Tag Archives: ELCA

SportalShowcase Preview

SportalShowcase
SportalShowcase

Ten teams from across the state of Georgia will descend on South Paulding High School on Saturday, December 8th for the inaugural SportalShowcase.  Join us in the gym or watch online at www.SportalTV.live

12:00PM: Mundy’s Mill vs. Franklin County

Mundy’s Mill enters the season with momentum behind 6-foot-5 Rayquan Brown and 6-foot-7 Jordan Black. The dynamic duo along with 6-foot-5 center DeMarcus Fannin power a Tiger team that loves to play fast. Franklin County has patiently taken their lumps in Region 8-AAA and now are prepared to fight for a state playoff berth behind a talented 2020 trio. 6-foot combo guard Micah Roebuck was an All-Region selection and Coach Jason Shaver’s top scoring option. Titlan Wells and Titus Brown round out a solid core that plays together year round.

2:00PM: Woodville-Tompkins vs. Chattooga

Woodville-Tompkins reached new heights in Year 1 under Coach Lenny Williams, earning an Elite Eight berth in Class A-Public. No longer the best kept secret down on the coast, the Wolverines will get everyone’s best shot now that they move up to Class AA and open the season ranked No. 2. All-State 6-foot-5 senior guard Preston Crisp averaged 17 points per game a year ago and sees running mates 6-foot-6 junior Benard Pelote and Region Player of the Year Charleston Willingham back for one last ride. Chattooga has gone 72-11 over the past three seasons in north Georgia and has proven to be a pest when overlooked. Just two years ago the Indians upset future McDonald’s All-American Reggie Perry and Thomasville and were three points away from securing a Final Four trip. Chattooga, who opened the season ranked No. 9 in Class AA, returns nearly everyone from last year’s 23-4 team that lost in the First Round of the tournament. 5-foot-6 Jundraius “Nuk” Adams is one of the most exciting players in the state. The Indians focus on their defense and fast pace play to make up for their lack of size.

We preview the final three games of the day.

4:00PM: ELCA vs. Grayson

The transfer bug bit Class A-Private Preseason No. 4 Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy hard, but Coach Derrick Mason still has more than enough to rival last year’s 27-4 Final Four team. College of Charleston signee Trevon Reddish is a Preseason First Team All-State pick while Mekhi Cameron and KJ Jones are big wings that can shoot. Inside, Felix Uadiale has blossomed into a double-double threat while 6-foot-7 Jordan Smalls can play multiple positions. Grayson has appeared in back-to-back Class AAAAAAA Final Fours. Highlight maker Deivon Smith moves into the lead guard role full-time while 6-foot-5 Reco Hallmon will be asked to score more. Jevon Tatum led DeKalb County in scoring last year at 18.3 points per game and is one of a handful of transfers that will help make Grayson one of the deepest teams in the state.

6:30PM: Coffee vs. Campbell

Two Elite Eight teams in their respective classifications clash in an evenly matched bout. Coffee opens the season ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAAA after running out of gas against two-time defending state champion Langston Hughes 71-67 in the third round. Coach Pernell Smith has a pair of Preseason All-State Second Team selections in physical 6-foot-2 slasher Jayce Moore who averaged 19.6 points and 11.6 rebounds and 6-foot-7 Georgia Southern signee Mackenzie McFatten. The Trojans bring their south Georgia toughness to Douglasville where the Spartans will be waiting. Campbell lost to eventual state champion Meadowcreek 67-57 to end their season. 5-foot-9 point guard Terrell Burden is lightning quick and one of the best point guards in Georgia. 6-foot-5 Brandon Deravine is a versatile forward and 6-foot-6 Drew Thomas, new to the program, is a long forward that provides great help on the glass and defensively.

8:30PM: Jeff Davis vs. South Paulding

For the first time in school history a swarm of Yellow Jackets from Jeff Davis will be migrating to the Metro Atlanta area. Coming off their first region championship in school history, Jeff Davis must build around 2020 Top 100 recruit 6-foot-6 Ja’Queze Kirby, a two-time All-State selection. The junior is must-see TV and will try to improve upon his average of 19.5 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.2 steals and 3.6 blocks. Freshman CJ Parker could crack the rotation as an outside shooter to pair with Kirby. The host Spartans are a battle-tested group led by seniors. Coming out of Region 5-AAAAAA, South Paulding relies on defense to frustrate opponents. Cam Armstrong is Coach Gil Davis’ top option after averaging 17 points per game as a junior. Seniors Shane Gibson, Chandler Travis and ultimate hustle-guy Sha’mi Shields round out the Spartans’ core.

Peach State Stops of the Week (12/17-12/23)

People always ask me, “What’s the best game in town this week?

Peach State Stops of the Week will highlight some of the best basketball being played in Georgia for the current week. Whether it’s a tournament/showcase, a region rivalry, a Top 10 showdown, or a seldom heard sleeper, Peach State Stops of the Week will let you know what gym you need to get into

WEDNESDAY

No. 3 Calhoun County at No. 4 Montgomery County

Coming off an upset loss to No. 6 Manchester 53-49, No. 3 Calhoun County (8-1) has no time to wallow in self-pity. They turn around and face a tough No. 4 Montgomery County (7-1) team with a star scorer of their own. Senior guard Daveaun Coglin piles in buckets at a high rate and will be asked to carry the Eagles past an angry group of Cougars led by South Florida-signee Rashun Williams.

Campbell at No. 9 Pebblebrook

At 6-2, Pebblebrook has seen a plethora of high level talent before entering Region 2-AAAAAAA play. They kicked off their region schedule with a come from behind 71-68 win to stun No. 6 Wheeler. The backcourt of Dwight Murray, Grant Howard, Jalen Harper and Khalil Hawkins has powered the Falcons offense, with Canisius-signee Mervin James and Josh Graham doing the dirty work in the front court. As potent as the Falcons are when they are clicking, they will have their hands full with Campbell. Without all the D-1 stars that he usually coaches against night in and night out in Region 2, Coach James Gwyn always gets the most out of his players and seemingly always pushes his high-profile opponents to the limit. Junior point guard Terrell Burden is flourishing this year, the 5-foot-9 playmaker averaging 17.2 points, 6.6 assists and 3.2 steals. 6-foot-5 junior wing Donovan Grant is a knock-down shooter averaging 15 points and 5.6 rebounds while Kiya Randolph (12.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Brandon Deravine (11.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.6 bpg) are also tough covers.

FRIDAY

No. 7 Greenforest at No. 3 ELCA

To reestablish themselves as a true title contender in Class A-Private, the two-time defending state champion Eagles (3-4) will have to play well against ELCA (8-1). The Chargers have hit their stride and have left no doubt against their opponents. Greenforest is the start of a challenging stretch of games. 6-foot-8 Malachi Rhodes will need to stay out of foul trouble to keep ELCA playing to their potential. He is averaging 14.3 points and 10.9 rebounds. Power forward Jamaine Mann is a physical and explosive sophomore posting 9.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. A balanced backcourt consists of Trevon Reddish, KJ Jones, Kamari Smith and Mekhi Cameron. Greenforest will have to handle the Charger press. Turnovers have crippled the Eagles against top competition. With a completely new team full of transfers, chemistry has lacked early in the season and may still take some time to jell. Jaylyn Clark leads the team at 18 points per game while Christian Jackson pitches in 16.1 a night. The Eagles have raw size inside. It will be interesting to see if 6-foot-8, 215-pound Ibrahim Jarjou and 6-foot-10, 260-pound Bright Okongwu can slow down Rhodes around the rim.

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

Hawks-Naismith Holiday Classic

The first annual Hawks-Naismith Holiday Classic at Norcross has good games galore. There are a couple grudge matches on the docket that provide the best storylines, if not the best games. On Thursday, Allatoona gets a 2015-16 state championship rematch with No. 4 Miller Grove, Coach Sharman White’s final high school game, beating the Bucs 50-48 during the Macon Centreplex debacle. The night cap on Friday features No. 10 Duluth vs. No. 1 St. Francis. Coach Cabral Huff brought a 2014 state championship to St. Francis before leaving for the college ranks and returning last year to take over the reins at Duluth. Saturday night at 6 PM pits Tift County against No. 7 Newton. The Blue Devils ended the Rams’ season last year in the Elite 8, stunning the home crowd at Newton. The defending Class AAAAAAA state champions don’t have the fire power they had last year, but still are a thorn in opponents’ sides. Expect Ashton Hagans’ Rams to come out uber-motivated for revenge.

Early Season Surprise Hot Starts

Class AAAAAAA

Mountain View (8-1)
2015-16: 13-13

I praised the team chemistry of Mountain View throughout the summer with the Georgia Heat Check program and their year round commitment has paid dividends so far this season, making it not much of a surprise. Mountain View’s only loss has come to Class A-Private No. 1 Greenforest, 67-49 at the Jared Cook Classic. Outside of that lone defeat, the Bears have already picked up two victories against ranked teams, beating Class AA No. 7 Butler 64-48 and No. 9 Duluth this Tuesday, 72-56. The 8-1 start is the best start in school history, the young seventh year program in search of its first postseason appearance. The sharpshooting of Spencer Rodgers has paced the Bears but the growth of Miles Long at the point guard position has been crucial as he has flourished since Donell Nixon’s transfer to Buford. Long dropped 20 points in the Bears’ win in Augusta over Butler.


South Gwinnett (5-1)
2015-16: 5-20

“I know we got the guys that want to compete and get better. We’ve got the pieces. I’m excited, I think we have a special year in store for us,” is what first-year head coach Ty Anderson said at Gwinnett County Media Day. His proclamation has come to fruition thus far as the fiery leader already has tied last year’s win total. The Comets’ only loss came to against Parkview at the Parkview Tip-Off Classic, 62-55.  Wins over Woodstock and Lambert highlight the resume. Seniors Brycen Lee and D’onte Torrence have led the renaissance under Anderson’s guidance. The Comets face their biggest test of the season on Friday as they host No. 2 Newton.

Class AAAAAA

Richmond Hill (6-1)
2015-16: 17-10 

Following a season-opening loss at Class AAAAA No. 10 New Hampstead, the Wildcats have played well. They were shutout of the postseason last year in disappointing fashion and were tasked with replacing leading scorer Isaiah Hill (20.3 ppg) heading into 2016-17. Richmond Hill scored a signature win this Tuesday, upsetting defending state champion and current Class AAA No. 4 Liberty County, 58-56. The Panthers were without Davion Mitchell and the ‘Cats took advantage, using Trey DeLoach’s 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks to stun Liberty County. DeLoach is averaging 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3 blocks while fellow senior Montest Bumpers is chipping in 10.1 points and 3 steals.

Bradwell Institute (5-1)
2015-16: 6-19 

William Douberly has turned around Bradwell Institute in his first year at the helm. The Tigers won just 10 games in the past two seasons before Douberly’s arrival. Bradwell Institute has won five straight after losing at Class AAA No. 4 Liberty County to open the season. They have drilled Savannah 70-42 and blew out a tough Long County team 86-54. Senior point guard Darryll Johnson has been on a scoring binge averaging over 18 points per game while 5-foot-8 backcourt member Anthony Vicente has tossed in 10 points on average his final season. The Tigers test themselves against Region 2 power Brunswick on Friday.  Bradwell Institute and Richmond Hill will fight for playoff position all year long in the tiny five team region.

Class AAAAA

Chamblee (6-2)
2015-16: 7-19 

A blowout 66-47 loss against Stockbridge to open the year at the Southwest DeKalb Showdown has been the worst outcome of the season for the Bulldogs. Chamblee nearly upset No. 7 Miller Grove, 61-56 in their only other loss. They beat Class AAA No. 10 Redan 59-55 as their best W of the year. Seniors Odell Ferrell, Dazz Riggins and Glen Robinson have been crucial to the ‘Dogs’ turnaround.

Maynard Jackson (6-1)
2015-16: 15-14 

The Jaguars snuck into the playoffs last year by upsetting a then 22-2 Westminster team in the region tournament. There will be now more sneaking around this season however as former Tennessee State head coach Travis Williams now has the group playing to their full potential. The Jags’ lone loss came at No. 8 Riverwood, 68-67. Senior forward 6-foot-6 JaQuavius Hayes has been a monster inside, averaging 23.7 points, 13.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1 steal and 1.3 blocks a night. As good as he has been, the Jags have taken their game to the next level thanks to an improved supporting cast. Juniors Marquavis Carter and Keshun Byrd have provided scoring around Hayes. Carter is hitting 47% of his threes and is averaging 15.3 points while Byrd is pitching in 10.7 points.

Class AAAA

Salem (8-1)
2015-16: 17-12 

A lot graduated from last year’s playoff team, but the Seminoles are out to a quick start. Their only loss has come to Class AAAAAA No. 10 Tri-Cities, 57-51. Salem’s best win is a 67-56 home win over Arabia Mountain. Tehjuan Powell, Montez Swann, Kendrick Harris and Brandon Smith have all played important roles. They will try to keep pace with No. 3 Henry County in Region 4 as they visit No. 10 North Clayton on Friday, who is currently 0-2 in the region standings.

LaFayette (7-1)
2015-16: 12-13 

Although they aren’t ready to become a statewide player, LaFayette is taking baby steps to become a playoff contender in a wide open Class AAAA. The Ramblers have breezed past week competition up in Region 6, but were handed a 65-63 loss by Heritage-Catoosa, who takes over first place in the standings. Head coach Hank Peppers has rode star sophomore Alex Kelehear this season as the versatile playmaking guard projects to be an all-time LaFayette great. Tyrese Hunter, LaTrail McClinic, Andrew Pendergrass and Caleb Boyd have helped take some scoring burden off Kelehear’s shoulders.

Class AAA

No Surprises yet

Class AA

No. 8 Therrell (6-0)
2015-16: 14-9

The drop to Class AA has helped Therrell who is now ranked No. 8 in the state. Wins over Mays (76-71 OT) and at South Cobb (66-57) are high quality. Sophomore guard Anthony Edwards stands 6-foot-4 and is a future D-I ball player with a high ceiling. After playing with the Atlanta Xpress, Edwards is in tip top form, pouring in 36 points against Mays and 23 points and 9 rebounds vs. South Cobb. Consistent help will be key to Therrell sustaining their early success. Deandre Brown has helped out thus far, the 6-foot-2 freshman averaging double figures.

No. 5 Glenn Hills (4-1)
2015-16: 3-19 

Coach Travis McRae has already surpassed last year’s 3-win total. The Spartans announced their presence with a 62-56 win at Class AAAA No. 7 Richmond Academy last week, but fell at Lakeside-Evans on Tuesday, 88-83 in overtime, not a bad loss. Junior center Timmy Seller has been the anchor inside. The 6-foot-8 big man is averaging 12.6 points and 7.8 rebounds. On the wing, 6-foot-4 freshman John Whitehead is adding 9.6 points a night. CJ Bowers, Eric Farmer, Jordan Lord and Robert Drew are all scoring over 8 points per game, giving Coach McRae a dangerously balanced attack.

Class A-Private

Tallulah Falls (7-0)
2015-16: 13-13 

The Indians missed the Class A-Private playoffs last season and are clicking on all cylinders early on. A pair of 6-foot-5 seniors power Coach Jim Van Hooser’s offense. Josey Keene is averaging 15.4 points and 4 rebounds while Michael Van Hooser is dropping in 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Michael Weidner is a scrappy guard that is posting 9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3.6 steals. The veteran group’s top five scorers are all seniors. The Indians’ best win came against White County, 78-62. They will see a step up in competition in the upcoming weeks with their toughest game coming on January 6 at No. 6 Lakeview Academy.

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (4-1)
2015-16: 4-19 

Derrick Mason has changed the culture of the program, already matching last year’s win total. The Chargers’ best win was their season opener against Preseason Top 10 ranked King’s Ridge Christian, 47-32. ECLA’s only loss was a 58-55 decision against Class AAAAA 6-2 Union Grove. On Friday the Chargers host No. 7 Tattnall Square Academy.

Class A-Public

No. 6 Twiggs County (5-0)
2015-16: 9-15 

Another case of a new coach maximizing talent, Twiggs County has skyrocketed to No. 6 in the state after a handful of impressive wins. They beat Preseason Class AA No. 9 Swainsboro 76-58 and stunned current AA No. 3 Dublin at Dublin 82-74 behind senior guard Zuri Brown’s 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists as well as senior Cortavious Ates’ 26 points and 6 boards. Coach Andrew Johnson has the Cobras striking with a potent offense that averages 75.6 points. Ates is averaging 20 points, Brown 19 and Juwan Brown 15. Twiggs County draws Dublin in a rematch this Friday with a chance to really solidify themselves as a Class A-Public power player.

No. 10 Schley County (4-0)
2015-16: 4-21 

Who knows how long it’ll last, but the Wildcats have already matched last year’s win total and find themselves ranked in the Top 10. They hang their hats on wins over previously ranked Hawkinsville (51-45) and at Marion County (82-78). Both wins very well may not be all that impressive in two weeks, but for now it’s been enough to get the ‘Cats recognized.