over the summer and be ready for a big season next year.

The 12U team run by Doug Fields had another impressive year, advanced to the championship rounds in six tournaments out of seven. Titles in the Spring Break Classic and American Division of the Super Regional were the highlights, coupled with 2nd place trophies in the Tri-County Shootout and the Smoky Mountain Shootout.

Mike Croce's 11U team also had a solid season, though they didn't bring home a lot of trophies. The team started a bit shorthanded, but added several talented players over the course of the season and finished strong.

Gregg Jones' 10U team improved greatly over the course of the season, culminating with an impressive run in the North Georgia Jam in late May. The girls made the finals only to lose by three points to a very good Tennessee Extreme team. The improvement was exciting to see and bodes well for the future.

Our first-ever 9U team was led by Rodney Storms and had an outstanding year. The lack of teams at this age group across the state meant that the girls were forced to play against 10U teams early in the season, but this toughened them up for the big finish: a 4-0 record and tournament title in the Peach State Classic in May. There's lots of potential on this team and we expect big things in the coming years.

Another hard-working group was David Macer's 16U squad. They got better every week and suffered through some very close losses against tough teams. But the true reflection of a team is how much they improve, and the girls got much better as the season progressed.

This will likely be the final article before the nationals results are posted in July, so we'll finish off by saying

Congratulations Cagers!!
Bring home three national titles!


Young Guns

9U girls and 11U boys bring home the top prize!

9U Champs!
9U Champs!
11U State Champs!
11U State Champs

The 9U girls and 11U boys each made an impressive run to the medal stand this weekend to end the spring in style.

Coach Joe Morris' boys won the IYBC state championship by 18 points over Team Rome. This was especially exciting as it was the first state title for the Cagers' boys program. This was a true team effort, with Knox Allen, Christopher Laye, Jack Armstrong, Nick Zernach, Ross Walters, Jackson Putnam, and Jake Morris all making significant contributions. The title earned the team a spot in the IYBC National Championships in Coco Beach in June.

Meanwhile, coach Rodney Storms' girls made a big trip to medal stand by posting a 4-0 record in the Peach State Classic. Pool play wins over the Cherokee Blazers, Calhoun Swarm, and Pistols Purple qualified the girls for the championship game, which turned out to be a rematch against the always-tough Blazers. All around team effort and the scoring of Elizabeth "Biz" Walters enabled the girls to earn a well-deserved victory.

Congratulations Cagers!

Never Say Die!

14U Blue rallies in final minutes to earn bid to Nationals

We're going to Disney World!
We're going to Disney World!
Cagers, Eagles going national
Cagers, Eagles going national
Turchi passes inside
Turchi passes inside
Sideline strategy
Sideline strategy
Smith looks for Rice
Smith looks for Rice
Smith fights for position
Smith fights for position

In a grueling weekend at the YBOA Super Regional in Kennesaw, the 14U girls played their best ball of the season to earn an automatic bid to YBOA Nationals in Orlando in July.

The tournament draw was very unkind to our girls, pairing them up with the always tough Georgia Metros in the opening round. Our girls came out with furious intensity and surprised the Metros by racing out to a 31-13 lead, and coasted to a 50-37 victory. Michaela Rice and Victoria Geisler dominated the inside, combining for 17 points and 25 rebounds in addition to several blocked shots. Kelsey Turchi added 6 rebounds to go with her game-high 18 points. The win was especially sweet considering our 0-3 record versus the Metros in prior years.

The second game was a rematch against the Douglasville Lady Tigers, who we narrowly beat in a tournament final in March. Once again our girls put together a very solid effort, cruising to a 44-29 lead entering the fourth quarter. The Tigers never gave up, closing the margin to 54-46 at the buzzer. Turchi scored 21 for our squad, and Cara Malone and Megan Cox 18 more between them. Jordan Shultz contributed 10 big rebounds to hold the Tigers at bay.

The two wins put the girls in the driver's seat to win the pool, but due to a scheduling quirk we had to return Sunday morning for a final game against the College Park Rim Rockers. After jumping out to an 18-point lead, our girls ran out of gas and stumbled to a tough 40-38 loss. Thankfully, the margin of victory from the prior games was enough to enable the girls to still win the pool. Shultz had 13 points to lead our girls, and split 10 rebounds with Lindsey Smith to help out on the glass.

Winning the pool was quite an accomplishment, but unfortunately not enough to qualify the girls for Nationals. To do that, a semifinal win against top club FBC would be required. After trading baskets for a quarter, FBC ran to a 27-20 halftime lead. They stretched the lead to 45-35 with 2:59 to go, and things looked dark. But behind stifling full court pressure defense, four 3-pointers by Cox, Shultz, and Malone, and a key layup by Grace Ramey, our girls brought it back to 51-50 with 15 seconds left. Then Shultz stepped to the free throw line and swished the two shots that gave us a 52-51 victory and clinched the bid to Nationals.

Due to yet another scheduling irregularity, the girls had to cross over to the other gym to begin the finals against a tough Lady Eagles team immediately following the emotional victory. The exhaustion clearly showed as we went down to a tough defeat. There were bright spots even in the loss, including 7 big rebounds from Kaitlin Young and 9 from Geisler. But the final was largely irrelevant anyway, as finishing in the top two was the requirement to get the automatic bid.

We're going to Disney World!

Congratulations Cagers!!!!

Trifecta!

14U girls win another title at Southside Run-n-Gun

Cager Championship 2007
Cager Championship 2007
Cox sticks the jumper
Cox sticks the jumper
Malone eyes the hoop
Malone eyes the hoop
Turchi for two
Turchi for two
Rice starts the break
Rice starts the break

The 14U girls made their third trip to the medal stand this season, winning the 10-team Southside Run-n-Gun tournament this weekend at Westlake High School. The victory was all the more special due to the contributions of 13U stars Christy Hewatt, Kayla Richards, and Sam Smith, who filled in for a few missing 14U regulars and did a marvelous job. The team was also buoyed by the return of longtime Cager stalwart Meagan Tesh, who returned for an encore performance.

The first game was against the Cartersville-based Charlie's Angels. Our girls sprinted to a 16-5 first quarter lead thanks to stifling pressure defense from Cara Malone, Megan Cox, Sydney Bridger, and Kelsey Turchi on the perimeter. Our squad never looked back en route to a 59-17 blowout. Richards chipped in 8 points and Sam Smith 7 to help the cause, and Lindsey Smith and Tesh split 10 points and 10 steals. But the big story was the emergence of first-year center TJ Howell, who totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds, and completely controlled the middle.

The nightcap Saturday pitted the girls against the Gainesville Wildcats, a dangerous pressing team. We were forced to play with only eight girls, but our speed proved too much to overcome. We gradually pulled away to a 66-41 victory. Malone scored 16, and Hewatt netted 15 points and 7 rebounds for our squad. This victory clinched the pool for our girls and earned them a spot in the semifinals.

The semifinal opponent Sunday was the dangerous Lady Sky from Athens. Our girls came out strong and powered to a 45-28 lead by the end of the third quarter. But ferocious defense by the Sky coupled by our cold-shooting streak enabled them to tie the game at 53 with 9 seconds to go. Thanks to a critical free throw by Malone and a missed shot at the buzzer, we escaped with a hard fought 54-53 victory. Turchi led the team in scoring with 12, while Hewatt added 11 points and 13 rebounds. Michaela Rice returned to action after missing Saturday to add 10 big points, and Cox and Turchi contributed 6 assists each.

The finals were played against the Lady Shooters from nearby Cherokee County. After three quarters of trading baskets, our girls pulled out a tough 61-54 win at the end. Turchi scored 23 points, including four critical free throws with the game in the balance in the final minute. Cox and Malone added 18 points and provided strong floor leadership and defense in the fourth. Rice and Howell controlled the inside, combining for 20 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.

It was a true team effort by our girls, and a great tune up for the Super Regionals next weekend.

Congratulations Cagers!

Fast Start!

10U Boys make semifinals on opening weekend


10U Boys

Mike Dolan's 10U Cager Boys team played in their first tournament as a team. It was a total team effort, as all 10 boys scored and 6 different players led in scoring throughout the weekend.

Hunter Dolan and Patrick Noble were the leading scorers in the opening game against the Georgia Titans. After a slow start, the Cagers opened up a 20 point lead in the third quarter and coasted to a 28-15 victory. In the second game, we lost to the Atlanta Select (who went on to win the tournament). Drew Cole and Brody Hodges led the Cagers in scoring. The final game on Saturday afternoon matched the Cagers against the College Park Rim Rockers. Both teams had 1 win and 1 loss, so the winner would move on to play on Sunday. The Cagers grabbed the early lead, but the Rim Rockers battled back and took an 8 point lead with 4 minutes to go in the game. The highlights from the last 4 minutes of the game could have been shown on ESPN. Pressure defense and clutch shooting allowed the Cagers to close the gap to one point with 18 seconds to go. Two excellent defensive plays and a forced turnover gave the Cagers the ball with 7.6 seconds on the clock. On the inbounds play, Hunter Dolan drove the baseline and missed, but Patrick Noble grabbed the rebound and made the game winner with less than 1 second on the clock. Chandler Cotter led the Cagers in scoring in the decisive game. The final score was Cagers 21, Rim Rockers 20.

Jacob Hanley led the Cagers in the loss against the Georgia Stars during the Sunday's Semifinal game. The Cagers played tough defense all weekend and this was a GREAT start for the team.

Great start to the season, and congratulations Cagers!

March Madness!

14U Girls take first place in Kennesaw Tournament

Champions!
Champions!
Cox and Turchi on the Trap
Cox and Turchi on the Trap
Ramey Grabs Rebound
Ramey Grabs Rebound
Malone and Shultz Get Physical
Malone and Shultz Get Physical
Geisler on D
Geisler on D

The 14U girls followed their runner-up finish on opening weekend with a splendid 4-0 run through a large field to win the March Madness tournament in Kennesaw.

The girls opened with a 54-22 win over the Georgia Hotshots. Stifling defensive pressure enabled our girls to jump out to an 18-0 lead and cruise to the victory. Kelsey Turchi led the team in scoring with 9, and Victoria Geisler and Lindsey Smith tied for the rebounding lead with 6 each. TJ Howell also contributed strong defense for our squad. The girls then completed pool play with a 63-23 win over the Runnin' Rebels from Fannin County. Cara Malone, Megan Cox, and Turchi all scored in double figures for our girls, and first year center Kaitlin Young chipped in 6 to lead the victory.

The semifinals pitted the girls against the Lady Shooters from nearby Cherokee County. Michaela Rice had a monster game for our squad, totaling 15 points and 13 rebounds. We watched a 22-11 halftime lead evaporate and trailed by 1 late in the game, but tough defense and clutch baskets by Rice and Turchi sealed a scary 45-43 win.

The finals were against the fast and agile Douglasville Lady Tigers, who won their four tournament games by an average of over 30 points. It was a great game throughout, with multiple lead changes and shifts in momentum. In the end, however, 14 points by Jordan Shultz and 8 by Grace Ramey kept our girls in front. A Tigers 3-pointer clanged harmlessly off the back of the rim as time expired, leaving our girls with a 51-48 victory and the first tournament title of the year.

The girls will be taking off a few weeks for Spring Break, but look forward to getting back on the hardwood for the Dawson Smith Jam in mid-April.

Congratulations Cagers!

Slammin' and Jammin'!

13U and 14U bring home trophies on big opening weekend

13U Blue Finalists
13U Blue Finalists
14U Blue brings home the prize
14U Blue brings home the prize
Cox flies downcourt
Cox flies downcourt
Howell and Ramey playing D
Howell and Ramey playing D
Shultz boxes out
Shultz boxes out
Smith locks up on the big Cougar
Smith locks up on the big Cougar

The girls program had a big opening weekend at the Georgia Slam-n-Jam in Marietta, entering three age groups and bringing home two trophies.

Carlyle Hewatt's 13U Blue team opened with an impressive 51-7 romp over the Marietta G-Devils, made all the more impressive by the fact that the team has only had the opportunity to practice twice. They followed this victory up with a tough 46-42 win over the Forest Park Fury, who are always one of the toughest age group teams in the state. Jordan Heber and Kayla Richards were perfect from the free throw line down the stratech to seal the victory. The win advanced the girls to the finals, where they found themselves in a rematch with the Fury. Unfortunately the Fury were able to even the score and walk away with the championship, so our girls had to settle for second. Christy Hewatt led the girls with 24 points in the final, and Sam Smith chipped in 12.

The 14U Blue entered the 15U age group and began their season with a hard fought win over the Georgia Hotshots Black. Kelsey Turchi led the girls in scoring with 13, while Jordan Shultz chipped in 11 and Cara Malone 9. Grace Ramey pulled down 11 rebounds to help seal a tough 50-45 win. The following day matched the girls with the Georgia Cougars, who were sporting lots of speed and a 6'2" center. Strong rebounding by Michaela Rice and tough defense on the big girl by Kaitlin Young and TJ Howell enabled our girls to rally from a 10 point deficit in the fourth to close the gap to one. Then Megan Cox hit the all-important go ahead jumper to put our girls in front to stay, and we came home with a 48-40 win to take first in the pool.

The semifinal matchup was a rematch against the dangerous Cougars. Our team was buoyed by the arrival of new wing Sydney Bridger, and rode 18 points from Turchi and 15 points / 12 rebounds from Shultz to an impressive 60-51 win. This pitted the girls against the formidable Pistols Gold in the finals. Despite 16 points from Ramey and 10 rebounds from Lindsey Smith, the girls couldn't overcome a big second-quarter Pistols run and went down to a hard fought defeat. Still, it was an excellent opening weekend, particularly in light of the fact that star center Victoria Geisler was out of town and unable to play.

Great start to the season, and congratulations Cagers!

Come Be a Part of Our Winning Tradition

2007 could be the best year yet!

With five teams in the state top ten, one team in the national top ten, and twenty-two tournament trophies, 2006 was a banner year for the Cagers. We expect 2007 to be even better, but we need you to make it happen! If you would be interested in participating in the Cager program, please contact the appropriate coach from the list below for tryout / evaluation information.

9U Girls (1997 birthdays): Rodney Storms

10U Girls (1996): Gregg Jones

11U Girls (1995): Mike Croce

12U Girls (1994): Doug Fields - Blue Team

13U Girls (1993): Carlyle Hewatt - Blue Team

13U Girls (1993): Cliff Roberts - Silver Team

13U Girls (1993): Bruce Kidwell - White Team

14U Girls (1992): Ralph Smith - Blue Team

14U Girls (1992): Tom Gwaltney - Silver Team

15U Girls (1991): Lisa Godwin

16U Girls (1990 or junior eligibles): David Macer

10U Boys (1996 birthdays or grade exemptions): Mike Dolan

11U Boys (1995 birthdays or grade exemptions): Joseph Morris

14U Boys (1992): Curt Thayer

15U Boys (1991): Jeff Vidd

We look forward to hearing from you.


2014 Dawson Smith Memorial Jam

The 12th annual Dawson Smith Memorial Jam is planned for April 11-13, 2014. Our event has drawn almost exactly 150 teams from around the south in each of the last two years, giving us the proud distinction of hosting the two largest girls invitational tournaments in Georgia state history. Last year we were able to offer both DI and DII competition in each age group between 4th and 8th grade, so many teams will be able to select the level of competition that best fits their level of play.

The 2014 dates position the tournament between most schools' spring break and Easter weekend, so it's an ideal time to come out and play! We hope to see you there. One note: last year some age groups filled up well before the entry deadline, and in some age groups both DI and DII filled up early (7th grade had 32 teams committed well in advance, which is the maximum.) Make sure to sign up early so you won't miss out!

Many thanks to our sponsors for making our event possible, including

  • Atlanta Dream
  • Zaxby's
  • Nfinity Shoes
  • Staples
  • Orion Development Group
  • Game Time Designs
  • Quantum Solutions
  • Williams & Horning Co, Inc.
  • City Beautiful Design
  • Kroger
  • Marriott Hotels

If your organization would like to join the sponsor group please let us know. We have several levels of sponsorship that will both promote your organization and help us develop the talents of the local youth.

We hope to see you at next year's event! For more information please email us.

AAU USA YBOA

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