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GHSA State Tournament 4A & 3A Superlatives

Best First Round Matchup

McDonough vs. Holy Innocents: These two teams are two of the better and most talented teams in 4A. McDonough has been to the Final Four in each of the past two seasons and have a great senior class led by Da'Avion Thomas, Amon McDowell, and Avantae Nichols as well as sophomore Nigel Thomas. Holy Innocents is led by Caleb Wilson, one of the best sophomores in the state, as well as Will Hopkins. This one should be highly competitive.

Player to Watch

Micah Smith, Sandy Creek: We've been very impressed by what Smith has done this season, and the postseason gives him a chance to put a championship on his resume as Sandy Creek should be a contender in 3A. He's one of the best players in the bracket and has the ability to really make an impact on the landscape of this postseason tournament.

Christian Anderson Jr., Lovett: Anderson is the guy in 4A that can be a total game changer. The Michigan commit is one of the state's best scorers and playmakers and has the ability to put his team on his back as we've seen on numerous occasions this season. Lovett is playing well after winning the region tournament, and he could be a guy that dictates how this bracket plays out.

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Our Dan McDonald got to see Miller Grove in their Region tournament and was very impressed by sophomore guard Xavier Lewis. The 2025 guard is solid both off the catch and off the dribble shooting the ball from the perimeter and has the ability to create for himself and teammates. This could be an opportunity for a coming out party as the Wolverines take on Pace Academy in the first round.

Cedar Grove freshman wing Manny Green has the potential to be a game changer 3A. He's one of the state's best players in 2026, already with big time college offers on the table. He's a great athlete with size and a skill level and he's got a solid opportunity in his first postseason.

Best Player Matchup

Gilmer County taking on Hart County gives us another opportunity at a good frontcourt matchup. Hart County senior forward Tahj Johnson is one of the best unsigned seniors in Georgia and can always put up some big numbers for the Bulldogs. He will go toe to toe with Gilmer sophomore Jackson McVey, who has the size and skill level to be effective against anyone.

Looking Forward

There is the potential in 4A for a second round matchup between Fayette County and Bainbridge, who have been two of the classification's better teams all year, each going over the 20-win mark. Fayette senior guard RJ Kennedy has been one of the state's best scorers all year.

In 3A, while it wouldn't happen until the Final Four, a Sandy Creek vs. Cross Creek game would be another very good one in a previous state championship rematch. Cross Creek have won back to back state titles and will be looking for another. Sandy Creek is one of 3A's most talented teams again this season.

Sleeper That Could Make Noise

Beach is a very dangerous three seed in 3A out of Savannah. While they'll have to be on the road, they have a ton of talent and finished the season at 22-5. Athletic senior wing Shamarrie Hugie has the ability to take over a game, averaging over 20 points per game. Senior wing/forward James Leach is always a hard playing presence all over the floor as well.


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