“Deft Handle” – Road-Wise Roundup Pt 2
ATLANTA, GA – Following the opening weekend DT Invitational at Berkmar Nov. 12, hit the road for a variety of stops between then and Thanksgiving weekend.
Here are some roundup thoughts from the treks, now Part 2, the final 3 games here coming from the Centennial Thanksgiving Classic:
By: Keith Agran
PAULDING COUNTY 65, NORTH COBB CHRISTIAN 66 (11/22/22)
THE SKINNY: Tight one that actually saw NCCS take an 11-point lead into the 4th with the Pats almost snatching it away late.
PAULDING COUNTY NOTES: Guard trio of seniors Frantzyr Chardavoine, Javonne Williams and Khalil Jones is so tough at both ends, with all kinds of speed, some power and plenty of crafty scoring ability from beyond the arc and in. When big guys Nytrez Philpot and George Shumpert get rolling, this will not be a team you’ll want to see.
NORTH COBB CHRISTIAN NOTES: With 2024 transfer Gabe Bolden ineligible, senior CJ Wallace slides into full-time PG duties, meaning even more to do scoring-wise from forward Albert Wilson (pictured with ball). The 6-5 senior was tough to deal with all game (30 pts), mostly facing the basket and using his soft touch from multiple ranges to do his damage.
SOUTH GWINNETT 69, DULUTH 35 (11/22/22)
THE SKINNY: This one was a runaway for the Comets who went out 24-0 in the 1st quarter before Duluth could get on the board.
SOUTH GWINNETT NOTES: This SG team is loaded and has a bonafide star in forward Ansar Osman (20 pts). At 6-6, the senior roams the perimeter knocking down 3’s at a high clip, but can also get into the paint with a slithery wing attack game. The team defense is among the ATL-Metro’s best, spurred by more strong veteran senior play from guards Justin Redmond (pictured), Jacob Washington, Kendal Walker and Jet Horne.
DULUTH NOTES: Down a pair of starters certainly wasn’t a good recipe against this good an SGHS team, but the Wildcats never gave in and fought all the way through. Sophomore PG David Culbreath-Martin continues to show he’s a star on the rise, and missing starters Takata Murphy and Joel Iberosi are lineup keys that were too hard to duplicate.
SEQUOYAH 53, MT PISGAH 70 (11/22/22)
THE SKINNY: Sequoyah star Preston Parker went down with an ankle injury one night earlier, depriving the Chiefs of their best player, and Pisgah didn’t let some typically spirited Chiefs runs overtake their resiliency to keep them at bay.
SEQUOYAH NOTES: The Chiefs will rely heavily of course on UAH-commit Parker after the 2-4 weeks it may take for him to return, but the likes of seniors Tyler Hammond and Stephen Galvin, junior Sam Ayinla and rising sophomore Brendan Tousignaut are among those who are more than capable of picking up slack.
MT PISGAH NOTES: The star attraction is the dynamite sophomore Micah Tucker, who plays with such a supreme combo of smarts and skill, making him easily one of my favorite players in the Metro. But there are other pieces for sure that can do damage. Senior 6-8 transfer Grant Randall gives them serious activity up front and above the rim, and with his shooting ability too is upping his recruiting profile to must-see. And the deep stable of guards in support of Tucker includes all-go, energy-guy junior Tyson Pittman and good-looking up-and-coming sophomore Cedric Haynes.
TOWERS 56, CENTENNIAL 94 (11/22/22)
THE SKINNY: Towers came out of the gate fired up and took a 21-20 1st quarter lead to the horn, with Centennial’s 2nd unit coming off the bench quickly to actually provide a spark to make it that close. Once the starters returned in quarter two, the message was received and the Knights went to work.
CENTENNIAL NOTES: It’s the pace and running that looks to be a staple of this year’s Knights crew, as they have some horses who can get out and make things happen in space. Three highly capable guards set the tone, senior PG Jonah Hibbert, junior SG Kennedy Warren and rising sophomore KJ Garris can all go on scoring runs and thrive when things are fast. Proof of the depth of possibilities was in that 5-on-5-off 1st quarter that saw the new five bodies all chip in.
TOWERS NOTES: none
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
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