The field is set, and we are so excited to see how this one plays out. Georgia's highest classification is very high level basketball with a number of teams that can win it all and a number of players that can make their mark. Here are some playoff superlatives:
Best First Round Game: Newton vs. McEachern
Both of these teams have had extremely bright moments throughout the season, and this game should provide some fireworks. McEachern makes the trip east of Atlanta to take on Newton with their great senior backcourt, Braden Sparks & Mike Jacobs as well as super-sophomore Ace Bailey. Newton's 2023 group has been great all year with the likes of UConn commit Stephon Castle, Indiana commit Jakai Newton, and Georgia commit Qua Brown. If you're looking for a difference maker here, it could come in the form of Newton 2023 guard Marcus Whitlock, who can put up points and explosive plays in a hurry.
Four Seed To Watch: Etowah
After finishing second in Region 5 during the regular season, the Eagles had a disappointing region tournament. However, they will be looking to bounce back and have the firepower to do so. Junior PG Brandon Rechsteiner is one of the state's best floor generals and playmakers, and he is surrounded with guys who can flat out shoot the ball in junior Mason Etter and sophomore Dimitri Angelakos, among others.
Best Potential Matchup: Pebblebrook vs. Milton
This would be a monster of a quarterfinal matchup between two of the state's best. Sure, these two teams met in early Decemeber in a lopsided win for Pebblebrook, but those circumstances were very different. Both of these teams have incredible backcourts that speak for themselves and each have a major anchor in their frontcourt with Pebblebrook junior Jaiun Simon and Milton junior LT Overton, who missed the early season matchup with football still playing. If this happens, get your tickets early.
Sleeper Team to Make A Run: Archer
Archer checks off a lot of the boxes that you like to see in sleeper teams in the postseason: they are battle-tested, senior-led, and tough as nails. They are led by senior guard trio Christian Drummer, Damoni Harrison, and Major Freeman, and have given close games to some of the state's best teams. Their hard-playing and pressure style of play could cause problems for a number of teams.
Player You May Not Know Yet: Luke Flynn
Walton was the winner of the region tournament in Region 3 for the second year in a row, but are still probably relatively unnoticed by the casual Atlanta hoops fan. They are led by sophomore PG Luke Flynn, who can do it all from the point position and is very productive. Our staff has loved what they have seen from him in his first two high school seasons and think he is one of Georgia's better underclass players.
Prediction: Your Guess is as Good as Mine
There are a number of teams who could potentially make a run and win this one. Everyone in Georgia will have their own take on this one and it should be a solid debate as to who the favorite should be. Between Pebblebrook, Milton, Berkmar, Grayson, McEachern, Newton, North Gwinnett, and Norcross, the state has no shortage of powerhouse programs that wouldn't cause any surprise if they lift the hardware in Macon at the end of it all.