Category Archives: High School Basketball

Covering the game of basketball at the level that outside of the pro ranks and AAU may slowing be fading away.

Milton (GA) Escapes Madison East (WI)

Milton (4-1) won its third straight game with a hard fought 63-61 victory over Madison East (WI) (0-1) on Friday night. The hotly contested contest was tied at the end of the first (20-20) and second quarters (33-33) as neither team led by no more than six points.

Milton opened the third quarter on a 7-4 run behind a pair of three-pointers from freshman Kanaan Carlyle however Madison East would close the third quarter with an 11-6 push behind Anthony Washington to led 48-46 headed to the fourth.

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Freshman Kanaan Carlyle led Milton with 19 points

In the fourth the already intense and physical contest would see Madison East’s Washington and Jevan Boyton miss time as each had to be treated for infection control nearly two minutes into the quarter. Both would return and be able to finish the game. A Keonte Jones steal and layup gave Madison East a 61-59 lead with 1:22 remaining.

Bruce Thornton would twice drive and draw fouls to first tie the game at 61-all on a pair of free throws, then make another pair of free throws with 39.1 seconds remaining to give Milton a 63-61 lead. Madison Eastside, playing in their season opener, had a three-pointer attempted and several putback attempts miss on their final possession to seal the Milton victory.

Carlyle led Milton in scoring with 19 points and added 4 assists while Bruce Thornton had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Cameron Walker finished with 10 while Evan Hurst had 8 points in the book.

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Anthony Washington led Madison East with 16 points, just under season average of 16.9ppg last seaosn

Anthony Washington led Madison Eastside with 16 points followed by Michael McIntosh with 10. Keonte Jones tallied 9 while Jevan Boyton had 8.

Under head coach Matt Miota- now in his tenth season, Madison East was 22-2, Big Eight Conference champions and ranked No.1 in the state during the 2018-19 season before being upset in the regional finals by 8th-seeded Racine Horlick in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs in Wisconsin last year.

Madison East (WI)  will take on Berkmar (2-7) today at in the BCB Buford Showcase at Buford City Arena at 4pm. Berkmar defeated Central Gwinnett 82-75 Friday night.

Milton will host Jonesboro (4-2) today as a part of the Survivors & Champions Classic at Milton.



Woodward Academy Soaring As A Convocation

Through the first ten games of a highly anticipated season with expectations of a state championship, Woodward Academy is off to a 10-0 start. During this 10-0 start the War Eagles are 4-0 against out-of-state competition after going 4-0 in the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions in Washington, Illinois during the week of Thanksgiving against quality teams from Illinois (Lake Forest Academy), Arizona (Millennium), Missouri (De Smet Jesuit) and Arkansas (Fort Smith-Northside). Notable wins against Georgia teams so far include Pace Academy, region foe Eastside and Lambert.

“We are just thankful to win games and it’s a summation of the pieces and things coming together as a team,” head coach Anthony Thomas said about the 10-0 start. “At the tournament of champions we learned that we are resilient and that we can get on the big stage and compete and we wanted to represent our city and the state of Georgia as well as possible,” Thomas added.

Woodward has at least two more out-of-state games on their schedule against Ramsay (AL) in the Braggin Rights in Huntsville, AL and against Oxford (AL) in the War Eagle Classic in December. They have an extra game they can schedule however Thomas stated that since they were away during the Thanksgiving holiday that it would have to be something special for them to add another game.

The headliner is five-star Walker Kessler (UNC) who is averaging nearly a double-double with 18.1 points 9.9 rebounds and 5.8 blocks. Kessler has posted two triple-doubles this season both with blocks, however it is the collective group of seniors that leads this team.

A 10-0 start has War Eagles soaring as a convocation.

“This group of seniors started as sophomores for us and have been building to this point and have set the tone for consistency,” Thomas said speaking of seniors Kessler, Jacorrie Turner, Michael Whitmore and Will Demorest. “Will (Richard) has came in and is competitive, is a sponge soaking everything up, listening and does everything asked of him. Emory (Lanier) is probably the epitome of sacrifice coming in from Tennessee from a school where he won a state championship and was the guy to doing whatever he needs to do to help our team and is the x-factor that extends to everything we do offensively and defensively,” Thomas added.

Junior Will Richard is averaging 16.1 points and 6.6 rebounds while Emory Lanier (Davidson) is averaging 10.4 points, 3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals. Point guard Michael Whitmore, whom Thomas describes as “the engine and heartbeat of the team”, is averaging 7.1 points, 6.5 assists and 4 steals this season.

The War Eagles, who defeated Druid Hills on Thursday night 63-41, continue a three-game stretch against region 4-4A opponents McDonough and Luella before hitting the road to Huntsville for the Braggin Rights Alabama vs Georgia game against Ramsay (AL) on December 14th.

“Our mindset is to go back to work and be prepared. Our saying around here is ‘we are nobody’ because teams in our region don’t care who we’ve played or who we’ve beaten no matter where they are from,” Thomas concluded.



McEachern, Grayson Move Up In National Top 25

The McEachern Indians (Powder Springs, GA) remain undefeated after a pair of victories over Mayfair (CA) 87-79 and Windsor Forest (GA) 99-75 in the Thanksgiving Day Shootout at McEachern High School.

McEachern has scored 90 or more points in three of its first six games

Sharife Cooper (Auburn) scored 44 and 52 points in those game respectively and tallied a triple-double against Windsor Forest by adding 13 rebounds and 10 assists. McEachern (6-0) moves up one spot from 11th to 10th in the latest Max Preps Top 25.

On the other side of the suburban metro Atlanta area, the Grayson Rams (Loganville, GA) moved up two spots from 25th to 23rd. Grayson (6-0) went 4-0 last week in a six-day stretch defeating Milton and Sandy Creek in the Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic at North Gwinnett High School. The Rams followed that up with out-of-state victories over Memphis East (TN) and Mountain Brook (AL) at Holiday Hoopsgiving at Holy Innocents Episcopal School.

Grayson is winning games by an average of 17.1 points

Deivon Smith (Mississippi State) averaged 21.5 points last week while Caleb Murphy (South Florida) averaged 15 points playing in only three games after sitting out one game with an injury last week.

McEachern and Grayson meet in the regular season on Saturday, December 14th in the Hawks Naismith Holiday Classic at Norcross High School. Should both teams win their regions, as it is widely expected, they could possibly meet again in the GHSA 7A semifinals on February 29th based on the predetermined bracket the GHSA uses for playoffs.

Final Day: Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic Brief

The final day of the Jared Cook Classic featured four games to cap the 16-game three day showcase at North Gwinnett High School.

In the night cap Grayson improved to 4-0 with a hard fought 62-55 win over Sandy Creek (1-2). Devion Smith followed up his 32-point performance against Milton the night before with a team-high 17 point effort against Sandy Creek.

Grayson, who was playing without Caleb Murphy (South Florida) who was out with a hand injury, got another solid fourth quarter from Toneari Lane. Lane finished with 15 points, 11 in the fourth quarter as the Rams withstood a 21-point quarter from Sandy Creek.

Junior Jabari Smith racked up a game-high 31 points including 15 in the fourth quarter as the Patriots pulled to within three points. Deshon Proctor was the only other Patriot to reach double figures with 12.


The host North Gwinnett Bulldogs fell to 0-3 after a 58-52 defeat to Pace Academy (4-2). North Gwinnett trailed most of the night by double digits but cut it to 46-40 with 4:20 remaining but would get no closer. Matthew Cleveland, who finished with a game-high 25 points, had an emphatic breakaway dunk moments later to give Pace Academy a 48-40 lead to steal the momentum and hold off North Gwinnett.  Cole Middleton had 18 points for the Knights.

Other action from the Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic 

Archer’s Areyon Johnson had a game-high 24 points, 18 in the second half, as they defeated Discovery 77-69. CJ Hines has 21 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists while Justin Edmundson scored 12 for Archer (4-1). London Riley hit six three-pointers enroute to a 21-point night while Ian Davis scored 17 and Charles Blamo had 12 for Discovery (3-4).

Christian Williams finished with a team-high 16 points as Peachtree Ridge (4-0) knocked off Apalachee 61-53 in the opening game of day three action. Justin Caffey finished with 14 and Navaughn Maxwell had 11 for the Lions. Montee Flahns had 15 and Brayson Hayes 14 for Apalachee (2-4).

Grayson Holds Off Milton In Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic Thriller

The Grayson Rams are full of seasoned veterans, the Milton Eagles are full of youthful talent and for the bulk of the contest the youth went toe-to-toe with the veterans. In the end it was Grayson veterans that came out on top.

Trailing 78-77 Grayson senior Deivon Smith completed a three-point play to give Grayson an 80-78 lead with 26.2 remaining in the game. Milton did not go quietly into the night as sophomore Bruce Thornton knocked down two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to even the game at 80-all.

Deivon Smith drove and missed at the rim, got his own rebound and was fouled with five tenths of a second remaining, Smith hit the first free throw and missed the second on purpose to seal the 81-80 Grayson win. Deivon Smith (Mississippi State) finished with 32 points to lead Grayson.

“(Deivon) is as good as anybody at assessing what his team needs to win and giving it to us,” Grayson head coach Geoffrey Pierce said. “We were struggling to score so he got buckets. Nothing was forced, he took what the defense gave him.”


Senior Toneari Lane (Winthrop) finished with 10 points but had six in the fourth quarter, his three pointer with 4:38 remaining gave Grayson it’s first lead since very early in the game 72-70. He followed it up moments later with a driving layup to extend the lead to 75-72 with 3:21 left. Junior Ian Schieffelin also finished with 10 points while senior Caleb Murphy and junior Quinones Corpman each had eight points.

“Toneari was huge in the fourth quarter. I can appreciate the fact that he wasn’t playing up to his abilities but he never let it effect his effort or body language,” Pierce said.

Grayson will face Sandy Creek on Tuesday in the final game of the Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic before taking on Memphis East (TN) and Mountain Brook (AL) in Holiday Hoopsgiving this weekend.

Thornton finished with a game-high 40 points for Milton. Freshman Kanaan Carlyle had 11 points before fouling out late.Senior Evan Hurst finished with 10 points as did sophomore Devin Farrell (off the bench).  Milton (1-1) will face Kell and Holy Innocents at Holiday Hoopsgiving this weekend before hosting Madison East (WI).


2019 Jared Cook Classic Quick Hitters

Lanier routs Holy Innocents:

Lanier jumped out on Holy Innocents 20-4 after the first quarter and never looked back. Lanier extended their lead to 25, 35-10 with 2:24 remaining in the second quarter and led 37-18 at halftime.

Holy Innocents opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run to pull to 39-27 however would never get closer. Iajah Phillips 14 and Sion James (Tulane) 11 lead nine Lanier (3-2) scorers in their 60-41 wire-to-wire victory. Garrison Powell 12 and Chance Moore 8 and Justin Wilson 7 led Holy Innocents (2-3).


Woodward Academy flexes muscles in second half:

Walker Kessler nearly posted a triple-double as Woodward Academy pulled away in the third quarter by outscoring Lambert 25-15 on its way to a 75-46 win over Lambert. Kessler (UNC) finished with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 9 blocks to lead all scorers.

Will Richard finished with 21 points (14 in the second half) 4 rebounds 3 assist while Michael Whitmore dropped off 8 assists and had 3 steals for Woodward Academy.

Colin Granger (Ohio) led Lambert with 18 points followed by eight points from Luke Champion.

Woodward Academy hits the road next week to Washington, DC to play in the Tournament of Champions. The War Eagles will face Lake Forest Academy (IL), Northside-Fort Smith (AR), De Smet Jesuit (MO) in their three scheduled games and a fourth game opponent to be determined while at the tournament.

Lambert will face host North Gwinnett Monday on the second day of the Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic.

Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic

St. Francis, Odom Too Much For Pace Academy

Dwon Odom is a special basketball player and he never disappoints anytime he takes the floor.  Less than ten seconds into the game Odom threw down the first of many dunks on the evening and finished with team-high 21 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists as St. Francis (3-0) remained undefeated after a 69-57 win over Pace Academy.

Jordan Brown hit five three-pointers finishing with 19 points. Chase Ellis continues to fill the stat sheet nightly finishing with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assist and a pair of steals. Jusaun Holt had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Knights. ST. Francis will face Wheeler in their next game as a part of Holiday Hoopsgiving at Holy Innocents on Saturday.

Matthew Cleveland led Pace Academy (3-2) with 23 points while Cole Middleton tallied 15 while doing a lot of the dirty work battling with Chase Ellis throughout the night. Pace returns to action on Tuesday on the final day of the Jared Cook Tip-Off Classic again host North Gwinnett.



2019 Jared Cook Tip Off Classic: Alexander over Archer

Alexander’s Marvin McGhee III knocked in five three-pointers enroute to a game-high 17 points as Alexander (2-1) handed Archer (3-1) its first lost of the 53-50.

Jaylon Brown scored 12 while Bryce Robinson and Xavier Thornton each put in 8 points as Alexander capitalized off of several Archer turnovers in the second half and held the Tigers 42 points below their season average.


Brent Smith scored 16 and Areyon Johnson had 14 off the bench while CJ Hines finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal for Archer.


Georgia High School Basketball Notebook: Meadowcreek

The Georgia High School Basketball season is in its second full week and it’s safe to say the story lines and plots are thick. One recent development is the sudden head coaching change at Meadowcreek with the resignation of Curtis Gilleyen. According to sources close to the situation, Gilleyan’s resignation is due to an investigation into district procedures when it comes to the rental of facilities. Gilleyen was entering his fourth season at the Gwinnett County school with a 68-25 overall record (9-2 state tournament record), three straight state tournament appearances, 2018 state champions and 2019 state runner-up under his belt.

David Akin (center) leads Meadowcreek during a timeout against Lakeside-Dekalb

David Akin was named as the new coach and is off to an 0-3 start after suffering a region loss earlier this week to Lakeside-Dekalb after blowing a 15-point lead and losing on a what turned out to be a game-winning layup by Miles James. Akin was previously on the staff at Parkview as an assistant and will continue to fulfill his teaching duties at Parkview while serving as the coach at Meadowcreek.

The schedule does not get any easier. The Mustangs are playing in the 6th annual Holiday Hoopsgiving, 4th annual Tournament of Champions and the 2nd annual Emerald Coast 16 tournaments- all of have been national recognized as top-level tournaments national. In addition to region and city rival Norcross, Meadowcreek will take on revamped region foe Berkmar, Carmel Christian (NC) in the 12th Annual Memphis vs Atlanta Roundball Classic and North Clayton.

Junior Corey Bissett returns to a youthful team which includes sophomores Kendall Campbell and Sedrick O’Neal and senior Darius Gaddy will be called upon nightly all season.

The young talent is there on the roster, the schedule is heavy so how will the team respond to the sudden coaching change and can Akin hold this group together, get them to buy in and make another run in a very deep class 7A. That is a story line we will follow all season.

McEachern Ends Season 32-0, No GEICO Nationals

On Saturday night in Macon, GA nationally-ranked McEachern completed their undefeated season with a 62-54 victory over defending champion Meadowcreek. Sharife Cooper led the Indians with 20 points while Issac Okoro (Auburn) finished with 16, Alyn Breed had 15 and Jared Jones (Northwestern) had 7 points and 9 rebounds.

Meadowcreek was led by Jalen Benjamin (UAB) 19 points while Jamir Chaplin (South Florida)  and Damian Dunn (Temple) each had 13 points.

McEachern’s season is complete at 32-0. Despite being nationally ranked No.1 or No.2 depending on the outlet and having defeated 9 teams that were ranked nationally at some point during the season the Indians will not be playing in the GEICO Nationals due to scheduling conflicts with several players and the school decided it would not send the team without it’s full complement of players. 

Wheeler and Miller Grove remain the only boys teams from Georgia to participate in the GEICO Nationals, which was formerly known as the Dick’s (Sporting Goods) Nationals when those teams played in the event.


GHSA 7A Championship On TSC Audio

Total Sports Coverage is pleased to announce it will webcast its first-ever high school state championship game of any kind in any state. The independent network will provide a LIVE audio stream only webcast of the Georgia GHSA Class 7A Boys basketball state championship game between the McEachern Indians and Meadowcreek Mustangs.

Meadowcreek (26-5) is the defending 7A state champion while McEachern (31-0) is ranked as the No.1 team in the nation in the Max Preps Xcellent 25 and in the top 5 of other respected national polls.

McEachern vs Meadowcreek in GA 7A State Finals

Pregame coverage begins at 6:30pm EST with tip-off approxiamatley scheduled for 7:00pm EST from the Macon Coliseum in Macon, GA. The announcing team of Joel Hillsman and Lewis Preston will call the play-by-play action.

Hillsman is in his 10th season broadcasting high school athletics in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama and has announced for various networks including being the lead play-by-play announcer for SUVTV’s extensive coverage of grassroots and high school basketball and Total Sports Coverage. Hillsman, a member and co-host of the Georgia Hoop Circle, has been apart of the announcing team for the basketball championships in Georgia the previous two years however this will mark the first time he will be the play-by-play announcer for a Georgia basketball championship game in his career.

Preston, also a member of the Georgia Hoop Circle, is a former NCAA head coach at Kennesaw State and also served as an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina, Notre Dame, Florida and Penn State during his career. While at Florida, Preston was apart of the 2006-2007 National Championship team coaching staff under former head coach and current Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. Preston is in his second season of announcing high school basketball.