No. 5 Cedar Shoals steals win at No. 7 Heritage-Conyers

No. 5 Cedar Shoals 54, No. 7 Heritage 51

Basketball is a 32-minute game. For 26 minutes, host No. 7 Heritage was the better team, crushing the offensive glass and sinking four first quarter threes, but as all good teams do, No. 5 Cedar Shoals was able to weather the storm and in the end found a way to pull out another Region 8 victory and move to 18-2 overall and 9-1 in region play after edging the Patriots 54-51.

The Jaguars brought a great crowd as both lineups were greeted with smears of boos and cheers echoing throughout the gym as if it were a neutral site. Coach L’Dreco Thomas said before the game that their goal was to keep the slashing Patriots out of the lane and force them to hit open jumpers – they did. Heritage buried four three-pointers in the first quarter paced by Jordan Thomas, who would sink five on the night en route to a team-high 15 points, giving the Patriots a 22-11 lead at the end of one.

With Heritage nailing nearly every open look it had, the Jaguars had to search for the light at the end of the tunnel. It was hard to find any positives in the first quarter however as the Patriots pounded Cedar Shoals on the glass to take a 17-5 rebounding advantage after eight minutes. The Jaguars would lose the rebounding battle on the night 34 to 21, but through quarters two through four, sewed up the tally, 17-16.

Heritage’s 6-foot-6 center Makyle Wilkerson sat with foul trouble for most of the half meaning 6-foot-2, 200-pound Marquis Davis had to step in. Davis, who looks more like a linebacker, gave the Patriots a spark inside collecting five points off the bench in the second quarter and finishing the game with seven points and seven rebounds.

Makyle Wilkerson played well when he was on the floor
Makyle Wilkerson played well when he was on the floor
Marquis Davis played great for Coach Vernon Denmark
Marquis Davis played great for Coach Vernon Denmark

The second quarter belonged to Phlan Fleming and the Jaguars. Held scoreless in the first, the junior swingman hotly recruited by SOCON schools got going. He led an 18-9 Cedar Shoals second quarter with nine of his 11 points. Coach Thomas elected to come out of their zone and extend into a press that began to rattle the Heritage ball handlers while switching the tempo and momentum into the road team’s favor, leading to a 31-29 halftime score; the Jaguars never holding the lead.

While it was Fleming’s second quarter, the third belonged to Cedar Shoals’ Snipe Hall. The junior poured in 11 of the Jaguars’ 15 third quarter points, the other four being scored by point guard Jerrick Mitchell. As Hall worked his way to a game-high 16 points, the Jags still never captured the lead and Davis would make sure the Patriots had the advantage heading into the fourth, scoring off a tip-in as the clock expired, giving Heritage a narrow 46-44 lead entering the final period.

Seen so many times before, teams in an early hole usually spend all of their energy just trying to claw back into the game and in the end fall short. Not Cedar Shoals. When the going got tough, the Jaguars sank their teeth into the Patriots, clamping down and allowing just five fourth quarter points. Senior guard Greg Smith, who was held scoreless through the first 25 minutes of the game, scored back-to-back buckets to give Cedar Shoals their first lead of the game, 48-46 with 6:06 left.

The Jags had finally climbed the mountain top, but would they be able to place their flag atop it? Nearly three full minutes passed without the score changing. With just over three minutes to play, Cedar Shoals took its largest lead of the game at 50-46. Having no momentum to speak of and no baskets coming easy, Byron Abrams took it upon himself to score two of his 11 points on the night to draw back within two. Twenty-two seconds later, Isaiah Banks hit Thomas in the corner for his fifth and final three of the night to make it 51-50 in favor of Heritage with 2:16 to play.

That bucket proved to not only be Thomas’ final points of the night, but the Patriots’ as well. Stavion Stevenson gave the Jaguars the lead back on a jumper. Banks was fouled with 1:36 to play but missed the front-end of the one-and-one. With 24.4 seconds remaining, it was Hall’s turn to miss a one-and-one, giving Heritage another breath. The Patriots went to Banks who drove to the rim but was swallowed up by two defenders, both Fleming and Hall blocking his shot. Banks retrieved it and tried to gather himself to go back up for two, but was denied again by Fleming and now Smith. A jump-ball was called with 7.9 left and the possession arrow pointing in Heritage’s direction. The Jags weren’t out of the woods yet.

Abrams burned two timeouts trying to inbound the ball and on the third try, Mitchell was called for a hold on Wilkerson, sending the big man to the line with a one-and-one opportunity to tie or potentially win the game.

Wilkerson’s free throw bounced on the rim three times before falling into Fleming’s hands. Fleming coolly sank both free throws with 6.2 seconds. Charles Moore raced up the court and pulled up for a clean look to send the game to overtime, but his shot rimmed out.

Cedar Shoals went 2-of-3 from the line in the fourth quarter and finished the night 7-of-12, while the Patriots went 0-of-2 in the fourth, and made just 3-of-9 during the game. The loss drops Heritage to 15-4 overall and 7-2 in region play; both losses to teams ahead of them with No. 4 Gainesville (11-3, 9-0) in first-place.

It was standing room only for the final possession
It was standing room only for the final possession

My Take: The already late 8:30 start time was pushed back to 9:40 after JV games ran late. This classic wasn’t finished until after 11 P.M., but boy was it a good one. It played out how I expected: two evenly matched teams with great balance, not giving an inch to the opponent. Cedar Shoals started off slow and Heritage, coming off a 96-68 inexplicable blowout loss to Brookwood, looked hungry and ready to blow the doors off of whoever stepped foot on the court. Jordan Thomas was cooking early on from deep and helped the Patriots race to a 15-6 lead. After Heritage’s four three-pointer barrage in the first eight minutes, they hit only two the rest of the game. Byron Abrams showed good court vision throughout the game and attacked when needed. Senior Charles Moore did a steady job handling the ball. To open the third quarter Heritage really looked to play at their pace and decided to slow down the offense a bit, hitting the high post and looking opposite. Makyle Wilkerson didn’t get much burn in the first half due to fouls, but he is a nice athletic piece inside, finishing with eight points and five rebounds. Marquis Davis played great off the bench and was a main reason why Heritage wrecked the smaller Jaguars on the boards to open the game.

Cedar Shoals did what good teams do: find a way to win. Jerrick Mitchell is a speedy guard that was able to attack the rim and set up his teammates. His only flaw is that opponents don’t respect his jumper. Abrams literally shooed him off when he had the ball in the corner and told him to shoot it. Credit to Mitchell, knowing his game, he didn’t play into Abrams’ head-games and passed it off instead of forcing a bad shot. Both Snipe Hall and Phlan Fleming carried Cedar Shoals at times. Both teams have 3-4 guys that can go out and lead the team in scoring with 15+ any night, which makes it difficult to slow them down. Fleming got going in the second quarter showing off a nice feathery touch from the mid-range baseline. Even though he is the most recruited player on his team, he never forced the issue and played within himself while playing team ball. Stavion Stevenson didn’t have a huge game, but he battled inside and came away with two big buckets in the fourth quarter. When Cedar Shoals really needed stops, it got them. The Jags started in a 2-3 zone, but moved into a press that really got them back into the game. Both teams went about 7-8 deep. I envision both squads being extremely tough outs in the state playoffs. They might not have the true go-to guy like Gainesville has in D’Marcus Simonds (Georgia State) or Apalachee in Kamar Baldwin (Butler), but their balance is extremely tough to handle when they are clicking on all cylinders.

Top Performers

Cedar Shoals
Snipe Hall – 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Phlan Fleming – 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Jerrick Mitchell – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
Stavion Stevenson – 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block

Jordan Thomas – 15 points (five 3’s), 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Byron Abrams – 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Makyle Wilkerson – 8 points, 5 rebounds
Charles Moore – 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
Marquis Davis – 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Isaiah Banks – 3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists

Mr. Basketball Watch 1-15

*From stats available* *Seniors only*


Photo by Ty Freeman
Photo by Ty Freeman

Jared Harper (Pebblebrook) – Auburn
15 GP – 27.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 10.5 apg,  3.5 spg

Douglas County Sentinel
Douglas County Sentinel

Brandon Robinson (Douglas County) – North Carolina
14 GP – 25.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.1 spg


Photo By Ty Freeman
Photo By Ty Freeman

Alterique Gilbert (Miller Grove) – Connecticut
18 GP – 23 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7 apg, 4.5 spg

IMG_7664Kamar Baldwin (Apalachee) – Butler
16 GP – 28.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, 3.9 spg, 1 bpg

Photo By Ty Freeman
Photo By Ty Freeman

D’Marcus Simonds (Gainesville) – Georgia State
11 GP – 22 ppg, 8 rpg, 6 apg

Devin Wooten (Jones County)
17 GP – 25.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4 apg, 2.8 spg

Class AAAA


Avi Toomer (Grady) – Bucknell
12 GP – 25.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.8 spg

B2iRB0rCIAAKQMSAnfernee McLemore (Worth County) – Auburn
12 GP – 15.2 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 6.3 bpg

Class AAA

Photo By Ty Freeman
Photo By Ty Freeman

Christian Keeling (Laney) – Charleston Southern
15 GP – 24.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.8 spg

Photo By Ty Freeman
Photo By Ty Freeman

Zep Jasper (Laney) – College of Charleston
14 GP – 21.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.9 spg

Photo By Jason Vorhees
Photo By Jason Vorhees

Justin Slocum (Southwest-Macon)
16 GP – 21.4 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2 spg, 2.1 bpg

Class AA


Jordan Harris (Seminole County) – Georgia
14 GP – 31.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 6 apg, 3.6 spg, 2.2 bpg

Photo By Jason Vorhees
Photo By Jason Vorhees

William Jarrell (Crawford County)
7 GP – 26.3 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 8.7 apg, 5.7 spg, 4.3 bpg

Class A

Photo By Ty Freeman
Photo By Ty Freeman

Kobi Simmons (St. Francis)
15 GP – 26.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.2 spg

1499391Robert Baker (Walker) – Harvard
14 GP – 23.9 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.9 spg, 1.8 bpg

SmothersLorenzo Smothers (Marion County)
12 GP – 27.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 3.1 spg

1-12 Recaps


Class 6A-5A

Class 4A-3A

Class 2A-1A



No. 5 Tucker 63, Alcovy 40: Sierra Wright had 15 points while Kierra Johnson-Graham posted 13 points and six rebounds.

Northview 51, Johns Creek 34: Freshman Maya Richards poured in 20 points to lead the Lady Titans. Ashlee Austin chipped in 16 points.

Lovejoy 61, Rockdale County 42: Amber Thornton finished with 17 points and three steals in the win.


No. 5 Flowery Branch 51, Winder-Barrow 47: Heather Moore scored 12 points and Taniyah Worth posted 18 points and nine rebounds to lift the Lady Falcons over a talented Lady Bulldogg team that drops to 13-2.

Class AAAA

No. 2 Marist 60, Cross Keys 13: Both Dominique Oden and Annabella Farabaugh outscored the entire Cross Keys team. Oden flirted with a quadruple-double and finished with 23 points, seven assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals. Farabaugh added 14 points in the rout.

St. Pius X 67, Chamblee 48: Macey Carson scored 22 points to lead three Golden Lions in double figures in the win. Kathryn McKenzie added 18, while Hannah Jones chipped in 12.  St. Pius X (10-6, 8-3 Region 6-AAAA) never trailed, racing to a 36-22 halftime lead. Ariana Henderson led Chamblee (5-8, 4-7) with 15 points.

Mt. Zion 55, No. 6 Griffin 52: The Lady Bulldogs advanced to 15-3 overall after handing the tumbling Griffin Lady Bears another loss. Tyeisha Juhan poured in 35 points to lead the way.

Pickens 57, LaFayette 37: Autumn Young scored a team-high 16 to lead the Dragonettes. Mackenzie Hampton and Torie Williams added 14 apiece in the win.

Class AAA

No. 8 Ringgold 42, Sonoraville 31: Sydney Shutters led the Lady Tigers with 12 points. Taryn Hickey posted a game-high 13 points for Sonoraville.

No. 10 East Hall 63, Franklin County 45: Carly Winters sank seven three-pointers and scored 24 points to power the Lady Vikings. Ashlyn Ellison and Jenny Edwards both scored 11 points.

Calhoun 61, Murray County 32: Jana Johns posted 18 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Ashlyn Barnes recorded 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five steals while Sydnie Parker swatted away six shots.

Central-Macon 59, Westside-Macon 45: Kamry Hassan scored 19 points. Tyleia Williams added 11 in the win.

Class A

No. 5 Tattnall Square Academy 31, First Presbyterian 29: Tattnall Square survived the Lady Vikings led by Kate Patterson’s 16 points. Emma Lako added seven in the loss.

Week 8 Rankings


  1. Westlake (9-2)
  2. Shiloh (12-2)
  3. Norcross (14-2)
  4. Wheeler (11-5)
  5. Tift County (15-2)
  6. McEachern (13-2)
  7. Pebblebrook (12-6)
  8. Newton (13-2)
  9. Grayson (14-2)
  10. Collins Hill (14-2)


  1. Miller Grove (15-2)
  2. Allatoona (15-0)
  3. McIntosh (13-2)
  4. Gainesville (9-3)
  5. Cedar Shoals (16-2)
  6. South Paulding (14-2)
  7. Heritage-Conyers (15-2)
  8. Riverwood (16-1)
  9. Warner Robins (10-2)
  10. Southwest DeKalb (15-3)

Class AAAA

  1. Jonesboro (13-3)
  2. Grady (15-1)
  3. Lithonia (12-4)
  4. Liberty County (12-1)
  5. St. Pius (13-2)
  6. Eagle’s Landing (15-1)
  7. Walnut Grove (16-1)
  8. Sandy Creek (12-4)
  9. Upson-Lee (13-3)
  10. Thomson (12-3)

Class AAA

  1. Morgan County (13-3)
  2. Jenkins (12-2)
  3. Laney (14-1)
  4. Calhoun (13-0)
  5. South Atlanta (12-4)
  6. Central-Macon (13-2)
  7. Westminster (14-2)
  8. Callaway (7-3)
  9. Westside-Augusta (7-2)
  10. Banks County (15-2)

Class AA

  1. Seminole County (12-3)
  2. Thomasville (16-1)
  3. Crawford County (13-1)
  4. Vidalia (14-2)
  5. Holy Innocents’ (12-4)
  6. Lovett (11-3)
  7. Early County (12-3)
  8. Pace Academy (5-8)
  9. Chattooga (16-1)
  10. Long County (13-3)

Class A-Private

  1. Greenforest (15-1)
  2. St. Francis (10-5)
  3. North Cobb Christian (12-3)
  4. St. Anne-Pacelli (11-4)
  5. SWAC (8-8)
  6. Lakeview Academy (13-3)
  7. Whitefield Academy (10-7)
  8. Our Lady of Mercy (10-3)
  9. Stratford Academy (10-3)
  10. Tattnall Square Academy (11-3)

Class A-Public

  1. Treutlen (12-1)
  2. Hancock Central (9-4)
  3. Randolph-Clay (12-4)
  4. Wilkinson County (9-5)
  5. Atkinson County (11-2)
  6. Taylor County (9-5)
  7. Lincoln County (9-3)
  8. Hawkinsville (9-4)
  9. Mitchell County (9-4)
  10. Turner County (9-5)

After nearly a month long layoff, Class AAAAAA’s No. 1 Westlake returned to the hardwood and picked up two Region 3 wins. The Lions held off UNC signee Brandon Robinson and Douglas County 65-59 before edging Langston Hughes 76-61. Chuma Okeke came up big for Westlake, finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists vs. Douglas County while Robinson poured in 21. Danny Lewis added 22 points and Jamie Lewis 14 points and nine assists for the Lions. In Friday’s win over Langston Hughes, it marked the first time this year Okeke played against his former school. No. 4 Wheeler dropped Milton 71-60 behind a balanced attack. Georgia Tech signee Romello White posted 22 points and eight rebounds. Cam Jordan and Darius Perry scored 19 and 18 points respectively. No. 7 Pebblebrook is red-hot and jumps up three spots. The Falcons rallied from down 87-74 with 4:43 left against Douglas County to force overtime and eventually win in two extra periods, 111-107 in a game of the year nominee. Collin Sexton dropped 44 points. Pebblebrook hosts No. 1 Westlake this Tuesday.

No.  9 Grayson makes its first appearance in the top ten this season after defeating Dacula 73-69, in turn taking their place in the poll. Austin Dukes scored 27 points to lead the Rams and Tre Sconiers recorded 14 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and four blocks. On Friday, Grayson had an opportunity to improve its resume even more with a crack at No. 2 Shiloh, but the upset-minded Rams fell short 80-73.

No. 2 Allatoona is now the lone undefeated team in Class AAAAA after Camden County lost to Effingham County 77-63 and slipped out of the top ten. Replacing the Wildcats is a familiar face, No. 10 Southwest DeKalb. The Panthers have won six straight and are quickly closing in on a rematch with No. 1 Miller Grove. No. 7 Heritage-Conyers falls a spot following a 73-66 overtime loss to Rockdale County. No. 9 Warner Robins stopped rival Northside-Warner Robins in front of a sold out crowd, 65-58. Donovan Brown finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds on the road to carry the load with star guard Marquez Callaway missing the game due to playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Class AAAA saw No. 4 Liberty County thump No. 10 Thomson 100-53. The statement win helps the Panthers jump back over No. 5 St. Pius. Thomson falls one spot only. No. 6 Eagle’s Landing moves up two spots and leaps over region foe No. 7 Walnut Grove. The Eagles knocked off Henry County 96-83 on Tuesday, drilled 13-3 Eastside 76-49 on Friday and outlasted Stockbridge 84-78 on Saturday. No. 1 Jonesboro survived a scare from Henry County on Saturday, 70-65 in overtime. MJ Walker exploded for 33 points to pace the Cardinals. Damion Rosser netted 28 points and Javon Greene 23 in the loss for the Warhawks.

Down goes Frazier! The AAA heavyweight No. 3 Laney finally lost a game to who else but No. 1 Morgan County, the same team that ended the Wildcats’ season in the semifinals last year. The Bulldogs won 65-63 behind Devorious Brown’s 27-point outburst.  Jailyn Ingram, who is heading to Florida Atlantic along with Brown, added 14 points and freshman Alec Woodard chipped in 13. Zep Jasper (College of Charleston) finished with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals while Christian Keeling (Charleston Southern) posted 21 points and 10 rebounds for Laney. No. 10 Banks County resurfaces in the top ten after wins over Lumpkin County, 69-65 and Buford, 60-50.

I took a 217 mile trip down to South Georgia to see Class AA’s finest: No. 3 defending state champs Seminole County hosting undefeated No. 1 Thomasville. In the end, it was the championship duo of Jordan Harris (UGA) and Anfernee King that proved to be too much for the bigger and more balanced Bulldogs, combining for 49 points in the Indians’ 71-65 win in front of a raucous crowd. With the win, Seminole County regains the No. 1 spot in the state while Thomasville slides to No. 2. A string of close calls finally caught up to the battle-tested Bulldogs. Before their loss at Seminole County, last week Thomasville had beaten Bainbridge 63-61 and won at No. 7 Early County, 79-76. Region 1 looks like a force to be reckoned with come tournament time.

Two Region 6 teams drop out in Wesleyan and GAC, but two replace them with No. 6 Lovett and No. 8 Pace Academy. Currently Lovett owns sole possession of first place in the region with a 5-0 mark. The Lions hold wins over No. 5 Holy Innocents’ and just beat Wesleyan and GAC back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, knocking them both from the poll. On Friday Lovett gets to prove its record as they visit Pace Academy, a sleeping giant that has now won three in a row and hold a 4-1 mark in region play. Tomorrow in Southeast Georgia, No. 10 Long County hosts No. 4 Vidalia in a crucial Region 2 measuring stick game. Also keep an eye on Region 3’s Swainsboro (7-5, 3-0). The Tigers have played some tough competition out of region and are much better than their record shows. They are riding a five-game winning streak and may re-enter the poll sooner rather than later.

More of the same occurred in Class A-Private: Madness and business as usual. On the business side of things, No. 1 Greenforest dispatched of No. 5 SWAC, 81-58. The madness occurred with No. 2 St. Francis holding on against King’s Ridge (9-5), 72-71. Kobi Simmons became the Knights’ all-time leading scorer last week and surpassed the 2,000-point barrier. Landmark Christian tumbled out of the top ten with a 9-5 record and losses to Paideia in overtime 71-61 and No. 7 Whitefield Academy, 91-62. No. 9 Stratford Academy takes the War Eagles’ place in the rankings after dropping No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy, 67-58. Also, Quintez Cephus made SportsCenter with his thunderous baseline throw down against First Presbyterian Day.

Class A-Public sees No. 2 Hancock Central leap all the way from No. 9 thanks to five straight wins including victories over No. 7 Lincoln County and No. 4 Wilkinson County on Saturday, 70-62. No.5 Atkinson County continues to rise in the rankings while No. 8 Hawkinsville slips four spots following a 67-59 loss to Greenville. No. 9 Mitchell County and No. 10 Turner County replace Terrell County and Wilcox County. The Green Wave is riding a two-game skid while Wilcox County is on a three-game losing streak.

No. 3 Seminole County hands No. 1 Thomasville first loss

No. 3 Seminole County 71, No. 1 Thomasville 65

The four hour trip was worth it. Defending AA state champs No. 3 Seminole County (12-3, 5-1) never trailed in the second half and held off No. 1 Thomasville (16-1, 4-1) 71-65 to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.

Thomasville’s balance of four players in double figures was not enough on the road against the Batman and Robin duo of UGA signee Jordan Harris and Anfernee King in front of a raucous sold out crowd. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and looked like their size consisting of 6-foot-8 brothers senior Alex and sophomore Reggie Perry and 6-foot-8 freshman Titus Wright, would overwhelm the much smaller Indians, topped by 6-foot-4 senior center Justin Washington, but the Jordan Harris show began.

Thomasville can go 6-foot-8 three deep across the frontline
Thomasville can go 6-foot-8 three deep across the frontline

Harris connected on two deep balls and scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in the first quarter to enter the second period tied at 16. Senior Jordan Willis, Thomasville’s offensive catalyst at point guard, did not start and didn’t play in the first quarter for disciplinary reasons. As he was trying to find his flow in the game, Coach Benjamin Tillman relied on Shedric Cooper and Reggie Perry to get buckets. Perry, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, scored six points in the first half while Cooper netted seven of his 10.

Harris continued his onslaught in the second quarter hunting his own shot while still getting everyone involved. He entered the half with 18 points, swooping to the rim and cutting into Thomasville’s paint protectors. At the half the Indians held a 33-27 lead.

To open the third quarter, Thomasville slowed the track meet down and began looking to exploit their size advantage by dumping high-low looks to the Perry brothers. Three early attempts didn’t work with Harris coming away with a steal in Seminole County’s zone which was used to pack it in and not let the Perrys or Wright get point-blank looks.

Down 38-33 with five minute left in the third, Willis came away with a runout and tried to hammer in a dunk, but his attempt clanged off the back rim and landed in Tyreke Daniels’ hands. Daniels pushed the ball up and hit King in transition, who proceeded to bury a three-pointer to make it 41-33; a five-point swing.

Alex Perry quickly answered back inside with a sweeping hook shot that resulted in an And-1, but Harris was not to be out done. In the highlight of the night, better than his alley oop dunk from the hands of King and numerous Perry slams, Harris went between his defender’s legs, re-controlled his dribble and hit a step back fade away from just inside the arc. He pulled off the nutmeg so quickly, that most fans didn’t even realize what he had just done.

At the 1:40 mark, Harris picked up his fourth foul up 45-38 but King and Washington were able to carry the Indians into the fourth quarter leading 47-39. The Indians extended their lead to 49-39, their largest of the game with just under seven minutes to play, but the Bulldogs would show their bite and began clawing back, using a 8-0 run to make it 49-47.

Thomasville was in the double-bonus early in the fourth and began to pound away at the hoop, taking 16 fourth quarter free throws and sinking 12.  Willis led the charge and scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Bulldogs draw even at 51, but it was short lived as King hit a layup to regain the lead. The senior guard poured in 13 fourth quarter points to finish with 21, hitting 9-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to help the Indians upset the Bulldogs.

My Take: 217 miles? I could have traveled 400 miles and it would have been worth it. The hospitality at Seminole County was outstanding and a shoutout needs to go Juwan Hopkins, who helped me find my way to the gym after getting lost on some darks roads. As far as the game goes, the first thing I noticed was Thomasville’s size. My jaw dropped to think this was an AA team and that Reggie Perry and Titus Wright are only a sophomore and freshman respectively. The storyline for tonight’s game was whether Seminole County’s two-man show of Jordan Harris and Anfernee King could keep up with Thomasville’s balance and size. Jordan Willis didn’t even start tonight for the Bulldogs and their starting lineup still looked like it could play with anyone in the state. The Perry brothers are big and long. Reggie is a high-major prospect and moves well for his size. Wright played a little out of position and wasn’t anchored on the block like I felt he should have been. He is a big barrel-chested post that can move people out of his way. He isn’t as athletic or explosive as the Perrys, but if he works on his quickness and post moves, he will be a nightmare for the next four years. Shedric Cooper and Gregory Hobbs played well in the backcourt, but Willis is the go-to guy. He put the team on his back in the fourth quarter and scored by slashing to the basket, hitting threes and adding points from the foul line. The Bulldogs will be a major player in the state tournament and were well deserving of their No. 1 ranking and undefeated record.

What is there to say about Seminole County? Harris and King are winners. They take a ton of shots, but it is their team and they have the green-light on every possession. Harris needs to be face-guarded or bracketed by two men every time he plays. The only recipe to beating the Indians is getting him in foul trouble or praying for an off night. But if he does have a rare rough game, King has more than enough goods to carry the load. King has an excellent pullup jumper and good elevation to get his shot off. He showed off his playmaking skills along with Harris as the two helped get Justin Washington involved. The senior big man played possibly the best game of his career according to Coach Kevin Godwin. Not blessed with his teammates’ athleticism, Washington was unafraid to battle inside and showed nifty footwork when around the basket. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals, doing the dirty work inside while putting a body on three players that were four inches taller than him. It looks as if there is a very strong possibility that the Class AA state championship will run through South Georgia again, with Region 1 having three legitimate horses in the race including No.6 Early County.

Top Performers

Seminole County
Jordan Harris – 28 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Anfernee King – 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Justin Washington – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block

Jordan Willis – 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Reggie Perry – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Shedric Cooper – 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists
Titus Wright – 10 points, 3 rebounds
Alex Perry – 8 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks

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