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Forsyth, Georgia
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May 30, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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[f j. :- orter / / PLAY HARD HAVE FUN ENJOY ITHE GAME F R OM T H E :* Since I've watched seemingly a thousand basketball games in the last six weeks, here are a few of my thoughts on the NBA Playoffs. 1.) The Golden State Warriors are headed for a second straight NBA crown despite merely playing quality basketball in spurts. Golden State, which remains loaded with four of the 20 or so best players in the league, mostly sleepwalked through the regular season finishing seven games behind the No. I seed Houston Rockets. Instead of raising their effort level in postseas0n pla); the Warriors have continued the same lethargy, only rising to the occasion once it is necessary. In Games 6 and 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets, Golden State fell behind by 15 points or more in each game only to rally and win going away with second-half offensive explosions. Against an overmatched Cleve- land Cavaliers team featuring King LeBron James and his many subjects in the Finals, expect more of the same from Golden State. The Warriors will fall behind early in most Finals games as Cleveland outscraps them only to overcome the deficits with the usual three- point explosions from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Meanwhile, the second-most talented player on planet Earth, Kevin Durant, will likely do his usual disappearing act for long stretches simply because he's on the most stacked team in the history of basketball. Not a great time to be a fan of competitive balance. 2.) Over the past six weeks, LeBron James has put on the most jawdropping one-man performance in the history of the NBA playoffs. James has taken a Cavs team that in an almost unprecedented set of personnel moves virtually reshaped itself entirely at mid-season all the way to the Finals. By reaching his eighth straight Finals series, James became the only player outside of the Red Auerbach 1960s Celtics' dynasty to achieve the feat. Now James will have to perform his most extraordinary feat yet to dethrone the heavily factored WarriOrs,IfJai eA: : is up to gargantuan task, he is without questioh' e ': greatest basketball player 9f all time, surpassing even my childhood idol Michael Jordan. But since even James has no chance of topping these Warriors, the James/Jordan debate will rage on with no end in sight. Here's my two cents. There are multiple factors in pla) Jordan leads the championship count 6 to 3, but James leads the Finals appearance count 9 to 6. Then in the individual race, Jordan leads LeBron in most regular season statistical categories (but the gap is closing quickly) while LeBron already leads Jordan in most playoffstatistical catego- ries (but the gap is widening quickly). It's impossible to compare which player was more dominant thanks to rule changes like the elimination ofhandchecking, whim was prominent in Jordan's era, and the allowance of zone defenses, prevalent in LeBron's era. However, James' statistical lead over Jordan will likely be so great in every important category by the time he's finished that it will be rendered impossible to deny he's the GOAT. At this point, honestly it's only a matter of time. ~'1111111111111 ! !!! P Mary Persons High School hosted the Region 2-AAAA All-Star soccer game on Saturday, May 19 and had a number of players participating. ,(Above) Participating from the MP boys team were; from left, Brock Hulsey, Jacob Anthony, William Atkins, coach Allen Luton, Alex Rivera and Dawson Daniel. (Below) MP girls coach Dallas Hall, left, coached the girls team, which included his MP playersl from left, Abbie Davis, Kennedy Finch Taylor Buffing ton, Sidney Bruner, Annie Giles and Lori Smith. The Mary Persons girls soccer team celebrated a 12-6-1 season and Sweet 16 state playoff appearance with awards at a year-end banquet at the Georgia Forestry Association on Thursday, May 17. Lauren Hamm was named Newcomer of the Year. Morgan Lawson won the Iron Dawg award. Annie Giles won Best All Around. Taylor Buffington was named Player's MVP and Sidney Briner was named Coach's MVP. Scholar Athletes were Lori Smith, Lauren Hamm, Sidney Briner, Meredith Hamm, Mara Emami, Morgan Lawson, Naomi Sanders, Annie Giles, Abbie Davis, Hope Brooks, Taylor Buffington, Kennedy Finch and Anmol Patel. All-Region First Team were Taylor Buffington, Lauren Hamm, Annie Giles, Kennedy Finch, and All-Region Second Team was Abbie Davis. All-Region Honorable Mentions were Sidney Briner and Morgan lawson. See I)UI II Page 2B By Richard I)umm forsyth@rnymcr.net The Mary Persons boys golf team fin- ished in 16th place at the one-day AAAA state tournament at Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega on Monday, May 21. The Bulldogs posted a team score of 352, which was 64-over par, which ranked MP 16 shots behind the next worst score of 336, recorded by region counting scores were recorded by Cannon Newberry, who finished in a tie for 69th with an 85, Carson Newberry, who finished in a tie for 92nd with a 92, and Jimbo Finch, who finished in a tie for 95th with a 94. Other MP participants who didn't record .counting scores rival Perry. Columbus included: Dylan Steed, who fin- captured the boys state The MP boys golf team, including ju- ished in 98th title with a team score of 278, 10-under par, nior Dylan Steed, placed 16th at state, place with a which was eight shots in the AAAA state tournament on May 95, and Calen better than second21. (File photo) Knight, who fin- place St. Pius X's total ished in a tie for of 286. Marist finished in third place 99th with a 98. with a 291. As a team, MP recorded four birdies Columbus' Ben Carr was the boys with Proctor birdieing the par-5, 475- individual champion with a 5-under yard fourth hole and the par-3, 190- par 67, beating three other players, yard 1 lth hole, Carson Newberry also Buck Brumlow of Cartersville, Daniel birdieing the fourth hole, and Knight McKenzie of St. Pius X and Jonathan birdieing the par-3, 162-yard third hole. Parker of Columbus, by a single shot. The AAAA boys toumament was Sophomore Gus Proctor posted MP's supposed to be a 36-hole affair, but for top score of nine-over par 81 to flaX- the second year in a row Tuesday's Day ish in a tie for 54th overall. MP's other 2 play was rained out. Meanwhile, the MP girls golf team finished in 19th place at the one:day AAAA state tournament at Innsbruck Golf Club in Helen on Monday. The Lady Dogs posted a team score of 409, which was 198-over par; which ranked MP 22 shots behind the next worst score of 387, recorded by region rival Perry. MP finished five shots ahead of another region rival Upson- Lee, which recorded a team score of 414. Woodward Academy captured the girls state title with a team score of 232, 16-over par, which was 10 shots bet-" ter than second place Central Carroll's total of 242. White County finished in third place with a 243. White County's Catie Craigwas the girls' individual champion with a 2-over par 74, beating second- place Ayanna Habeel of Woodward Academy by a single shot. Freshman Molly Poland posted MP's top score of 50-over par 122 to finish in a tie for 61st overall. MP's other count- ing scores were recorded by Carrington Hughes, who finished in 73rd with a 142, and Isabel Stone, Who finished in 74th with a 145. One other MP ticipant didn't record a counting score. Gracie Copeland finished in 81st place with a 163. The AAAA girls tournament was supposed to be a 36-hole affair, but for the second year in a row Tuesday's Day 2 play was rained out. Monroe County quartet captures SAF soccer title Four Monroe County boys helped lead the 2004 pre- mier team from the Southern Alliance of Football (SAF) to win first place in their Classic 4 league this spring. On Sunday, May 20 the boys beat Concord Fire in Atlanta 2-1 to take the top spot out of 11 teams on the season. Monroe County team members are from left, Tripp Shipman, keeper Adam Hamm and Park Davis. Not pictured is Evan Miller. Other team members are Tyrese Pettigrew, Sam Hollifield, Padraig Littlefield, Na- than Corrigan, Lucas Duke, Josiah Simmons, Jerry Bur- forte, Gunner Heath, Evan Carr, David Reeves, David Houghtafing and Slaton Berkner. Coach is Tevin West.