Andraya Carter, Buford: Scored 19 points in a win over Clarkston on Monday and scored 17 points with five rebounds in a win over Columbia on Friday.
Kaela Davis, Buford: Scored 11 points in a win over Clarkston on Monday and scored 22 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in a win over Columbia on Friday.
Madison Franklin, Banks County: Scored 15 points in a win over Stephens County on Tuesday.
Alex Flagler, Buford: Scored 21 points in a win over Clarkston on Monday.
Matt Hollis, Johnson: Scored 31 points in a win over Lumpkin County on Tuesday.
Amber Johnson, West Hall: Scored 18 points with six rebounds in win over North Forsyth on Tuesday and scored 23 points in a loss to Oconee County on Friday.
Taylor Kennedy, Banks County: Scored 23 points in a win over Stephens County on Tuesday.
Payton Robertson, Chestatee: Scored 27 points with five rebounds in a win over Flowery Branch on Friday.
Marykate Rushton, North Hall: Scored 27 points in win over Swainsboro on Friday.
Mckenna Rushton, North Hall: Scored 11 points with 11 rebounds in a win over Swainsboro on Friday.
T.J. Shipes, Buford: Scored 18 points in a win over Clarkston on Monday.
Caitlin Sloan, Johnson: Scored 25 points with four rebounds in a win over Lumpkin County on Tuesday.
Jarquise Young, West Hall: Scored 21 points in a win over North Forsyth on Tuesday and scored 18 points in a win over Oconee County on Friday.
West Hall’s Shunquez Stephens is all about toughness.
As the quarterback of the varsity football team and the focus of the basketball team, Stephens knows how important mental and physical toughness can be when the game is on the line.
His performance Dec. 14 against North Forsyth certainly showed that.
After getting into early foul trouble, Stephens sat the bench for most of a first half that saw him score only four points.
The Spartans (8-3) still took a 33-28 lead at halftime, but Stephens knew that if West Hall was going to hold on against a deep Class AAAAA opponent in the Raiders, he was going to have to step up in the second half.
He certainly did so, scoring eight points in the final four minutes of the third quarter to give the Spartans a 50-43 lead going into the final period.
In that fourth quarter, Stephens scored nine of West Hall’s first 11 points, including a 3-pointer that gave West Hall a 61-51 lead with 3:47 left in the game.
The senior finished with 25 points and the Spartans won 82-64.
Stephens followed that performance by scoring 17 points in a win over Oconee County on Friday in Oakwood.
For his efforts, Stephens is The Times Athlete of the Week.
“I just try to come out and give it 100 percent every time,” Stephens said. “It’s just all about toughness, how hard you want to play.”
Stephens credits his experience as the quarterback of the Spartans with developing both his toughness and his leadership. The West Hall football team hasn’t posted a winning record during Stephens’ high school career, but he said the losing experience has taught him how to lead.
“I guess I’ve been on that losing side for awhile in football and that has shown me how to develop that leadership, that mentality to keep fighting,” Stephens said. “And that toughness has really helped my defense because defense is all about being tough enough to put forth the strong effort.”
As far as his teammates go, Stephens believes his leadership on the football field has allowed him to know when to encourage his teammates to improve and when he needs to try and make something happen to give the Spartans a spark.
“When we’re down or facing adversity, I just try to show some leadership and do whatever we need to win,” Stephens said.
West Hall coach Warren Sellers said Stephens is the typical all-around player.
“He does all the little things to help us win,” Sellers said. “Whether he’s playing inside on the block or outside on the perimeter, he does whatever this team needs him to do.”
“We call Shunquez the ‘stat-sheet-stuffer’ because he’s averaging a double-double so far this year,” Sellars added. “He’s just our Mr. Everything.”
Once this season is complete, Stephens will have the rest of his senior year to look forward to before college starts next fall.
While he wasn’t sure until recently if he wanted to play basketball or football in college, Stephens said that he has decided on football.
“I know I want to play football, I’ve been getting a lot of calls about football,” Stephens said. “Alabama State is leader right now.”
West Hall is participating in the Lanierland Tournament this week.