Sandy's Spiel Shootout Top Performers

Sandy’s Spiel Shootout Top Performers

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Kahmare Holmes2024 6-5 G Kahmare Holmes – Archer
Archer left no hope for Seckinger, quickly taking a commanding lead and never looking back in an 80-53 rout. Wofford-signee Kahmare Holmes made amends for last year’s foul-ladened performance against Social Circle at the Sandy’s Spiel Shootout and dominated the game in every facet. The big guard was able to use a tight, low dribble to breakdown his man and power his way to the hoop. Looking like a man amongst boys, Holmes shook off defenders with his strength and got to wherever he wanted to go with ease. Kahmare drilled four pull-up jumpers from the mid-range and drew fouls when he decided to get to the rim, shooting 7-7 from the line. Holmes’ superior size and athleticism allowed him to clean up rebounds and use his length to steal passes and shut down driving lanes. Kahmare piled in 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals.

Darrian Joseph2024 6-2 G Darrian Joseph – Archer
The second head of Archer’s dynamic duo, Darrian Joseph had a career day assaulting the rim. With just a Brevard offer in tow, expect more schools to jump in as Joseph has emerged his senior season as a legitimate stock riser. Listed at 6-foot-2, maybe closer to 6-foot-3, Joseph has the physical tools to immediately draw attention. He’s an above the rim athlete with a diverse attack. Darrian drilled a step-back three, a spin into a pull-up and thrived at finishing at the basket scoring three And-1s. Once Joseph gets a step on his man, he has a quick burst to the hoop and elevates to score through traffic. Darrian dumped in 32 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, combining with Kahmare Holmes for 57 of Archer’s 80 points.

Carter Watkins2024 6-3 G Carter Watkins – Seckinger
Carter was a bright spot for Seckinger, heating up after a slow start. Watkins showed an array of ways to score the ball. The bigger guard got on the glass for a putback, netted a corner three, got a dunk in transition, converted a fastbreak And-1, sank a baseline jumper and pirouetted his way for a layup en route to finishing with a team-high 18 points and 5 rebounds. The high academic 3.9 GPA, 1210 SAT student has enjoyed a breakout season this year and holds offers from Piedmont and Oglethorpe.

Jayddence Ford2026 5-9 G Jayddence Ford – St. Anne-Pacelli
Coming in as a bit of a mystery across the state in Columbus and in the GIAA, Jayddence Ford quickly announced his presence in a 73-46 win over South Paulding, scoring two off the tip to set the tone and never look back. Currently ranked No. 1 in the GIAA, the Vikings buried 12 threes to quickly put the game out of reach. Ford exploded out of the gate with a 16-point first quarter, netting four long balls against the South Paulding zone. The sophomore shooter darted around the defense finding holes in the zone and made the Spartans pay with slow close outs. Ford drilled six threes in total, four coming from the corners with a pull-up mixed in. Jayddence was effective off the bounce getting into his jumper, hitting a pair from the mid-range. On the occasion he was able to get all the way to the rack, Ford showcased a skillful finishing package to score against South Paulding’s backline. Jayddence recorded 27 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. The prolific scorer is a problem out West. If he is able to grow a little bit more, college programs shouldn’t be too far off.

Evrad Makendi2024 6-5 PF Evrad Makendi – South Paulding
Evrad has come a long way in 12 months. Andrew College and Emmaus College have offered the defensive anchor. Makendi is big, strong and bouncy. He explodes off the floor to swat away shots and finishes dunks with ease. He’s a load to handle on the offensive glass, earning multiple chances. Evrad’s touch needs to improve inside, often times playing volleyball on the glass before being able to score, but his activity alone causes problems for opponents. He has shown a baby hook and the ability to attack off the dribble from the high post in spurts. The rim protector double-doubled in a loss against St. Anne-Pacelli posting 11 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 6 blocks.

Javaun Pittard2024 6-5 W Javaun Pittard – Oglethorpe County
Small schools should check in on the sizeable wing. Javaun is every bit of 6-foot-5 on the perimeter. He plays at his own pace as he hunts his jumper. Pittard loves the one-dribble mid-range step-back jumper, a good shot for him as he’s able to get clean views of the rim over smaller defenders. Pittard sank two pull-up jumpers, a patented step-back, a post fadeaway, a short jumper and converted an And-1 putback while shooting 4-5 at the line to finish with a game-high 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in a 47-38 win over George Walton Academy.

Logan Blalock2024 6-2 G Logan Blalock – George Walton Academy
Logan doesn’t get sped up when the ball is in his hands. At 6-foot-2, Blalock is tasked with playing inside and out. His interior impact often comes defensively when asked to rebound as one of the Bulldogs’ tallest players. Blalock uses his strength well to block out and elevates to secure rebounds in crowds. Logan often is able to get to his spots off the dribble. He’s a dangerous three-point shooter and a strong finisher when at the rim. In a game where points were at a premium, Blalock narrowly missed out on a double-double against Oglethorpe County collecting 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. With a 3.9 GPA, Logan should be a target for high academic programs.

Vonte Newell2024 6-0 PG Vonte Newell – Monroe Area
Long regarded as one of Georgia’s best passers and most underrated playmakers, Vonte Newell dazzled with his ability to make others better as Monroe Area held off ELCA 65-62. Never one to be selfish, the pass-first point guard made sure to get everyone else involved while finding his own offense in timely spurts. Newell scored three buckets in transition, one a coast-to-coast floater.  He scored on a cut in the halfcourt and drained a pair of threes. Vonte found success penetrating the defense and kicking to open shooters. He made life easy for Trip Griffith, spoon-feeding the newfound standout at least three times. While Newell created almost half of the Purple Hurricanes’ offense, his defense can’t be forgotten about either. Vonte swooped in for monster blocks meeting opponents at the rim when he wasn’t too busy swiping away steals on the perimeter. Newell tallied 14 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks, asserting himself as the best guard on the floor in a game full of athletic backcourt players. Vonte is one of the best JUCO point guard options Georgia has to offer.

Trip Griffith2025 6-5 F Trip Griffith – Monroe Area
Plug-and-play, Trip Griffith has been a revelation his junior season, seamlessly filling in for Jeremy Anderson and almost replicating if not surpassing the All-State standout’s production, a key reason why Monroe Area hasn’t missed a beat after graduating seven seniors from last year’s 24-win team. Griffith looks much more comfortable with the speed of the game and his role on the team than when I saw him in June when he was transitioning into his bigger role. Trip gets off the floor very well and snatches rebounds with both hands, already with games of 10, 11, 12, 14, 16 and 17 rebounds just eight games into the season. Griffith makes sure to present himself with his hands ready to catch on any Vonte Newell assists and from there, is able to rise up to finish through contact, converting two And-1s on Saturday. Trip closed the game strong against ELCA, seeing a 10-point lead evaporate as the two teams drew even at 54 with 2:35 left to play but Griffith scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the final frame to pair with his 4 rebounds and 2 steals in the win.

Ese Aigbokhae2025 6-7 C Ese Aigbokhae – ELCA
The big bodied Ese was able to control the glass against Monroe Area. Aigbokhae recorded 12 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocks, scoring on four putbacks. Ese holds promise and isn’t yet a finished product. Improving his agility will help him in the long term as he can be a bit slow gathering himself and isn’t very explosive getting off the ground. But whatever Aigbokhae lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with his imposing size and strength. He never gave up on any possessions, always finding himself in the mix to gobble up rebounds. ELCA made it a point to establish him on the low block in the third quarter, playing inside-out as Aigbokhae provided eight points and was able to kick out to shooters whenever the defense collapsed on him. Ese is a nice target for schools to track over the next two seasons.

Joe Raines2024 5-11 PG Joe Raines – ELCA
Joe Raines brought the energy and attitude to ELCA during their fourth quarter surge as the point guard hit three pull-up jumpers and netted eight of his 11 points in the stanza. Joe is comfortable playing at a quick pace. He does a good job pushing the ball up the floor and delivers accurate one-handed passes to teammates in their shot pocket. Raines racked up 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal to complete his night.

Byrd Carter2024 6-2 G Byrd Carter – North Oconee
Following a scoreless first quarter Byrd Carter completely took over pouring in 26 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal as North Oconee thumped Jonesboro 75-59. Carter nailed four threes while mixing in his crafty downhill takes out of isolation settings. Byrd excelled at getting to his spin move to free himself to finish at the rim. As the game wore on, Byrd got to the basket at will. Time and time again the All-State guard has produced on the big stage. As of now, only Covenant College has offered. D-III programs should be all over Byrd.

Justin Payne2024 5-10 G Justin Payne – North Oconee
D-III programs and other small level schools should take a serious look at Justin Payne, a sharpshooting guard that has improved steadily each and every season. Justin is a lights-out jump shooter that doesn’t do it just off the catch, but is extremely efficient getting to his spots off the dribble. Payne netted three threes and tallied three total pull-up jumpers, two coming via the mid-range. Justin had no issue dealing with Jonesboro’s aggressive and overly physical defense, compiling 19 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.

Khamari Brooks2026 6-4 F Khamari Brooks – North Oconee
Once Khamari Brooks saw his jersey get ripped, a flip switched for he and the rest of the Titans. Brooks dominated Jonesboro in the paint, bringing his own football toughness to the interior as he outworked the Cardinals for rebounds and overpowered them with his strength and leaping ability. Khamari scored on three putbacks, hit a corner three and went 6-8 from the line. Brooks posted 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block. Khamari’s physicality and versatile defensive presence anchor the Titans and separates North Oconee from most other teams.

Montez Redding2024 6-2 G Montez Redding – Jonesboro
Montez drilled three straight threes to open the game but not much went right for Jonesboro afterwards. In the loss however, Redding was able to force his way into production netting a game-high 30 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Montez, a D-I football recruit, was a heat-seeking missile when it came to getting to the rim and drawing fouls. Redding went 9-13 from the stripe including 8-9 in the fourth quarter where he scored 12 points. Montez in total sank five jumpers. His electric athleticism will wilt most teams.