GHSA 5A State Tournament Superlatives
BEST FIRST ROUND MATCHUP: Forest Park vs Whitewater
Forest Park had a really good season with an 11-6 record against a tougher schedule. Junior forward Daniel Pounds established himself as one of the state’s best as did sophomore guard Jaquez Akins, but they lost in the semifinals in the region tournament, which means they’ll go on the road against a tough Whitewater that finished with a 17-11 record.
BEST PLAYER MATCHUP: Dylan Faulkner vs Kelvin Hunter
The matchup between Calhoun and Chapel Hill puts two of the state’s top sophomore forwards in a head-to-head matchup. Faulkner has been a double-double machine this year for Calhoun, while Hunter has shown off his inside-outside game. We’ll probably see this matchup a couple more times before these two prospects graduate.
BEST LOOK-AHEAD GAME: Veterans vs Woodward Academy
Veterans had a terrific season down in middle Georgia and their record remains unblemished. In the second round they could draw the defending 4A state champions, Woodward Academy. A matchup in this one between Veterans junior TJ Grant and Woodward senior & Belmont signee Will Richard would be one of the better matchups that we could see in this postseason.
BIGGEST STORYLINE: Can any 4-seeds make a run?
Looking across the bracket you will see some pretty good teams here that enter the tournament as a 4-seed going on the road to play a 1-seed. It will be interesting to see how many of them can provide scare, if not leave with an outright victory. Hiram and Jonesboro are two to watch here.
SLEEPER TEAM TO MAKE A RUN: Blessed Trinity
When you have a senior guard that can put up points like Jax Bouknight (Pictured) and has the competitive drive he has, you’re going to have a chance every night. There is enough talent around him that Blessed Trinity could make a bit of a run over the next couple weeks.
MOST LIKELY TO MAKE A NAME: Simeon Cottle, Tri-Cities
Tri-Cities is no stranger to making a deep run in the state tournament. Senior guard Peyton Daniels, a Vanderbilt signee, has established himself as a star in the Peach State, but don’t be surprised to see Simeon Cottle leave this postseason with a similar reputation. He’s had a terrific junior season for the Bulldogs.