Aside from Collins, Georgia had four other Whitfield County standouts participate. Northwest Whitfield’s Kaitlin Wade finished with seven points and seven rebounds and Autumn Blackwell, another former Lady Bruin, added seven points and six rebounds. Dalton’s Brooke Thomas chipped in seven points and four rebounds, while Southeast’s Tavi Parris had five rebounds.
“They all played well,” Durham said. “It’s an all-star game. Every few minutes, I’d put four more out there. ... I could’ve let Megan play longer. I could’ve had Autumn Blackwell play more. I wanted to get all the girls in the game as much as possible.”
Durham said Georgia trailed by four points in the waning minutes and missed eight straight free throws.
“They were trapping us in the half court,” he said. “They were getting by with a little of pushing and grabbing. At one point, they had 10 fouls and we had two. ... We just couldn’t buy a basket. It was still a lot of fun.”
Tennessee leads the girls series 7-4 and has won the past four meetings.
In the boys game, Bautista finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists on his way to being named Georgia Player of the Game. Dalton’s Demond Rucker added nine points and three rebounds, while Rico Mears chipped in six points and six rebounds. Murray County’s Brady Todd added eight points and six rebounds, while North Murray’s Zach Vess tallied two points and six rebounds.
Tennessee, which had won the previous three meetings, still leads the series, 7-4. Six of the 11 games have been decided by five points or fewer.
The series kicked off last Saturday with the all-star football game, which Tennessee won 10-7.
In addition to the basketball and football games, the series will include games for girls and boys soccer (1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga), baseball (6 p.m. Tuesday at Ridgeland High School in Rossville) and softball (6 p.m. on June 19 at Frost Stadium in Chattanooga).
Stump Martin, the Classics’ creator, was a reporter for the Chattanooga News-Free Press and Chattanooga Times Free Press for 19 years and also was on ESPN Radio’s 105.1 The Zone in Chattanooga. He is managing editor of Friday Night Football Live Tennessee and co-owner of Tennessee’s high school Rivals.com website, TN-Varsity.com. He has hosted “Stump on Sports Late Nite,” a live sports television show, for nearly 30 years.