POWDER SPRINGS, GA -- College basketball’s Feast Week may be over but Cobb County served up a nice rivalry game on Tuesday night at McEachern High School as the Indians hosted cross town opponent Harrison.
It took two and a half quarters to get it rolling but McEachern put it into an extra gear in the third quarter to pick up a 66-52 win over Harrison. The Indians rode the strong play of freshman guard Trae Golden, who scored 24 points in the victory.
Golden shot nine of 14 from the floor and converted six straight free throws in the second half to put Harrison away. The 6-foot-1 guard didn’t play like a kid in his first high school home game against a rival opponent.
“I wanted to come out there and be unselfish and help my team win. I did what I had to do and if that meant scoring the ball, that’s what I did,” Golden said. “I’m just a freshman on the team and I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”
Coach Nick Chaykowsky, in his first home game at McEachern, came out with a royal blue blazer that would make the bright color-friendly Bruce Pearl proud. He also came out with incredible confidence in his young star.
“Boy, he does a lot for a freshman. He’ll do more than some seniors," Chaykowsky said. "He has an innate ability to score. The things he does, man it’s special. We have a lot of senior leaders that keep him under control and don’t let him settle.”
Golden plays with an old school flair and great body control when attacking the basket. All nine of his made field goals were right at the basket and several buckets were highly contested or converted into three point plays.
Several of Golden’s points came from the sharp passing of senior E.C. Williams and quick outlet passing from forward DeAndre Washington. Williams had a solid nine points and four assists in the game while Washington was a force down low, scoring 10 points and collecting 15 rebounds. Washington’s ability to control the glass was huge in the second half.
“That was the key part for us,” Washington said. “We wanted to get the ball and then push it up the floor and make them guard us. We’re going to have to keep it going and keep working hard.”
Williams, an athletic combo guard, showed no ill affects of a sprained ankle in the off-season and dazzled with the ball in his hands.
“We had to strap it down and step up and play team ball,” Williams said. “We know each other so well and we know what each of us can do. We just had to remember that.”
Harrison was led by junior Matt Sundberg's 12 points and junior Gerald Smith came off the bench to score eight points and played solid defense.
Valdosta State and Georgia College & State University were both in the house to see the action.
GEORGIAHOOPS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Trae Golden, McEachern