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Barnes coming through for Trojans
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Honor roll

Richard Tribble, Riverside Military: 22 points in win against Rabun County.

Brandon McKinney, Riverside Military: 18 points in win against Rabun County.

Kevin Kanca, Flowery Branch: 24 points in win against Loganville.

Ishmael Hollis, Flowery Branch: Averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds in two wins.

Blake Sims, Gainesville: Averaged 14 points in three games.

A.J. Johnson, Gainesville: Scored 19 in loss to Lambert.

Jaymee Carnes, Gainesville: Averaged 18.6 points and 8.6 rebounds in three games.

Lance White, North Hall: Scored 14 points in win against Creekview.

Bailey Soucie, West Hall: Scored 16 points on 11 of 14 from the free throw line in win against Johns
Creek.

Shunquez Stephens, West Hall: scored 21 points in win against Johns Creek.

Dylan Bartlett, West Hall: Scored 15 points in win against Johns Creek.

Jarquise Young, West Hall: Scored 14 points in win against Johns Creek.

Jasmine Jenkins, East Hall: Scored 16 points in win against Lambert.

J.C. Hampton, East Hall: Scored 18 points in win against Lambert.

Charles Perry, East Hall: Scored 14 points in win against Lambert.

Alysha Rudnik, Buford: Scored 21 points in win against Decatur.

E.J. Young, Lumpkin County: scored 20 points in win against Chestatee.

Daniel Olvera, Lakeview Academy: Averaged 14.5 points in two wins.

Ashely Lowery, White County: Scored 15 points in win against Fannin County.

Luke Crumley, White County: Scored 15 points in win against Fannin County.

Tyler Dotson, White County: Scored 15 points in win against Fannin County.

J.J. Damons, Jefferson: Scored 21 points in win against Banks County.

Quan Holcomb, Gainesville: Scored 18 points in win against Franklin County.

T.J. Shipes, Buford: Scored 15 points in win against Cross Keys.

Payton Wehunt, Buford: Scored 14 points in win against Cross Keys.

Maddie Haymore, Lakeview Academy: Scored 24 points in win against Commerce.

Joshten Hopkins, Flowery Branch: Scored 14 points in win against Johnson.

E.J. Wright, Johnson: Scored 14 points in loss to Flowery Branch.

Tre Dudley, Johnson: Scored 19 points in loss to Flowery Branch.

Jessica Harper, Flowery Branch: scored 15 points in win against Johnson.

It’s common knowledge in the sports world that a coach stops critiquing a player only when the coach has given up on that player.

Luckily for North Hall shooting guard Chris Barnes, coach Benjie Wood and the Trojans, the player hasn’t been given up on and the critiquing just fuels his fire.

“I usually play better when I’m mad,” Barnes said Monday after scoring 17 points in the Trojans’ win against Chestatee. “Coach stays on me because I’ve got to step up more, and because he stays on me, I stay mad.”

Barnes scored 22 points in North Hall’s subregion title-clinching, 59-56 win against Creekview on Feb. 9 and as a result, is The Times Athlete of the Week.

“Chris understands the game,” Wood said. “I’ve been tough on him and I will continue to be because I see so much potential.”

While Barnes has led the Trojans in scoring several times this season, there was one game early on that both Wood and Barnes point to as the season’s turning point: the Lanierland championship.

In that game, a 67-57 win against East Hall, Barnes scored a team-high 20 points, including a stretch in which he hit six straight 3-pointers.

“I can’t tell you what he said to make me mad before that game,” said Barnes, who shoots 250-300 shots a day outside of practice.

Since Lanierland, Barnes has averaged 16.5 points per game including a 25-point effort in a win against Wesleyan and 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the 3-point line in an earlier win against Chestatee.

“When he gets going, he’s a special player,” Wood said. “Most of the guys on our team sacrifice numbers for the benefit of the team and he’s no different.

“He could be averaging well above what he is now if he wasn’t a team player.”

Being a team player also means knowing your role, and for Barnes, that means one thing.

“I’m a shooter,” he said.

Wood, in a fashion befitting the relationship the two seem to have, disagreed.

“He’s a scorer,” Wood said. “He knows how to score when he’s not shooting and reads the defense so well.”

For as good offensively as Barnes has been and hopes to be, however, his focus is on nothing but his team heading into this week’s Region 7-AAA tournament.

“We need to play like we did at the beginning of the season,” Barnes said. “We can go as far as we want to if we play together and play with that hunger.”

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