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Boys Athlete of the Week: Gainesville's Shaquan Cantrell
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Honor Roll

Basketball

Hunter Atkinson, West Hall: Tallied 22 points in a win against Dawson County on Friday.

Jordan Degraff, Chestatee: Recorded 18 points in a win against Pickens on Wednesday.

Tyler Dominy, Dawson County: Scored 26 points against West Hall on Friday.

Caleb Eppling, North Georgia Christian: Scored 16 points in a win against Holy Ground Christian on Thursday.

Brian Edwards, East Hall: Recorded 27 points in a win against White County on Tuesday and 25 against Banks County on Friday.

Gabe Fraser, Riverside Military: Scored 18 points in a win against Union County on Tuesday.

James Hodges, Johnson: Scored 18 points in a win against Eastside on Thursday.

Justin Jones, Chestatee: Recorded 18 points in a win against Pickens on Wednesday.

Montrell McKenzie, Johnson: Tallied a pair of double-doubles with 24 points and 12 rebounds in a win against Walnut Grove on Tuesday and 32 points and 23 rebounds against Eastside on Thursday.

Austin Montgomery, Lakeview: Scored 23 points in a win against Pinecrest on Tuesday, 19 in a win against Athens Christian on Thursday.

Luke Moore, Gainesville: Recorded 25 points in a win against Loganville on Tuesday and 12 against Salem on Friday.

Norris Rettiger, North Georgia Christian: Scored 16 points in a win against Colonial Hills Christian on Friday.

Ebo Smith, North Hall: Scored 21 points in a win against Buford on Friday.

Satchel Turpin, Jefferson: Tallied 21 points in a win against Rabun County on Tuesday.

Grayson Tyler, West Hall: Finished with 15 points from five 3-pointers in a win against Dawson County on Friday.

Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Tallied 29 points in a win against Salem on Friday and 18 against Cedar Shoals on Saturday.

Jake Weiner, Riverside Military: Scored 18 points in a win against Union County on Tuesday and 23 against Social Circle on Saturday.

Isaiah Williams, Buford: Scored 25 points against North Hall on Friday.

Swimming

Bradley Brown, North Hall: Helped the Trojans’ 200 free relay team to a first-place finish at the state championships and the 200 medley relay team to a third-place finish.

Colin Monaghan, Gainesville: Placed in the top four in both of his events, taking second in the 200 individual medley and fourth in the 100 butterfly.

Paul Powers, North Hall: Won state titles in the 50 and 100 free events at Saturday’s state championships and helped the Trojans’ 200 free relay team to a first-place finish at the state championships and the 200 medley relay team to a third-place finish.

Ty Powers, North Hall: Helped the Trojans’ 200 free relay team to a first-place finish at the state championships, the 200 medley relay team to a third-place finish, and took second individually in the 50 free.

David Schofield, North Hall: Helped the Trojans’ 200 free relay team to a first-place finish at the state championships and the 200 medley relay team to a third-place finish.

Wrestling

Michael Carew, North Hall Placed second in the 120-pound weight class at the AAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Greg Hilliard, Lumpkin County: Finsihed in first place in the 113-pound weight class at the AAAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Tyler Kratzer, North Hall: Finished in first place in the 145-pound weight class at the AAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Taylor Marett, North Hall: Placed third in the 106-pound weight class at the AAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Tommy McCormack, Chestatee: Placed fourth in the 160-pound weight class at the AAAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Elliot Raiford, West Hall: Placed second in the 152-pound weight class at the AAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Corey Reece, East Hall: Placed fourth in his weight class at the AAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Jose Reyes-Lavallee, Chestatee: Placed fourth in the 106-pound weight class at the AAAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Bart Velasquez, Chestatee: Placed second in the 113-pound weight class at the AAAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Edward Vergara, East Hall: Placed third in his weight class at the AAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Zach Winter, Flowery Branch: Placed second in the 138-pound weight class at the AAAAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Christian Zapatero, Chestatee: Placed third in the 126-pound weight class at the AAAA East Sectional on Saturday to advance to the state tournament.

Compiled by Kelsey Williamson

Gainesville basketball star Shaquan Cantrell prepares for every game as if it’s his last. Going into tonight’s Region 8-AAAAA tournament game against Flowery Branch, he knows it very well could be, but he believes that he and his teammates can keep the Red Elephants’ momentum rolling and that he can keep scoring.

“As a team we’ve just all got the same mindset that we want to win and we can’t win without each other,” Cantrell said. “We just know that we can lose on any given night, so we’ve gotta stay hungry and focused.”

This hungry team has certainly picked up steam in the past few weeks, thanks in part to Cantrell’s scoring touch. Just last week, Cantrell averaged 24 points per game in three wins for Gainesville. He scored 17 against Loganville last Tuesday, had 18 points and 11 rebounds against Salem on Friday, and capped off his week with 37 points and eight rebounds against Cedar Shoals on Saturday.

For his efforts, Cantrell is The Times Boys Athlete of the Week.

Coach Todd Cottrell said he expected Cantrell to have a stellar senior season and noted how much Cantrell has improved over time.

“He’s one of those guys that really puts a lot of time into his basketball,” Cottrell said. “He’s worked hard pretty much year round, and it’s paid off for him this year as really one of the better players in the area.”

Cantrell’s skill development truly began in his sophomore year when Cottrell moved him from a post player to a perimeter position.

“In my sophomore year, they wanted me to play the (small forward),” Cantrell said. “So I got in the gym working on my ball handling. I know in college I’m going to have to play the perimeter a lot, so I work all the time on it.”

Cantrell had to make some adjustments to his playing style back then to fit his new role, and Cottrell said it continues to help the team overall.

“He’s very versatile,” Cottrell said. “He’s a really good athlete. His size is definitely a plus with his long arms. He’s always been good around the basket.”

“There’s not really a lot of 6-4, 6-5 guards in Georgia, so it’s really an advantage because most of the time people guarding me are smaller than me,” Cantrell said.

His height and his awareness around the basket turns into points for the Red Elephants, but Cantrell attributes a lot of his success on the court to his teammates’ abilities.

“On the offensive end, they take the defensive pressure off me,” he said. “They play good and it changes the aspect of the game because the opponents can’t guard just one player.”

As for his recent onslaught of points, Cantrell doesn’t think much of anything specific has changed in his play or with his team, but his thinking when he’s on the hardwood is just a little different.

“I’ve just been more aggressive on the offensive end,” he said. “I’m more focused.”

In the last few weeks of the season, Cantrell showed up on the scoring sheet in a significant way in almost every game, and according to Cottrell, “when he comes to play, we’re a really good team.”

“I just do whatever it takes for my team to get the win,” Cantrell said.

In this respect, Cottrell noted that Cantrell “does a little bit of everything for us,” something that he said is unique about this season’s team because most of Cantrell’s Red Elephant teammates are the same kinds of versatile players and they have phenomenal chemistry together.

“We’ve been playing together since middle school,” Cantrell said. “It’s just like a big family. We just know each other’s hot spots and that’s what’s got us rolling right now.”

“We’ve gotten hot at a good time,” Cottrell said. “We’ve got a lot of guys playing well, so hopefully it continues.

“We’re playing pretty well as a group right now. They have figured out that when they play together they’re pretty good, and they want to go out in style.”

In tonight’s game, Cottrell said that everyone on his team knows what’s at stake, and Cantrell certainly recognizes the caliber of teams in Region 8-AAAAA.

“Every team that we’ve played is very good,” Cantrell said. “It’s a good region. Anybody can win on any given night.

“I just prepare for every game like it’s my last game. I just want to go out there and give it all I’ve got. I have been blessed with talent and a lot of people would love to be in my shoes.”

Win or lose, Cantrell will go on practicing and improving upon his skills to prepare for his future in basketball. The senior is committed to play his college ball with the University of North Georgia, a team he feels extremely comfortable with.

“I feel like (choosing a school) was a very easy process because of my visit,” Cantrell said. “I felt welcome and wanted. I know I’m going to have to get even bigger and even faster and work on my skills more, though, because the game is a lot faster in college.”

No matter the outcome of tonight’s game, however, Cottrell is pleased with how far his team has come this year.

“I know that we’re proud of this group going from where they started to where they are now, and Shaquan is certainly a part of that.”

Regional events