RINGGOLD, Ga. -- The prevailing feeling in Georgia Region 7-AAA is that basketball success this season will be determined by what's in the backcourt. It's a premise the Ringgold Tigers like.
Not only does Greg Elkins' team return the top scorer in the league in senior shooting guard Nick Scott plus backcourt mate Steven Williams, but a veteran "newcomer" will give the already-deep unit a boost.
Senior guard Matthew Crownover, better known for his exploits on pitching mounds, returns to the hardwood for the first time since his freshman season. The recently signed future Clemson Tiger wasn't sure if he should play until he talked to Clemson baseball coack Jack Leggett.
"It's funny in that the Clemson coach helped talk him into playing," Elkins said. "Matthew is a great athlete and he will provide some toughness to our backcourt."
He's not the only member of the powerful baseball team to come aboard. Senior Adam Weldon's presence may be even more important. At 6-foot-5, Weldon will pair with returning post Tyler Adams to give the Tigers a formidable inside game.
"Weldon will start at the 4 spot and we expect big things," Elkins said. "He can really move and he'll help us tremendously."
Still, it will be backcourt play that reigns in 7-AAA. Dalton returns star shooting guard Tristen Harrell and point guard Tre Beck, while LaFayette has its three-headed monster of Devarus Porter, Jarrod Beamon and Jordan Teems back. In this league, if you can't handle pressure, there will be a lot of long nights.
"That's one of the biggest things about getting Matthew," said Ringgold's Scott, who averaged 21 points and four steals a year ago. "A lot of teams press in our region, and he will help with the pressure. Most teams play up-tempo and it seems every team is guard-oriented, so I believe we'll be able to play with anybody."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...