< All Episodes
Gwinnett Daily Post Podcast

Hebron and Brookwood girls win state titles

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

The odds were stacked against the Hebron girls basketball team heading into the 2022-23 season.

After losing in the Class A Private state finals last season, the Lions had the daunting task of moving up two classifications to a much deeper Class AAA, making their road back to the Macon Centreplex that much tougher.

But with a retooled roster and the winningest head coach in the history of Georgia high school basketball, the jump didn’t phase the Lions in the least. Facing off against defending state champion Lumpkin County in the Class AAA state finals Friday afternoon, the Lions pummeled the Indians for four quarters and cruised to a 68-36 win for their second state title in program history and 15th for legendary head coach Jan Azar. Azar now has two state titles in her first four seasons at Hebron.

More impressively, the win over the Indians completes an undefeated season for Hebron at 32-0, the only team in the state of Georgia to do that this season. Standout sophomore guard Aubrey Beckham finished with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists while Jakerra Butler scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half to pair with 13 rebounds.

The Lions also got double-digit scoring efforts from Amiya Porter, who had 12 points, and Nickyia Daniel, who scored 11.

Defensively, the Lions held the Indians to just 23 percent from the field and out-rebounded them 37-26.

For the first time in program history, the Brookwood girls basketball team has its state championship.

The Broncos overcame a sluggish first half and struggles on the offensive glass to race past the defending Class AAAAAAA state champion Norcross Blue Devils 43-39 behind a dominant performance from Super Six senior guard Diana Collins.

Collins scored a game-high 21 points, including 15 in the second half, to lead the Broncos. Danielle Osho was the only other Bronco to score in double figures with 10 points. Jade Weathersby was close behind with nine points and 12 rebounds. Despite giving up 21 offensive rebounds on the night, the Broncos defense still managed to hold the Blue Devils to just 25 percent from the field. The Blue Devils attempted 18 more shots than the Broncos, but struggled all night to knock down shots.

For the parents of Elijah DeWitt, the last five months have been what they call a “daily nightmare.”

DeWitt, who was a football and baseball standout at Jefferson High School, died after he was shot in a parking lot at Sugarloaf Mills, outside Dave and Busters, on Oct. 5. The incident has been described as an attempted robbery.

Now, DeWitt’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the mall, its owner and security officials as well as Dave and Buster’s. The lawsuit that was filed this week names several defendants, including Simon Property Group, Sugarloaf Mills Limited Partnership, Universal Protection Service LLC, Dave and Buster’s of Georgia LLC, Sugarloaf Mills security director Jason Choy and five individuals referred to as “John Does 1-5.”

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants in the case failed to keep the mall premises safe; allowed a public nuisance to exist; engaged in negligent employee hiring, training, supervision, and retention practices; and failure to voluntarily undertake a duty of care for Elijah DeWitt. Among the allegations outlined in the lawsuit is that there had been ongoing crime-related issues a Sugarloaf Mills before DeWitt was shot, and that the mall’s owners and security officials, as well as Dave and Buster’s officials, did not do enough to address those issues. Chandler Richardson and Kemare Bryan are awaiting trial on murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of certain felonies charges in connection with the teen’s death. An arraignment hearing for Richardson was held Friday morning.

DeWitt had been on a date with his girlfriend at mall on the night he died. Gwinnett police said at the time that DeWitt had gotten into an altercation with Richardson and Bryan.

The DeWitt family has previously said his death was the result of a botched robbery. Officials for Simon Property Group and Sugarloaf Mills could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Dave and Buster’s spokeswoman Karena Bibbins-McKeever told the Daily Post that the entertainment venue chain could not comment on the lawsuit.

Gwinnett County residents are being invited to participate in discussion on mental health in the Duluth area this week.

Gwinnett County Board of Education chairwoman Tarece Johnson said in an announcement on Facebook that community leaders got together to organize the panel discussion, which will take place from 5 until 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the McClure Health Science High School, which is located at 3921 Club Drive in unincorporated Duluth. The event is described as a community listening panel discussion and question-and-answer session. A flyer that has been circulating for the event says a “Gwinnett Team of Mental Health Professionals” will participate in the panel discussion. The flyer states the panel will consist of representatives from the Mental Health Support Network, Viewpoint Health, cyber security firm Fort Security, Barber Therapy, a licensed clinical social worker, and a licensed professional counselor.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched — and then quickly “paused” — efforts to find a new name for Lake Lanier and Buford Dam on Friday afternoon.

The lake and the dam were highlighted in a report from a federal commission that looked at renaming Department of Defense properties which are named for people who served in the Confederate Army. The Naming Commission was created in response to the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

The Naming Commission’s Final Report to Congress pointed out Buford Dam is named for the city of Buford, but added that the city was named for Algernon Sidney Buford, who was a member of the Virginia Militia during the Civil War. The commission said Lake Lanier was named for the poet, Sidney Lanier, who had also been served as a private in the Confederate Army.

The renaming of Lake Lanier would not be as simple as the Army deciding to change it in response to the commission’s report. That’s because he lake name was set by Congress when it approved its creation in 1946. In other words, the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate would have to agree to changing the lake’s name. If that name were to change, it would have a cascading effect that would reverberate across the community because of places in he community that are named for either the lake or the dam.

In Gwinnett, these place include Buford Dam Road and Corps of Engineers-run Buford Dam Park, as well as Lanier Middle School and Lanier High School. There is also Lanier Islands and residential communities.

Gwinnett County’s congressional representatives are asking high school students to submit artwork for a chance to that work displayed in the U.S. Capitol.

Congressional districts across the nation hold art competitions each year where high school students from their respective district can enter artwork they created in one several different types of visual mediums. The winner of each district’s competition will have heir artwork displayed in the Capitol in Washington D.C. for one year.

Most, if not all, members of Congress participate in the nationwide effort each year, and that includes the three congressional members who represent parts of Gwinnett County: U.S. Reps. Lucy McBath, Rich McCormick and Andrew Clyde. McBath announced his past week that the deadline to submit work for the 7th Congressional District Art Competition will be 5 p.m. on April 24. Entries must be submitted in person or by mail to McBath’s district office, which is located at 3700 Crestwood Parkway, Suite 270 in Duluth. An online entry form and a required release form can be found at mcbath.house.gov/art-competition. McCormick and Clyde, who represent the 6th and 9th congressional districts respectively, have not announced their respective district’s submission deadline, but both of them have posted entry forms on their congressional websites. The form for McCormick’s District can be found at mccormick.house.gov/services/art-competition while the form for Clyde’s district can be found at clyde.house.gov/forms/submitartwork/.

McCormick’s office is also directing questions about the 6th Congressional District Art Competition to Suzanne Swain at Suzanne.swain@mail.house.gov.

For more information be sure to visit www.bgpodcastnetwork.com












See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.