Tag Archives: Analysis

No. 2 McIntosh Dunks No. 8 Milton at Lake City Classic

5A No. 2 McIntosh 74, 6A No. 8 Milton 68

 The 4:00 P.M. slot of Lake City Classic at Allatoona High School was one of the most intriguing games of the day. Powerhouse No. 2 McIntosh playing against the No. 8 ranked team in the state’s highest classification, Milton.

As they do against so many teams, the Chiefs used a devastatingly balanced attack to hang on against a shorthanded Eagles team, 74-68. Milton was once again without Harvard commit, 6-foot-8 Chris Lewis who suffered a severe bone bruise two games ago after being undercut. With Lewis out, Coach Matt Kramer turned to Kyrin Galloway to play a bigger role inside. The skilled 6-foot-8 big was unafraid to show his feathery touch from outside and scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half to keep the Eagles in it.

Rewinding back to the first quarter, it was Will Washington who stole the first eight minutes. He scored McIntosh’s first nine points of the game and scored 12 points in the opening frame while Jordan Lyons was being face-guarded for a majority of the period. McIntosh stretched the lead to 19-13 after Dishon Lowery cleaned up a miss and hammered back a dunk, but the Eagles managed to stay in striking distance and entered the second quarter down 23-19.

With Auburn University Head Coach Bruce Pearl sitting courtside, the hotly recruited baby faced assassin Alex O’Connell went to work. The sweet-stroking junior guard buried two threes (three on the night) and scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to pull the Eagles into a deadlock at 26 all.

But as quickly as the microwave shooter got hot, McIntosh answered right back with a flamethrower of their own. The Chiefs ripped off a 9-0 run to regain control at 35-26 with 3:05 left behind a personal 7-0 spurt from the Furman signee Lyons.

The final points of the half for McIntosh were more than just two points.

Will Washington threw down the dunk of the year with a vicious facial to give the Chiefs a 37-32 advantage heading into the half. The slithery quick playmaker glided to the basket and exploded for a left-handed stuff that resulted in two Eagles hitting the deck.

In the third quarter Milton started to chip away at the lead behind eight Galloway points. The Eagles hung around within three points but were unable to get over the hump as Lowery, Lyons and Chase Walter began to tear into the Eagle defense while Washington remained scoreless in the third. Lowery (Wofford) broke free for some easy dunks along with Walter. The two bigs cleaned up the glass as well with Lowery posting an 18-point 15-rebound double-double and Walter chipping in 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

Trailing 51-46 heading into the fourth, Milton had one last push in them. The Eagles cut the lead to 56-54 but from that point on, Washington turned on the afterburners. He scored seven points and helped ignite a 12-5 run by hitting Lyons for a three with 5:47 left to eventually gain a comfortable 68-59 advantage with 2:55 to play. Milton hung around, but McIntosh went 8-of-9 from the line during the game to advance on to the second round where they meet No. 10 McEachern, who comes off an impressive 73-37 rout of No. 6 Lambert, the Longhorns’ first loss of the season.

My Take: McIntosh is extremely difficult to beat, but if they were at all vulnerable, it would start at point guard. They say the key to killing a snake is taking its head off. The head of McIntosh’s snake is Will Washington. The unsigned guard dazzled again. Milton opened up face-guarding Jordan Lyons, but I would have to argue that it is Washington that needs the ball taken out of his hands to slow down the Chiefs. Washington gets everyone involved and makes his teammates better. Dishon Lowery continues to be possibly the best rebounder in the state as he grabbed another 15 boards. The inside-out combination of Washington/Jordan Lyons and Lowery/Chase Walter is hard to match and might not be paralleled in the state in terms of true balance.

Milton showed a lot of promise without Chris Lewis. Kyrin Galloway took too many outside shots for my taste in the first half, but once he got closer to the basket he showed an ability to finish inside and clean up misses with dunks. Galloway looks like a nice stretch big in college who could improve once he continues to get stronger. Coach Matt Kramer runs a fun offense. It might not be as flashy as McIntosh’s, but someone with a basketball mind can appreciate the intricate screens, cuts and constant movement the Eagles use to get their shooters open, primarily Alex O’Connell, who moved exceptionally well without the ball to find creases in the defense. He along with Galloway, is another guy who could take his game to a whole other atmosphere once he starts to grow into his body. Justin Brown and Kendrick Summerour did nice jobs of moving the ball on offense and didn’t force anything. They are both capable scorers but understand their role of needing to move the ball around. Once Lewis is back healthy, they should have some fun matchups with No. 4 Wheeler later down the road in Region 5-AAAAAA.

Top Performers

McIntosh
Will Washington – 23 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists
Jordan Lyons – 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Dishon Lowery – 18 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Chase Walter – 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks

Milton
Alex O’Connell – 25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Kyrin Galloway – 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Kendrick Summerour – 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Justin Brown – 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals

South Paulding Avoids Setback at SEBA

South Paulding 54, Blessed Trinity 49

Game 1 of the SEBA Showcase at Pope High School pitted two programs with differing identities. South Paulding, coming off a disappointing loss to No. 4 Allatoona the night before, wanted to get back into their groove and run a free flowing offense. Blessed Trinity preferred to slow things up and use a methodical pace on offense and a grind-it-out style on defense.

To begin the game, it looked as if South Paulding’s athletic lineup paced by Kane Williams, was going to run roughshod through Blessed Trinity, taking a 12-0 lead behind a trapping press. The Titans didn’t score a basket until John Michael Bertrand, who scored a team-high 16 points, scored with 1:25 left in the opening period and netted all four of Blessed Trinity’s first quarter points which resulted in a 14-4 hole entering the second.

Things slowly began to change after the Titans shook off a sluggish first eight minutes. Blessed Trinity began getting to the basket and drawing fouls. The Titans got as close as seven points in the second quarter but still trailed 29-21 at the half after sinking 10-of-15 free throws.

Though they let their foot off the gas pedal, the Spartans still felt like they were in control, especially with the big first half of Williams. He finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals in the opening 16.

Coach Patrick Hughes made the proper halftime adjustments for Blessed Trinity and much like they did in the second quarter, the Titans slowly crept closer and closer to South Paulding. Ja’Cori Wilson picked up his fourth foul with 6:33 to play in the third and the Spartans’ lead down to 31-29 after CJ Abrams completed a three-point play.

While the 6-foot-7 Wilson sat, the South Paulding lead continued to dwindle before Blessed Trinity took its first lead of the game, 35-33 with 3:45 left in the third quarter. The Titans outscored South Paulding 20-10 in the frame to take a 41-39 lead into the fourth, thanks to seven points off the bench from Abrams, who ended the night with 11.

Blessed Trinity extended the lead to their largest of the game at 43-39 less than a minute into the fourth. Suddenly sensing the game was in jeopardy, Coach Gil Davis’ Spartans began to respond, using its trapping defense to force turnovers. Wilson finally checked back in with 5:29 left and trailing 45-43. While Wilson struggled to find any rhythm, it was big man Anthony Brown who stepped up. Brown blew a couple bunnies in the first half, before Williams fed him for a game-changing slam with two minutes to play to give the Spartans a 51-47 lead.

With 26.3 seconds remaining, Blessed Trinity found itself with the ball down 52-49. But the Titans were unable to get a good look as DJ Jackson forced Jackson Svete into a huge turnover. Blessed Trinity had one last opportunity after a Spartan turnover, but were unable to convert on a three with 13.3 seconds left, handing to the ball back to South Paulding who would sink a pair of free throws to close out a 54-49 win and avoid blowing a big first quarter lead.

My Take: South Paulding came to play and looked hungry after a poor showing on Friday night, but after they took a 12-0 lead, it looked like the Spartans lost focus and didn’t take the Titans as serious as they should have. Blessed Trinity began wearing away at South Paulding by making them play long defensive possessions and be patient while the Titans sliced and diced their way to backdoor cuts and screens leading to layups. John Michael Bertrand played well for the Titans with 16 points. Kyle Swade hit some big shots and finished with 12, but it really was backup guard CJ Abrams’ big third quarter that got them back into the game.

South Paulding turned to Kane Williams late in the game and he was the difference maker, coming away with all the plays. His running mate Ja’Cori Wilson picked up too many silly fouls and left all the work on Williams’ plate. He along with Anthony Brown made sure to get the Spartans back in the win column. Brown struggled to finish inside at times, but the burly big man’s soft hands helped him take over down low on his way to 17 points and 13 rebounds. If Brown can be that effective inside with Williams and Wilson performing like they are capable of, the Spartans will be very dangerous throughout the season. Blessed Trinity’s style of play and discipline will keep them in every game they play this year. Class AAA is wide open, giving the Titans the chance to play spoiler for a lot of other teams come state tournament time.

Top Performers

South Paulding
Kane Williams – 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 1 block
Anthony Brown – 17 points, 13 rebounds
Ja’Cori Wilson – 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 block

Blessed Trinity
John Michael Bertrand – 16 points, 8 rebounds
Kyle Swade – 12 points, 6 rebounds
CJ Abrams – 11 points
Jackson Svete – 8 points, 2 assists

No. 3 McIntosh Smokes No. 6 Sandy Creek On Jordan Lyons’ Historic Night

5ANo. 3 McIntosh 69, 4ANo. 6 Sandy Creek 51

Sandy Creek High School was jam packed on Saturday afternoon in a game that featured two top ten programs hailing just 10 minutes apart from each other. What the fans received was a highlight laden contest, but a lopsided result as No. 3 McIntosh outclassed a talented No. 6 Sandy Creek team, 69-51.

The atmosphere was set for an intense game, meaning there was no better stage for Jordan Lyons to make history. The prolific scorer signed to play his college ball at Furman entered trailing former Chief Jeff Sheppard for the all-time boys scoring record by two points. Sitting at 1,917 points, a three-pointer would shatter Sheppard’s record of 1,919. To nobody’s surprise all it took was seconds into the game for Lyons to etch his name in the record books and continue to build on a legacy that will never be forgotten.

On the very first play of the game, Wofford signee Dishon Lowery swung the ball to the right wing where Lyons was ready to catch and fire. Bang. His three-pointer didn’t only move him into first place in boys program history and second behind Gabby Seiler for the school record, but it also set the tone as McIntosh led nearly wire to wire and never relented in a statement game that proclaimed the Chiefs are still the team to beat in Fayette County.

McIntosh leapt out to a quick lead and rode Will Washington the rest of the way. Three dunks in a row put the Chiefs up 9-4 early in the game after monster slams from Lowery and Chase Walter after sloppy defense by the Patriots. In total, the Chiefs would throw down four dunks in the opening frame highlighted by a Washington to Walter alley oop. At the end of the first quarter, McIntosh held a 20-15 lead in a fast pace game.

The Chiefs began to open up a lead, but Elias Harden kept Sandy Creek in the game and hit three three-pointers in the first half to draw the Patriots to within 27-26. But from that point on, it was all McIntosh. The Chiefs used a 16-0 run to blow open a 43-26 lead early into the third quarter. Washington was the key cog from his point guard position, making dazzling play after dazzling play. At the half McIntosh led 38-26 with Washington creating 25 of the team’s points, scoring 14 of his own and handing out five assists.

Sandy Creek had no answer for Washington and the bruising play inside of Lowery and Walter, who finished the night with 14 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and four blocks and 10 points and seven rebounds respectively.

The Patriots went ice cold after drawing within one-point in the second quarter and McIntosh knew what to do after smelling blood in the water. Sandy Creek would never threaten in the second half.

My Take: Will Washington is the best pass-first true point guard in the entire state, hands down. His game is so smooth and his ability to find open teammates is uncanny and unteachable. For the third time this season, Washington left me shaking my head wondering why D-1 schools are not all over him. He finished with 25 points, five rebounds, eight assists and two steals and completely outplayed Christian Turner, a Gardner-Webb signee, who was stuck on six points for most of the game until a couple garbage time baskets. I wondered if Sandy Creek’s pressure could get to McIntosh’s guards — a resounding ‘no’. I wondered if Evan Jester and Keith Heard II were up to the task of banging bodies with the bulkier and more experienced Chase Walter and Dishon Lowery — ‘no’. Lowery and Walter combined for 24 points, 20 rebounds, three assists and five blocks while Jester and Heard only mustered up nine points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.

The most troubling thing I saw tonight was Sandy Creek trying to throw lobs off the backboard down 17 in the second half. There is a time and place for that; it’s not when your crosstown rival is throttling you. Elias Harden played well with 25 points, but he and the rest of the Patriots lived by the jumper and died by the jumper in the first half. Christian Turner wasn’t his usual aggressive self and didn’t attack the paint with much success. The Patriots hadn’t played for two weeks and it showed; definitely a brutal draw to play such a powerful team after the long layoff. Coach Anthony McKissic will have a lot of bulletin material to use and will have a nice opportunity to do some teaching and get Sandy Creek back inline as they re-enter region play.

Top Performers

McIntosh
Will Washington – 25 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
Dishon Lowery – 14 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks
Jordan Lyons – 13 points
Chase Walter – 10 points, 7 rebounds

Sandy Creek
Elias Harden – 25 points, 5 rebounds
Christian Turner – 11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Evan Jester – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Keith Heard II – 3 points, 6 rebounds

Feature Photo By Adam Hagy

Late No. 1 Laney Run Keeps Comeback Cats Undefeated

No. 1 Laney did it again last night.  The Wildcats rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to win on the road against Westside, 69-64. Chad Cook of AugBBall was in the crowd and has expert analysis on how the game unfolded. Please follow him on Twitter @AugBball for constant updates on the overlooked hotbed of Augusta basketball. Click the link below for his full thoughts on the game.

http://www.augbball.com/2015/12/laney-wins-at-westside-to-stay.html?m=1

For @AUG_Chronicle’s recap, @WStaats8 was also on hand for the big game. His story can be found here: http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/high-school/2015-12-18/laney-wins-close-region-game-against-westside

Feature Photo by Augusta Chronicle

1A: No. 7 Lincoln County 66, Lakeside 62

AugBBall’s Chad Cook was on hand last night to watch 1A-Public No. 7 Lincoln County knock off  5A Lakeside-Evans, 66-62.  After a 10-11 season in his first year at the helm, Coach Wesley Wuchte has the Red Devils looking as dangerous as anyone in the state’s lowest classification. Ahmad Rand, a 6-foot-7 junior, has emerged as one of the most dominant low post players in the class, posting back-to-back triple doubles, grabbing every rebound and swatting nearly every shot in sight. Zach Crite’s play also has the Red Devils looking like their first winning season in years is on the horizon.

Please click the link below for Cook’s full analysis of the game and follow him on Twitter @AugBball for the best coverage of high school basketball in the Augusta area.

http://www.augbball.com/2015/12/lincoln-county-improves-to-3-0-with-win.html