March 19, 2013

North Murray’s Vess among Georgia’s top hoopsters

When North Murray High School’s boys basketball team lost in the second round of the Class 3A state tournament this season, Woodward Academy coach Anthony Thomas had major praise for Mountaineers senior center Zach Vess.

Lots of other coaches were impressed with Vess, as well.

Vess was one of 24 players selected to play in the boys senior game at the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Basketball Showcase on Saturday at Savannah’s Armstrong Atlantic State University. The senior boys will tip off at 7 p.m. and Vess will play for the North squad, which is made up of players from regions 5, 6, 7 and 8 for all six Georgia High School Association classifications. The South team is made up of players from regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 for all classifications.

North Murray coach Tim Ellis said the teams were picked in January. Although North Murray had not yet faced Woodward Academy, Thomas — who was on the all-star selection committee — knew Vess was a standout. The 6-foot-5-inch Mountaineer gave Thomas no reason to change his mind on Feb. 23, when the host Wildcats won 48-39 but Vess finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

“(Thomas) after the game said, ‘He really deserves to be a part of that team. He’s all that he’s advertised for,’” Ellis recalled.

“This is the biggest game being put on at the state level.”

The honor is special to Ellis and Vess for another reason as well.

“Zach was very proud, very excited about the opportunity,” Ellis added. “Him being way up here in North Georgia, we don’t get a lot of publicity. That was a big accomplishment for him, to get recognized.”

Vess will head down on Friday for an afternoon practice, plus another one Saturday before the game, and he’ll definitely be getting to know some new faces as the only representative from the area.

His teammates include players from state championship squads Greenforest Christian (Class A) and Miller Grove (5A), but none from Region 5-3A champion Cartersville or Gordon Central, which finished third in the region — one spot behind North Murray, which advanced to the state tournament for the second straight season and picked up the first state tournament victory in program history with a 69-58 win against Hart County in the opening round. The North team will be coached by Athens Christian School’s Ron Link.

The South team, which is coached by Ricky McCullough, will include players from state champions Eagles Landing (4A).

“It’s good to play against some other people and see some other talent from around the state,” Vess said. “It’s an honor for sure. These guys don’t mess around. It’s a solid group of athletes.”

Vess averaged 22.3 points and 15.2 rebounds per game, the best for his team in both categories. But in this game, Vess acknowledged it might unfold similar to the NBA All-Star game, with little defense and lots of opportunities for individual players to stand out.

“I’m going to play defense,” he said. “A lot of guys don’t play defense in these all-star games, like you see in the NBA. I’ll be playing defense, though.

“If I get on a few fast breaks myself, I’ll try and throw some down myself.”

Text Only
  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • MMA guys 1 mlh.jpg Up close and personal

    Dustin Dyer remembers his first fight — and he has wisdom to share with North Georgia Hayastan Mixed Martial Arts Academy’s three new mixed martial arts fighters.
    “It’s just another day in the gym,” Dyer said, “just with a bigger crowd. Here (in the gym) is where you work. Out there is fun.”

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014