Tag Archives: Tyrhell Branch

#PRO: Spring Showdown Boys Top Performers

Ben Hodges2023 6-3 W Ben Hodges – Alcovy
It can be tough to standout in a camp with over 80 players, but Ben Hodges did just that with his hunger to compete. Hodges was a monster in the interior, a true workhorse that attacked every rebound and every loose ball. Hodges played with an elite motor and an uncanny nose for the ball. Listed at 6-foot-3, Hodges played bigger than his height as he used his activity and physicality to muscle his way to baskets in the paint. He showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket while also knocking down a handful of mid-range pull-ups. Ben’s effort had colleges buzzing.

Jabre Mills6-3 SG Jabre Mills – Middle Georgia Prep
A talented scorer that graduated from Collins Hill in 2021, Jabre Mills has taken full advantage of his prep season, adding muscle and new dimensions to his game. Mills shined as a playmaker off the dribble. He used a quick first step to get into the heart of the defense where he spoon-fed his big men and kicked out to open shooters. While Mills saw the entire floor, he especially had a connection with Corey Thomas, sitting him up for lobs and easy finishes. Mills has great size and length on the perimeter. His well-rounded offensive game has him in a good position moving forward.

Terin Wofford6-4 W Terin Wofford – Middle Georgia Prep
The athleticism and length of Terin Wofford are the first things that pop out at you. The 2021 ML King grad has all the physical tools to become something special, especially on defense. His quickness and wingspan allow him to defend all over the floor. Couple his physical traits with a high motor and you have yourself an impactful two-way player. Wofford is slithery slasher that elevates to finish in traffic. He’s a strong rebounder as well. If he can consistently hit open shots from the perimeter, which the lefty did from deep on Sunday, his stock will sky rocket.

Corey Thomas6-11 F Corey Thomas – Middle Georgia Prep
D-I schools have been tracking Corey Thomas since his days at Cherokee Bluff. He is a highly skilled big man with outstanding length. Thomas has the ability to anchor himself in the paint or step outside and serve as a stretch-forward. Thomas shoots the ball well from the three-point line and can attack off the dribble from time to time. While he still needs to add some more mass to his frame, Thomas does a good job mixing it up inside, collecting rebounds at their highest point and converting on second and third chances. On the block Corey implements a soft hook shot that is unreachable. Thomas doesn’t jump out of the gym but he’s a solid athlete that still manages to play above the rim and blocks shots at a high level. Now that Thomas has proven he can stay healthy and had a strong debut season at Middle Georgia Prep, expect D-I offers to start pouring in.

Milique Smith6-5 W Milique Smith – Middle Georgia Prep
Out of Upson-Lee in 2021, the former star running back has turned his sole attention to basketball. D-III schools were among those showing significant interest in the relentless do-everything swingman on Sunday. Smith is a big strong body that can play all over the floor. His leaping ability and overall strength help him gobble up rebounds and score on putbacks. Smith can play bully-ball on the low block and overpower defenders by burying them underneath the basket. Milique is an effective slasher and has a mid-range jumper that demands attention. His motor and willingness to work are attractive traits.

Tyrhell Branch2022 5-10 PG Tyrhell Branch – Social Circle
The battle-tested lead guard is as steady as a rock. Tyrhell Branch is a strong compact guard that dictates the flow of games. He has a strong handle and a low center of gravity which allows him to split traps and take care of the ball. Branch is a pass-first guard that loves to get others involved. Tyrhell uses his strength to get to his spots and score from the mid-range. Branch has proven over the course of his high school career to be a dangerous three-point shooter and a crafty finisher around the rim. Coastal Georgia and Daytona State have shown interest.

Jabarri Williams2025 5-9 PG Jabarri Williams – Valdosta
Excitement surrounds the future of Jabarri Williams. The playmaking freshman was named Region 1-6A Co-Newcomer of the Year. Williams is a smaller guard but has some muscle on his frame to make up for his lack of height. He sees the floor well and likes to push the ball with pace. Jabarri is shifty in the open floor as he weaves in and out of traffic and can stop on a dime with his pull-up. Staying in control and not getting too deep into the defense will help him keep turnovers low. Williams has a very productive three years ahead.

Raquan Myers2022 6-2 G Raquan Myers – Warren County
In what was a banner season for Warren County, Raquan Myers kept the good times rolling at the PRO Spring Showdown. The Warrenton native is a strong athlete with a multifaceted game. Myers is quick with the ball, able to shift directions and find creases in the defense. He finishes at the rim, absorbing contact while doing so. Myers is a good shooter with three-point range, but what really caught my eye was his ability to distribute, wrapping passes around defenders to find cutting teammates. With a good handful of college coaches in attendance, Myers certainly helped his stock.

Alexander Hepburn2024 6-4 F Alexander Hepburn – Riverwood
Alexander Hepburn is a name to keep in the back of your mind moving forward. He’s a toolsy combo-forward that can play both inside and out. Hepburn is long and wiry. The lefty likes to shoot the three off the bounce and has upside a slasher. Hepburn holds value on defense with his length and mobility. If he continues to refine his game and play with a high motor, Hepburn could end up being a sneaky good prospect.

Robert Harford2024 6-1 SG Robert Harford – Columbus
Robert Harford quite possibly was the best shooter in camp. His lightning quick trigger and accurate three-point stroke lit up defenses. While his shot making was his biggest strength, Harford also showed creativity downhill when he was run off the three-point line.

Kendarrius Spear2023 5-10 G Kendarrius Spear – Alcovy
The aggressiveness and effort that Kendarrius Spear played with helped him stand out from many other guards. Colleges in attendance circled his name due to his demeanor on the floor. Spear wasn’t afraid to let it rip and compete on both sides of the ball. He liked to create separation on the perimeter and pull-up from deep. Defensively, Spear took away airspace and pressured the ball.

Carl Anderson2022 6-1 G Carl Anderson – Archer
Defense. Defense. Defense. When I looked at my packet to see who the tenacious on-ball defender I was watching was, it should have come as no surprise that it was Carl Anderson of Archer. A hallmark of Archer basketball, toughness and pressure defense, Anderson brought both to camp to stand out. Anderson has big game experience and is used to picking up full court. Offensively Carl gets the job done as well. He’s a smart passer and a reliable jump shooter. Anderson also likes to mix it up on the glass. Carl has a college-ready body and mindset.

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Juniors ignite Redskins in three-point barrage against No. 3 Towns County

Social Circle 74, No. 3 Towns County 64

Winners of three-straight heading into Tuesday night’s rematch with No. 3 Towns County (12-3, 6-1), Social Circle (9-8, 4-2) looked to muck things up in Region 8-A and climb closer to the top of the standings before letting Towns County run away with the region. With a 64-58 win over the Redskins in tow, the Indians took to the floor for the first time since cracking the Top 3 in Class A-Public.

It was a fluid start for both offenses as Social Circle set the tone early draining three of their 10 three-pointers against Towns County’s 2-3 zone, but trailed 8-7 mid-way through the first quarter.

The Indians went on a 5-0 spurt keyed by Kolby Moss to extend the lead to 13-7 and lead 19-13 after eight minutes following Moss’ eight points.

Moss and Kabe Ellis continued to do damage in the second quarter and kept the Indians in front at 26-21 with 3:15 to play but KJ Reid would catch fire and ignite a 10-0 run to surge ahead 29-26 and never trail again.

Reid, who finished with a game-high 26 points and 6 rebounds, drilled three of his five three-pointers in the opening half and went into the break with 15 points as the Redskins led 31-28.

In the third quarter Coach Robert Benson came out of his zone, but Social Circle remained hot from deep with three more deep balls. As the Redskins started to pull away, the Indians began to get the ball inside. Collin Crowder hit Moss on a face cut to make it 39-34.

After dealing with some foul trouble and a fast pace game, Towns County decided to get 6-foot-7 junior Jake McTaggart involved. He would score eight of his 13 points in the frame, attacking middle and getting to where he could shoot over the defense from a few feet away.

With Taggart establishing himself inside, Social Circle still managed to hang onto a 47-40 lead after three behind the play of Reid and Tyrhell Branch.

Towns County cut the lead to 50-45 at the 4:49 mark but the Redskins would quickly extend the lead using the three-point shot as Cam Gaither got a fortunate bounce to make it 56-45 with 4:11 to play.

Gaither scored 11 of his 19 points in the final quarter as the Redskins would burry the Indians from the foul line when Towns County started to intentionally foul down 59-48 with 2:47 remaining. Social Circle sank 26-39 from the stripe including 17-25 in the fourth quarter with Branch hitting 6-11, Reid 5-6 and Gaither 6-8.

A trio of late threes, two via Aidan Berrong and one from Ellis accounted for Towns County’s only three-pointers of the second half after netting just one in the first.

My Take

I was a bit bullish on Social Circle heading into the season but was cautiously optimistic. The 2022 core of Preseason All-State 5-foot-9 point guard Tyrhell Branch, 6-foot-1 KJ Reid and 6-foot-1 Cam Gaither is a strong nucleus. Add in the size of 6-foot-6 sophomores AJ Vinson and Logan Cross along with 6-foot-2 junior jumping jack Amarion Russell and Coach Taylor Jackson has plenty to work with in Year 2 as head coach after guiding the Redskins to a 20-8 mark in Class 2A a season ago, their first 20-win campaign in over a decade. Sitting at 9-8, the Redskins are currently waiting outside the Class A-Public Top 10, but its not due to a lack of talent. Social Circle scheduled a grueling non-region schedule for an A-Public school and may be better for it, turning a corner with four-straight wins. Reid was great on Tuesday. I felt like Social Circle was settling for too many threes early on against Towns County, but they successfully shot them out of the zone with Reid sinking five and finishing with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. He’s a wiry lefty that can create separation off the dribble to get clean looks from the mid-range and beyond. Branch is a more compact guard with muscle on him. He uses a quick burst to the basket and was able to drive and kick to shooters. He didn’t force any bad shots and was effective when he got in the paint, drawing fouls and going 13-18 from the foul line as he poured in 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Gaither and Russell were key. Gaither, another long lefty, provided offense at all three levels. He posted 19 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal while Russell brought tremendous athleticism and effort in the paint. The bouncy southpaw plays bigger than his size with how he can attack rebounds and snatch them away from bigger players. If Social Circle can shoot anywhere near as well as they did against Towns County, they will be a tough team come state tournament time with how Branch and Reid are able to play off one another and create their own offense.

In the loss, Towns County still looked good. Between All-State 6-foot-1 guard Kolby Moss, 6-foot-7 Jake McTaggart and 5-foot-10 Kabe Ellis, all three can lead the team in scoring any given night. Taggart, a junior, moved in from Hayesville, NC while Ellis, a senior, transferred from Andrews, NC, giving Coach Robert Benson a suddenly deep and diverse team from last year’s 18-9 unit that was beat by GMC 77-57 in the first round of state. Moss finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds. He is the senior leader of the team and plays with a composed fire. He scores in a variety of ways. He’s a crafty finisher that has exceptional footwork when attacking off the dribble. He uses his body well to avoid shot blockers and can finish with either hand, using both his right and left to drop in floaters. Away from the ball, he cuts hard and looks to score when doing so. A majority of his points came in the paint but he is a capable outside shooter that has a high release that can be difficult to defend. Moss is the school’s all-time leading scorer and just received an offer from Young Harris. McTaggart is a bruising forward with skill. He posts hard and can attack off the dribble and can push the ball on the fast break. He finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block, but I thought he could have done a little more. Looking back, I don’t think he scored one bucket with his back to the basket on any drop steps. McTaggart uses the same move. He likes to spin into the middle where he can turnaround and shoot short shots over the defense. He has a nice touch but I would have liked to see him play with more power and go into the defense instead of fade away. His shot is nearly unguardable at the A-Public level with not many teams big enough to defend him, but in college it will be tougher to convert those shots when they are contested. McTaggart did do a nice job of drawing fouls on Social Circle but most of them were when he was posting up. He went 1-3 from the line. What gives McTaggart an advantage on most big men prospects is his versatility. He can get creative with the ball on the perimeter and can shoot the three. He’s a little heavy footed when he attacks but with his size and strength it doesn’t negatively affect him. McTaggart is a solid prospect. D-II programs should be on him hard. With a strong travel season, he could really gain some major attention. Another player I liked was Kabe Ellis. I thought he didn’t get to hunt his shot enough in the second half after scoring seven points in the first. He’s a quick guard with tight body control. He’s able to make plays off the dribble and get to his spots in the mid-range. I like his shooting touch and his overall skill level. He’s extremely tough at the A-Public level and he and Moss will give teams fits.

Top Performers

Social Circle
KJ Reid – 26 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Tyrhell Branch – 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Cam Gaither – 19 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal
Amarion Russell – 5 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal

Towns County
Kolby Moss – 24 points, 9 rebounds
Jake McTaggart – 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Kabe Ellis – 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Collin Crowder – 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block