Tag Archives: social circle

Sandy’s Spiel Super Sleepers (Update 1/6/15)

 

Class AAAAAA

all

2015-16: Harrison: (7-7, 2-3)
2014-15: Harrison: (10-17, 4-10) 

The Hoyas have played well and are right in the thick of things in Region 4, battling for a top four seed heading into the region tournament. DJ Rowe was expected to be a big piece of the puzzle this year at the guard position, but he is no longer with the program. Juniors Juwan Owens and Tate Coston have played exceptionally well in his absence. In Tuesday’s 61-59 overtime win over North Cobb, Owens finished with 23 points. The heart and soul of the Hoyas however is senior forward Austin York. The big man has manufactured buckets inside and has shown touch from the perimeter. He posted 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win. The Hoyas have the bulk of their region schedule ahead including two meetings with No. 6 McEachern. Harrison should be in-line to capture a state playoff berth, but if they aren’t able to, expect them to play the role of spoiler down the stretch.

Class AAAAA

1428092996_houston_county_bears

2015-16: Houston County: (5-7, 0-1)
2014-15: Houston County: (10-16, 0-7)

Houston County has played a challenging non-region schedule to get ready for 2016. The Bears have seen 5-star forward Khavon Moore and Westside-Macon three times this season and took 1-of-3. A 55-50 overtime loss to 1A-Private No. 8 Whitefield Academy early in the season was a promising sign that the Bears have enough talent to stick with anyone. Their best win of the season came against 9-3 Dublin, 88-77. The Bears have a balanced attack which is spearheaded by DL Hall, Jaylon Golds and Amari Colbert. Kolbey Singleton, Marquis Traylor, Javion Johnson and Zion Johnson also get the lion’s share of minutes. In Region 2B, the Bears are stuck with No.10 Warner Robins, Jones County and Northside-Warner Robins. They will need to play good ball to get into the postseason, but they have more than enough talent to get the job done.

Class AAAA

imgres

2015-16: Stephens County: (12-4, 1-0)
2014-15: Stephens County: (8-19, 3-7) 

At 12-4, the Indians are off to the best start of any Super Sleeper and have already surpassed last year’s win total. Stephens County won the Apple Classic in Walhalla, South Carolina and will enter region play with good momentum even after a 68-58 loss to Hart County. Nunu Walker, DeUndra Singleton and Ty Nails have played well for the young team that features just three seniors. Walker is a junior guard, while Singleton is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound sophomore and Nails a 6-foot-4 freshman. Stephens County’s best wins have come against 10-4 Madison County, 69-66 and 8-7 Jackson County, 50-46. Region 8 is wide open this year with Madison County, North Hall, White County, Buford and Monroe Area all contenders.

Class AAA

imgres

2015-16: Pepperell: (8-5, 3-0)
2014-15: Pepperell: (11-15, 5-5) 

In teeny-tiny Region 5, the Dragons are emerging as a front-runner to capture a top two seed. In 5B, Rockmart (2-10) and Cedartown (3-7) don’t look like challengers. In 5A, lies No. 8 Callaway (5-3), Central-Carrollton (7-5) and Haralson County (0-14). Malech Wilson, Austin Strickland and Thomas Eddy have led the charge. Coach Skip Matherly sports eight seniors and six sophomores on their roster, giving them a blend of experience and youth. Currently the Dragons are on a six-game winning streak entering the heart of region play. Key tilts on Jan. 15 and Feb. 2 against Callaway will determine how legit Pepperell really is.

 Class AA

homelogo

2015-16: Social Circle: (6-8, 0-2)
2014-15: Social Circle: (8-14, 4-8) 

Only two teams, Riverside Military (6-5) and Washington-Wilkes (7-5), are above .500 in Region 8. The Redskins are in last place in the region at 0-2, but have plenty of time to catch the three leaders that sit at 2-1. Junior Deion Head continues to be one of the best players in the region. He is averaging 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 3.7 steals per game. One area for improvement in order to take his game to the next level would be his three-point shooting. He is an unfathomable 2-of-46 from beyond the arc, good for a miniscule 4%. The Redskins shoot just 21% from deep and will need to find some perimeter threats if they want to make the playoffs. Freshman Nick DeBoer is the team’s best shooter at 36% from three. He is averaging 9.4 points per game. Senior Zae Jackson adds 8.9 while sophomore Antonio Dorsey is posting 7.6 points and 8.0 rebounds on average. Senior Tommy Johnson leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 to go along with his 6.9 points per game.

Class A

large_text158141_80739

2015-16: Pinecrest Academy: (7-7, 1-4)
2014-15: Pinecrest Academy: (10-15, 4-8)

Balance has helped the Paladins get off to a steady start. Three players average double figures with two others scoring over 7 points per night. Seniors Zayne Rice and Adam Rocko have been consistent scorers. Rice averages 12.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals while Rocko goes for 10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Junior John Crone pitches in 10.3 points per game. Seniors Santi Villar and Matt Howell both average over 7 a night. 1A-Private is wide open this season, but Region 6B looks too tight for the Paladins to bust into the playoffs. No. 2 St. Francis and No. 8 Whitefield Academy are among the seven teams ahead of the last-place Paladins in 6B.

Sandy’s Spiel Super Sleepers

There is no hiding it. My favorite time of year, basketball season, is finally here. To get ready for the season, I have narrowed down a few teams that I would classify as Super Sleepers. Not just sleepers, but teams that haven’t eclipsed the .500 mark in a few years and are finally ready to do so.

Class AAAAAA

allIn the most competitive classification in the state, the perennial powers remain the same, but Harrison (10-17, 4-10) may be in line to capture its first winning season since 2011-12 and fight for a playoff seed out of Region 4. Hillgrove has lost a ton via graduation and transfers from last year’s 23-6 team and are expected to take a step back while 21-8 McEachern could be the favorite to win the region. North Cobb and Kennesaw Mountain both made it as the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, but nothing is set in stone for 2015-16. Harrison proved last season that they can play with some tough competition, losing to 5A semifinalist Cedar Shoals 54-53, beating Hillgrove 51-41, beating McEachern 69-61 and losing to 4A runner-up Carrollton 54-47. Seniors Austin York and DJ Rowe give coach Clay Crump a nice one-two punch and solid leadership on the floor. Junior guard Tate Coston is also expected to make a big impact on the Hoyas. They will face some good tests throughout the season (Sequoyah, Berkmar, Houston County) and should be a tough out once region tournament play comes along.

Class AAAAA

1428092996_houston_county_bearsHouston County (10-16, 0-7) plays in the difficult Region 2B with the likes of No. 7 Warner Robins and No. 9 Jones County, but coach Stephen Walls has a nice group back that is in search of its first winning season in over five years. The Bears actually snuck into the playoffs after a winless regular season in region play and fell to LaGrange 60-41.Strong guard play will carry the Bears. Leading scorer junior Amari Colbert averaged 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game as a talented do-everything guard. Senior forward Javion Johnson is an elite leaper and chipped in 8 points and 8 rebounds a night last season. Jaylon Golds pitched in 10 points and 5 assists as a junior and brings quickness to the Bear backcourt. Marquis Traylor from Missouri brings over some size and athleticism inside. As a junior he averaged 7.7 points and 6.3 rebounds while showing off his hops, blocking 1.3 shots per game.

Class AAAA

imgresThough they haven’t enjoyed a winning record since 2012-13, Stephens County (8-19, 3-7) could find themselves playing meaningful basketball into the months of January and February. After a slow start to the season, the Indians under coach Chad Bridges began to play better and will try to carry that momentum over to 2015-16. Junior guard Nunu Walker is a talented scorer. Senior Tay Jones will play another big role along with sophomore Deandre Singleton, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound center. The Indians played Region 8 opponents hard, losing to Johnson-Gainesville (29-1) 54-46 in overtime and to Monroe Area (18-12) 47-45. With the graduation of some key pieces along the region, Region 8 should be a dog fight for the top four seeds.

Class AAA

imgresIt has been a while since Pepperell (11-15, 5-5) has been over .500, but that still didn’t stop the Dragons from making an appearance in the state tournament, sneaking in as a No. 4 seed. Coach Skip Matherly returns seniors Thomas Eddy, Austin Strickland and Rickey Campbell along with sophomore Malech Wilson, giving the Dragons some nice experience. They will need to replace high-scorer DeSean Ware, but Pepperell won’t be the only team in Region 5 losing talent. Rockmart and Callaway have lost some important players as well.

Class AA

homelogoSocial Circle (8-14, 4-8) has slowly begun to improve under head coach Ken Aldridge. He took over a 1-22 program after the 2012-13 season and improved to 3-23 before finishing 8-14 last season. The Redskins narrowly missed out on a playoff berth, but proved they could play with the competition. No. 3 seed Union County (17-12, 8-4) struggled with the up and coming Skins, actually splitting the series with Social Circle taking game one 49-48, before the Panthers won game two 68-67. Junior guard Deion Head is a big time player and averaged 16.8 points and 5.3 assists last year.

Class A

Trapped in thelarge_text158141_80739 devastatingly tough Region 6, Pinecrest Academy (10-15, 4-8) still stands a chance of reaching the elusive .500 mark. Ryan McCarthy and John Crone are a duo of highly experienced juniors that give coach Jay Lynch solid options. The playoffs aren’t likely in the cards, but expect the Paladins to be very competitive.