The Jonesboro Cardinals will enter their Georgia 4A quarterfinal matchup this week against undefeated Johnson-Gainesville (29-0) with a higher national ranking. Jonesboro moved up two spots from No. 12 to No.10 in the latest Max Preps Xcellent 25 boys basketball Rankings.
Jonesboro (29-1) is riding a 28-game winning streak after a 67-57 victory over St. Pius in the second round. Sophomore sensation James Walker Jr leads the Cardinals in scoring at 17.3 per game followed by Tracey Hector Jr at 11.9 and sharp-shooter Deandre Mack at 11.2. Jonesboro is the defending Georgia 4A champions but must contend with Ty Cockfield (28.6ppg) and Roderick English (19.2ppg) of Johnson-Gainesville if they seek to advance.
Wheeler (27-2), led by one of the nation’s top recruits in Jaylen Brown, remained in the top five holding down the No.5 spot. Wheeler will host Newton in the Georgia 6A quarterfinals this week. Newton (22-8) is considered the “Cinderella” of the 6A tournament after victories over defending champion Tift County in the first round and Dacula in the second round. Newton entered the tournament as the No.4 seed out of their region and won both games on the road.
Brown finished with 37 points and 17 rebounds to lead Wheeler to a commanding 87-68 victory over Douglas County in the second round.
Oak Hill Academy (VA) (41-0-including forfeits) remained in the top spot while Montverde Academy (FL) (28-1) remained at No. 2. Wheeler handed Montverde Academy its only loss this season while Jonesboro’s only loss this season was to Montverde Academy. Oak Hill and Montverde are slated to play in the Dick Sporting Goods High School Nationals in April. Both teams are private schools and do no not qualify to win state championships in their respective states.