Week 2 Rankings


  1. Westlake (4-0) [d. 3ANo. 5 East Jackson 94-70, IMG Academy (FL) 71-54, 2ANo. 2 Pace 79-72]
  2. Shiloh (2-1) [d. Grissom (AL) 66-33, Pebblebrook 68-63, L. Southwind (TN) 82-76]
  3. Wheeler (1-1)
  4. Norcross (3-1) [d. 4ANo. 2 Jonesboro 70-65, L. 1ANo. 1 Greenforest 77-48]
  5. Collins Hill (3-0) [d. Central Gwinnett 62-52, Olympic (NC) 73-52, Concord Academy (NC) 61-50]
  6. Tift County (4-0) [d. McEachern 56-48, Tucker 65-54]
  7. Pebblebrook (1-3) [L. 1ANo. 1 Greenforest 87-59, No. 1 Shiloh 68-63]
  8. Lambert (4-0) [d. North Gwinnett 63-60, Hardaway 79-41, Langston Hughes 72-65]
  9. Milton (2-2) [L. Arlington Country Day (FL) 80-68, 1ANo. 2 St. Francis 86-81]
  10. Newton (2-1) [d. Berkmar 62-58]


  1. Miller Grove (3-0) [d. Columbus (MS) 64-54]
  2. Gainesville (1-0) [d. 1ANo.2 St. Francis 70-58]
  3. McIntosh (2-1) [L. Douglas County 84-81, d. IMG Academy (FL) 61-53]
  4. Allatoona (1-0) [d. Americus-Sumter 67-55]
  5. Heritage (5-0) [d. Discovery 80-47]
  6. Brunswick (2-0) [d. Johnson-Savannah 57-54, Wayne County 72-59]
  7. Warner Robins (3-0) [d. Perry 85-55]
  8. Cedar Shoals (4-0) [d. Creekside 67-52, Tri-Cities 62-56]
  9. Riverwood (6-0) [d. West Forsyth 64-49, 2ANo. 6 GAC 51-40, 3ANo. 9 Blessed Trinity 58-50]
  10. LaGrange (2-0) [d. Newnan 63-59, Mundy’s Mill 87-72]

Class AAAA

  1. Lithonia (2-2) [L. Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) 72-53, 3ANo. 3 Morgan County 44-41]
  2. Jonesboro (0-2) [L. 6ANo. 4 Norcross 70-56, Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) 52-51]
  3. Liberty County (1-0)
  4. Bainbridge (0-0)
  5. St. Pius (3-0) [d. Decatur 54-56]
  6. Henry County (3-0)
  7. Grady (3-0) [d. No. 8 Sandy Creek 67-66, Mays 76-59]
  8. Sandy Creek (4-2) [d. Griffin 91-51, L. No. 7 Grady 67-66, Wasatch Academy (UT) 97-72]
  9. Fayette County (3-0) [d. Walton 67-60]
  10. Worth County (2-1)

Class AAA

  1. Laney (2-0) [d. Grovetown 102-71]
  2. Jenkins (1-0) [d. Creekview 74-67]
  3. Morgan County (3-1) [d. Hampton 71-27, Stone Mountain 71-54, 4ANo.1 Lithonia 44-41]
  4. South Atlanta (2-0)
  5. East Jackson (2-2) [L. 6ANo.1 Westlake 94-70, Grayson 72-68, d. Huntsville (AL) 83-78]
  6. Calhoun (0-0)
  7. Cedar Grove (1-0)
  8. Callaway (0-0)
  9. Blessed Trinity (3-1) [d. Chapel Hill 50-46, L. 5ANo.9 Riverwood 58-50]
  10. East Hall (2-1) [d. Rabun County 84-63, Paideia 68-54, L. 1ANo. 8 Lakeview Academy 87-69]

Class AA

  1. Seminole County (0-0)
  2. Pace Academy (0-1) [L. 6ANo.1 Westlake 79-72]
  3. Crawford County (0-0)
  4. Thomasville (5-0) [d. Lowndes 70-69, Bay (FL) 63-36, Cairo 70-24]
  5. Holy Innocents’ (2-1) [d. Duluth 61-60, Sacred Heart (AL) 64-62]
  6. GAC (3-2) [d. River Ridge 66-47, L. 5ANo. 9 Riverwood 51-40]
  7. Vidalia (2-0) [d. West Laurens 85-48]
  8. Early County (1-0) [d. Quitman County 80-46]
  9. Swainsboro (1-1) [d. Effingham County 66-65]
  10.  Lovett (2-0)

Class A-Private

  1. Greenforest (5-0) [d. Lee (AL) 87-46, 6ANo. 7 Pebblebrook 87-59, 6ANo. 4 Norcross 77-48]
  2. St. Francis (2-2) [L. 5ANo. 2 Gainesville 70-58, d. 6ANo. 9 Milton 86-81]
  3. North Cobb Christian (3-0) [d. Woodland 82-28, Coahulla Creek 68-44, Darlington 74-41]
  4. Whitefield Academy (1-1) [d. Hillgrove 64-54]
  5. Landmark Christian (4-0) [d. Jackson 84-57]
  6. SWAC (2-2)
  7. St. Anne-Pacelli (1-0) [d. Strong Rock 77-30]
  8. Lakeview Academy (2-1) [d. Stephens County 67-57, 3ANo.10 East Hall 87-69]
  9. Stratford Academy (0-0)
  10. Tattnall Square Academy (0-0)

Class A-Public

  1. Calhoun County (1-0) [d. Miller County 82-45]
  2. Hancock Central (3-0) [d. Putnam County 78-72, Baldwin 65-57]
  3. Treutlen (0-0)
  4. Wilkinson County (0-0)
  5. Turner County (0-0)
  6. Randolph-Clay (2-0)
  7. Greenville (0-0)
  8. Dooly County (0-0)
  9. Portal (0-0)
  10. Terrell County (1-2) 

The depth of quality teams in Class AAAAAA continues to make it tough. With only a handful of games played, each team is still trying to sort itself out and find its identity. One team that has had no problem so far has been No. 1 Westlake (4-0) who takes over the top spot over No. 2 Shiloh (2-1) by the slightest of margins. This past week the Lions have blown out 3ANo. 5 East Jackson, 94-70 and IMG Academy (FL), 71-54 before rallying to beat the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Class of 2017, Wendell Carter Jr. and his 2ANo. 2 Pace Academy Knights in the finale of Holiday Hoopsgiving, 79-72. Chuma Okeke and Jamie Lewis continued to be superstars for Coach Darron Rodgers’ team. Okeke went for 24 points, 11 rebounds and six steals while Lewis dropped in 22 points to complete the comeback after trailing 41-30 at the half.  Shiloh’s lone loss came to Southwind (TN) 82-76, but quickly rebounded at the On the Radar Hoops Showcase, downing No. 7 Pebblebrook 68-63 in a back and forth game. No. 4 Norcross (3-1) slips a spot after a 77-48 loss to 1ANo. 1 Greenforest Christian. Collins Hill (3-0) and Tift County (4-0) rise to No. 5 and No. 6 respectively after the Eagles picked up a pair of wins in North Carolina and Tift added quality notches to its belt, beating McEachern 56-48 and Tucker 65-54. No. 9 Milton (2-2) slips four spots after falling to Arlington Country Day (FL) 80-68 and 1ANo. 2 St. Francis, 86-81. No. 10 Newton (2-1) continues to cling onto a top ten spot after defeating Berkmar 62-58. Douglas County (3-1) looked like they would enter the polls after defeating 5ANo. 3 McIntosh 84-81, but Dacula (3-0), who might not be out of the top ten for much longer, turned them back with a 78-71 win behind Derek St. Hilaire’s 29 points and Kevon Tucker’s 22. Grayson (3-0) is also off to a hot start and came from behind to beat East Jackson 72-68. In the win Alphonso Willis scored 23 and Austin Dukes dropped 20 points, all in the second-half, to lead the charge.

In Class AAAAA, No. 1 Miller Grove (3-0) held on against Columbus (MS) in the Lighthouse Classic for a 64-54 win. No. 2 Gainesville (1-0) defeated 1ANo. 2 St. Francis 70-58 in the Jared Cook Classic while Kobi Simmons sat out with a bad ankle. No. 3 McIntosh (2-1) matches its loss total from all of last season after splitting in Holiday Hoopsgiving, losing to Douglas County by three, but rebounding to beat IMG Academy (FL), 61-53. Will Washington, Jordan Lyons and Dishon Lowery were all sensational for the Chiefs. Lowery pulled down 35 rebounds all together in the two-day stint while Lyons averaged 25 points and Washington 17.5 points. No. 5 Heritage (5-0) jumps No. 6 Brunswick (2-0) after an impressive start to the season. No. 9 Riverwood (6-0) forces its way into the rankings and jumps both No. 10 LaGrange (2-0) and Southwest DeKalb (4-0) after already knocking off three top ten teams. The Raiders have beaten 2ANo. 5 Holy Innocents’ 54-46, 2ANo. 6 GAC 51-40 and 3ANo. 9 Blessed Trinity 58-50.

The top of Class AAAA saw some vulnerability and shaky play, but No. 1 Lithonia (2-2) and No. 2 Jonesboro (0-2) hold serve and aren’t penalized for early losses. The Bulldogs were drilled by Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) 72-53 at ATL Hardwood Jam Fest and fell to 3ANo. 3 Morgan County, 44-41. Jonesboro also struggled at Jam Fest, but played well, losing to 6ANo. 4 Norcross 70-65 and Wesleyan Christian Academy 52-51. The Cardinals might be deserving of the No. 1 spot with how close they played both teams, especially WCA compared to how Lithonia played them, but I could not place a winless team over Lithonia just yet. Consider them 1A and 1B at this point of the season, while No. 3 Liberty County (1-0) and No. 4 Bainbridge (0-0) have yet to really kickoff their seasons and won’t face the quality of competition the Cardinals and Bulldogs will throughout the season. No. 5 St. Pius (3-0) remained undefeated against a much improved Decatur team. The Golden Lions rallied behind Kerney Lane’s career-high 31 points to secure the win at the X-Dome. No. 7 Grady (3-0) moves up two spots after knocking off No. 8 Sandy Creek (4-2), 67-66. Bucknell commit Avi Toomer has caught fire for the Knights and has posted three straight double-doubles. He went for 38 points and 12 rebounds to defeat the Patriots who were paced by Elias Harden’s 15. No. 9 Fayette County (3-0) debuts in the polls behind 6-foot-7 junior forward Noah Gurley, who leads the Tigers in scoring at 20 per game while grabbing 7.7 rebounds. He has improved by leaps and bounds after appearing in 22 games last season and when he averaged just 2.1 points.

The wake-up call served to Morgan County (3-1) a week ago must have worked. The Bulldogs opened the season ranked No. 3 in Class AAA before going unranked after a bad loss to Cherokee. Coach Jamond Sims’ group has rebounded and are back at No. 3 after drilling Hampton 71-27 and Stone Mountain 71-54. The big win came against 4ANo. 1 Lithonia 44-41 at ATL Jam Fest. Defense has turned the early season woes around as in their three wins the Bulldogs have allowed just 40.6 points per game. They face their toughest test yet on 12/4 as they visit No. 1 Laney (2-0). No. 2 Jenkins (1-0) struggled out of the gates by beating Creekview 74-67 in overtime in the Dai Jon Parker Classic. No. 5 East Jackson (2-2) falls two spots after losing to 6ANo.1 Westlake and Grayson. Central-Macon (0-0) was bounced out of the poll to make room for Morgan County’s reemergence.

Pace Academy (0-1) holds on to their No. 2 ranking in Class AA after falling 79-72 to 6A No. 1 Westlake. Wendell Carter Jr. fouled out in the fourth quarter which allowed the Lions to storm back for the victory on a 15-5 run with Carter out. He finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks in the loss. No. 4 Thomasville (5-0) drilled Cairo 70-24 on Saturday. No. 10 Lovett (2-0) makes an appearance in the top ten.

Class A-Private might be home to the best team in the entire country. No. 1 Greenforest (5-0) left fans in awe at Holiday Hoopsgiving, destroying both 6ANo. 7 Pebblebrook 87-59 and 6ANo. 4 Norcross, 77-48. No. 2 St. Francis (2-2) holds onto their ranking thanks to an 86-81 win over 6ANo.9 Milton at the Dai Jon Parker Classic. The Knights’ 70-58 loss to 5ANo. 2 Gainesville at the Jared Cook Classic was without Kobi Simmons. In Class A-Public, No. 2 Hancock Central (3-0) defeated up-and-coming Baldwin 65-57. The Bulldogs face 2ANo. 3 Crawford County (0-0) on Tuesday.

No. 2 Norcross Gets Lost In No. 1 Greenforest’s Trees

1ANo. 1 Greenforest 77, 6ANo. 2 Norcross 48

No. 1 Greenforest put together one of the most impressive two days out of any team in the entire nation at Holiday Hoopsgiving as the Eagles pounded No. 2 Norcross, 77-48. The game was never in question. Greenforest raced out to an 18-5 lead after the first period while Norcross could find zero offense outside of Jordan Goldwire, who scored all five points in the opening frame and finished with 11 points all coming in the first half.

The size of Greenforest troubled the Blue Devils all game. Norcross would attack inside with forwards Rayshaun Hammonds and Lance Thomas but the interior defense of Ikey Obiagu (five blocks) and the rest of the Eagles would swallow their shots up. At one point in the first half the foul count was 7-0 in favor of the Eagles which had Norcross Head Coach Jesse McMillan steamed and rightfully so.

In the second quarter Norcross showed some fight and cut the lead to 29-16 using a full court press and some half court traps to temporarily slowdown the Eagles. McMillan finally got tagged with a technical foul after numerous drives to the basket ended with a shot being blocked or altered and no foul being called. When the half rolled around Greenforest held a 37-21 advantage while the majority of the half Coach McMillan was seen pacing back and forth on the sidelines trying to keep his composure and think of a way to help his team back into the game.

Hammonds finally scored his first bucket of the game in the third quarter off a free throw and finished with a season-low five points and eight rebounds. His partner down low, 6-foot-7 Lance Thomas, was shutout, not scoring a single point. With Norcross’ best two players and largest post presences being a non-factor, it turned into a rout for the Eagles. Greenforest out-rebounded Norcross 44-to-17 and bullied their way to second chance points while limiting Norcross’ opportunities at offensive rebounds.

Justin Forrest scored a game-high 21 for Greenforest and added four assists while New Hampshire-commit John Ogwuche pitched in 12 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

John Ogwuche had a great all-around game | Photo By Ty Freeman
John Ogwuche had a great all-around game | Photo By Ty Freeman

My Take: Domination. After watching Greenforest annihilate two of the very best programs in the state, I can’t envision this team losing a game. Take into account that Montverde (FL), the No. 2 ranked team in the entire nation, beat No. 6 Pebblebrook 76-70. What did the Eagles do to them yesterday? 87-59. They say transitive property doesn’t work in sports, but how can your jaw not drop when you see that? Back to Saturday’s game, it was just like watching grown men against boys. That is not a knock on Norcross. The Eagles literally look like grown men inside and even on the perimeter with John Ogwuche, Justin Forrest, Precious Ayah, Mohammed Abdulsalem and Victor Enoh looking like they live in the weight room. That doesn’t even include 7-footer Ikey Obiagu, who has a nice frame for a big man and Abayomi Iyiola, who is slender but has been all over the place this weekend. Iyiola’s stock has gone through the roof after a 17-point, 12-rebound performance on Friday and Saturday’s 13-point, 5-rebound game. It’s easy to talk about the Eagles’ size, but what I think truly makes this team elite is the guard play of Forrest and Ogwuche. They work extremely well together and are physical guards that aren’t afraid to use their body and fly in for rebounds and also, once they get their shoulders past you on a drive, the rest is history. I saw them feed each other for assists countless times this weekend and nearly never make a mistake.

Like I said earlier, the bigs inside were just physically too big for Rayshaun Hammonds and Lance Thomas. Both are great players but they could get nothing going at all. Holding that duo to five total points is astounding. Greenforest has now spanked a top backcourt in the state and a top frontcourt as well. Jordan Goldwire played well for Norcross and I thought freshman Kyle Sturdivant looked good also. Robert Sims battled hard for Coach McMillan and was up to the task to pick up the slack left by Thomas and Hammonds. He fought for seven points and blocked three shots.


Top Performers:

Justin Forrest – 21 points, 4 assists
Abayomi Iyiola – 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block
John Ogwuche – 12 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
Mohammed Abdulsalem – 9 points
Victor Enoh – 7 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block
Ikey Obiagu – 6 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks
Precious Ayah – 3 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block

Jordan Goldwire – 11 points
Kyle Sturdivant – 11 points, 2 assists
Chris Curlett – 8 points, 3 steals
Robert Sims – 7 points, 3 blocks
Rayshaun Hammonds – 5 points, 8 rebounds

Will Washington Lifts No. 2 McIntosh Over IMG

5ANo. 2 McIntosh 61, IMG Academy (FL) 53

A game marred with questionable calls was eventually won by the play on the court. The fourth quarter belonged to Will Washington as the Chiefs rebounded from last night’s heartbreaking loss to down the internationally flavored Ascenders.

IMG Academy led 11-9 after one and rode star sophomore Emmitt Williams all game long. The big time athlete scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to keep the Ascenders in the game. He and guard Arseniy Andreev, who finished with 13 points, did most of the damage.

Emmitt Williams will only get better and that's scary
Emmitt Williams will only get better and that’s scary

The game was close throughout, but early in the third the momentum could have potentially swung all the way into IMG’s corner when Washington, for the second night in a row, ran into foul trouble as he picked up his third foul on a charge at the 7:17 mark of the third quarter. Just over two minutes later, he picked up his fourth foul on one of many controversial calls made by the officiating crew. On an inbounds, he and Andreev were jostling for position, not uncommon for guards, but for some reason the referee blew the whistle for a double foul and in the process saddled Washington with another foul causing him to sit at the 4:58 mark of the third and McIntosh up 33-32.

The Chiefs entered the fourth up 40-36 after Dishon Lowery cleaned up a miss and scored inside. The Wofford signee finished with five points and battled Williams inside all night and pulled down 15 rebounds of his own.

Minutes into the fourth with 5:08 left, Brendon Rowan took a big charge and Washington re-entered with the Chiefs trailing 43-42. From that point on, it was all Washington. He scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the final quarter, going 12-of-16 from the line. With both teams in the bonus from the 4:55 mark on, Washington knew what to do. He went on a personal 9-0 run to extend the lead to 51-43 before Williams hit a free throw to break the drought.

With 1:59 remaining in regulation, the Ascenders cut the lead to 53-49. Furman signee Jordan Lyons hit Cole Guenther inside who finished a huge layup inside over Williams to put the game out of reach.

My Take: Jordan Lyons got cooking in the second quarter and hit three three-pointers and played an all-around strong floor game. Will Washington’s performance proves just how valuable he is to Coach Jason Eisele’s team. He is always in control of the ball and rarely makes mistakes. When he turned it on in the fourth quarter, IMG had no answer. From my two games watching the Chiefs, it just solidifies my opinion of them being a major threat to challenge Miller Grove for the title. If they can establish their low post presences in Chase Walter and Dishon Lowery, they will be tough to beat.  Lowery gobbles up rebounds at a major rate and finished with 15 more after a 20-board night on Friday. Ulysses Brown only scored three points, but he did an outstanding job while Washington was on the bench. He played good defense and didn’t force anything on offense while keeping his head when the Ascenders tried to get physical. He, Brendon Rowan and Cole Guenther are nice role players off the bench that help the flow of the offense and defense stay intact while the starters sit. Emmitt Williams of IMG is still just a sophomore and that is scary. He’s an exceptional athlete who can hang and glide to the basket. He doesn’t have too much help around him, but that will just help him gain experience as being “the man” while he moves on to the college ranks.

Top Performers:

Will Washington – 18 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
Jordan Lyons – 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Dishon Lowery – 5 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
Chase Walter – 6 points, 6 rebounds

Emmitt Williams – 24 points, 16 rebounds
Arseniy Andreev – 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists

Greenforest’s Size Dominates Smaller Falcons Inside

1ANo. 1 Greenforest 87, 6ANo. 6 Pebblebrook 59

Before the game, Greenforest’s size advantage was one major factor as to why Pebblebrook entered as a slight underdog. That size advantage was fully taken advantage of by Coach Larry Thompson’s team as the Eagles out-rebounded the Falcons 42-to-18 to blow past Pebblebrook at Holiday Hoopsgiving. At the end of one, the Falcons tried to stay close and trailed 29-19, but the second quarter became a microcosm of the game. Sophomore wide body Mohammed Abdulsalem entered the game and posted seven points and four rebounds before finishing with nine points and nine rebounds. Greenforest pounded the glass all night and came away with second-chance point after second-chance point.

Abdulsalem’s work inside was strong, but the astronomical improvement of five-star junior center Ikey Obiagu was one of the main storylines seen. The 7-footer scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots. Pebblebrook was powered by Auburn signee Jared Harper, but the 5-foot-11 guard couldn’t find much help outside of Collin Sexton and JJ Smith. Harper scored a game-high 29 points with four threes, while Sexton chipped in 12 points and Smith finished with 11.

Ikey Obiagu is a big presence in the middle
Ikey Obiagu is a big presence in the middle

Greenforest’s balance was unmatched as nine players scored led by New Hampshire bound guard John Ogwuche’s 19. Abayomi Iyiola posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Justin Forrest scored nine and dished out seven assists, Precious Ayah added seven points and nine rebounds and Jaden Duggan chipped in six, all from the line, to round out the Eagles’ top scorers.

My Take: Boy, oh boy. Greenforest is a terrifying team when they are clicking. They have frontcourt size that nearly every NCAA Division-One team would covet. Let’s start with the biggest of them all, Ikey Obiagu. This was just the second time I have ever seen the 7-footer play. I watched him come off the bench in the state championship a year ago and score two points, grab zero rebounds and foul out. When I heard he was a five-star prospect this summer I laughed. When I saw him tonight I was amazed. He showed a deft touch inside and some nice post moves to go along with advanced footwork for a man of his stature. I can totally see why every high major program in the country is hot after him. Abayomi Iyiola might have been the most impressive outside of Obiagu. His 17 points and 12 rebounds was just pure hustle. Put him alongside Ikey and Mohammed Abdulsalem who is an absolute bull in a china shop down low and you have a team that will massacre others on the glass. John Ogwuche and Justin Forrest did what they had to do from their guard spots and were as solid as it gets, simply making the right decisions on the floor and not trying to do too much. As far as things go for Pebblebrook, I expect them to be extremely dangerous when they aren’t playing NBA frontlines. Jared Harper is fun to watch and isn’t afraid to challenge in the lane with floaters or pull up for long threes. Against elite teams however, he will need some help. JJ Smith showed some flashes with some tough baskets, but he looks to be far too good of a player to only score 11 points. Collin Sexton will be a nice running mate and the trio should have some fun in the high scoring Region 3-AAAAAA. Productive size inside will be important to find, also a glue guy as well. Trhae Mitchell and Derek Ogbeide are missed, but so is Kevin Murph. The year is young however and I’m confident Coach George Washington will find someone to step up and fill those important roles.

Top Performers: 

Abayomi Iyiola – 17 points, 12 rebounds
John Ogwuche – 19 points, 2 assists, 2 steals
Ikey Obiagu – 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks
Justin Forrest – 9 points, 7 assists
Mohammed Abdulsalem – 9 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block
Precious Ayah – 7 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks

Jared Harper – 29 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Collin Sexton – 12 points
JJ Smith – 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks

Brandon Robinson’s Big Day Enough to Hold Off No. 2 McIntosh

6A Douglas County 84, 5ANo. 2 McIntosh 81

Two looks at a three-pointer for Furman signee Jordan Lyons, who canned seven deep balls on the night, did not drop as Coach Hollis Bethea’s Douglas County Tigers survived in a thrilling afternoon tilt at Holiday Hoopsgiving. The game was played at a neck-break pace as the full court pressure of the Tigers bothered the Chiefs early on. Douglas County held a 24-18 lead at the end of one and foul trouble began to hurt the Chiefs. Will Washington, McIntosh’s floor general who finished with 17 points (9-of-10 FT) and seven assists, picked up a third foul with 4:46 to play in the second and had to sit the remainder of the half with McIntosh down 34-29.  The Chiefs fell behind by as many as 10 points, but would scrap their way back, using a 7-to-2 run to finish the half sparked by Brendon Rowan saving a ball underneath his basket to teammate Ben Bryant who laid it in to bring the game to single digits.

Jordan Lyons lining up one of his seven treys
Jordan Lyons lining up one of his seven treys

The two focal points of the game were Lyons and Douglas County’s Brandon Robinson, who is signed to play at UNC. Robinson scored 20 of his game-high 35 points in the first half and scored in a multitude of ways, drilling five threes and getting to basket and using pull ups in the lane. Lyons went for a team-high 34 for the Chiefs, as both stars were expected to get theirs, it was up to the supporting cast to be the difference makers. Coach Bethea got just that, as Devarion Davis scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Kalen Clifton added 14 points and five rebounds while Khayl Waters battled for 10 points and four rebounds.

McIntosh trailed for the majority of the game, struggling to get over the hump before they finally did so on a Braxton Shaw three-ball at the 6:05 mark of the third quarter which tied the game at 44. But every time the Chiefs would make a push, Robinson and the Tigers answered back to keep them at bay. The Chiefs took their first lead of the second half when Chase Walter grabbed one of his 12 rebounds and outletted the ball out to Lyons as time was expiring entering the fourth. All in one motion, Lyons caught the ball in midair and heaved it to the hoop, drilling a three from halfcourt to give the Chiefs a 61-60 lead entering the final frame.

McIntosh held onto a narrow lead until Douglas County recaptured the lead and led 77-75 with 2:30 to play. Clifton missed a pair of free throws with under 15 seconds to play, giving McIntosh an opportunity to tie. Lyons got two decent looks, albeit contested, but could not sink the game-tying long ball to send the game to overtime.

Dishon Lowery was a monster inside
Dishon Lowery was a monster inside

McIntosh, known for its balance, did not disappoint as Dishon Lowery scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high 20 rebounds. He and Walter were both saddled with foul trouble at points in the game. Walter finished with eight points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the loss.

My Take: Well that was fun, wasn’t it?! What a game. I said going in that Jordan Lyons and Brandon Robinson would negate each other with their points (34 & 35), and that it would be up to the rest of the gang. Devarion Davis impressed me greatly and stepped up big time. His 18 points came off active rebounding and a feathery touch. McIntosh just couldn’t take control of the game, but they were exciting to watch. Jordan Lyons has unlimited range, Dishon Lowery is an absolute beast on the boards, Will Washington is a true point guard and Chase Walter loves to bend the rim with his dunks. Coach Hollis Bethea’s defense was active all night long and harassed the Chiefs, but wasn’t wild. They took numerous charges and got Washington, Lowery and Walter all in foul trouble. It’s not even fair how good Region 3-AAAAAA is. A loss like this could be good for McIntosh to gain that laser focus as they strive for a state title, and a win like this for Douglas County solidifies them as one of the best teams in the state when they work as a group.

Top Perfomers:

Douglas County
Brandon Robinson – 35 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Devarion Davis – 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Kalen Clifton – 14 points, 5 rebounds
Khayl Waters – 10 points, 4 rebounds

Jordan Lyons – 34 points
Dishon Lowery – 13 points, 20 rebounds
Will Washington – 17 points, 7 assists
Chase Walter – 8 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 blocks