Georgia National Teams Advance In State Tournament: Notes

Georgia is represented by Wheeler (No.5) and Jonesboro (No. 12) in the latest Max Preps Xcellent 25 Boys basketball rankings.Both teams look to stay in the rankings after advancing to the Elite Eight in their respective classifications.

6A Wheeler defeated Douglas County 87-68 in front of a packed house that included North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. Williams lead his Tar Heels to a victory earlier in the day over Georgia Tech in which he opened the game with the “four corners” offensive set to pay tribute to the late Dean Smith, North Carolina scored on the play. Jaylen Brown was the main reason Williams was in attendance and he did not disappoint. Brown finished up 37 points and 17 rebounds in the win. Brandon Robinson finished with 27 for Douglas County (22-8) in defeat.

Wheeler (27-2) will host Newton (22-8) in the quarterfinals. Newton, the No. 4 seed out of Region 2-6A defeated defending 6A champion Tift County 52-49 in the first round and earned their spot in the quarterfinals with a 58-54 victory of Dacula.

4A Jonesboro (29-1) continues to flex their muscles with a 67-57 victory over St. Pius X. Jonesboro pulled away in the quarter after being tied 25-all at halftime and again at 32-all midway into the third quarter. Deandre Mack finished with a team-high 15, Austin Donaldson tallied 14 and sophomore sensation James Walker Jr finished with 11-all in the second half. The Cardinals have won 28 straight games. Jonesboro is 5-1 vs non-Georgia teams this season with its only loss to No.2 Montverde Academy (FL) in the second game of the season. Jonesboro will face Johnson-Gainesville in the quarterfinals. Johnson (29-0) is 1-0 vs non-Georgia teams and has quality in-state wins over Buford (twice), Apalachee, Gainesville and Whitefield Academy.

Notes from Georgia schools that have been on the national radar this season: 

6A Pebblebrook (25-5) defeated Pope 78-59. Ty Hudson scored 26 points to lead Pebblebrook. Pebblebrook used a 22-6 third quarter to break the game open after trailing 38-33 at halftime. Pebblebrook went 4-4 vs non-Georgia opponents, three of those losses are to teams currently ranked in the Top 10 nationally (No.2 Montverde Academy-FL, No. 6 DeMatha -MD, No. 8 Sierra Canyon-CA). Their other non-Georgia loss came to nationally respected yet unranked Bartow (FL). 3A Laney is the lone Georgia opponent to the Falcons this season. Pebblebrook will travel to Norcross in the quarterfinals.

6A Shiloh (26-3) defeated Rockdale County 55-45. Josh Okogie had a team-high 17 points in the win. Shiloh has not lost to a Georgia team this season but is 0-3 vs non-Georgia opponents. The Generals have won six in a row. Shiloh will host Alpharetta in the quarterfinals.

5A McIntosh (29-1) suffered its first loss of the season during ‘win or go home’ time. The Chiefs fell 66-65 to M.L. King (24-5) losing not only the game but standout point guard Will Washington to a wrist injury in the third quarter. Washington would not return and was diagnosed with a broken wrist. Jordan Lyons tallied 22 points for McIntosh.

4A Miller Grove (27-3), defending and six-time state champions, outlasted Statesboro 50-42 in overtime on the road. The Wolverines headliner Alterique Gilbert finished with a team-high 16 points. The Wolverines have won 21 in a row and are 4-2 vs non-Georgia teams. Miller Grove has a victory over St. Francis while their only loss to a Georgia team came at the hands of Jonesboro. Miller Grove will travel to Warner Robins in the quarterfinals.

3A Laney (28-1) extended their winning streak to 28 games with a 68-31 victory over Rockmart. Laney (Augusta, GA) is unranked nationally yet always come up in the discussion with Wheeler, Jonesboro, Greenforest Christian and St. Francis as one of the best teams in Georgia regardless of classification. Laney’s only loss of the season came to St. Francis in the season opener. The Wildcats went 3-0 vs non-Georgia teams and have defeated defended Georgia 3A champion Morgan County twice this season, 3A title contender Jenkins and 6A title contender Pebblebrook-all of which are in the quarterfinals in their respective classes. Laney goes 11-deep most nights led by JaShawn Brooks’ 13 points per game. Laney will travel to East Hall in the quarterfinals.

1A Private Greenforest Christian (25-1) defeated Southwest Atlanta Christian 103-31. John Ogwuche scored 25 points leading five Greenforest players in double figures. Greenforest lone loss came to Pebblebrook. The Eagles posted a 3-0 record vs non-Georgia teams. All three victories came in the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia, SC. The Eagles have scored over 90 points nine times this season scoring over 100 points four times.

1A Private St. Francis (26-3) defeated Lakeview Academy 103-59.Malik Beasley poured in a game-high 32 points while Kobi Simmons pumped in 27 for St. Francis. St. Francis is  6-2 vs non-Georgia teams including a three-point loss to No. 2 Montverde Academy. 5A Miller Grove is the only Georgia team to defeat the Knights this season.

Girls National Rankings and Radar Notes:

2A Holy Innocents (29-0) is the lone girls team from Georgia nationally ranked. The Lady Bears checked in at No.15 in the latest girls Max Preps Xcellent 25. The Lady Bears defeated Bleckley County 68-20 to advance to the Elite Eight. Holy Innocents were the Class 1A private runner-ups last season before moving up in classification this season. Holy Innocents went 5-0 vs non-Georgia opponents with in-state victories over 6A McEachern, 5A Columbus and 1A Private Southwest Atlanta Christian. Columbus (20-7) is the only opponent out of the state tournament in their classification after losing in the first round. Junior Erika Cassel is one of the team’s top scorers and is averaging a double-double this season with points and rebounds. Sophomore Khlaya Pointer is the other leading scorer helping power the Lady Bear attack. Holy Innocents will travel to Vidalia in the quarterfinals.

6A McEachern (22-6) is unranked after holding the No.1 spot until the first week of January. T’ea Cooper totaled 29 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals as the defending 6A champs defeated South Forsyth 56-47. The Lady Indians posted a 5-1 record vs non-Georgia opponents, have wins over quarterfinalist Forest Park (5A) and Parkview (6A) and three losses to Osborne  this season. McEachern has won two of the last three state titles in Georgia’s highest classification and are playing without post players Caliya Robinson and Zieandra Bridges. Robinson played in the first four games before tearing her ACL and MCL while Bridges was involved in a car accident in late January and was ruled out for the season. McEachern will travel to Mountain View in the quarterfinals.

6A Archer (26-5) outscored Tift County 6-4 in overtime to come away with the 50-48 victory on the road. Last season’s 6A runner-up went 2-2 vs non-Georgia opponents, their other three losses came to region foe Parkview. Sisters Madison (Sr) and Autumn Newby (So) power the Lady Tigers but it was Amber Skidgel’s 15 points that led Archer on this night.

6A Osborne (26-2) advanced the Elite Eight with a 58-44 win over North Forsyth. 1A Southwest Atlanta Christian is the only team from Georgia to hand the Lady Cardinals a loss. Osborne posted a 5-1 record vs non-Georgia teams and has three victories over defending champion McEachern this season. Senior Nikira Goings is the leading scorer averaging over 21 points per game. Osborne will travel to Parkview in the quarterfinals.

6A Parkview (25-3) advanced to the quarter finals with a 61-25 victory over Colquitt County.  The Lady Panthers have won 17 straight games and went 2-2 vs non-Georgia opponents with losses coming to No.1 Mater Dei (CA) and No.4 St. Mary’s (CA). McEachern is their only loss to a Georgia opponent. Junior Raven Johnson leads Parkview in scoring at almost 16 points per game followed by Victoria Harris at almost 13 points per game. Parkview will host Osborne in the quarterfinals.

4A St. Pius (27-3) is powered by Asia Durr. Durr is averaging 48 points per game through two state tournament games. Durr scored 44 of her teams 65 points in a 65-50 victory over class 4A No.1 Jonesboro in the second round. Durr scored 52 points in the state tournament opener against Woodward Academy. St. Pius went 3-1 vs non-Georgia opponents this season. The only in-state losses came to 6A Mountain View, who will face McEachern in the 6A quarterfinals and region foe Marist. Thee lost to Marist was in the Region 6-4A tournament championship game. St. Pius will travel to Buford in the quarterfinals. St. Pius defeated Buford in the class 3A title game last season.

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