The Union Recorder

December 6, 2013

Trojan basketball teams win opener

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Nathanael Greene couldn’t handle either John Milledge Academy varsity basketball team Monday.

The Trojan boys won 55-25, while the girls cruised to a 58-23 victory at the Trojan Center.

Amos and Andrew Prestwood impressed in their hardwood debut. Andrew had 16 points, and Amos ended the night with 11 steals and eight points.

JMA boys’ head coach Thomas Craig said Amos’ motor never stops.

“He really gets after it defensively for us,” Craig said. “We need everybody to play like that. Amos stepped up to the challenge.”

Coming off the football field, Andrew drained two 3-pointers totaling 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half.

Senior All-Region player Brandon Panfil scored 15 points as well Monday. Junior Colby McCommon added seven points.

JMA used a balanced team effort with key pieces senior Vince McPherson and junior Garrett Kitchens out with injuries.

“We have to have younger guys step up,” Craig said. “We played three freshman Monday, and I thought they did a good job.”

With one game under the belt, the JMA boys’ coach likes his roster from top to bottom.

“I think any given night someone can go off,” he said. “It’s not just one person. That’s what is going to make it exciting this year. We are going to make our living off defense.”

On the girls’ side, freshman Olivia Clements led the team with 16 points. Junior Kelsey Chambers scored a quiet 14 points as well.

JMA girls’ head coach Natasha Gainous said the Nat Greene game was a good first outing considering the most of the roster played significant minutes.

Gainous said Clements is becoming comfortable on the court.

“She has improved over the summer and will be a really good player,” the girls’ coach said.

Chambers handled her point guard duties well Monday.

Gainous likes the junior’s comfort level leading the offense. Chambers can still take over the game if needed.

Junior Hannah Miller swished her first 3-pointer of the season against Nat Greene.

“That’s what we will look for Hannah to do this year,” Gainous said. “It was good to see.”

Junior Ansley Roberts showed some increased strength inside also.

With the second of four opening home games coming tonight against Tattnall, both squads expect a hefty challenge.

The girls are defending state championships, and the boys are no slouch either.

“It should be an exciting night. We’ll have a big crowd here,” Craig said. “Let’s worry about us and play John Milledge basketball.”