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Area players honored by Tip-Off Club

By Doug Gorman

For all but five high school basketball teams from the Southern Crescent, the season is over.

However, even for those who have packed away their jump shots and free throws for a much needed basketball sabbatical, and for those who are still in pursuit of high school basketball's ultimate prize – a state title – awards are beginning to pour in.

In its monthly recongition of the area's best high school basketball players, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club named two boys and five girls from Clayton and Henry County to its Team of the Month for February.

On the girls' team, Jonesboro's Shad? and Kala Smith each earned a spot on the squad for February. Although the two talented players are not related, they share the same passion for the game.

The two guards have helped lead Jonesboro into the state tournament for the fourth straight year.

Jonesboro is 26-2, was ranked No.-1 in the Class AAAA coach's poll for several weeks, and Region 5-AAAA champions.

Friday the Lady Cardinals advanced to the Sweet 16 with a victory over Rome in the first round of the state tournament.

The Lady Cardinals play their second-round game Friday night in Dalton against Lakeside-DeKalb.

Two players from Mundy's Mill also made the Atlanta Tip-Off Club girls Team of the Month.

Christian Hunnicutt and Kim Jackson helped their team make history this season by leading the Lady Tigers to their first ever appearence in the Class AAAA tournament.

Although the magical run ended for the Lady Tigers after 19 wins, Hunnicut and Jackson closed out the season with double-figure performances.

Hunnicut scored 15 and Jackson added 12.

Also making the girls team was Union Grove's Jamilah Sharp.

Sharp was the inside force for the Lady Wolverines, helping lead the squad to a winning record under the direction of first-year coach A.C. McCullers.

Union Grove finished the season with a 13-12 record. It was Union Grove's first winning season in school history.

Boys teams:

Henry County senior Herman Mains has a knack of hitting long-range shots. His abilty to shoot the basketball frustrated opponents throughout the year and assured the Warhawks a trip to the Class AAAA tournament.

Mains, who plays guard for the Warhawks, averaged a double-double this season with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

College recruiters are starting to take notice and Mains should sign a basketball scholarship later this year.

Gani Lawal is considered by many college recruiters to be one of the top young players in the country. Although Lawal and the Raiders didn't make the playoffs, the Riverdale sophomore earned a spot on the Atlanta Tip-Off team.