Class 2A blog: A look at top girls teams, players

Junior-heavy Elbert County ranked No. 1; Northeast’s Jakia Little averaging 25.4 points

We’re already a couple of months into the season and a lot has happened thus far. Let’s take a look at the the top girls teams and players.

Top teams

Elbert County (15-2, 0-0 Region 8)

The top-ranked Blue Devils put 2A on notice last season, finishing 23-3 and narrowly losing to eventual state champions Josey 46-44 in the quarterfinals. They made that run exclusively with sophomores, with four seldomly-used players — one senior, one junior and two freshmen — filling out the roster. Their lone all-state selection from last year’s team, Aaniyah Allen, returns after leading the team with 16.2 points, chipping in 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 2.8 assists as a sophomore. Fellow juniors Niya Moon (12 points, 4.8 rebounds 2.9 assists, 2.6 steals) and Terrace Hester (10.9 points, 3.8 steals) round out their top three.

Fannin County (8-2, 2-0 Region 7)

The No. 2 Rebels are chasing the success of last year’s magical run that saw them reach the championship game, where they lost 47-42 to Josey. In the quarterfinals, they knocked off Early County, who had one of the nation’s top recruits in Makayla Timpson, 66-64. That set the stage for an epic 43-41 semifinal win over Butler, which came after freshman Courtney Davis’ steal near half-court and her pass, to junior Becca Ledford, who put in the game-winning lay-up at the buzzer. Both are back for the Rebels, who have beaten 4A’s No. 10 North Oconee and 7A’s North Gwinnett.

Lamar County (9-3, 1-1 in Region 3)

After being eliminated in the first round of last year’s playoffs by Swainsboro 51-48, the No. 3 Trojans are looking to take a big step forward. Senior guard Tamya Blasingame is second in 2A in scoring with 22.4 points, adding 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.7 assists. She and Zaria Fletcher (10 points, two blocks) are the only upperclassmen on the team, with the rest being sophomores and freshmen. Sophomore Shikiria Foster is averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and a 2A-leading 7.6 steals. Their most notable win to date is 57-30 over 1A Public’s No. 4 Taylor County. Two of the Trojans’ losses came via forfeit.

Rabun County (11-2, 0-0 Region 8)

The perennial playoff contending Wildcats have reached the playoffs every year dating back to 2009 under coach DeeDee Dillard, and last year they were beaten by Columbia in the second round. They’re ranked No. 4, though they’ve yet to play a ranked Georgia team. Five of their games — all wins — have been against opponents from the Carolinas. They’ll close out 2021 in the Battle of the States holiday tournament at Towns County, then resume action on Jan. 11 against Union County in a region contest.

Josey (8-4, 2-0 Region 4)

The No. 5-ranked Eagles finally stepped from the shadows of crosstown rivals Laney, ending a 37-game series losing streak to the Wildcats that dated back to 2007. Josey beat the Wildcats two out of three times. The end result was the Eagles’ first state title since 1998. As an unranked team from Region 4, the Eagles took out Elbert County in the quarterfinals and Washington County in the semis before rallying from a 14-point deficit to edge Fannin County 47-42 in the title game. They return last year’s leading scorer, Arieonna Booker, who was only a sophomore last season. Booker is averaging 9.3 points this year, with seniors Aqoyas Cody (10.4 points) and Kyshonna Brown (9.8) points leading the way.

For the top 10, go here.

Top players

G Aaniyah Allen, Elbert County

5-foot-7 junior

Last season, Allen was one of just three sophomores to make first-team all-state, regardless of classification. She averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 2.8 assists.

G Becca Ledford, Fannin County

5-foot-6 senior

An all-state selection last season as a junior, Ledford led the Rebels to the state championship last season. She has signed to play for West Georgia.

G Tamya Blasingame, Lamar County

5-foot-4 senior

Blasingame is second in 2A in scoring with 22.4 points, adding 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.7 assists. She was a second-team all-state selection last season, when she passed the 1,000-point mark for her career.

G Gabrielle Johnson, Callaway

5-foot-3 senior

Johnson was a second-team all-state selection last season, leading the Cavaliers to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history. She’s averaging 12.7 points, four steals and 2.3 assists so far.

G Jakia Little, Northeast

5-foot-6 senior

Little leads 2A in scoring with a 25.4-point average and is second in steals with 4.8 for the No. 9-ranked Raiders. She’s hoping to lead the Raiders to their first playoff win since 2011.

Other notable players: Kaykay Mobley (senior, Toombs County), Shakiria Foster (sophomore, Lamar County), Ashley Gray (senior, Washington County), Mikaili Parker (junior, Washington County), Kamryn Grier (junior, Banks County), Kiara Turner (junior, Laney)