Category Archives: GHSA Basketball

The Process: Torn

Part 4 đź“ś: God’s Plan 🙏🏽

Tre Gomillion is a 2018 guard out of Aquinas High School in Augusta, Georgia. He averaged 20 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals as a junior and was named Class A-Private Second Team All-State. This is his off-season journal. This is The Process.

Tre initially injured his knee in the Sweet 16 vs. Stratford Academy

Everybody in life faces adversity, lately I have been challenged a little more than usual. In the past few weeks, I found out some family health issues dealing with my sweet grandma , my uncle , and today … I found out some issues with me.

Today is the day that I went in for my follow-up appointment dealing with my knee. No more than 2 weeks ago while working out I felt a pop in my right knee, I went to the doctor the following day which they later set me up for an MRI. As the pain in my knee went down and the swelling went down it was time for the results. And on June 12, 2017 the doctors told me that I have a decent size tear in my meniscus.

It was hard to swallow, but as the doctor explained the options to heal it, I realize more and more that this all apart of God’s plan. All I can do now is stay positive and just trust the process, trust God’s plan. Because at the end of the day, there’s way worse situations I can be going through. Now it’s time to recover and come back stronger than I’ve ever been.

Georgia Tech camp Team Reviews Part 1

By Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14)

Southwest DeKalb

Coach Eugene Brown addressing the Panthers after a win over St. Pius

With the departure of some 2018 players, SWD sported a very young team at GT this weekend. Even with this youth, SWD looked pretty good and had nice wins over Milton and St. Pius. SWD looks to be led by KD Johnson, who has been making some noise with the GA Stars on the travel circuit. Johnson is a fiery competitor and exceptional athlete who gets to the basket whenever he wants, he is a prospect to keep an eye on in Georgia’s 2020 class. Along with Johnson in the backcourt is Eugene Brown III, another 2020 guard. Brown is a long, wiry player who displayed a nice offensive skill set with solid ball-handling and finishing in transition, and an effective jumper. SWD also has two productive forwards in James Glisson and Demarion Johnson. Glisson provides a big body down low, has a soft touch around the basket, and stays active on the glass on both ends. Johnson is a tough player who plays with a lot of energy and excels in his role on this team as someone who doesn’t demand the ball much but defends, rebounds, and finishes inside. This SWD team could definitely have a successful year as their young players continue to develop and mature.

Milton

Donaven Hairston

This weekend, Milton was led by three different players who all had impressive moments throughout the camp. Christian Wright, Ulyric Linton, and Donaven Hairston all look ready to have solid seasons for the Eagles. Wright (2020) and Hairston (2019) share ball-handling responsibilities in the backcourt and are both confident with the ball. Wright has a crafty handle and mature body for a 2020 player, which he uses to get inside for either fancy finishes or kick-outs when the defense collapses. Hairston is a speedy guard that can score in bunches with finesse inside and perimeter shots off both the dribble and catch. Linton (2018) was aggressive the entire weekend; the strong, left-handed wing was consistently looking to get inside and finish through contact in each of Milton’s games. Others who saw a lot of time were Evan Hurst, Vince Graves, and Brady O’Connell. Hurst, a 2020 guard, has a smooth game and provided some scoring for the Eagles. Graves and O’Connell both give good length and athleticism to the team; look for new coach Allen Whitehart to get more out of them in terms of activity and intensity. Milton definitely missed the production and energy of JP McGhee this weekend but expect Coach Whitehart to have this squad prepared for 2017-18 as they become more disciplined and find their identity.

St. Pius X

The Golden Lions played like you would expect from a state runner-up at Tech. Pius is one of the most well-rounded, fundamental teams that you will see in Georgia and that was on display this weekend. Highlighted by crisp ball movement and unselfishness on offense, Pius was able to get quality looks throughout the camp. They also played suffocating full-court defense that you might not expect from a team in early June, this pressure surprised teams and forced them into frequent turnovers. It seems like this team will be led by scorer Everett Lane and facilitating PG Matt Gonzalo, but there are many other capable players on the Pius team that will give quality minutes. Zach Ranson, Brian Gonzalo, Troy Stephens, Niko Broadway, and Patrick Snipes will all produce for the Golden Lions as well. I was most impressed with the energy and chemistry that Pius plays with. There aren’t any players with their own agenda on this team, things flow smoothly because it doesn’t matter who scores and each player wants to see the others do well. The entire team, whether on the bench or in the game, is loud and you can sense energy being given off from one player to another. These traits keep Pius intense and locked in the whole game, it easy to see why they have been one of the better programs in Georgia for a while now.

Etowah

Adrian Cohen lines up a foul shot

Coming off a region championship and Sweet 16 appearance, Etowah is looking to follow up with success again this season and showed the potential to do so over the weekend. New coach Jason Dasinger is one of the most intense coaches you’ll see and he has his guys playing with great effort. The Eagles were led by versatile backcourt players Jaxon Etter and Adrian Cohen, both are bigger guards that can handle the ball. Etter is fearless going to the basket and gets there with ease due to his combination of speed and strength. Etter has also improved as a shooter since I saw him in the spring, hitting multiple mid-range shots and threes. Cohen is a well-built slasher who excels in transition and is starting to develop a reliable outside shot. In the frontcourt, Julian Baldwin is a long, athletic player who rebounds well and finishes with ease off of put-backs and drop-offs. With Baldwin gone on Sunday, Carter Ingersoll picked up his play and had a good day. Ingersoll showed good post moves and footwork inside, to go along with a nice short corner jumper. Ingersoll may be somewhat undersized for a post player but he is an excellent rebounder and understands how to score down low. Etowah’s offensive skill paired with their defensive energy should have this Eagles team poised to make a run at another region championship.

Georgia Tech team camp Day 1 notes Part 2

By Rameen Forghani

South Cobb 44, Shiloh 37

It was a tale of two halves for South Cobb, who after falling behind 19-12 to Shiloh in the first half, took advantage of a barrage of floaters and fouls to open the second half and give them just enough firepower to overcome Shiloh in what was the closest game of the night. Shiloh shot 41.2% from the field in the first half (7-17) while South Cobb shot only 25% from the field (4-16).

Shiloh fell into foul trouble early, surrendering seven fouls in the first eight minutes of the first half, compounded by early point guard troubles turning the ball over too often before the team could fall into an offensive set. In an otherwise poor half of basketball, Shiloh ended the half with 9 defensive rebounds and 5 offensive boards, compared to South Cobb’s 10 and 5 rebounds, respectively.

An early run of easy buckets in the paint to open the second half for South Cobb propelled them to the victory, making three straight from the field and two from the stripe before missing. Although outrebounded by Shiloh in the second half, South Cobb shot 71.4% from two-point land (10-14) along with 73.3% from the free throw line (11-15), superior to Shiloh’s 31.8% from the field (7-22).

Shiloh’s inexperienced squad stayed in the 2-3 zone, whereas South Cobb played man with a high press, which at times gave Shiloh issues moving the ball. A technical foul called against a Shiloh guard for complaining about a no-call gave in a tight game gave South Cobb the momentum to finish the game a combined 5-for-7.

Sandy Creek 49, Upson-Lee 34

Upson-Lee head coach Darrell Lockhart elected to sit his frontcourt for the first half of this contest and Sandy Creek took advantage. The lack of depth was evident for Upson-Lee as they struggled to move the ball offensively and get themselves good looks. Indicative of the half that the Knights were enduring, an Upson-Lee assistant coach yelled prior to a trip to the line, “Can you make a free throw?” The answer to his question was promptly answered by the ball’s clang off of the rim.

Sandy Creek was able to build off of their point guard’s energy and post a respectable first half performance. Sandy Creek led 20-8 at the half.
​Despite Tye Fagan and co. checking in to start the second half, Upson-Lee was unable to legitimately contend with the Patriots, a bit worrying for a reigning state champion. As the final score reflects, the Knight starters were unable to close the deficit or stop the Patriots defensively.

Despite rough shooting in the first three halves of basketball on the day for Sandy Creek, their jump shooting improved markedly in the second half. The Patriots were also able to force turnovers and wreak havoc in the waxing seconds of Upson-Lee advancing the ball past midcourt. Sandy Creek was impressive in their ability to stay tough and maintain their aggression throughout the game, attacking the ball handler and leaving them little room to make a play.

Shiloh 66, Duluth 50

Shiloh exploited a tired Duluth early and never looked back cruising to a 66-50 victory in a game that was, for all intents and purposes, over before the half. Shiloh harassed Duluth early in the paint on both sides of the ball, driving and seemingly scoring at will. Shiloh’s early successes in the paint freed up the perimeter, which Shiloh aptly recognized and scored by.

Duluth was simply a step behind and a step too slow to stop Shiloh’s offense; their fatigue showed on jump shots, which consistently came up short of the basket.

The box score is very indicative of the general disposition of the game. With 8 minutes gone in the first half, Shiloh led 16-5. At the end of the first half, the score was 45-21, again in favor of Shiloh. With only 6 minutes played in the second half, the scoreboard showed 57-29.

Georgia Tech team camp Day 1 notes Part 1

By Rameen Forghani

Format: The Georgia Tech summer league camp featured a matrix of teams from across the state of Georgia (and a few from neighboring states) from varied classifications and regions. The games were played on McCamish Pavilion, the Zelnak Practice Court, and multiple rec courts on the Georgia Tech Campus. Each game consisted of two 22-minute halves, with a 2-minute halftime and six minutes in between games. The clock was running through all game situations except for timeouts (each team having two timeouts per game).

Westlake 64, Sandy Creek 39

Westlake overpowered Sandy Creek throughout the game with their depth and size, leaving a smaller Sandy Creek scrambling to create offensive opportunities. One of the hallmarks of this Westlake team two years removed from a state championship is their discipline. They play well as a unit and know their team’s schemes. Throughout the game, Westlake transitioned seamlessly through a 2-3, 3-2, and 1-3-1 zone, while mixing in some man defensively. Their pair of big men inside and good rotation and help-side defense left Sandy Creek with only 4 made field goals in the second half.

Offensively, Westlake appears to be trying to get guard Chase Hunter more involved; throughout the day, Hunter looked inconsistent as the decision maker, often forcing bad passes which led to turnovers or ill-advised shots. Despite being overmatched in terms of size, Sandy Creek was only outrebounded by 6 (32 to 26), and one of the saving graces for Sandy Creek was their speed, which allowed them to harass Westlake on the offensive glass and keep the game closer than their poor shooting performance would suggest (30-24 Westlake at the half).

Sandy Creek’s aggressive man defense swarmed the ball and their active hands wreaked havoc outside of the arc in the first half, although more controlled passing into the posts for Westlake in the second half allowed them to pull away for the victory.

Duluth 67, South Cobb 44

Duluth topped South Cobb 67-44 in a showing of aggressive defense and a blazing fast offense. Although South Cobb came out with a designed tip-off play to set an early tone, Duluth answered in spades with a suffocating full court press that left South Cobb looking a step too slow. Off the inbounds, Duluth’s tall and athletic guards would double the ball, often to leading to a discombobulated press break and offensive set for the Eagles.

With both teams playing fast, transition, up-and-down basketball, Duluth had the edge over South Cobb, scoring a significant chunk of their points in transition. In the half court, Duluth swung the ball with alacrity around the perimeter and left the South Cobb man defense looking confused at times, leading to drive-and-kick opportunities to complement the Wildcats’ good perimeter shooting.

At the half, Duluth led South Cobb 32-16, and the second half didn’t see much change. In a sequence perhaps indicative of the tide of this game, Duluth sinks a tough shot through contact in the paint, misses the and-1, grabs the offensive rebound for a putback and another and-1. In a seemingly tireless display, Duluth stayed in the full court press with man defense and frequent traps throughout the whole game.

Their swarming style of play forced more than a couple of turnovers and unsavory shots, although they had moments of indiscipline where they over-pursued and failed to pick up the open man or relied on their athleticism to rebound instead of boxing out.

If South Cobb could establish the ball in their offensive half court, they stood a better chance of moving the ball selectively from outside to inside, although South Cobb’s constant attempts to ram the ball inside was met with a stout Duluth paint defense.

Upson-Lee, 52 Westlake 35

In a match-up of two championship-caliber teams, the Upson-Lee Knights defeated the Westlake Lions 52-35 in a game where Upson-Lee simply executed better than Westlake in all phases of the game. Fundamentally, not much has changed for Upson-Lee since their AAAA championship run last year. The Knights still rely on Tye Fagan to orchestrate their offense and create chances and buckets. Fagan opened the game with the Knights’ first four points and six of their first ten. Westlake played a 2-3 zone, that although looked sharp in the game versus Sandy Creek, was a bit slow in rotating help on the faster Upson-Lee and continued a trend of being slow to close out on perimeter shots when in zone sets.

Late in the game, Westlake went to a full court press and doubled Fagan when he touched the ball, but Upson-Lee’s speed proved no match for the enhanced coverage.

Westlake had to match up against a fast and active man defense in Upson-Lee. Again, they tried to involve Chase Hunter as the point man in offensive half court sets, although he was mainly made a non-factor save for some perimeter shots throughout the game, in part because of the Upson-Lee defense and in part due to a left lower leg injury he sustained on his way down from a mammoth block at the rim on the defensive end.

Westlake attempted to force the ball inside against Upson-Lee, but active hands in the passing lane and pitting size against size gave Upson-Lee a slight advantage. Westlake was stout in the paint on initial defense, but deflections and offensive rebounds often led to easy buckets for Upson-Lee, which along with Fagan, has an explosive backcourt of small-but-shifty guards that can penetrate off of the dribble or shoot the three.

Wesleyan summer league Day 1 notes

By Bre Singleton (@bre_singleton_)

Wesleyan is hosting a batch of Varsity summer games this week and next as teams gear up for camps and various leagues. Walnut Grove and Johns Creek both made the drive to Wesleyan for Tuesday night’s games. Here’s what happened:

Wesleyan and Walnut Grove faced off in the first matchup of the afternoon. At first glance, Wesleyan won the depth war, coming in with over twice the players the Warriors brought. After summer cuts, Head Coach Adam Griffin would like to have a 12 to 13-man roster. But for now, the depth was surely an advantage in the 30-9 lead the Wolves built at the half. Grant Summers and Micah Smith both pushed the ball in transition from the point guard spot for the Wolves.

The lead wouldn’t last though, as Walnut Grove started the second half with a 16-0 run to get back into the action. Rising senior, RJ Selman led the way for the Warriors, putting up 13 points and adding four rebounds. Six-foot sophomore Ryan Landers got to the basket for a few nice finishes. He managed eight points in the game.

Despite several defensive lapses in the second half, Wesleyan was able to hold on to win by a slim margin, 47-40. Grant Summers finished with nine points and six assists. He’s running with Atlanta Xpress 2019 on the AAU circuit this summer. Christian McLean of Inspire Atlanta had seven points and six rebounds.

Grant Summers
Grant Summers

The 5:30 p.m. Varsity matchup between Walnut Grove and Johns Creek was a tough one. No one in the gym could tell that the Warriors had just finished playing the way they shot out to an early 19-6 lead. What was obvious, however, was that Walnut Grove was the faster and more athletic of the two teams. RJ Selman picked up where he left off in the previous game, pouring in 10 of his 12 points in the first half. Ryan Landers and Nick Jones helped out with 10 points each, both controlling the boards and slashing to the rim. Walnut Grove big man Jailen Robinson had command over the boards on both ends and dropped in seven points to give Walnut Grove a 34-19 lead at the half.

Johns Creek shot the ball extremely well in this one. Nathan Gauthreaux had it going from beyond the arc, knocking in five threes for all of his 15 points. Standing at 6’2, Gauthreaux doesn’t need much space to get his shot off. Neil Ilenrey, a bigger guard and rising junior, was a tough matchup for any defender. Ilenrey punished smaller defenders with his back-to-the-basket game and hit a few threes as well. Full court pressure from Johns Creek forced the Warriors to turn the ball over a few times late in the game. The Gladiators would capitalize off of this to seal a 57-52 win. Jack Greenslit and Will Penland added 10 and 11 points respectively. Greenslit did his damage in the paint while Penland hit three threes.

RJ Selman
RJ Selman

Johns Creek played their back-to-back game against Wesleyan for the final tilt of the night. The host team found its rhythm early. Warner Peaks had very little trouble getting to the rim. With a lanky frame, Peaks snagged rebounds and took it the distance on several occasions on his way to 10 points. One of the more impressive players of the day was rising sophomore Micah Smith. Smith showed poise in handling the Johns Creek pressure and let the Wesleyan offense work for him. He also put up ten points, helping the Wolves take a 27-19 lead into the half.

The scoring and shooting slowed down for Johns Creek in this game. The eye test would blame fatigue. Neil Ilenrey was the only Gladiator in double digits with 10 points. Will Penland and Micah Chadwick both managed five points. Wesleyan cracked down on the defensive mistakes made in their first game and took home the 57-41 win.

Neil Ilenrey
Neil Ilenrey