Sugar Hill Christian Academy basketball teams win regional titles
The Sugar Hill Christian Academy women’s basketball team, as well as the college’s boys’ and girls’ teams, all sealed their spots as GCAA Region 2 Champions.
The women’s varsity team won their first regional championship in just their second year as a program by defeating Old Suwanee 46-36 on Thursday, January 20.
The team is 17-4 this season, and head coach Doug Wasden attributes much of their success to a team mentality.
“The focus is on team basketball, not individual stat leaders,” Wasden said when asked about his best players. “We have many leaders on our team who lead in different ways. Each of these girls is invaluable to the success we have had this year.
Wasden then took the time to explain the individual factors, whether statistical or motivational, that each player brings. He highlighted the accomplishments of Emily Laughlin, Haily Pruitt, Lauren Clark, Claire Ferron, Katie Jones, Miren Peribino, Savannah Smith, Peyton Bergquist and Jessica Meyer, all of whom bring something significant and distinctive to the unit. ‘team.
After everyone else was acknowledged, Wasden also mentioned his two daughters who play for the team, Faith and Elly Grace Wasden. Faith, a 6-foot sophomore, leads the team in points, assists and steals, averaging an impressive 22.7 points per game.
Elly Grace, a 6-foot eighth-grader who is cleared to play under association rules, is a defensive force to be reckoned with, leading the team in rebounds and blocks, as well as second place for points and flights.
To emphasize the team values he wants to instill in his players, Wasden had them paint a brick at the start of the season. Each player painted their brick with personal goals, team goals, their favorite Bible verse, and what each could bring to the team. They then discussed their bricks before stacking them to demonstrate that each is an integral part of the team’s foundation.
The varsity girls from Sugar Hill Christian Academy will play in the GCAA State Basketball Tournament beginning Thursday, Feb. 17, but Wasden remains more focused on his players’ team mentality than anything else.
“Of course, we want to play well enough to win the state championship and prove that our hard work has paid off by being the best we can be. However, winning is not the end of everything,” he said. said “Basketball is about building relationships and enjoying our time together.
“We can lose a game, but we don’t lose our relationship with each other,” Wasden added. “Nobody can take that away from us. Basketball is important, but life is more important.
The college boys’ and girls’ teams also won their regions, meaning they will enter the GCAA State College Tournament as the No. 1 seed for Region 2.
Sugar Hill Christian Academy athletic director Courtney Simmons praised the coaches of both teams.
“Our coaches are truly top-notch people,” he said. “I think it’s a combination of a lot of people willing to put in a lot of effort, time and sacrifice to give these kids the opportunity to compete at a little higher level.”
In addition to coaching the high school girls’ team, Wasden and his wife, Kim, also coach the middle school girls with assistant coach Meredith Smith. Grant Fanning and Hans Hauser coach college and high school basketball teams.
“Elly Grace Wasden, she’s our top scorer,” Simmons said of the middle school girls. “And then boys, I would say our top scorer for the boys is probably Randal Fanning… It’s just a lot of kids who are ready to go out and work hard.”
The college boys’ and girls’ teams were scheduled to compete in the GCAA State College Tournament at Old Suwanee, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 27 through Saturday, Jan. 29.
FEATURED PHOTO: Sugar Hill Christian Academy No. 1 Ava Wasden shoots during a recent college basketball game. Photo courtesy of the Sugar Hill Christian Academy Basketball Program.