Athletes Beyond Bartow: Pugh has hot start; Forristall set for SEC title game

Miller Forristall and top-ranked Alabama will play Florida Saturday in Atlanta for the SEC Championship.

With college basketball just getting started for most Bartow County athletes playing at that level, Cartersville High graduate Jaylon Pugh put together an impressive showing in his lone game this week. A junior at Furman, Pugh scored a career-high 15 points — including a 5-of-6 performance on 3-point shots — in a victory over Division-II Flagler.

Elsewhere, former Canes standout Miller Forristall will be back in the Peach State this coming weekend for the SEC Championship Game. A tight end for top-ranked Alabama, Forristall had his best showing statistically of the season Saturday in a blowout win over Arkansas. He finished with six catches for 52 yards in the victory.

In the professional ranks, Cartersville native Ashton Hagans made his debut for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a preseason game, while Vic Beasley recorded his first tackle for the Las Vegas Raiders.


Ashton Hagans (Cartersville native; Minnesota Timberwolves) — Hagans made his debut for Minnesota in the Timberwolves’ preseason opener Saturday at home. The rookie point guard played 3 minutes, recording one steal and committing one turnover in his time on the floor. Hagans didn’t feature in Monday’s preseason game. Minnesota lost both games — each to Memphis — and will close out the preseason Thursday at Dallas.


Vic Beasley (Adairsville; Las Vegas Raiders) — Beasley recorded his first tackle as a member of the Raiders in a 44-27 home defeat Sunday to Indianapolis. The Clemson product played 39% of the team’s defensive snaps. Las Vegas is back at home against the Los Angeles Chargers this coming Sunday.


DiAnthony Heathcock (Columbia International Fr., Woodland) — Heathcock contributed to a pair of home wins this past week for the Rams in Appalachian Athletic Conference play. In a 95-75 win over Tennessee Wesleyan last Wednesday, the true freshman scored four points and added seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist. Heathcock didn’t score but did pull down eight boards and block a shot in a 79-70 victory against Bryan (Tennessee) Friday.

Jaylon Pugh (Furman Jr., Cartersville) — Pugh went off in Furman’s lone game of the week, draining 5 of 6 attempts from the 3-point line in an 86-61 win over Flagler. Pugh scored his career-high 15 points in 14 minutes, while adding two rebounds and an assist during that span.

Alexis Ware (Piedmont So., Cass) — Ware saw 2 minutes of action in Piedmont’s opener in the Richard Dardenne Memorial Classic last week in Birmingham, Alabama. Piedmont went 1-2 in the event, dropping games to UT-Dallas and East Texas Baptist sandwiched around a win over Birmingham Southern.

Nakiyah Washington (Piedmont So., Adairsville) — A starter in each game of the tournament, Washington scored 15 points (6-of-17 shooting) in a 70-66 loss last Wednesday to UT-Dallas. She racked up 25 points (10-of-18 shooting) in a 138-112 win Thursday over Birmingham Southern, but Washington struggled in a 4-point effort (0-for-6 shooting) in an 81-64 defeat Friday against East Texas Baptist. Across the three games, the sophomore forward totaled 16 rebounds, eight steals and two assists.


Isaiah Chaney (Wake Forest R-Fr., Cartersville) — Chaney stopped a Louisville ballcarrier behind the line of scrimmage on his lone tackle during a 45-21 loss Saturday at Louisville. Wake Forest (4-4, 3-4 ACC), which hadn’t played in nearly a month prior to the Louisville game, will look to end the regular season on a positive note when it hosts Florida State this weekend.

Miller Forristall (Alabama R-Sr., Cartersville) — After a quiet past few weeks in the box score, Forristall broke out with six catches for 52 yards against Arkansas. He was even credited with an assisted tackle. The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1 in the country, closed out the regular season with a 52-3 victory Saturday in Fayetteville. Alabama (10-0) will face Florida in the SEC Championship Game this week in Atlanta.

JaCorey Johns (Wake Forest R-So., Cartersville) — Johns put together one of his best performances of the season in Saturday’s defeat. A starting defensive end, Johns finished with five tackles (three solo), a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit.

--- contributed by Nicholas Sullivan, The Daily Tribune News

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Cartersville, Georgia