Tag Archives: Manchester

Peach State Stops of the Week (1/8-1/13)

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


No. 3 Sandy Creek at No. 9 Cartersville

Right now, it looks like Region 5-AAAA will boil down to No. 3 Sandy Creek (11-3) and No. 9 Cartersville (10-2). The two teams had a couple wars last year with the Patriots winning at home 86-80 and in the region tournament 60-53 while Cartersville won a wild game in Bartow County in overtime 94-88. While some faces have changed, especially on the Sandy Creek side, expect this long distance rivalry to continue. Kam Miller, Chris Porter and Jarred Godfrey will have their hands full trying to corral Furman-signee Jaylon Pugh. TJ Horton’s aggressiveness in the backcourt will test the Patriots as well. TJ Bickerstaff will have to be the difference maker for Sandy Creek. The 6-foot-7 junior wing has come on strong this season and will need to hunt his shot and crash the glass to take advantage of a smaller Hurricane lineup.

No. 8 Banks County at No. 4 Rabun County [G]

The Lady Leopards (13-3) and the defending Class AA state runner-up LadyCats (12-2) have blossomed into one of North Georgia’s most heated rivalries on the girls’ side. The two meet for the first time this season after Rabun County beat Banks County in the Region 8 championship 78-67 last year after splitting the regular season series. Banks County has challenged themselves early this year, playing three ranked teams twice apiece, going 4-2 against Hart County, West Hall and Madison County. Jaycie Bowen has led the attack from the paint along with Amber Williams while Maddie Thomas and Allison Smith provide matchup problems with their size on the perimeter. Rabun County already has a region loss in the form of an 82-53 defeat at Putnam County, but the emergence of junior guard Georgia Stockton has helped keep the Cats stay afloat without Brooke Henricks. Stockton has poured in the points averaging upwards of 25 per game while receiving help from Laken Stiles and Kaitlin Coleman. Expect an intense high-action game with Rabun County trying to set the tone with their press and challenge the Leopards’ ball handling.


No. 2 Manchester at No. 1 Central-Talbotton

Coach Anzy Hardman has turned No. 2 Manchester (11-0) into a Class A-Public contender and now has a chance to take over the mantle as the team to beat if they can stop No. 1 Central-Talbotton (13-0) and its high-powered offense. Defensive pressure keyed by Jah’nile Hill, Kalil Brawner and Carlos Dixon will try to disrupt the powerful trio of Tayne Smith, ZyTavian Hill and Javares Copeland. Inside, the Blue Devils have physicality around the rim to deny any free runs from Hill or Smith in the form of 6-foot-4, 295-pound Jerquavion Mahone, a defensive tackle heading to Kentucky. While the Hawks have the size advantage on the perimeter, they will still have to chase around Hill, a lightning rod of energy that thrives in transition and creates offense from his pesky defense. It will be a sell-out crowd over in West Georgia with the potential for a break-neck pace.


Creekview at No. 10 Etowah

When was the last time Cherokee County had two boys teams with one loss this late into the season? If someone knows, I’d love to hear the answer. The golden days of boys basketball have been fleeting, but there’s a glimmer of hope between Towne Lake and Owens Store Road. The Eagles (14-1) have hovered around the bottom of the Top 10 in Class AAAAAAA, a great honor after their trip to the Sweet 16 last season. Jaxon Etter has begun to garner D-1 interest with his play on the wing. The junior teams up with Tusculum-signee Adrian Cohen, 6-foot-7 senior Julian Baldwin, D-3 commit Carter Ingersoll and defensive specialist Nick Nagy, who has already clamped down the likes of Devin Vassell (Florida State) and KD Johnson. The Eagles have won 14-straight with their calling card being tough-nosed defense that allows just 44.8 points per game. Creekview (13-1) carries a 12-game winning streak in Class AAAAAA behind KJ Jenkins, the No. 4 senior point guard in the state. Jenkins has proven to be a human torch that can catch fire from deep. Ty Allen along with posts Paxton Nayman and James Wall have helped balance the offense while Barrett Patterson supports from the outside. Etowah will be Creekview’s toughest task since their 68-49 loss to Mt. Bethel Christian.

Middle Georgia Supersonics win 16U USSSA National Championship

The boys from Middle Georgia romped their way to the 16U HoopSeen/USSSA National Championship this past weekend at Suwanee Sports Academy. The Supersonics finished a perfect 6-0 with an average margin of victory of 29.5 points, scoring two wins by 46 and 47 points. In the championship game, the Sonics raced out to a large early lead and never looked back, coasting to a 65-42 win over Team Phoenix.

Consisting of players from Upson-Lee, Taylor County, Perry, Crawford County, Manchester and First Presbyterian Day, the Supersonics’ full-court trapping press wreaked havoc all weekend forcing turnovers that led to easy buckets.

The catalyst for the Supersonics was sophomore point guard Zyrice Scott. Scott led a trio of Upson-Lee Knights (23-4) that powered the Supersonics on both ends of the floor. The slight of build 5-foot-10 guard was lethal in transition. In the Sonics’ 81-34 rout of the Tampa Bayhawks, Scott netted a game-high 20 points. He drilled five threes and punished the Bayhawks when they left him open. Scott doesn’t have a lightning fast trigger on his jumper, but he is pure once he sets his feet and lines it up. With the ball in his hands, Scott is quick laterally and can shake his way past defenders. He scored eight points in a 62-29 win over the Rebels and in the finals he added 12 points.

Don't let his look fool you. Zyrice Scott can play.
Don’t let his look fool you. Zyrice Scott can play.

While Scott provided the outside shooting, big man and fellow Knight Travon Walker was a wrecking ball inside. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound star defensive tackle with an offer from UGA already entering just his sophomore season, can get the job done on the hardwood as well. Mobility, strength and length were all on display for Walker. He and Scott worked the pick-and-roll with Walker diving hard to the basket for easy buckets.

Walker excelled at catching passes while on the move and rebounding in traffic. His soft hands and strong grip allowed him to control the paint. He posted 15 points and nine rebounds against the Bayhawks and eight points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks against the Rebels. In the championship Walker once again led the Sonics with 12 points, winning his battle with 6-foot-7 Ibrahim Dodo.

Travon Walker will be a top big in Middle Georgia
Travon Walker will be a top big in Middle Georgia

The third-head of the Supersonic attack? Tye Fagan. The 6-foot-3 junior guard that led Upson-Lee in scoring last season at 20 points per game came off the bench as an electric sixth man. Fagan’s consistency and ability to score in bunches was something no other team was able to match. Fagan scored from all three levels, showing a three-point touch, a mid-range game and the ability to take smaller defenders into the post and shoot over them.

Fagan, a 3.6 GPA student, disrupted opponents with his active hands atop the Supersonic press. Against the Bayhawks he tossed in 10 points, three assists and three steals. He then went for 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks vs. the Rebels.

Tye Fagan is a versatile scorer
Tye Fagan is a versatile scorer

Perry High School’s Jake Smith also announced his presence with his play this weekend. The 6-foot-1 rising junior netted 10 points against the Rebels and contributed on defense and with his passing throughout the weekend. As a sophomore at Perry (18-11), Smith averaged 5.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals and a team-leading 4.2 assists per game.

Travon Walker wasn’t the only star football player on the court with the Middle Georgia Supersonics. Lyn-J Dixon of Taylor County provided a spark off the bench with his non-stop motor and electric athleticism. Dixon, who gained national headlines after his 451-yard, 5-TD performance last season as a running back – yes, a running back – is entering his junior season and holds offers from Alabama, Tennessee and UGA.

Back to the court; Dixon added 12 points and three steals off the bench against the Bayhawks. Dixon is at his best in the open court and soars to the hoop in transition once he attacks the lane. He and Jahnile Hill (Manchester) added a dimension of relentlessness off the bench, both smothering opposing ball handlers and igniting the Sonics’ press.

Though the GHSA state championships have been moved out of Macon, there is still plenty of reason to visit Middle Georgia. The area is filled with talent and will give the Metro Atlanta schools a run for their money whenever they meet.

Featured Photo by Ty Freeman|HoopSeen