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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Hagans remains with Blazers, college basketball teams move into post-season

March 5, 2024 Charles Wilson /

This week's edition of 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' includes updates on more than 40 locals who contributed last week with their professional or college teams.


Ashton Hagans

ASHTON HAGANS — Portland Trailblazers and Rip City Remix (4th yr. pro; Cartersville native; Kentucky; Newton HS) … Hagans continues to make the most of his time with the Blazers on a two-way contract. He scored 13 points with eight assists, five rebounds, two steals, and one blocked shot this past Saturday in a 107-100 overtime win at the Memphis Grizzlies. The night before he scored six points with five assists, three blocks, two rebounds, and one steal in a 122-90 win over Memphis. Last Tuesday (Feb. 27) in a 106-96 home loss to the Miami Heat, Hagans scored two points with one assist, one rebound, and one blocked shot. On Monday, Hagans logged almost 20 minutes and had four assists, three rebounds, and three steals.  The Trailblazers (17-43) begin a three-game homestand on Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They host the Houston Rockets on Friday and the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. 


MASON BARNETT — Kansas City Royals (3rd yr. pro; Auburn; Cartersville HS) … made his second Spring Training appearance last Wednesday and was charged with the pitching loss in a 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. Barnett allowed three earned runs on two hits and two walks in 1-⅓ innings. He is now 0-2 in two appearances (2-⅓ innings) with a 15.43 ERA. The Royals, 8-3 in Cactus League play, have games this week against the Cubs, Mariners, Rockies, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and A’s.


A.J. MOSBY, JR. — Sudbury Five — Sudbury Five (6th year pro; Alcorn State; Cartersville HS) … in The Five’s only game last week, Mosby recorded a double-double scoring 19 points with 12 rebounds. He added four assists, one steal, and one blocked shot in a 100-81 loss at the Kitchener Waterloo Titans. Sudbury (11-7, 3rd in the standings) visits the league-leading London Lightning on Tuesday for their only game this week.


BRAXTON BENHAM — Berry College (Jr., Cass HS) … scored 16 points with six assists, three rebounds, and three steals last Friday but the Vikings lost their NCAA D-III National Tournament first-round game at Guilford College (NC), 87-70. In his junior season, Benham led the Vikings in minutes. He averaged 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.8 steals and was the SAA Defensive Player of the Year, Berry finished the season with a 19-10 record and a Southern Athletic Association conference championship.

ZAYLAN CHANEY — Tallahassee CC (So., Cartersville resident; Legacy Academy) … came off the bench to score 14 points with six rebounds and one steal last Wednesday in the Eagles’ 70-54 home loss to Gulf Coast CC. Tallahassee also lost to Chipola College last Saturday but no box score data was available. The Eagles (18-12) begin play in the FCSAA tournament in Niceville on Wednesday, March 13.

JA’KA’YAH DRAUGHN — Chattanooga State CC (Fr., Cartersville HS) … scored 11 points with four assists and two rebounds last Wednesday in a 96-54 win at Gadsden State CC. Chattanooga State (28-1, 17-1 Tennessee Community College Athletic Association) starts the TCCAA tournament on Friday at Motlow State CC in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

DiANTHONY HEATHCOCK — Columbia International University (Sr., Woodland HS) … scored 15 points with nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal this past Saturday as the Rams lost in the championship game of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament in Kingsport, Tennessee. In quarterfinal and semifinal wins over Bryan College and the University of Pikeville, Heathcock totaled 36 points, 17 rebounds, three steals, and one assist. CIU (20-11) will participate in the National Christian College Athletic Association South Region Tournament on March 11-12 in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

HALEY JOHNSON — Central Georgia Tech CC (So., Cass HS) … scored 11 points with six rebounds, three blocked shots, one steal, and two assists last Saturday in a 76-63 home win over Andrew College. She also scored two points with five rebounds and two assists last Wednesday in an 84-55 win at Southern Crescent Tech. The Lady Titans (15-13, 12-5 GCAA) finish regular season play on Wednesday at Georgia Highlands College.

T.J. PRINTUP, JR. — Tusculum University (R-Fr., Adairsville HS) … scored eight points with four rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot, and one steal this past Saturday in an 88-83 win at Anderson University. He also had four points, three rebounds, and one blocked shot last Wednesday in a home 83-75 victory over UVA-Wise. The Pioneers (14-12, 12-8) begin the South Atlantic Conference Tournament on Wednesday against Carson-Newman University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.


EMILY BUSH — Young Harris College (So., Cartersville HS) … in a 0-7 team loss at the University of North Georgia last Thursday, Bush and partner Meghna Mallath lost their Line 1 doubles set 4-6 and she lost her Line 2 singles match 6-2, 4-6, 0-10. The Mountain Lions (5-3) will face Columbus State University on Saturday in Chattanooga.

EMILY SURCEY — Samford University (Jr., Cass HS) … with partner Grace Keller last Thursday the duo won their Line 2 doubles set 6-0 and Surcey won at Line 2 singles, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 but the Bulldogs lost at Troy University, 3-4. Samford (3-6) plays at the College of Charleston on Wednesday and will also square off against Campbell in Charleston on Thursday.

BRYCE VAN ORDER — Piedmont University (Sr., Woodland HS) … in a 7-2 team win over Huntingdon College in Montgomery last Thursday, Van Order and partner Rohan Kavali won their Line 2 doubles set 8-1 and he won his Line 2 singles match, 6-2, 6-0. This past Sunday, Van Order won a Line 2 singles match over his Birmingham-Southern College opponent, 7-5, 6-2. The team lost matches on Sunday to BSC and 6th-ranked Emory.  Piedmont (7-4) will play on Sunday through March 14 at the USTA Spring Break tournament in Orlando.


DREW THAYER — University of Montevallo (Fr., Woodland HS) … placed 30th in the 5000m run (16:39.72) at the Berry Victor Ice-Breaker this past Saturday in Rome. Montevallo will host the Falcon Classic on March 15-16.

ERIC TOVIAVE — Belmont University (So., Cartersville HS) … was a member of the Bruins’ fifth place 4x400m relay team (3:20.77) at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships on February 26 in Chicago. Belmont transitions to the outdoor schedule March 15-16 at Georgia Tech.


BUCK BRUMLOW — University of Georgia (Jr., Cartersville HS) … carded rounds of 71-71-73—215 (1-under-par) and tied for 32nd as an individual as the 9th-ranked Bulldogs placed sixth of 15 teams in Las Vegas at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. The tournament was played on the par-72, 7,510-yard Southern Highlands GC. No. 1-ranked Oklahoma won the tournament by seven shots over No. 5 Pepperdine. Georgia plays next at the Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro, Ga. March 17-19.


LAINEY BAKER — Union University (So., Woodland HS) … made pitching appearances this past Tuesday and Saturday at home against Trevecca Nazarene and at Valdosta State. She totaled 13 innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks. Baker struck out nine in a complete game 1-0 shutout of Trevecca and fanned 13 in a 4-3 loss at Valdosta State. This past Sunday, she worked 2-⅔ innings in the circle allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks. She struck out two in an 8-2 Union loss. The Bulldogs (14-7, 6-3 Gulf South Conference) play a three-game series at Christian Brothers University on Saturday and Sunday.

HAYLEE DISHMON — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., Cass HS) … in the Chargers’ two losses at Bevill State this past Saturday, Dishmon was 1-for-3 at the plate. GHC (3-16) begins conference play on Wednesday at Georgia Military College.

ANSLEY EVANS — Reinhardt University (Jr., Woodland HS) … went 4-for-12 including two walks and three RBIs as the Eagles went 3-1 at the Gulf Shores, Alabama Tournament. Reinhardt hosts Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Thursday before visiting Johnson University (Tenn.) on Friday and Union College (Ky.) on Saturday. All three dates are doubleheaders.

Megan Gregory

MEGAN GREGORY — Campbell University (Fr., Adairsville HS) … earned her first collegiate pitching victory by tossing an eight-inning, complete-game this past Saturday as the Camels beat Rutgers 3-2 at the UNC Mizuno Invitational. She scattered eight hits and two walks. Only one run was earned and she struck out three. Campbell went 3-1 at the tournament with additional wins over Rider and Lafayette. The Camels (8-12) head to New York this week to play at Fordham on Wednesday and at Stony Brook for three games over the weekend.

Ansley Hight

ANSLEY HIGHT — University of Southern Mississippi (Fr., Cass HS) … had her first collegiate hit and made her first collegiate start this past weekend at the Mississippi State Bulldog Invitational in Starkville. Hight had a pinch-hit double and drove in a run last Friday in a 17-15 win over Samford. Last Saturday she had a two-RBI double and a walk in a designated player start as the Eagles beat Samford 6-5. Hight finished 2-for-5 at the tournament with four RBIs. The Eagles also had a win over Alcorn State and a loss to Mississippi State. Southern Miss (8-9) plays at Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday and will face Murray State, North Alabama, Samford, Detroit Mercy, and Maryland-Eastern Shore this weekend at the UNA Invitational in Florence, Alabama. 

ALYSSA JARRETT — Piedmont University (Fr., Adairsville HS) … the Lions’ catcher made starts last Thursday against Trine University and Sunday against Mary Hardin-Baylor at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus. She was 0-for-3 at the plate with one RBI in those games. Piedmont (3-10) hosts College of Saint Benedict for a Wednesday doubleheader before traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina for the Triangle Classic and four games on Friday and Saturday.

SADYE JOHNSON — University of North Georgia (Jr., Adairsville HS) … was entered at catcher in the fifth inning this past Sunday but did not have a plate appearance in an 11-7 Nighthawks win at USC Aiken. UNG (19-2, 6-0 Peach Belt Conference) is the NCAA D-II No. 1 ranked team and has won 11 straight. They host Emmanuel on Wednesday and a three-game series with Augusta on Friday and Saturday.

ERYN LEE — Reinhardt University (So., Cass HS) … went 2-for-10 with one walk, two RBIs, and two runs scored in four games at the Gulf Shores Tournament. Reinhardt has a home doubleheader with Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Thursday before visiting Johnson University (Tenn.) on Friday and Union College (Ky.) on Saturday for doubleheaders.

RACHAEL LEE — Gulf Coast State CC (So., Cass HS) … went 6-for-20 including two walks, three RBIs, and six runs scored as the Commodores swept six games over Calhoun CC and Andrew College. She also had three stolen bases. GCSCC (25-5), currently ranked No. 8 in the NJCAA poll, plays a doubleheader at LB Wallace on Tuesday.

AVA PERKINS — Lee University (Fr., Cartersville HS) … made a start at third base this past Saturday in a 15-10 win at West Georgia. She was 0-for-1 with one walk at the plate. The Flames (9-5, 5-4 Gulf South Conference) host the University of Montevallo for two games on Tuesday and play a doubleheader at Wingate University (NC) on Saturday.

HOPE SHORT — Shorter University (Sr., Cartersville HS) … had one plate appearance this past Saturday in a loss at Christian Brothers University. Shorter (2-16, 1-8 Gulf South Conference) hosts a three-game conference series with Auburn University-Montgomery on Friday and Saturday.

ALEXA VARNER — Shorter University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … went 2-for-6 in three starts in Memphis that past weekend at Christian Brothers University. The Hawks lost all three games in the series. Shorter (2-16, 1-8 Gulf South Conference) entertains Auburn University-Montgomery for another conference series this weekend.


DREW BILLINGS — Trinity Baptist College (So., Woodland HS) … was charged with the pitching loss in a 5-4 extra innings loss last Friday to Valley City State at the Russ-Matt Invitational in Auburndale, Florida. Billings retired three outs in the 10th and 11th innings but gave up an earned run on two hits. He struck out one of five batters faced. The Eagles (7-12, 4-2) continue play in the invitational with four games on Friday and Saturday.

CURT BONNER — LaGrange College (So., Cartersville HS) … started at catcher last Tuesday in an 11-7 win over Emory University at home. He also made one start and appeared in a second game this past weekend as the Panthers won two of three at home against Nichols College. Bonner was 3-for-10 and scored two runs in those games. LaGrange (8-3) plays at Emory on Wednesday and has a three-game series at North Carolina Wesleyan on Saturday and Sunday.

ELLIOTT EASTIN— Covenant College (R-Fr., Cartersville HS) … had a pinch-hit, two-RBI hit last Saturday in an 8-7 loss at Emory University. On Monday, he was 0-for-2 in a 16-10 home loss to Emory but scored a run after reaching base on a fielder’s choice. The Scots (3-8) play at Birmingham-Southern College on Wednesday, host Cornell College on Friday, and a doubleheader with Mississippi University for Women on Saturday.

COLIN EATON — Gordon State CC (So., Cartersville HS) … made a pitching start this past Sunday and was charged with the loss as the Highlanders fell 12-10 at Chipola College. Eaton, now 3-1, went 2-⅓ innings allowing nine earned runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out three. Gordon State (12-11) plays at Cleveland State CC on Wednesday.


GEOFFREY GORE — Coastal Alabama-South CC (Fr., Cartersville HS) … pitched the sixth inning of a 13-5 loss last Saturday at Gulf Coast State CC in Panama City. Gore was charged with five earned runs on five hits and one walk. He struck out two and faced 10 batters. The Coyotes (2-12) host Coastal Alabama-North CC on Tuesday, Gadsden State CC on Thursday, and play at Gadsden State CC on Saturday. 

KENNY JINKS — Wheeling University (R-Sr., Woodland HS) … made a 5-⅓ inning start this past Sunday with no decision in an eventual 7-6 loss for the Cardinals at Bluefield State (WV). Jinks allowed four earned runs on nine hits and one walk, He struck out six. Wheeling (5-3) will play Clarion University (Pa.) and Glenville State (WV) this weekend in Wilson, North Carolina.

SAM MELTON — Rockingham CC (So., Cartersville HS) … saw action in four games last week and was 2-for-13 at the plate including one walk and one run scored. Rockingham (5-14) plays at Gaston College on Tuesday and has a three-game series at Virginia Peninsula CC on Saturday and Sunday.

DREW ROTHSCHILD — Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (So., Cartersville HS) … went 4-for-19 with a double, two walks, and one RBI in five games last week at home facing Santa Fe CC, Wallace-Dothan CC, and Tallahassee CC. The Stallions (6-12) play at the College of Central Florida on Tuesday and host Jackson College on Friday.

TREY SCOTT — Alabama A&M University (Jr., Cass HS) … made a pair of pitching appearances last week for the Bulldogs at home against Stillman College and at New Orleans. He totaled 1-⅓ innings allowing one earned run on one hit and three walks. He struck out three. Alabama A&M (2-9) plays at Tennessee Tech on Tuesday and has a three-game series at Louisiana-Monroe this weekend.

HANK SMITH — Jacksonville State University (R-Fr., Cartersville HS) … in a home doubleheader this past Saturday against Kent State, Smith made a start in right field in one game and had a pinch-hitting appearance in the other. He was 0-for-2 in his plate appearances.  The Gamecocks (4-7) were 1-4 for the week. They play at Alabama on Tuesday and host Iowa for three games this weekend.

SCOTTY SMITH — Covenant College (Jr., Woodland HS) … made a four-inning pitching start this past Saturday with no decision in an eventual 8-7 loss at Emory University. Smith yielded two earned runs on eight hits with no walks, He fanned two. Covenant (3-8) plays at Birmingham-Southern College on Wednesday, hosts Cornell College on Friday, and plays a doubleheader with Mississippi University for Women on Saturday.

STEPHEN SPELL — Young Harris College (Grad student, Cass HS) … in four road games last week at Mars Hill and Mount Olive, he was 4-for-15 at the plate including a double, a triple, a walk, and one stolen base. The Mountain Lions lost at Mars Hill and dropped two of three at UMO. Young Harris (14-4, 4-2 Carolinas Conference) hosts Barton College on Saturday and Sunday in a three-game conference series.

PRESTON WELCHEL — Cumberland University (Jr., Cartersville HS) … in four home wins last weekend over Cleary University and a Monday win over Bryan College, Welchel was 5-for-14 at the plate including two home runs, two walks, four runs scored, and five RBIs. He was also hit twice by a pitch in the series. The Phoenix (12-7) entertain Briar Cliff University (Iowa) on Friday and Saturday in a three-game series. 

COHEN WILBANKS — Georgia Gwinnett College (Jr., Cartersville HS) … went 2-for-5 in two home starts last weekend against St. Francis (Ill.). He walked once and had one RBI with a sacrifice fly. The NAIA 2nd-ranked Grizzlies (16-2) have five home games this week against St. Francis, Fisher (Mass.), and Indiana Tech.

JORDAN WILKIE — Augusta University (Sr., Cartersville HS) … went 3-for-8 with two doubles and one RBI in losses last Tuesday at West Georgia and at home Saturday against Georgia College. The Jaguars (10-9, 2-1) went 2-2 last week and will host Emory & Henry College on Wednesday before visiting Lander University Friday through Sunday for a three-game Peach Belt Conference series.


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