Sports

June 12, 2013

Collins and Bautista shine

Both earn Georgia Player of the Game honors

Despite her team’s loss, Megan Collins left an impression on this year’s Stump on Sports Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Basketball Classic.

In the boys game, Alex Bautista’s late-game heroics went a step further, bringing Georgia its first victory in this year’s All-Star Classic series.

Collins, a Southeast Whitfield graduate, scored 24 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and earned the Georgia Player of the Game award, but the Peach State all-stars lost 66-57 to their Tennessee opponents on Tuesday at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga. In the boys game, Bautista, a Dalton alum, banked in a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the contest into overtime, which Georgia won 76-74.

The games, which started in 2003, pit recent graduates from a dozen counties in southeastern Tennessee against those from a dozen counties in northwestern Georgia.

In the girls game, Georgia led 36-28 at halftime but Silverdale Baptist’s Mariah Massengill scored six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to lead Tennessee to the victory. She also had seven assists, four steals and three rebounds.

“I was just playing as hard as I could,” Collins said. “I was hoping we’d win but they came back and we got down. That’s just how it went.”

Collins, who also excelled in golf and volleyball at Southeast, had 19 points and eight rebounds at halftime. She also finished second in the 3-point contest held during the mid-game break. Tennessee player Brianna Farris of Girls Preparatory School won, making 12 from behind the arc to Collins’ 11.

Collins plans to attend Jacksonville State next fall but said she has elected not to continue her athletic career.

“I just kept going back and forth between just being a normal student and wanting to keep playing,” she said, “and I guess I eventually decided to just be a student.”

Georgia coach Michael Durham coached Collins this past season at Southeast. The Lady Raiders finished 15-11 one season after winning just one game. Durham said he’ll miss Collins.

“That’s an understatement,” he added. “She’s a good one. People lose players every year, and you need others to step up.”

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