I was able to catch the first 3 games at the GE8TOC at McEachern and came away impressed by a few schools and players. The one thing I notice in Georgia basketball is the defensive that is played. Georgia has become one of the staples of high school basketball in the country. Producing several talented college and pro players. One school that impressed me was The Walker School led by Coach Bryce Brickhouse, after spending time on the collegiate level and now being a head coach on the high school level. Coach Brickhouse, his 4th quarter adjustments in a 88-87 OT win vs Cumberland Christian Academy were magical. The way his team stepped up taking charges, forcing turnovers were awesome. As a team every player understood their role and grinded out a tough, hard fought win, especially on the defensive end. In critical late game situations, Coach Brickhouse drew up two inbound plays that lead to wide open transition layups across the court. On the game winning play he drew up a play for Chandler Baker on a inbounds, who was left open for a mid-range jumper that stroked the bottom of the net.
SW DeKalb proved why they are the #1 team in the GaHoopCircle 5A poll with a good win over a very talented Therrell team, on the defensive end they have to be one of the best teams in the state. They were lead by 6’1 Junior guard Michael Wright, Head Coach Eugene Brown has put a major emphasis on defense and it has showed in the two performances this year, in scrimmage win over Tucker and their first regular season win over Therrell! It Will be hard to find a team who can match the energy on the court, bench, or in the stands. Make sure you rent an extra bus when you travel to DeKalb because you might want to bring your entire city with you!
Another team that was impressive during the SWD Showdown, was the Cedar Grove Saints and Coach Miquel Patrick. The Saints are a perennial powerhouse in 3A and will look to continue this trend with the 2018-2019 squad. The are long and athletic, they play two juniors and one sophomore, they have plenty seniors with game experience ready to contribute. They are led by scorer Jakeem Faulkner, ball handler in Kanaris Cummings, and the shooter Jeffery Daniels, big man who does the dirty work down low Jamarcus Glover. This unit was excellent on defense. Once this group shook off early game jitters they were able to score at will. Treymaine Hill who checked in off the bench and was in the right spot making the right plays every time. He was aggressive on the rebounding side and lead a lot of scoring opportunities with transition buckets. While GAC, Johnson-Savannah, Morgan County, and Pace are all tough in 3A, Cedar Grove is no slouch and will be a team to watch. Imagine how tough they will be once they get their football guys back after making a run for another state title in football.
My standouts for the GE8TOC and SWD Showdown thru 3 games.
MVP GE8TOC Chandler Baker (Walker school)
MVP SWD Showdown Roman Son(Therrell)
Players to Watch
Cumberland Christian Burke Chebuhar, Jovan Tucker, Myson Lowe
Therrell – Ra’Sean Frederick, Robbie Ambrester
Cedar Grove Jakeem Faulkner, Devon Barnes
SWD- James Glisson, Michael Wright, KD Johnson
Trinity Christian – Giancarlo Bastianoni
Young Guys To Keep A Eye On:
Rafael Pinzon Lincoln,
Breterner Mutombo Lincoln
Teams to Keep A Eye on: