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Sophomore Grogan paces region-leading Lakeview girls
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Lakeview Academy sophomore Hanna Grogan goes in for a layup earlier this month against Athens Christian in Gainesville. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Lakeview Academy’s Hanna Grogan already has many of the skills for playing at the college level, according to her coach John Carrick, even though she’s only a sophomore. Carrick would know as well as anyone, having coached at Georgia College for 27 years, before retiring and coming to Lakeview five years ago.

“I’m awful glad she’s here at Lakeview Academy,” said Carrick about his versatile player. “She can do so many things so well.”

Last week, Grogan had 29 points, 10 boards and three steals in a 70-55 win for the Lady Lions (13-6, 9-0 Region 8-A) against Hebron Christian. That’s two points better than her performance against Towns County earlier this season.

Then on Saturday, Grogan rounded out her stellar week with 19 points in a win against Athens Academy, extending Lakeview’s win streak to six games.

Carrick said that Grogan already has the talent he would look for in a senior, if she was being scouted, to play at the “Division II or lower Division I level.” Based on what he saw at the Lanierland tournament earlier in the season, Carrick said that Grogan is one of the top ‘3-5 players’ in Hall County, and the best player in Region 8-A.

Her stats give that statement good context, now standing at 18 points, seven rebounds and a pair of steals a game.

“Hanna’s a very good athlete, easy to coach, the kids on the team really like her and she’s always trying to get better,” said Carrick.

Grogan’s not content at resting on the skill set she possesses, hoping it will get her to the next level. Carrick said his assistant coach Brad Cochran is there on the weekend to let her in the gym to shoot as much as she needs. Lakeview’s coach said if she continues to get better, especially on the defensive end, he could see her potentially being recruited by larger Division I programs by her senior season.

The two-year starter appreciates the trust her coach has in her abilities. Grogan is receptive to the advice Carrick can give since the majority of his coaching career was spent in college.

“It’s great having him as my coach,” said Grogan, who stands 5-foot-9. “He gives great advice and shows things that college coaches are going to be looking for.”

With Grogan as the centerpiece of Lakeview’s squad, Carrick is constantly trying to keep her in a position to get the ball.

She knows it’s her responsibility to be a shooter. If it’s not a good night from the floor, she tries to get inside for the layup.

Carrick said he can also count on Grogan to make the extra-effort plays when Lakeview needs it, whether it be passing or sprinting down a rebound.

“I’m just lucky to be able to coach one like her,” Carrick said.

Grogan said she’ll have to be even more on point down the stretch with senior shooting guard Marlee Rochester out with an illness and Schyler Miller sidelined with an ankle sprain.

If there’s one area that Grogan is trying to improve, it is on the defensive end, which is a constant work in progress between the coach and player.

“Coach is always telling me out there to ‘be more like a tree than a bush’ on the floor,” Grogan said.

Grogan was pegged early as a basketball standout, and has played on the AAU circuit since the sixth grade. Now she plays travel ball in AAU with the E.O.T.O. program, which is where most college talent is now evaluated.

Lakeview Academy visits Tallulah Falls at 6 p.m. today.

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