Class 3A Basketball blog: Hebron girls win Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic

Top-ranked Hebron Christian’s girls team entered the Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic in Tennessee Dec. 20-22 and decided … well … it would win the thing.

The Lions, 12-0, defeated Livingston Academy (Tenn.) 68-51, Carroll County (Va.) 75-45 and Gatlinburg-Pittman (Tenn.) 73-66 to secure the tournament championship.

Against Gatlinburg-Pittman, Ja’Kerra Butler led with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Aubrey Beckham scored 18 points with five rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Mia James finished with 13 points with three rebounds and three assists.

Hebron returns to the court against Madison County on Friday before entering Region 8-3A play against Oconee County on Jan. 10.

– The Carver-Columbus girls are ranked No. 10, and although the 5-5 record might not impress, the Tigers have faced strong competition, with losses against Pebblebrook (65-56), Class 6A No. 1 River Ridge (73-45), Class 5A No. 4 Forest Park (63-61), Class 2A No. 3 Josey (88-84 in overtime) and Class A Division I No. 2 St. Francis (77-56).

The Tigers consistently have been a postseason threat with two state championships in the past four seasons (2019 and 2021) while in Class 4A. Seniors Caylee Simpson and Kailyn Floyd have been productive for the Tigers. Simpson is scoring around 20 points per game, and Floyd adds 16 points per game.

Carver will travel to Class 7A No. 4 Buford on Jan. 3 before beginning Region 1-3A play against Columbus at home Jan. 6.

– Cross Creek’s girls made the most of lessons learned during its 62-40 loss to Class 5A No. 10 Arabia Mountain on Dec. 27 in the team’s first game at the Chuck Miller Holiday Classic at McDonough.

The eighth-ranked Razorbacks (10-3, 0-0) beat North Clayton 79-47 Wednesday and then moved past Dutchtown 70-57 Thursday. A solid defensive performance from Tahjae Hawes earned the junior player of the week honors for Cross Creek.

Class 3A Boys Top 10

1. Sandy Creek

2. Johnson-Savannah

3. Beach

4. Cedar Grove

5. Monroe Area

6. Calvary Day

7. Cross Creek

8. Oconee County

9. Wesleyan

10. Upson-Lee

Class 3A Girls Top 10

1. Hebron Christian

2. White County

3. Wesleyan

4. Lumpkin County

5. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe

6. Pickens

7. Mary Persons

8. Cross Creek

9. Monroe

10. Carver-Columbus