Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Warriors come out to play

ATLANTA -- For the first time in what feels like forever, Southwest Atlanta Christian is laying low under the radar. And the class A powerhouse likes being in that position.

The Warriors might not be in that position for very much longer though. SACA held on for a 78-73 win over Banneker at the Dwight Howard II gymnasium on Tuesday night.

Led by sophomore Jalen Kendricks (pictured) and seniors Joel Lamb and Dorian Smith, the Warriors came away with a hard fought win. Kendricks, a multi-skilled 6-5 wing, was outstanding in the win as he scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out seven assists.

Lamb, a Charleston Southern signee, scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Smith scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out six assists.

Banneker made it close in the fourth quarter, scoring 35 points in the final eight minutes of the game. They scored 38 points in the first three quarters. Led by unsigned seniors Ed Dudley (18 points) and Kenton Harper (18 points, 12 rebounds), Banneker couldn't close the door in the end.

Southwest Atlanta Christian (13-3) will be a tough team in 2008. They have talent and size at the right positions. With a huge game on Saturday against Whitefield Academy, the Warriors have a chance to solidify themselves even further with a win at home. The game was originally scheduled to play at Ben Hill Recreation Center but it will be played at SACA at 7:30. Get there early as the gym will certainly fill up fast.

Coaches from Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State were on hand for the game.

What we learned:

- Kendricks will battle with Trae Golden of McEachern for the top spot in the 2010 state player rankings over the next two and a half years. Kendricks is the real deal. He's a Jalen Rose type of player.

- SACA has a chance to win another class A state title. This might be the most balanced team ever under Courtney Brooks' direction.

- Charleston Southern got a steal in Lamb. He's getting stronger and playing well under the basket. He'd be best served with a red-shirt year to continue to fill out.

- Banneker has talent. They just have to find some consistency and balance in its approach.