GHSA State Tournament 7A Superlatives
Best First Round Matchup
McEachern vs. South Gwinnett: McEachern is one of, if not the, most talented team in the state with high major Division I players all over the floor. They have size, they have guards, they're deep, and they can score with guys like Ace Bailey, Jamichael Davis, Moses Hipps, JD Palm, and Jalen Hilliard. They drew a South Gwinnett team who is battle tested, always play hard, and won't back down from a challenge. Senior guard Justin Redmond and senior wing Ansar Osman could make this one tough.
Player to Watch
Jacob Wilkins, Parkview: We've seen Wilkins transition to an alpha dog as one of Georgia's best sophomores. This will be his first big exposure to postseason basketball, and the draw is pretty favorable for Parkview. He's going to be a tough matchup for anyone, and this could be another way for him to make a statement this season.
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While he's a star on the football field and a Power Five national recruit, Carrollton 2024 wing Caleb Odom has had a great season, helping lead Carrollton to a region championship. He's a big time athlete at 6-foot-6 that can make some thunderous finishes above the rim. Him and his Carrollton team don't get enough love in the 7A conversation, and this is their chance to to do that.
Best Player Matchup
Pebblebrook will have to make a long trip down to Lowndes, which will provide a great atmosphere as well as a great player matchup. Falcons senior forward and Dayton commit Jaiun Simon will have to bring his A-Game in this one to get a win. He will go up against Lowndes senior wing/forward Marcus Black, who can put up some big numbers and is a very electric athlete at 6-foot-5.
It's hard not to start looking forward to an Elite 8 matchup between McEachern & Wheeler. If you asked hoop heads around the state, they would tell you that these are the two best teams in Georgia's highest classification and it would have spectacular player matchups and Division I prospects across the floor. If it happens, get your tickets early.
Sleeper That Could Make Noise
Don't be surprised if you see Cherokee make a run here. They're loaded with seniors that have been through the gauntlet before and have loads of toughness. Tayden Owens, Cam Pope, & Mason Bennett make for a very good backcourt and Dastin Hart provides a great presence up front. Throw in lightning quick sophomore guard Lawrence Sanford and you have a team that can do something here.