GHSA State Tournament Outlook – February 12, 2020
Grayson (GA) has dominated the competition this season. Photo – Ty Freeman
Atlanta, Ga– The Georgia High School Association’s state basketball playoffs get underway this week and teams from seven classifications will begin their quests to become state champions. On the Radar takes a look at a couple favorites, dark-horses, and deep sleepers in the 5A, 6A and 7A classifications. We will preview the remaining classifications Thursday.
GHSA State Playoffs: 7A Outlook
Theirs to lose
As mentioned in our preseason roundtable, Grayson entered the 2019-20 season as the favorite in Georgia’s highest classification and lived up to the hype finishing 26-1. With a star-studded roster that is clicking on all cylinders heading into postseason play, anything less than a state title would more than likely leave a sour taste. The Rams are nationally ranked and battle tested, so expect to see them hoist the trophy come March.
Key players:Deivon Smith (Mississippi State), Caleb Murphy (South Florida) Toneari Lane (Winthrop) and Ian Schieffelin.
Glue Guys: Joshua Butts
There are several teams in this classification with enough talent to make a serious run at the crown, but Berkmar is peaking at the right time and has the personnel to match up with anybody. The red hot Patriots won 14-of-15 games to end the season, so don’t be surprised if the Patriots burst your brackets.
Key Players: Jalen DeLoach, Malique Ewin, Elijah Wood
Glue Guys: Camden Blount, Jermahri Hill
GHSA State Playoffs: 6A Outlook
New Kids on the Block
South Cobb High School enters the postseason riding on a 7-game winning streak, 25-2 record and a Region Championship. The Eagles has dominated in-state competition rather handedly and we don’t see that trend ending anytime in the foreseeable future.The Eagles may be the most talented team in Georgia’s second largest classification.
Key Players:Emon Washington, Zocko Littleton Jr., Travis Burrus
Glue Guys:Jamaal Rideout, Robert Dix, Raymond Baka.
Not So Fast
The reigning AAAAAAA state champions Tri- Cities is back to defend their crown. Two words explain the Bulldogs, Payton Daniels! The junior guard can get hot at the drop of a dime and that happens more often than not. Daniels has multiple games where he has scored over 40 points this season. However, other players will need to step up over the next five games if Tri-Cities wants to repeat as 6A state champions. Who will it be?
Key Players:Peyton Daniels
Glue Guys:Demetrius Rivers, Juilius Lymon
GHSA State Playoffs: 5A Outlook
Warner Robins just won its seventh consecutive region championship and are no strangers to postseason success. Over the past six years the Demons have advanced to the state championship game (2014 runner-up),semifinals (2015 final four),second round (2016 sweet sixteen), quarterfinals (2017 elite eight),state championship game (2018 champions),and quarterfinals (2019 elite eight) and are positioned to make another deep chase.
Key Players:KeShaun Houser, Anthony Dillard
It’s an illusion
Lithonia enters as a four seed after stumbling in the region tournament. The Bulldogs (24-3) were ranked No.1 in the state for most of the season and look to get back on track at Hiram in the first round. Despite having to hit the road every round, do not be taken aback if Lithonia reaches the final destination and eventually snags the title. Beware of the road warriors!
Key Players:Eric Gaines
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