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Lanierland: Teacher meets student in tourney
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What do Bobby Bowden and Mark Richt, Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini and Geno Auriemma and Jenn Rizzotti have in common?

Each first taught the second, and later in life each student came face-to-face with their teachers in the coaching arena.

At 5:30 tonight at East Hall High’s gym, a mentor and his understudy will face off at the Jackson EMC 48th Annual Lanierland Basketball Tournament: Lakeview’s Seth Vining and East Hall’s Joe Dix.

Dix was an assistant to Vining at East Hall for a number of years and took over the head coaching position when Vining left in 2005.

Vining’s Lions (4-2), a No. 7 seed, upset No. 2-seeded North Hall 73-65 to get into the semifinal round.

Lakeview is averaging 62 points per game while giving up 61 and are led in scoring by guard David Pruett who averages a little better than 19 points per game.

Junior point guard Haughton Carswell runs Vining’s up-tempo offense and serves as the point man for the defense, dishing out three assists per game and getting nearly two steals per game.

Class AAA’s No. 6-ranked East Hall (3-1, 2-1) is hitting for 74 points per game and giving up 10 less. They have a balanced inside and outside scoring attack led by point guard Dedric Ware, shooting guard Trevor Bishop and small forward Josh Chapman.

Bishop and Chapman are deadly from 3-point range and Ware is an expert at driving the lane and dishing or finishing.

The Vikings will be playing their second game of the season with senior big man Ken Wise, who missed the first part of the season with a knee injury.

Wise not only adds a scoring presence down low but also gives the Vikings squad extra leadership, rebounding and a go-to person on the floor.

Lakeview will have a hard time matching up with East Hall in the size and depth department, but where heart and coaching is concerned the two teams are evenly matched.

In the teams two previous meetings, East Hall won by an average of 39 points.

Class AAA’s No. 7-ranked, and defending Lanierland and state champion, East Hall girls play Flowery Branch in the first game of the semifinal round of Lanierland at 4:00 p.m. today at East Hall High.

East Hall made it into the semifinals with a win over Chestatee while Flowery Branch beat Lakeview to ensure a spot.

The Lady Vikings (4-2, 1-2) and Lady Falcons (4-1, 2-1) have already met once this year with Flowery Branch winning 29-28 on Nov. 30.

In the other girls game of the night, the Class AAA No. 5-ranked Lady Elephants take on North Hall.

Gainesville (6-1, 3-0) is led by Jaymee Carnes, who is averaging just under 20 points per game while grabbing nine rebounds per game and blocking an average of one shot.

North Hall (3-1) has two players averaging double figures in scoring with seniors Letietia Davenport and Elizath Williams. Davenport is hitting for 20 points per game while Williams is averaging 14.

Lady Red Elephants starting point guard Kiana Glasper, who leads Gainesville with four assists and two steals per game and is the second leading scorer on the team averaging nine points per game, is out for the remainder of Lanierland with an injured thumb.

Gainesville is, coming into the matchup with North Hall, averaging 56 points per game and giving up 47 while North Hall is averaging more points per game, 62 and giving up less, 46.

In the final game of the night, Class AAA No. 5-ranked Flowery Branch boys will play Chestatee in a rematch of a Falcons 16-point win Nov. 27.

Flowery Branch (6-0, 3-0) is averaging close to 80 points per game thanks to their abundance of scoring threats, including Josh Barrett and A.C. Bailey who are both averaging 13 points per game.

Bailey is also the team’s second leading rebounder with five per game right below Izaan Cross’ seven rebounds per game.

The Falcons defense is holding team’s to 57 points per game but will have to contain one of the best shooters in the area in Chestatee’s (4-1, 2-1) Parker Smith.

Smith is coming off a season-high 47-point game and his team is averaging 67 points per game while giving up only 58.

The winners of tonight’s Lanierland semifinal games will play for the Lanierland championships Saturday night.

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