“Deft Handle” – Bracket Look-Ins 6A and 5A

CUMMING, GA – Changing from Sage Speaks to “Deft Handle”, more playoff bracket peeks, this time two more deep groups of 32 with 6A and 5A.

By: Keith Agran



Zocko Littleton Jr

Without question a first-round game featuring Osborne and Shiloh excites, and will unfortunately take one of the top 10 teams in the classification out early. Shiloh will host, and is coming off a Region title where yet another veteran crew around town showed their mettle. With 6 seniors featured in their first 7 guys, you have to like their experience level led by PG DJ Leak and wing Trevon Payton. The Cards stumbled a bit down the stretch after winning 18 of their first 19, and then dropping two in the Regions landed them at a 4-seed. Still, a team that features Appalachian State-commit Zocko Littleton Jr and breakout senior forward Cris Carroll at the forefront is no walkover regardless of seeding #, and the winner could be in good shape as this section of the bracket is not quite as stacked as others.


Playing their best basketball of the year behind senior guard Kyle Keener, Sequoyah sits in an interesting spot. They must tread carefully in their first-round game with a feisty Paulding County club, but past that they’re in a good position to get through to the Elite 8. That would set up a potentially terrific showdown with a good Tucker team that has been flying under the radar, but fellow seniors Dylan Wolle and Fisher Mitchell have been consistently solid alongside Keener and the Chiefs are feeling so good right now off their Region crown.


Brasen James, Evans >> Running mate Devin Story can be equally dangerous, but the recently signed future Reinhardt guard can light you up in spurts and their portion of the bracket is manageable.

Josiah Lawson, Tucker >> The skilled forward sophomore is surrounded by a deep cast of athletic veterans who make for a defensively suffocating and athletic mix, but it’s his offense that could carry them.

Malik Ferguson

Malik Ferguson, Grovetown >> Like a World Cup Group Of Death, this upper right quadrant of the bracket is scary stacked, but among the Warriors terrific group of juniors it could be Ferguson’s versatility that gets them out of there.

Jared Russo, River Ridge >> Captured Region POY in a deep region of talent, and has come up with some big performances, he’ll need that same focus nightly if the Knights can fulfill the promise of their strong season.


In a room full of media and coaches at Hawks-Naismith at Norcross, I said Grovetown was a sleeper team to win it all. Quizzical looks followed, but even with another contender in Alexander set for a possible Round 2 matchup and defending champ Wheeler lurking in the upper half, I’ll probably still get puzzled looks but I’m sticking with the Warriors.



Eamonn Kenah

With a big-time home-court advantage, St. Pius sits primed for a run, but they get a .500 Blessed Trinity team that has been battle-hardened by a really competitive slate. Despite 25 wins and a consistency level that would have any program envious, there always seems to be a chip on the shoulder mentality with the Golden Lions. There’s star power yet again with the likes of recent Univ. of Chicago-commit Eamonn Kenah and juniors Spencer Elliott and Blake Wilson, and this is a team that deserves its due and is fully capable of winning it all. Juniors Brigham Rogers, James Connolly and Cole Weaver are the headliners for the Titans, and the Rogers-Elliott interior battle between two guys at or near 6-9 should be a fascinating one.


I do like Pius’s side of the draw and their chances there, but another one of my sleeper picks from the preseason sits in a solid spot and that’s Chapel Hill. The Region champs draw Greenbrier from outside Augusta and cannot take them lightly in Round 1, and lurking in the bottom half is the always dangerous Tri-Cities, but on paper the talent, and now the draw, is there to make a real run to Macon behind senior uber-athlete wing Chi Shannon and junior guard Khirus Doucet.


Mason Lewis, Woodland-Stockbridge (pictured above) >> A real riser in the 2024 class, he’s surrounded by very capable pieces, but it’s his inside-out versatility and motor that can potentially lead to a deep run for the Wolfpack.

Rashuan Williams, Warner Robins >> Became an instant fan of this team and Williams after seeing them go all the way up to Cedar Shoals and get a big-time quality road win, he can flat out shoot it with veteran help around him and pair of youngsters to watch in sophomore Cam Perkins and freshman Gabriel Jacobs.

Kory Mincy

Kory Mincy, Tri-Cities >> Simeon Cottle is the “star” attraction, and deservedly so after a tremendous career in East Point, but it’s Mincy for this year’s Bulldogs version and all the things he can do for you at both ends that has always impressed me so much.

Blake Wilson, St. Pius >> The upper left quadrant is Pius’s section if they’re at the top of their game, and Wilson’s addition this year was huge after some key graduation losses as the junior CG can score, distribute, and defend.


Ironic that defending champs and overall #1 seed Eagle’s Landing didn’t come up in any of the above categories, and that’s because they’re quite simply the undisputed best team in the classification and despite some quality challengers my pick to repeat.

Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019 and has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at keithagran1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.

Recommended Posts