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GHSA State Tournament: Round One Notes

· Newton cruised to a first-round win over Colquitt County on Wednesday night behind it’s backcourt trio of Stephon Castle (pictured), TJ Clark and Marcus Whitlock. That group along with Qua Brown and Miokaye Grant in the paint give the Rams a real chance to beat anyone this year. Castle is the playmaker at 6-foot-6 that can also scored when called upon. Clark and Whitlock get after it defensively and can both score in transition as well as from three-point range. (Dan McDonald)

· For me, Milton sophomore guard Kanaan Carlyle has been the most impressive player in the state down the stretch. He’s really been in a zone with his scoring, putting out high tallies consistently. In a first round win over Mill Creek, he went for 33 points including some tough jumpers and a couple of monster dunks. He has truly cemented himself among the top players nationally in 2023. (Carter Wilson)

· Eddie Martin has coached some of the best players to come out of the Peach State in the past 20 years. Junior forward Jaylon Taylor might be his next top prospect to make a big impact at the next level. He has the length and athleticism college coaches drool over and his perimeter skills have started to catch up. He has a very smooth jumper out to three-point range. (DM)

· Heritage Conyers has a duo with as much firepower as any duo in the state. Seniors James White (Ole Miss Signee) and RJ Noord (Elon Signee) combined for 61 points in an upset win at Statesboro, a very tough place to travel to and come out with a win. Their second round matchup against Westlake should provide some fireworks. (CW)

· Jaden Harris played like a senior on a mission in the Norcross win over Denmark. Early on it was his three-point stroke as he hit four of them in the first half, but he also knocked down some clutch free throws late and played some really good defense. He’s one of the best available prospects in Georgia’s 2021 class and reported a recent offer from USC. (DM)

· I was thoroughly impressed with Centennial in their first round win over South Cobb, who was one of the hotter teams coming into the AAAAAA tournament. Seniors Kyle Duncan and Logan Turner provide a lot of versatility and can both really score and create. Sophomore guard Mansir Williamson also provides a big boost in the backcourt and plays beyond his years. (CW)

· Gwinnett County was dominant in the first round of the AAAAAAA classification. Out of the sixteen teams remaining, half are Gwinnett County schools (CW).


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