Tag Archives: Mountain View

Lambert Summer Showcase (6-5)

Lambert

Mountain View: 55-54 (W)
Peachtree Ridge: 77-49 (L)

2020 6-6 SF Luke Champion was a marksman, hitting nine threes on the night. He hit three in Game 1 for 9 points while sitting in the corner and draining six in Game 2 for 18 points. Champion is a sizeable shooter which bodes well for his future with the current state of how the game is played. He should be a very valuable piece, stepping in for Austin Deckard (GCSU) as the Longhorns’ primary floor spacer. Like I say with all great shooters, Champion will have to prove he’s more than just a specialist and that he can create his own offense off the dribble.

2020 6-8 PF Colin Granger posted 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in Game 1 and had 8 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block in the night cap. Granger struggled to finish around the rim, using some great moves to get to the basket, but failing to convert. He had a few lapses of focus that got him in the doghouse in Game 2. Without Mitch Ganote in attendance, it was Granger’s team to carry last night. Even though it wasn’t his best day of work, Granger still contributed in the paint. He has a chance to develop into one of the state’s best big men with the continued refinement of his game.

2019 6-4 W Thomas Hickey had a nice night, finishing with 15 points and 2 blocks in Lambert’s 55-54 win over Mountain View, including the game-winning goaltended layup. Hickey is a steady role player that can get hot and provide good minutes. He has valuable size on the wing and is a hard worker on the floor. Overall it was a good showing for the wing who should see an elevated role his senior season.

2022 6-2 SG Chance Thacker was thrown into the fire as a rising freshman and held his own. His best game came against Mountain View when he posted 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Thacker has a good feel for the game. Defenses pressured the youngster when he got the ball, but he did a fine job of keeping his composure, even though his ball handling and overall experience at the varsity level is still in its infancy.

Mountain View

Lambert: 55-54 (L)
St. Francis: 65-47 (L)

2019 6-4 SG Nahiem Alleyne was mightily impressive now that the offense runs through him. Quick and shifty with the ball, Alleyne was able to free himself consistently with a tight crossover. The lefty can score at all levels with a nice jumper, hitting six three-pointers on the night. In Game 1 he finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Game 2 saw Alleyne tally 17 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Alleyne will serve the role of playmaker with the ball in his hands, something Coach BJ Roy must feel good about after seeing his play on Tuesday night. Alleyne plans on reclassing to 2020, something to keep an eye on.

2019 6-4 SG Elijah “Malik” Wilson showed flashes of breakout potential at his new home. Coming in from Collins Hill, Wilson may mold into being the No. 2 option behind Alleyne. The two are similar in the fact that they love the outside jumper, but both must make sure they don’t fall in love with it to the point that it takes away from their opportunities to get to the rim. Wilson finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds against Lambert, knocking down 3 threes. In Game 2, his shot wasn’t on, ending with 6 points. Defensively, Wilson has the length to defend multiple positions on the perimeter and could fit a “3 & D” type niche with the Bears.

2019 6-5 F Eric Jones was effective against Lambert’s frontline of 6-8 Colin Granger and 6-6 Kedric Barrett. Jones collected 10 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal and 4 blocks. In Game 2, he had 5 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block. Jones isn’t an elite athlete or have the most non-stop motor, but he has a nose for the ball and effects plays. He has a quality outside shot which netted him three deep balls on the day. He might have a little more value at the small forward position, but his ball handling isn’t tight enough to consistently play on the wing. Jones broke his hand last season which put his development on hold. Jones has a chance to be an important player that can steal time at positions 3-5 for the Bears.

St. Francis

Mountain View: 65-47 (W)
Peachtree Ridge: 59-49 (W)

2020 6-1 PG Dwon Odom did what Dwon Odom does: Win. He had 14 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in Game 1 followed by 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 1 block in the nightcap. Odom’s three-point shot wasn’t that accurate, but he managed to sink three of them over the course of the day. I never seem to come away disappointed with Odom. He always finds a way to fill the stat sheet, even when he’s not at his best.

Jordan Brown

2022 6-0 CG Jordan Brown will play a huge role in the success of St. Francis this upcoming season. While the Knights still lack a true game-changing big man, another steady guard can’t hurt. The younger brother of former Northview standout Justin Brown, the baby Brown has big time skills for a freshman. He is like a right-handed version of 2019 sharpshooter CJ Riley, who had 18 and 7 points in his two games. Brown has a good looking outside shot like Riley, but he’s more of a point guard and more assertive attacking defenses. Brown hit from the three-point line (3 total), mid-range and finished all the way at the rim. In Game 1 he had 11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. In Game 2 he went for 10 points and 1 steal. Brown logged good minutes last weekend at Georgia Tech as well, proving he’s here to stay. He may be next in the long line of talented young guards to come out of St. Francis.

Peachtree Ridge

St. Francis: 59-49 (L)
Lambert: 77-49 (W)

2019 6-11 C Richard Rivers is a big boy. He weighs in over 250 pounds and is the epitome of a space-eater. Rivers has an extremely soft touch which is important for a player that plays below the rim. His mobility is still an issue, but he gets up and down the floor. On the low block, Rivers is extremely methodical. His first instinct is to look to pass. Rivers has great court vision and uses his size to dump off assists to open cutters. When he does make a move to score, he has a gentle hook shot that should rarely get blocked, even though he doesn’t have much lift off the ground. He is a threat to knock down the three from the top of the key. Rivers’ limitations come from his lack of athleticism, but the skill is most definitely there offensively. Defensively, he is a stationary post defender that isn’t going to collect any weak side blocks, but if you go straight into him, he will have his hands up to alter any looks. In Game 1 Rivers finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds, while in Game 2 he put up 8 points (2 threes), 2 rebounds and 3 assists.  Rivers should find himself on a college roster as long as both player and coach understand the role he best serves.

2019 5-11 PG Kamerron Oyala is a spunky lead guard that plays with pace. He will be asked to run the offense and provide a spark on both sides of the ball. Oyala had 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in Game 1 before going for 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals in a rout.

2020 6-3 SG Christian Williams drilled three three-pointers and finished with 15 points against Lambert. The lefty showed he could knock down shots and could provide some offense for a Lions team searching for a new leader after the graduation of Devin Vassell (FSU).

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.

 

No. 7 Butler can’t overcome slow start against Mountain View

Mountain View 64, No. 7 Butler 48

Coming off of a 76-43 win at Evans, the Mountain View Bears set sights on their next Augusta foe in the Evans Tip-Off Tournament, Class AA No. 7 Butler. The Bears led wire-to-wire, using five threes in the first quarter to gain separation and hold off a scrappy Bulldog bunch, 64-48.

Butler, without Christian Robinson and Head Coach Cervantes Boddy, who arrived at the 6:20 mark of the second quarter, fell behind early as Miles Long drained four threes and finished with 14 points in the frame. To make matters worse, the undersized Bulldogs saw strong man Will Lambert pick up two early fouls and head to the bench at the 3:09 mark, Butler already down 8-2.

The Bears took a 22-6 lead into the second quarter but the Bulldogs found life once Boddy arrived to the sidelines. Butler’s quick guards ramped up the press and started to cause havoc, Mardrez McBride leading the way with five points in the frame. Butler closed to within 29-25 at the 2:34 mark riding a 19-7 run but Spencer Rodgers helped Mountain View regain control scoring seven of his 14 points in the second quarter as the Bears entered the half up 35-28.

Butler continued to hang around in the third quarter, surviving a Rodgers steal and jam, countering with a Jerry Leverette three ball.

At the 4:25 mark of the third quarter, Butler closed the gap to 41-39 on a McBride floater, but it would be as close as the ‘Dogs would get.

Mountain View carried a 47-42 advantage into the fourth quarter and proceeded to finally land the knockout punch. The Bears outscored the tiring Bulldogs 17-6 in the final quarter as Uchenna Nwagbara beat away at the smaller Butler frontline. Nwagbara, only pushing 6-foot-4ish on a good day, scored 10 of his 12 points in the final eight minutes. He came away with two back-to-back blocks (five on the game) which led to buckets for the Bears.

Butler’s DeAndre Barton scored 11 points in the game but was held to just two in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs couldn’t keep pace with the Bears.

My Take

The absence of Cervantes Boddy to begin the game and Christian Robinson being out for the entire game really hurt Butler. Robinson scored 16 points in their season opener and is a tenacious defender that was sorely missed. I’m not sure why Boddy was late, but once he arrived the Bulldogs picked up their intensity tenfold and really started to push Mountain View. A sour first quarter and fourth quarter bookended a game in which Butler never could get over the hump. They will be a tough team in Class AA. With Robinson playing, he is another solid guard to help out. Butler’s press didn’t force too many turnovers but it sped the game up. Will Lambert’s foul trouble kept Butler’s lone big guy from ever establishing himself (scoreless). Lefty Mardrez McBride has some wiggle to him and played well.

Miles Long has been great to start the year for Mountain View and he had his flamethrower on him early with four first quarter triples. The cohesion of the group was apparent as they all fed off each other. Uchenna Nwagbara was great down the stretch on both ends of the floor but the unsung hero was Kevin Kayongo. He finished with three points, all in the fourth, and collected 10 rebounds, two assists and one block.

 

Top Performers

Mountain View
Miles Long – 20 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Spencer Rodgers – 14 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Uchenna Nwagbara – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks
Jalen Hayes – 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals

Butler
Mardrez McBride – 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
DeAndre Barton – 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals
Keith Littles – 6 points, 2 rebounds
Davian Burns – 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal

Georgia State Team Camp Session II Analysis P. I

Ron Hunter Georgia State Team Camp Session II was held this weekend at the GSU Sports Arena. Teams from all over the state packed the loaded event. Saturday saw Miller Grove hoist the trophy as the Purple Reign continued with a championship victory over upstart Woodstock. As always, there were movers and shakers with stocks rising and stocks dropping. The Georgia State Team Camp experience this summer was top notch and is a must-attend event next offseason for teams looking to challenge themselves against some of the top competition across the GHSA.

Mountain View 50, South Gwinnett 46

Mountain View, a young team with potential to battle for their first ever state playoff berth out of Region 6-AAAAAAA, met South Gwinnett, a team coming off a 5-win season that now has first-year head coach Ty Anderson in place. The Bears were without 6-foot-4 sophomore Brandon Green who was on a visit, but Mountain View was still able to sneak past the Comets in a tightly contested game.

Coach BJ Roy’s team was bit by the transfer bug with second leading scorer Donell Nixon II (12.4 ppg) leaving to man the point guard position at Buford. It has been a learning experience for the Bears but luckily for them, grizzled vet Spencer Rodgers returns for his third year on the varsity roster. The junior led Mountain View in scoring at 15.4 points per game and showed why in the second half vs South Gwinnett.

I wasn’t sure who No. 22 was at first after he had a scoreless first half, but Rodgers announced his presence like a lightning bolt in the final 20 minutes. He caught fire hitting six threes en route to a game-high 18 points. At 6-foot-3, Rodgers can get off his quick trigger when he needs to. He sank 79 deep balls last season and fired at a 43% clip. His barrage helped stave off the Comets who wouldn’t go away behind the play of senior Brycen Lee and junior DJ Williams.

Lee, a 6-foot-4 forward, posted 11 points and two blocks while earning five of his points from the foul line. His aggressiveness around the hoop helped South Gwinnett stay in striking distance, scoring all of his points in the second half.  Williams provided a spark in the second half as well. The 6-foot-2 combo guard netted 10 points on the day. I fully expect South Gwinnett to be competitive this season with Anderson at the helm. Anderson brings over college experience at North Georgia and was coaching his team non-stop, putting his team in the best possible position to succeed.

Outside of Rodgers, Mountain View received steady backcourt play from Miles Long and Jalen Hayes. Both juniors, Long collected five assists while Hayes tallied three. Uchenna Nwagbara and Kevin Kayongo’s activity on the boards will be important to the Bears’ success, a smaller team when measured up to most Class AAAAAAA schools.

Parkview 64, Cambridge 45

In the Session II preview, I took a quick look at the Panthers and hinted at there being a lot of excitement ahead for fans in Lilburn. They did not disappoint, racing their way to the semifinals before falling short by one-point against fellow up-and-comer Woodstock.

Against Cambridge, the Panthers thoroughly dominated, resting their starters for much of the second half after holding a 40-19 halftime lead. Parkview is loaded with all sophomores and juniors that are all more than ready to make an impact this season. Everything centers around Ahmir Langlais, who makes the Panthers a dangerous team in the paint.

Get familiar with 6-7 Ahmir Langlais
Get familiar with 6-7 Ahmir Langlais

Langlais is a 6-foot-7 sophomore that has made a name for himself over the summer at individual camps and with the Atlanta Xpress. He went for 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks against the Bears. The long armed lefty has excellent hands and gobbles up rebounds in his zone. On offense, he has a soft touch and has a nice baby hook over his right shoulder. As he continues to add on muscle, he will continue to be a force inside.

I liked what I saw from Justin Spencer and Truitt Spencer as well. Truitt, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, was second on the team in scoring a year ago. He finished with 11 points while Justin, a 6-foot-1 junior, added on 11 points as well. The two guards got after it in the backcourt and combined for five steals against Cambridge.

Jack Lapenta, a 6-foot-2 junior forward that posted 7.3 points and a team-leading 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, contributed six points. His motor is what makes him successful as a workhorse on the glass. Offensively, Lapenta has nice body control when finishing through contact.  More on Parkview later.

Miller Grove 45, Grayson 33

IMG_1155
Grayson played hard without two key guards

Tied 20-20 at the half, the Rams ran out of steam without guards Travis Anderson and Justin Fleming. Joey Chavez and Terrell Greene carried the load on offense. Chavez, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, didn’t play much last year but he is going to earn minutes this season. He is a nice stretch forward that can knock down threes. He sank three of them and finished with a team-high 11 points, Greene netted 10 points from his guard position. 5-foot-7 freshman point guard Deivon Smith was tested against Miller Grove’s bigger and more experienced guards, but he held his own with four points, two rebounds and three assists. Rising sophomore, 6-foot-5 Kenyon Jackson was quiet against the Wolverines’ frontcourt of Kevin Paige and Tworn Seals,  held to two points and five rebounds.

Speaking of Kevin Paige, his stock is trending up after this second session. The first time I watched him play, the 6-foot-7 big fella didn’t really wow me. He is still on the raw side offensively, but defensively he won the matchup with Jackson. He chipped in six points, six rebounds and four blocks. Tae Hardy netted 11 points and three steals while Maurice Harvey, a sophomore, added 10. The Wolverines turned the tides when Hardy, Harvey and Jalyen Mason began trapping at half court in the second half

More on Miller Grove in the upcoming days.