Hillgrove’s starring duo lead local all-state recognition
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
April 03, 2013 12:26 AM | 3440 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hillgrove girls basketball star Mackenzie Engram (21) added another honor to her mantel Tuesday with inclusion on the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s Class AAAAAA all-state first team. She was one of 17 Cobb County athletes to get all-state recognition.
<Br>Staff file photo
Hillgrove girls basketball star Mackenzie Engram (21) added another honor to her mantel Tuesday with inclusion on the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s Class AAAAAA all-state first team. She was one of 17 Cobb County athletes to get all-state recognition.
Staff file photo
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The accolades keep piling up for Kyle Castlin and Mackenzie Engram.

The two Hillgrove standouts — juniors who have both already exceeded 1,000 career points — were named all-state first-teamers in Class AAAAAA by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.

Recently, Castlin and Engram were named the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County boys and girls players of the year.

Both players, who are being recruited heavily by Division I colleges, may be wondering how much more attention they will get.

“I kind of like it, honestly,” Engram said. “It’s not stressful like getting letters and attention from colleges.”

Engram quickly emerged as the team leader and go-to player when Hillgrove graduated a talented senior class that guided it to the Class AAAAA state finals in 2012. With a new coach and several voids to fill, she helped guide the Lady Hawks to a 21-8 overall record, a 13-3 mark in Region 4AAAAAA and a spot in the state tournament.

Engram — recruited by a group of schools that includes Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi, Auburn, LSU — averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds this season.

Castlin also averaged 19 points in helping the Hillgrove boys team make its first trip to the state finals, upsetting Wheeler in the semifinals. He’s getting attention from Georgia, Auburn, Jacksonville, Murray State and Appalachian State.

Wheeler, known for its size inside the paint, also got all-state recognition, with forward Elijah Staley on the Class AAAAAA first team and center Daniel Giddens on the second team.

“We worked hard, and I think we got what we deserved,” said Staley, who averaged 15 points and eight rebounds. “For me to get first team and Daniel to get second team, it’s an honor.”

Sprayberry’s Armel Potter, who led Cobb County with 24 points per game and was part of a young roster that won the Region 7AAAAA tournament, was named to the Class AAAAA first team.

Andrea Brown, the Pope girls’ leading scorer with 20.3 points per game, was also named to the first team in the same classification.

North Cobb’s Lee Moore made the Class AAAAAA second team after steering the Warriors to the state semifinals, and teammate Jordan Neff was named honorable mention, along with Campbell standout Dante Scott.

North Cobb Christian post player Hulian Terrell, who averaged a double-double with 15 points and 13.7 rebounds, was named to the Class A second team.

Kell center Grant Bryant, his season highlighted by a 50-point, 35-rebound game against Osborne, was named Class AAAAA honorable mention, along with Allatoona’s Daniel Fowler.

The North Cobb girls were also honored after their initial state semifinal run, with Amber Reeves making the Class AAAAAA second team and Kyrie’ Chandler getting honorable mention.

McEachern sophomore Te’a Cooper was also recognized as a Class AAAAAA second-teamer.

In Class AAAAA, Osborne’s Zutorya Cook and Sprayberry’s Neena Carter both made the second team.
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