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Boys Athlete of the Week: Lakeview's Austin Montgomery
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Honor roll

Basketball

Will Anglin, Dawson County: Scored 20 points Saturday in a win over Lumpkin County.

Hunter Atkinson, West Hall: Scored 17 points Thursday in a win over Jefferson.

Carter Cagle, Johnson: Had 15 points and six rebounds Tuesday in a win over Lakeview Academy.

Shaquan Cantrell, Gainesville: Had 16 points and 16 rebounds Tuesday in a loss to Clarke Central.

Ty Cockfield, Johnson: Had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists Friday in a win over Lanier.

AJ Davis, Buford: Scored 15 points Tuesday in a win over Milton.

Tyler Dominy, Dawson County: Scored 17 points Tuesday in a win over Lumpkin County and 20 points Saturday in a win over Lumpkin County.

Kyle Doyle, Buford: Scored 22 points Tuesday in a win over Milton.

Caleb Eppling, North Georgia Christian: Scored 19 points Friday in a loss to Unity Christian.

Jacob Haskell, Lumpkin County: Scored 16 points Tuesday in a loss to Lakeview Academy.

Justin Jones, Chestatee: Scored 27 points Tuesday in a win over Pickens.

Montrell McKenzie, Johnson: Had 18 points and 13 rebounds Tuesday in a win over Lakeview Academy; had 16 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots Friday in a win over Lanier.

Thomas McMillan, Commerce: Scored 16 points Saturday in a loss to Lakeview Academy.

Keelan Passmore, Chestatee: Scored 16 points Tuesday in a win over Pickens.

Rand Rowland, White County: Scored 28 points Friday in a win over Pickens.

Ebo Smith, North Hall: Scored 16 points Tuesday in a win over Lanier.

Jake Weiner, Riverside Military: Scored 16 points Saturday in a win over Tallulah Falls.

Wrestling

JD Holloway, East Hall: Won his dual match Monday in a win over Winder-Barrow and finished fifth Saturday at the Panther Invitational.

Corey Reece, East Hall: Won his dual match Monday in a win over Winder-Barrow and finished second Saturday at the Panther Invitational.

Edward Vergara, East Hall: Won his dual match Monday in a win over Winder-Barrow and finished fourth Saturday at the Panther Invitational.

Taylor Marrett, North Hall: Finished first Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Michael Carew, North Hall: Finished first Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Tyler Kratzer, North Hall: Finished first Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Matthew Scavuzzo, North Hall: Finished first Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Tyler Goss, North Hall: Finished third Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Andy Voss, North Hall: Finished third Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Drew Shoemaker, North Hall: Finished third Saturday at the King of the Mountain tournament.

Compiled by Zac Taylor

Lakeview Academy senior Austin Montgomery didn’t always have to be very physical to dominate in the paint.

At 6-foot-8, the center was able to score over many smaller teams primarily due to his height.

But Montgomery entered his senior year with a new mindset, and a new dose of physicality, after his first season of AAU basketball in the high school offseason.

“During high school sometimes playing against smaller guys you don’t have to work too hard,” he said. “But after playing my first year of AAU ball, I learned to be a lot tougher, more physical.”

Montgomery wanted to play AAU basketball earlier, but wasn’t able to because most teams play on Sundays and, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he isn’t able to play games on Sundays.

Then he was told about the Atlanta All Stars, and before long the coach asked him to join the team.

“I told him I’d have to miss all Sundays, and he said that was fine,” Montgomery said.

Early in the season, the offseason work appears to be paying off. Montgomery had 30 points and 10 rebounds Monday in a loss to Johnson, added 17 points Friday in a win over Lumpkin County and 26 points Saturday in a win over Commerce, the Lions’ Region 8-A opener.

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

His success early on is magnified by the fact that he is playing without the same type of go-to perimeter player he had last season in Austin Pearson, who graduated after last season.

“We definitely have emphasized that Austin is a go-to scorer,” said Lakeview coach Seth Vining. “And we’re still looking to develop perimeter scorers.”

And while the longtime Hall County coach said he hasn’t seen any team yet play a defense like the box-and-one against Lakeview (2-2) to try to scheme Montgomery out of the action, his senior said it has still been a transition to not have one of the top shooters in program history waiting at the arc.

“It’s harder to decide when to force it or when to pass out, “ Montgomery said, “because I don’t have that safety option in Pearson to pass to.

“But as long as my teammates keep shooting, defenses have to keep guarding them.”

Which means more easy buckets in the paint for the senior.

Vining expects that the defense on Montgomery will only get tougher, however, making the work Montgomery has done in the offseason even more important.

Lakeview hosts Hall County rival North Hall at 7:30 tonight in Gainesville, and will get to test itself against more higher-classification area talent when the annual Lanierland tournament tips off Dec. 15.

“I definitely feel like as the season goes along we’ll see more defenses designed to shut down the inside game,” the coach said.

To be a more effective scorer on more parts of the court, Montgomery said he has been developing a better midrange jump shot, which he put on display in the 20-point win over Commerce.

He said it’s something he worked on more this offseason than in years past, which was the common theme during a summer in which the 4.0 student and National Merit Scholarship semifinalist was finally able to play AAU ball.

He added that, in addition to learning how to be more physical, the AAU league improved his communication on the court, something he has been able to utilize as a senior leader as he looks to help lead Lakeview Academy back into the state playoffs in the first year of the new Georgia High School power ratings system for Class A, which only guarantees the region champion a postseason spot.

“It’ll be harder this season with the new rules,” he said. “But if do our best and win region, we won’t have to worry about the points system.”

The Lions have a good shot, with an experienced backcourt — including three potential point guards — a solid second post player in Joel Larsen, and Montgomery, who Vining values for what he does on and off the court.

“He’s as solid a guy as you can get,” Vining said.

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