GHSA State Championship Previews Pt. 1
7A: Norcross vs. Berkmar
The Gwinnett County region 7-7A rivals meet for a fourth time this season, this time with the state championship on the line. Berkmar has won the first three matchups this season, two in the regular season and one in the region championship by a combined nine points. Senior PG Jameel Rideout (Pictured) and senior big man & Ole Miss signee Malique Ewin have been spectacular in the state tournament on both ends of the floor and will be two main factors for the Patriots in this one. Norcross has been led by junior PG London Johnson & senior forward Jerry Deng, who have scored the ball well throughout the playoffs. With the track record between these two teams, expect a hard-nosed style game where buckets will be well-earned.
6A: Buford vs. Grovetown
The style matchup between Buford & Grovetown aims to be a very fun one, with a fast pace and a lot of offensive firepower. Grovetown survived the toughest quadrant in the tournament and maybe across all classifications, getting huge wins over Alexander & Wheeler, and then defeating Langston Hughes at UWG to advance to Macon. Malik Ferguson, Frankquon Sherman, & Markel Freeman have been a dynamic trio all year long and have each had great moments in the tournament. Similarly, Buford has also survived a tough route to the championship, with wins at Statesboro, at Carrollton, and against Sequoyah. The Wolves are also led by a terrific trio in Alahn Sumler, Jaylon Taylor, and Malachi Brown, who all went for 19+ points in the win over Sequoyah in the Final Four.
5A: Eagles Landing vs. Tri-Cities
We have become accustomed to seeing these two teams make deep runs through the state tournament, and this year is no different with them colliding in Macon for the 5A title. This matchup will be all about the guards. The matchup between Eagles Landing's David Thomas, Jordan Fordyce, & AJ Barnes and Tri-Cities guards Kory Mincy and Kennesaw State signee Simeon Cottle will be the difference maker in this one. Tri-Cities bigs Ryan Mathieu & William Norwood could be x-factors here as they are strong on the glass and can both protect the rim, which will help against an Eagles Landing side that can really get to the rim and score the ball at a high clip.
4A: Spencer vs. Westover
With two teams with only five losses combined, this one should be a battle for the 4A state title. Westover makes the trip up to Macon from Albany led by seniors Effrin Smith & Keshay Walton as well as junior Kemari Leverette and have tons of athleticism and versatility. Spencer is led by junior wing/forward Tycen McDaniels, who is one of Georgia's better players outside the Atlanta metro in 2023, as well as some quick guards Wydarious Scott & Randall Dicon. Expect a lot of toughness and speed out of this game.