Class AAAA blog: Bickerstaff’s 34 paces Sandy Creek’s latest victory

Sandy Creek’s latest victory showcased the depth that surrounds super star TJ Bickerstaff. The team built a 48-20 halftime lead and saw 11 different Patriots score by the conclusion of their 89-40 win over Cedartown this Tuesday. Bickerstaff, a Drexel commit, was 13-of-16 shooting, including 2-4 from beyond the arc, and posted a game-high 34 points to go with 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Bickerstaff’s uncle is current Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff--the son of Bernie Bickerstaff--a former NBA head coach and the current Senior Basketball Advisor of the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Elsewhere in the classification, second-ranked St. Pius jumped out to a 40-22 halftime lead and served Cedar Grove a 68-51 loss on Thursday. 

In Region 1-AAAA action, Anthony Watts led Carver-Columbus to a 79-71 win over Dougherty on Tuesday with a game-high 28 points. Americus-Sumter visited Shaw on Tuesday and trailed 50-45 after the third quarter, but outscored the home side 24-6 in the fourth to rally for a 69-56 win. Americus-Sumter struggled from the foul line in the victory—shooting just 6-of-16—but had 18 offensive rebounds to the Raiders’ three to make up for the disparity. Shaw junior Rod Winfrey led all scorers with 17 points, and Joshua Lusane paced the Panthers with 15. 

Thomson got off to a disastrous start in its trip to Richmond Academy. The Bulldogs dug a 32-17 hole by the half and their comeback attempt came up short in a 55-52 Region 3-AAAA defeat. 

LaFayette picked up its 12th-straight win and improved to 19-1 with a 60-52 win at Northwest Whitfield on Tuesday. The Ramblers took a 25-2 record into the Elite 8 last season, before falling 70-40 to eventual state champion Upson-Lee. 

On the girls side, Carver-Columbus opened up a 59-14 halftime lead and scored an 88-30 win over Dougherty to improve to 19-0. Henry County built a 50-8 lead at the half and defeated Woodward Academy 78-21 to improve to 19-2. The Warhawks’ only in-state loss came to top-ranked Carver-Columbus in their season opener (59-45). 

Defending state champion Spalding looked solid in its 62-40 road win over Perry this Tuesday. The Jags held a sizable 36-14 lead at the half—showcasing the defensive intensity that was such a huge part of last year’s title run. Offensively, Aniaya Jester (17), Corriana Evans (15), Kayla Milner (14) and sophomore Kierstyn Milner (9) led a balanced showing.  

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