Tag Archives: Seminole County

Most Dangerous 4-Seeds

February Frenzy is finally here. Over 100 brackets have been submitted to the Sandy’s Spiel bracket challenge so now it is time to highlight a couple of the most dangerous 4-seeds looming in the tournament throughout each classification.


Two 4-seeds stand above the rest in the state’s highest classification. Grayson (20-8) and Douglas County (16-11) will not be pushovers. Both teams spent time in the top ten this year before faltering late. The Rams looked as if the 2-seed or at worst 3-seed was going to be theirs coming out of Region 8, but instead the Central Gwinnett Black Knights stunned them in the consolation game, 87-78. The Rams draw No. 1 ranked Wheeler in round one, the defending state champs. Grayson will need heroic performances from senior guards Alphonso Willis and Austin Dukes. Both average over 17 points per game and have been groomed in one of this year’s deepest regions. Wheeler’s weakest spot on the floor is point guard. If Dukes and Willis can exploit that position as a liability, the Rams have a chance to hang around. Tre Sconiers is an active forward that hits the glass well. He and freshman Kenyon Jackson, a 6-foot-5 center averaging just under 10 rebounds and four blocks a game, will have their hands full with Georgia Tech signee Romello White and North Florida signee Al-Wajid Aminu.

Douglas County doesn’t have a sexy record, but it isn’t for a lack of competition. Region 3 was an all-out war with No. 2 Westlake and No. 7 Pebblebrook leading the pack. The Tigers still managed a 10-4 region record, powered by North Carolina signee Brandon Robinson. The swingman can take games over as he averaged 23 points per game and netted 33 at Holiday Hooopsgiving in a win over 5A No. 3 McIntosh. The Tigers get the guard-heavy No. 8 Newton Rams out of Region 2. JD Notae, Jaquan Simms and Ashton Hagans can all score the ball, but their ability to defend will be put to the test against the explosive Tigers.


Jones County (15-12) opened the season ranked No. 9 but quickly fell out of the poll and never returned. It has become the Devin Wooten show for Coach Dennis Woolfolk. The senior guard pops in 24.5 points per game and is one of the state’s leading scorers. Landravious Bowden has picked up his play as of late averaging over 16 points and close to seven rebounds a night. The Greyhounds are still looking for their signature victory, falling three times to No. 7 Warner Robins: 76-68, 96-90 2OT and 78-72 in the Region 2 semis. They are matched up with Region 3’s Camden County. The Wildcats started out the year 13-0 and cracked the top ten before falling back to the pack. Camden heated up again at the end of the season and marched to the region title, defeating Statesboro in the championship. Point guard Johnathon Canada presents an interesting challenge for Jones County as he averages 8.7 points and 9.8 assists.

Class AAAA

No. 8 St. Pius (22-6) is a 4-seed. It doesn’t get much scarier than that. Ranked in the top five for most of the season, the Golden Lions faltered as they let a 15-point lead slip away to No. 3 Grady in the semifinals before falling in overtime to Columbia. Luckily for Coach Aaron Parr and senior forward Kerney Lane, they draw one of the weakest regions in the state in terms of competition level in Region 7. Cartersville will have more athletes than the Golden Lions but it will be Coach Mike Tobin’s job to take advantage of it. The Golden Lions have seen and defeated athletes and talented teams, scoring wins over Grady and No. 4 Lithonia throughout the year, so they will not be intimidated. St. Pius is a trendy pick to meet No. 1 Jonesboro in a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 showdown. Another dangerous team is Eastside (20-9). Junior guard Isaiah Miller pumps in 25.3 points a night and will be tested by Westover, a 17-11 1-seed out of Region 1, and its trio of talented guards Allec Williams, Jordan Brown and Kris Gardner.

Class AAA

Southwest-Macon (17-9) enjoyed a lengthy stay in the top ten before tumbling late in the year, but they are still a scary team for No. 3 Laney to draw. Senior forward Justin Slocum stands 6-foot-6 and is a beast to guard, averaging 22.4 points and 13.6 rebounds. Junior point guard Nick Hargrove is a gem as well posting 21.1 points and 5.9 assists. Hargrove especially, will be tested by the most seasoned backcourt in the state, Zep Jasper (College of Charleston) and Christian Keeling (Charleston Southern). The two are the epitome of the word “winner” and have rallied the Wildcats from the jaws of defeat countless times this year to run up a 24-2 record. Keeling averages 24 points and 6.5 rebounds while Jasper adds 20.6 points, 4.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds. If the Patriots are able to exploit their size advantage inside with Slocum and if Hargrove can hold his own, this could turn into one of the best first round games in the state.

Class AA

No. 7 Seminole County (19-7). Do I need to say any more? The defending state champs saw their season end on rocky terms, losing three of their last four games, but the dynamic duo of Jordan Harris (UGA) and Anfernee King still remain. The two combine for over 48 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists, 9 steals and 3 blocks per game. The Indians are still the only team to have beaten No. 1 Thomasville, proving they can turn things on. First they will have the challenge of defeating No. 2 Crawford County, the team the Indians beat in the finals last year. The forward combo of Will Jarrell and Marcal Knolton put up video game numbers similar to that of the guards of Seminole County. Expect points to be scored in bunches and for the Eagles to make sure Harris doesn’t hang another 41-piece on them again.

Region upsets shake state picture

Just a day after defending Class AAAAA state champion Brunswick fell to Statesboro in the Region 3 tournament, eliminating the Pirates from postseason contention, more madness rocked the state.

The Statesboro Blue Devils struck again, defeating No. 9 Effingham County, bouncing the Rebels to the consolation game after Effingham had not lost a region game all year. The fifth-seeded Blue Devils now meet two-seed Camden County for the region title and a number one seed heading into state.

Stunners rattled the landscape of Class AAAA. Region 1’s top-seed No. 9-ranked Monroe was hammered by fifth-seed Westover 61-43. The Patriots advance to the region title where they will matchup with two-seed No. 10 Bainbridge. Tyree Crump (UGA) and the Bearcats are peaking at the right time, winners of six-straight. They advanced to the championship after dispatching of three-seed Worth County 80-59.

Region 1 gets Region 4 in round one. No. 1 Jonesboro blew past the second-seeded No. 8 Eagle’s Landing Eagles 70-52. In the championship the Cardinals meet opposite number one-seed and No. 7-ranked Walnut Grove. The Warriors rallied past three-seed Eastside 51-47 last night. The two-time defending state champion Cardinals are the favorite to three-peat this year and are expected to win their region, but the first round of state won’t be a cakewalk as they will draw either No. 9 Monroe or Worth County, a team which has spent time in the top ten and boasts one of the best frontcourts in the state with 6-foot-8 power forward Anfernee McLemore heading to Auburn and 6-foot-5 Brandon Moore, who posts over 22 points and 12 rebounds per game.

In Region 6-AAAA No. 4 St. Pius blew a 50-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter against No. 5 Grady. The Knights were fouled attempting a three with 1.6 seconds left in a tied game and sank all three free throws to overcome a 15-point deficit and win 59-56. Grady now plays No. 2 Lithonia in the region championship while St. Pius plays fifth-seed Columbia.

Class AA’s defending state champ No. 2 Seminole County lost to No. 9 Early County 73-66 in Region 1. The Indians will face fourth-seed Fitzgerald in the consolation game while No. 1 Thomasville draws the Bobcats with the top-seed out of one of the state’s toughest regions up for grabs. If things go chalk in Region 4 with No. 4 Crawford County advancing to the region title game and beating No. 8 Macon County, if Seminole County were to lose to Fitzgerald, or if the Indians won and Crawford County lost, the opening round of the state tournament would see a 2015 state title rematch between Seminole County and Crawford County, a high-flying game the Indians won 76-71.

The upset of the night took place in Region 4-AAA. No. 7 Westminster entered its game with Jackson-Atlanta, winners of 21-straight and holding a 22-2 record. After dispatching of four-seed Jackson-Atlanta in the middle of January, 52-44 at Jackson, the Wildcats looked like a lock to advance to state. The Jaguars entered at 14-11 overall and 4-6 in region play, but it did not stop them from stunning the Wildcats 53-48 and in the process eliminating Westminster from making the state playoffs.

21-straight wins, only three losses on the year and all Westminster has to show for it is nothing at all. That is the definition of playoff basketball and that is what makes the March to Macon, or February Frenzy, so unpredictably great.

No. 3 Seminole County hands No. 1 Thomasville first loss

No. 3 Seminole County 71, No. 1 Thomasville 65

The four hour trip was worth it. Defending AA state champs No. 3 Seminole County (12-3, 5-1) never trailed in the second half and held off No. 1 Thomasville (16-1, 4-1) 71-65 to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.

Thomasville’s balance of four players in double figures was not enough on the road against the Batman and Robin duo of UGA signee Jordan Harris and Anfernee King in front of a raucous sold out crowd. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and looked like their size consisting of 6-foot-8 brothers senior Alex and sophomore Reggie Perry and 6-foot-8 freshman Titus Wright, would overwhelm the much smaller Indians, topped by 6-foot-4 senior center Justin Washington, but the Jordan Harris show began.

Thomasville can go 6-foot-8 three deep across the frontline
Thomasville can go 6-foot-8 three deep across the frontline

Harris connected on two deep balls and scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in the first quarter to enter the second period tied at 16. Senior Jordan Willis, Thomasville’s offensive catalyst at point guard, did not start and didn’t play in the first quarter for disciplinary reasons. As he was trying to find his flow in the game, Coach Benjamin Tillman relied on Shedric Cooper and Reggie Perry to get buckets. Perry, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, scored six points in the first half while Cooper netted seven of his 10.

Harris continued his onslaught in the second quarter hunting his own shot while still getting everyone involved. He entered the half with 18 points, swooping to the rim and cutting into Thomasville’s paint protectors. At the half the Indians held a 33-27 lead.

To open the third quarter, Thomasville slowed the track meet down and began looking to exploit their size advantage by dumping high-low looks to the Perry brothers. Three early attempts didn’t work with Harris coming away with a steal in Seminole County’s zone which was used to pack it in and not let the Perrys or Wright get point-blank looks.

Down 38-33 with five minute left in the third, Willis came away with a runout and tried to hammer in a dunk, but his attempt clanged off the back rim and landed in Tyreke Daniels’ hands. Daniels pushed the ball up and hit King in transition, who proceeded to bury a three-pointer to make it 41-33; a five-point swing.

Alex Perry quickly answered back inside with a sweeping hook shot that resulted in an And-1, but Harris was not to be out done. In the highlight of the night, better than his alley oop dunk from the hands of King and numerous Perry slams, Harris went between his defender’s legs, re-controlled his dribble and hit a step back fade away from just inside the arc. He pulled off the nutmeg so quickly, that most fans didn’t even realize what he had just done.

At the 1:40 mark, Harris picked up his fourth foul up 45-38 but King and Washington were able to carry the Indians into the fourth quarter leading 47-39. The Indians extended their lead to 49-39, their largest of the game with just under seven minutes to play, but the Bulldogs would show their bite and began clawing back, using a 8-0 run to make it 49-47.

Thomasville was in the double-bonus early in the fourth and began to pound away at the hoop, taking 16 fourth quarter free throws and sinking 12.  Willis led the charge and scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Bulldogs draw even at 51, but it was short lived as King hit a layup to regain the lead. The senior guard poured in 13 fourth quarter points to finish with 21, hitting 9-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to help the Indians upset the Bulldogs.

My Take: 217 miles? I could have traveled 400 miles and it would have been worth it. The hospitality at Seminole County was outstanding and a shoutout needs to go Juwan Hopkins, who helped me find my way to the gym after getting lost on some darks roads. As far as the game goes, the first thing I noticed was Thomasville’s size. My jaw dropped to think this was an AA team and that Reggie Perry and Titus Wright are only a sophomore and freshman respectively. The storyline for tonight’s game was whether Seminole County’s two-man show of Jordan Harris and Anfernee King could keep up with Thomasville’s balance and size. Jordan Willis didn’t even start tonight for the Bulldogs and their starting lineup still looked like it could play with anyone in the state. The Perry brothers are big and long. Reggie is a high-major prospect and moves well for his size. Wright played a little out of position and wasn’t anchored on the block like I felt he should have been. He is a big barrel-chested post that can move people out of his way. He isn’t as athletic or explosive as the Perrys, but if he works on his quickness and post moves, he will be a nightmare for the next four years. Shedric Cooper and Gregory Hobbs played well in the backcourt, but Willis is the go-to guy. He put the team on his back in the fourth quarter and scored by slashing to the basket, hitting threes and adding points from the foul line. The Bulldogs will be a major player in the state tournament and were well deserving of their No. 1 ranking and undefeated record.

What is there to say about Seminole County? Harris and King are winners. They take a ton of shots, but it is their team and they have the green-light on every possession. Harris needs to be face-guarded or bracketed by two men every time he plays. The only recipe to beating the Indians is getting him in foul trouble or praying for an off night. But if he does have a rare rough game, King has more than enough goods to carry the load. King has an excellent pullup jumper and good elevation to get his shot off. He showed off his playmaking skills along with Harris as the two helped get Justin Washington involved. The senior big man played possibly the best game of his career according to Coach Kevin Godwin. Not blessed with his teammates’ athleticism, Washington was unafraid to battle inside and showed nifty footwork when around the basket. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals, doing the dirty work inside while putting a body on three players that were four inches taller than him. It looks as if there is a very strong possibility that the Class AA state championship will run through South Georgia again, with Region 1 having three legitimate horses in the race including No.6 Early County.

Top Performers

Seminole County
Jordan Harris – 28 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Anfernee King – 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Justin Washington – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block

Jordan Willis – 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Reggie Perry – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Shedric Cooper – 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists
Titus Wright – 10 points, 3 rebounds
Alex Perry – 8 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks