ATAP Elite, a girls travel team coached by Jonquin McKinney, played in the championship game of the KB SPORTS 6th Annual Garden City Classic held at Memorial Day School in Savannah this past weekend. Though the squad fell just shy of winning the 9th grade girls division, they added to their list of top finishes.
Game 1 of the latest tournament saw ATAP Elite take on the Tattnall Chiefs on Friday, April 9, at 8:30 p.m. The local girls came out on top 32-5 to advance to Game 2 the next morning.
ATAP Elite returned to Memorial Day School at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, and took on Georgia Elite, beating them 38-9 to move on to Game 4, the title game, at 1:30 p.m.
Game 3 set up a game between the Tattnall Chiefs and Georgia Elite. Georgia Elite came away with the win 26-16 to set up a rematch in the championship between them and ATAP Elite.
Though ATAP Elite pummeled Georgia Elite in their earlier match-up in Game 2, such would not be the case in the game that counted most. Georgia Elite found a way to overcome ATAP the second go ‘round for a 25-15 victory.
“Georgia Elite was a team we’ve played for the third time, but we sort of took them lightly being we beat them that morning 38-9,” Coach McKinney said. “But, like I told the girls, no one is going to continue to let you beat them down. It was a wake-up call. We got better. We learned.”
ATAP Elite last played in the March Madness Tournament in Stone Mountain March 26-28 and came home champions. Before that, the team finished in the final four of the Who’s B.E.S.T. Invitational held in North Augusta, South Carolina.
They will next play either May 8 or May 14-16. Look for results in a future edition of The Chronicle.
On the ATAP Elite roster are Taniya Williams, Hannah Howard, Tonia Ricks, Serah Kelly, and Jamia Smith, all of Swainsboro; Bree Wimberly of David Emanuel Academy; Kayla Tanner and Bree Tanner, both of East Laurens; Khaliya Walker of Vidalia; and Kaley Carnell and Brylie Ray, both of Bulloch Academy.