Mitchell takes top honors in Georgia

by | March 28, 2007 12:00 am

Mitchell BY JEFF SENTELL

The Augusta Chronicle

Swainsboro’s Tony Mitchell made a big impression this year. The junior small forward averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots per game. Those averages also included around three dunks per night. “I looked all around this state,” Swainsboro coach Leroy Jordan said. “I saw every team we played. I even saw the Class AAAA and Class AAAAA playoffs after we were eliminated. I didn’t see anyone that can do all the things that Tony Mitchell does.”

The men and women of the state who cover those games agreed with him. Mitchell was chosen by the Georgia Sportswriters Association as the Class AAPlayer of the Year.

Mitchell and Laney senior Kami Phillips were the area players with the highest honors on the GSWA all-state teams which were released today.

The 6-foot-7 Mitchell gave Jordan 29 games worth of highlights in leading the Tigers to the Class AA quarterfinals.

“Tony was the heart of our team,” Jordan said. “It was like if Tony played well, our team was going to play well. If Tony played bad, our team was going to be bad. And Tony didn’t have too many nights where he played bad.”

Jordan called the 190- pound Mitchell a “Kevin Durant-type” player. Mitchell did show some of the same versatility as the Texas freshman that’s expected to be one of the top two picks in the 2007 NBA Draft.

“Tony can shoot the 3- pointer, block shots and go inside or outside,” Jordan said. “He used to not be able to handle the ball. takes top

He’s at the point now where he could have played point guard for us. He does that with all his weaknesses. “

Jordan expects Mitchell to be fully qualified after taking the SAT for the first time in April. He said Mitchell gets letters from the largest college programs every day.

Mitchell’s leaping ability leaves quite an impression.

“We’ve never measured it but he does the high jump in track and he cleared 6-foot-7 this week,” Jordan said. “He can clear himself on the high jump. That right there tells you he can get up.”

Phillips was named to the Class AA all-state first team. The senior transfer from Hephzibah led the Wildcats to the Final Four for the first time since 1995.

“She was the perfect example of a leader,” Laney coach Otis Smart said. “She controlled our team on the floor and the tempo of the whole game.”

The area was well represented on the honorable mention lists, which goes to the 10 best players that did not make the first team.

Richmond Academy senior Trevor Welcher made the Class AAAA list. Thomson junior Tim Daniels and Glenn Hills junior standout Jerel Stephenson were selected in Class AAA. Jefferson County senior Derrick Mitchell and Washington- Wilkes junior guard Lucious Stewart were also chosen in Class AA.

There were four area girls who made honorable mention. Greenbrier’s Michelle Swiec was the only AAAA choice. Hephzibah junior Jasmine Judge and Glenn Hills guard Ciara Lyons made the Class AAA team. Screven County senior center Kadedra Evans was named to the Class AA group.

Lincoln County’s Coppetta Elam was also named in Class A.

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