Wheeler vs Langston Hughes, Host team the Wheeler Wildcats bring plenty of fire power into this matchup with 2 time defending champs Langston Hughes. Wheeler led by point guard and Denver commit Roscoe Eastmond, and Cal commit Charles Smith IV, the Cats are loaded. Eastmond is a table setting point guard who makes plays and drop dimes with the best of them, tenacious on defense and can score the ball from the perimeter or assortment of drives. Charles Smith has a rocket attached to his arm and shots the ball as anyone in the country, capable of a 30 ball with ability to drive and shoot. Sam Hines is the heart and soul of this team, he does all the dirty, defense, rebounding, hustle plays, a 4 tool guy that can help you win a championship. Malachi Rhodes, has become a tremendous anchor in the post, and mixes his game up and makes him a tough person to guard. Bucknell got a player in Rhodes. Wheeler has so many guys that can win you the game without the ball in their hands or doing something else special. Kenny Burns, a jumper shooters delight can fill it up, Khalil Hardison, does so many things to keep plays alive and play hard defense, Darius “Big Brisket” Gaddy is a space eater who can sub for Rhodes and give good minutes in the post, Prince Davies, Nash Kelly, are key reserves who just make winning basketball plays. This Langston Hughes squad is in flux, not having Landers Nolley who has moved on to Va Tech, has been a adjustment for Coach Rory Welsh. Returns like Tyrell Morgan, Patrick Carter, and Papa Samba are gonna have to carry this team, and they look to take down Wheeler, and make a run at a state title. The future could be in good hands Freshman Kobe Davis has a chance to be special. Keys: How will Langston Hughes matchup with Wheeler, they can shoot the 3 ball and if they see a matchup in the post will exploit it, they got to know where Sam Hines is at all times. For Wheeler, the key will be not to overlook a team like Langston Hughes because if you allow them to hang around then its a gonna be a ball game.
Southwest DeKalb vs Bishop Snydor After a season ending to Eugene Brown, people were ready to write SWD off, but that’s not the case. KD Johnson is a special player, a guy that can take over the game with is scoring and is infectious play on the defense end. He helped by 6’6 James Glisson a Draymond Green type of player, that can handle the ball, score inside-out and can finish in the paint and rebound the basketball at a high clip.Jarrett Walton, Rion White provide some help, now wit Brown out someone as to step and make plays. Bishop Snydor is led by 6’7 Corey Walker, who is very versatile and uses his frame to keep opponents guessing on his next move, Walker has help from Justin Hicks, Gyasi Powell and Austin Lewis.
St. Francis vs Blanche Ely, Blanche Ely is led by 6’5 wing Joshua Scott the leader of this team with is play, is a do it all type guy, scoring, rebounding, defense, etc. 5’11 Tyrecke Francois is a bonafide shot maker and causes havoc on defense, Aderes Staton-McCray flame thrower from behind the arc and can score off the bounce, Coach Melvin Randall squad will be battle tested and ready. St Francis led by Xavier commit dynamic Dwon Odom, considered one of the best teams in Single A private in GHSA. Odom knows 3 speeds fast, faster, and blazing speed, he is a guard who plays down hill and creates problems for the defense if they don’t get back. He loves to get teammates involved he is averaging 7.5 assist this season and averages 22.1 ppg. CJ Riley, Chase Ellis is averaging 8.5 boards a game and hits the glass with abandon. Jusaun Holt who also averages 8.3 boards. CJ Riley avg 13.2 ppg and shooting 45% from beyond the arch.
GAC vs Newton, Defending 3A champ GAC started the season rough but now seems tp be rounding into shape, Hunter McIntosh is one of the best unsigned seniors in the state. Nice control and can flat out score the basketball, Ben Shepherd showed earlier in the season he is capable of burning the nets from 3 point land. I really like guard Roy Dixon and Baskerville, who just simple do things to win. Adding Michigan Football recruit is big, Hinton will eat space and grab every rebound if you let him. 6’9 Shawn Ohuabunwa is a rim runner, who can finish on the break and spells Hinton in the post. Cole Perusek comes off the bench and gives quality minutes for Coach Eaton. Last year GAC’s schedule was questioned, this year its different they aren’t running or hiding they are playing plenty of good teams. This will prepare them for a back to back run in 3A. Coach Rick Rasmussuen’s Newton Rams look primed for another state run, in the tough 7A. Led by 6’7 Armani Harris, athletic rim runner, rebounder, high intangible guy the Rams are more than read. Harris is a double-double machine, gets bigs in foul trouble ask Lambert who Harris dropped 39 on. He has some help with “Downtown” Tyrease Brown, as soon as he walks in the gym he is in range. Another top tier shooter in Georgia, Jimmy “Tre” Clark, mixes his shot making abilities with his ability to get to the bucket and score. Shawn Smith has the unenviable task of stepping in for Ashton Hagans who is at Kentucky, Smith isn’t Hagans he is actually doing a good job, I love his energy, and hitting passes while being strong with the ball other guys who will step up are Doug Moore, Leandrew Sims, Jaiden Hall. If one thing that is concern is will Newton use their bench, Sims, Hall, Max Callaway, Jamal Pollard are all capable of spelling guys when need be.