Five Player Matchups to Watch in GHSA Second Round
The GHSA State Playoffs pick back up on Wednesday and Thursday night with several really good games around the Peach State. Inside those games, our LakePoint Hoops staff has identified five individual matchups that should be a ton of fun to watch.
Dillon Hunter (Westlake) vs Caleb Byrd (Newton)
This will be a fun matchup of guards with similar styles but different sizes. Dillon Hunter, who has had a great sophomore year and ranks as one of the top guards in the 2022 class nationally, is a really well-rounded guard with some size, strength and athleticism at 6-foot-3. Byrd, who stands about 5-foot-11 and signed to play at Georgia Southern next year, also stuffs the stat sheet with points, assists, rebounds and steals. This should be one of the more competitive games around this week and could come down to which of these two prospects comes up with the bigger night.
Chris Youngblood (East Coweta) vs RJ Godfrey (North Gwinnett)
This is another matchup of one of the top sophomores in the state taking on one of the top seniors in the state. Youngblood (Pictured), who won 17-under Battle For Georgia MVP last July and signed to play at Kennesaw State, has had a terrific high school career in helping put East Coweta on the map. He’s not just a complete scorer on the offensive end, but he’s usually taking on the other team’s best player defensively as well. In this case, that means sophomore wing R.J. Godfrey, who is also a versatile, athletic scorer and has had a strong finish to the season helping the Bulldogs win the region championship.
Ezra Ausar (Shiloh) vs Jaheim Hudson (Wheeler)
If you like watching tough, physical, athletic big men, this is the matchup for you. Both Shiloh and Wheeler’s teams play with an edge, but nobody on either roster exemplifies that more than Ausar and Hudson. Both of them are looking to rip down the rim any time they are within the striking distance of the basket and both of them control the paint on the defensive. Enjoy this one if you find yourself in Marietta on Thursday night.
R.J. Noord/James White (Heritage-Conyers) vs A.J. White/Cam Sheffield (Chattahoochee)
If you’re looking to watch some of the better scorers in the state, consider heading over to North Fulton for Chattahoochee versus Heritage-Conyers. Junior point guard A.J. White will have a shot at hitting 2,000 career points next year, but he’s also a terrific passer, which helps senior wing Cam Sheffield, who has signed with Rice, to be the versatile scorer he is. Junior wing James White has had a monster junior year for Heritage averaging over 20 points per game and he’s flanked by a really talented junior guard in R.J. Noord. This should be high-scoring, fast-paced game.
Jax Bouknight (Blessed Trinity) vs Trae Brown (Americus-Sumter)
A matchup of two under-the-radar guards in this loaded state of hoops prospects will take place down in South Georgia on Thursday night. Jax Bouknight has done a terrific job running Blessed Trinity’s offense this year while also creating his own, but he and the Titans are in for a really tough matchup in a hostile environment at undefeated Americus-Sumter. Bouknight will likely be matched up with senior guard Trae Brown, one of the most underrated guards in the state. The 6-foot-2 combo guard is a scrappy defender, an efficient scorer, and a great floor general for the Panthers.