Best First Round Matchup: Douglas County vs. Winder Barrow
This one features two senior-led teams, who both have outstanding players in the frontcourt. Douglas County forward and Lander commit Omarion Smith was the Region 5 POY and is one of the state’s best rebounders. He will have his hands full with the Winder Barrow frontcourt of Isaiah Nelson-Ododa and Wyatt Fricks, who both bring great size, skill, and athleticism. Douglas County senior wing Omari Fonteno and his scoring ability from the wing could be the x-factor in this one
Best Player Matchup: Gaddis Heath (Pictured) vs. Tre Grane
These two guards can flat out fill it up, both averaging over 20 points per game on the season. Heath was the POY in Region 4 and had a big stock-boosting season in his first year at Westlake. At an athletic 6-foot-4, he can be a matchup problem and has a lot in his arsenal to put points on the board. On the other side, Northside Warner Robins senior guard Tre Grane is a physical bucket getter who is always in attack mode. One thing is for sure: he will play unafraid and aggressive.
Best Look-Ahead Game: Wheeler vs. Lanier
The defending 6A Runner Up, Lanier, could take on the defending 7A Champions, Wheeler, in the second round. The Longhorns are led by a good group of seniors in Andrew McConnell (James Madison signee), Makai Vassell, and Iajah Phillips who will be hungry to avenge last year’s state title game loss. Wheeler has a big time group of seniors in Kaleb Washington (Dayton signee), JaHeim Hudson (FGCU signee), and Max Harris with sophomore Isaiah Collier running the show. This one would be a battle and one of the best games of the year in 6A.
Biggest Storyline: Can Scoot Add to His Resume?
Kell junior guard Scoot Henderson has taken a huge leap into his stardom and furthered his brand over the last 12 months. A state championship would continue that leap even more. Last season, the Longhorns came up short in the Final Four with a loss to the eventual state champions, Dutchtown. However, they look prime to make a run this season and are playing very good basketball entering the playoffs.
Sleeper Team to Make a Run: Statesboro
The Blue Devils have been one of Georgia’s best stories this year under head coach Keith Legree. After the passing of longtime legendary coach Lee Hill, Statesboro has been fantastic on the court that now bears his name. Junior guard Albert Mikell can really score the ball and the Devils have a really good group of young guys that play hard and fearless. They will be a really tough out in this tournament.
Most Likely to Make a Name: Jayce Nathaniel
The Lanier freshman big man has all of the tools to be one of Georgia’s better players in the class of 2024. While he may not always appear on Lanier’s top scorers, he does a lot to help them win games and has made strides from the beginning of the year until now. This could be the start of him becoming a more well-known name in Georgia hoops.