Back in the Gym

Basketball season is underway! The Raiders played several games in this first week of the season, giving Raider Nation much to look forward to this season.
 
The 1-5 start of the Raider varsity girls should not be a season predictor. In this week’s losses, they were only outscored by 9 points per game. Tomisin Adenupe is off to a great start, averaging 20 points. Her play was highlighted by a 23-point outing in a 16-point victory over Dunwoody on Saturday. Adenupe’s game has continued to develop as she has put a

tremendous amount of effort into becoming a versatile offensive player. Averaging 3 assists per game, Adenupe looks comfortable handling the ball outside the three-point line. Sophomore forward Liz Williams is averaging 10 points per game so far and is consistently able to make plays inside the three point line. This is no surprise to those of us who watched her in her varsity starts last season. This year the team will increasingly look to Williams as multiple forwards graduated at the end of last season. A new face on the court this season is point guard Ellie Kate Cline. Despite her lack of varsity experience, Cline is a strong ball handler who has the ability to break the press and find the open player with her impressive court vision. Senior Emily Lee has shown to be the team’s most capable shooter this year, leading the Raider girls in three pointers made through six games. Saturday, the Raider girls will host North Cobb to take on the Lady Warriors at 2:00.
 
The Raider varsity boys earned a record of 4-1 in this first week of the season. Averaging 17 points per game so far, junior point guard Luka Avaliani seems poised for a big season after his recent tour with the Georgian National basketball team. Senior David Sickles has started the season off strong as well, averaging 13 points per game. Sickles scored 22 points in the season opener against Osborne and 14 in the victory over Harrison coming through yet again in crunch time. Sickles now has made 4 three pointers this year with the game inside five minutes or in an overtime period, giving the Raiders a closer if they need one. Senior Cole Morris thus far has averaged a double double and played strong defense in the paint. Cole is a key component of the offense as the team feeds the ball inside to Morris and relies on him to pass out of double teams to shooters or take the ball up himself. Another big man to watch this season is sophomore Johnathon Awolyee, providing a spark off of the bench with his athleticism and length on the defensive end. While this is his first season on varsity, many who are inside the program saw this coming for Awolyee. In only his second year of competitive basketball play, Awolyee was a force on the junior varsity team last year, earning him the MVP. A new face to the program is freshman forward Pearce Spurlin. Pearce missed the first four games of the season, as he started at wide receiver for the varsity football team, but in his first game on varsity against Duluth scored 14 points. Pearce will provide the team with solid defense on the wing as well as the athleticism to finish at the basket and through contact. The Raiders will play North Cobb at home this Saturday at 3:30.

Basketball Begins

Basketball has tipped off for the Raiders! Raider Nation got its first view of the Raider varsity girls and boys on Thursday night in a scrimmage against the Pope Greyhounds.

 

With a final score of 46-57, the Raider girls battled hard against the Greyhounds. Junior  Tomisin Adenupe, recently committed to Davidson College, led the Lady Raiders with 19 points. After being primarily an inside scorer for first two years, Tomisin demonstrated offensive versatility in this game. In preparation for this year, Adenupe spent hours in the gym, and it looks to have paid off so far. She attempted and made four foul shots and

made multiple passes to the inside when the defense started to contest her shot. Sophomore forward Liz Williams ended the scrimmage with 10 points for the Raiders and is one of the players Coach Kelterborn is counting on this year. After graduating multiple wing players, Liz will be asked to play a big role for the Raiders. Liz had double digit starts last year for the Raiders and had some very memorable performances in region play. Another wing to look for is sophomore swing player Lauren Tiffin. Lauren dressed for the second half of the year for the varsity team and played well in the scrimmage. One of Tiffin’s assets is her exceptional court vision which could earn her valuable minutes this year. Multiple times she kept the Pope defense off balance by swinging the ball around the perimeter and assisted by passing to the bigs inside the paint. The Raider girls will open their season Tuesday at 6:00 at home vs. Riverwood High School.

The boys also fought hard against the Greyhounds with a final score of 44-57. Junior point guard Luka Avaliani scored 10 points in the loss. As significant as his scoring, Luka set up his teammates often with strong drives to the basket where he then passed out to an open shooter beyond the arc. Fresh off a summer in which he played for the Georgian National team and averaged 15 points, Avaliani says that he expects “to help lead my team this year and be able to bring a region championship back to Walton.” One emphasis this year so far for the team has been to feed the ball inside to senior big man Cole Morris. Cole will come into this season as one of the key players on the team and recently said at the Georgia basketball media day, “this season I want to make big strides on the court. I want to help my team out in any way I can, whether that be crashing the boards, playing defense, or scoring in the paint on offense.” Cole managed to secure a double double in the loss and was able to bring in many offensive rebounds over Pope’s big men. The boys will open their season on Thursday vs. the Osborne Cardinals at 7:30 in the Pit.