For the second straight season, Jonesboro coach Lamar Harris has led the Cardinals girl’s team to the Region 4-AAAA, Div. B title. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
There is no question that there are some good basketball players and teams in the Clayton County.
This was more evident in the naming of the all-Region 4-AAAA boys and girls basketball team by the region’s 11 coaches. Players from both Clayton and Henry counties dominated the teams.
Riverdale senior Quincy January and Jonesboro junior Michaelle Smith were named the region’s top players on the boys and girls team, respectively. In addition, Riverdale boys coach Tony Brinson was named the coach of the year while Lamar Harris of Jonesboro was named the girls coach of the year for the region.
“I was really hungry and motivated this season,” January said. “I just wanted to do what I could to help my team win.”
The lone Clayton County player on the boys first team is James Walker of Jonesboro. The freshman averaged 15.1 points and five rebounds per game for the Cardinals, who finished in second place in the subregion. In 25 games, Walker scored in double figures 21 times. He had a career-high of 25 points in an 80-44 win over Dutchtown.RegRounding out the first team is Georgia State signee Jordan Sessions of Eagle’s Landing and Aundre Reid of Dutchtown. Also making the first team is Stockbridge teammates Nathan Greene and Darius Alexander.
Clayton County players dominated the second team with Abdoulie Williams of Riverdale, Reginald Scurry of North Clayton and Jonesboro teammates DeAntre Mack and Tracy Hector. The only non-Clayton County player on the first team was Cameron Clayton of Locust Grove.
On the girls side, no player from the county made first team while Mahogany Hall of Jonesboro was the lone second team member from the county. There were five players that received honorable mention honors from the county, including Keke Harden (North Clayton), Victoria Sutton (Jonesboro); Raquel Adams (North Clayton), Toni Thomas (Riverdale) and Amoni Walker (Jonesboro).
Here is a look at each of the region’s superlatives:
Quincy January, Riverdale: The 6-foot-5 senior averaged 18.9 points and 11.2 rebounds to help lead a senior-laden team to the Region 4-AAAA, Division B title this season. He followed a solid junior season with an MVP caliber year as the Raiders became one of the top teams in their region.
Michaelle Smith, Jonesboro: The 5-foot-11 junior averaged 18.2 points per game in 19 games this season. She missed six games with a shoulder injury to start the season. A two-sport athlete, Smith also averaged 15.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game to help lead the Cardinals, who finished the regular season with a 16-8 record. This past volleyball season, Smith was named the Clayton News Daily Clayton County Player of the Year after leading the Cardinals to the Class AAAA playoffs.
Tony Brinson, Riverdale: The Raiders came within one point of reaching the state tournament last season, Brinson’s first as the boys coach. Riverdale was 19-5 in the regular season and clinched the top seed in this week’s tournament for its subregion. Prior to leading the boys team, Brinson has also coached the school’s girls team to success.
Lamar Harris, Jonesboro: For the second straight season, the Cardinals captured the Region 4-AAAA, Division B top seed going into the region playoffs. Harris is in his second season with the Cardinals, who finished with an overall record of 16-8 while winning six of its last seven regular season games. Jonesboro had to battle injuries at the beginning of the season as it got off to an 0-4 start while playing four defending state champions to start the season. The Cardinals only had one returning starter from last season’s Class AAAA semifinalist team.