Lemon Street Classic – Monday Top Notch Dudes
MARIETTA, GA – As always the December calendar stops must include a trip to the Lemon Street Cassic at Marietta HS, and with things busier than ever around town I was able to take in a full day of Monday’s action.
Some top performers from some intriguing intersectional and inter-city matchups.
By: Keith Agran
Christian Anderson Jr | 5-11 | CG | Lovett | 2024
The Michigan-commit had a very entertaining back and forth with Walnut Grove 2024 riser Deston Christian (featured below) and he and his much more balanced and dangerous Lions team emerged 66-60, after 19 pts in the 1H (and 29 for the game) he faced double teams and any myriad of defensive maneuvers in the 2H giving him a chance to show off some of the superb court vision he adds to the dynamic scoring punch we’ve come to know, any tournament setting he’s in he is must-see stuff and continues to prove doubters wrong nightly across all multitudes of media forums.
Deston Christian | 6-5 | SF | Walnut Grove | 2024
It’s fair to say that Christian likely would have emerged on his own talents during the course of the Warriors season but the loss of PG Tyler Jewell on opening night has thrust him further and faster into a prominent role, and grasp it he has as he’s shown off a multi-level scoring game that has made him quickly one of the tougher one-one matchups north of the perimeter, shoots it at a high clip from beyond the arc and even with a burly frame has plenty of burst to get by folks who mark him too closely, stout and assured around the basket he’s rapidly climbing recruiting charts for anyone smart enough to get to the gym or watch his tape.
Blake Wilson | 6-3 | CG | St Pius | 2023
Wilson together with Tulane-bound 6-9 Spencer Elliott give the Golden Lions as good a 1-2 punch as you’ll find across the ATL-Metro, while Elliott is the thunder with his explosiveness off the deck and ability to alter the game defensively Wilson provides the mortar for the brick foundation of another sound and fun to watch Pius crew, within their Princeton-style sets and organized attack Wilson fits the mold perfectly handling the ball as lead man but possessing such a sneaky-good and precise scoring package that he can surprise and dazzle in spots, Hampden-Sydney scored big with this tremendous get.
Marcus Black | 6-7 | SF | Lowndes | 2023
After a summer with Team Parsons that had me mesmerized I was looking forward to black and a good Vikings team headed north again after they also took on the city of ATL back during opening weekend at the DT Invitational, an entertaining and tight loss to St Pius did little to take away from my belief that this team can be a thorn in the 7A playoffs when all cylinders are clicking, Black is such an uber-talented athlete he had several wow moments which turned the tide against the Golden Lions and together with 2025 guard Samuel Shoptaw and senior forward Landon New give this team a trio they can conceivably bank on in big moments.
David Burnett | 6-4 | SG | Buford | 2023
No one would say the loss of a talented player like Malachi Brown to transfer was a blessing for this lineup but for Burnett personally it may have been, taking on much more of the scoring load and showing off the skills to do it has been one of the best revelations of the season’s first two months, built like a Ford truck he can be an overpowering presence at the 2 or slide over easily and play some forward with the smarts and experience of a guy who had a really good summer and has rolled right into the Wolves winter the same, up to 7A is Buford after a run to the finals in 6A last year and this team is still going to be a really tough out in that bracket.
Avante Nichols | 6-3 | SG | McDonough | 2023
After being a highlight two days earlier at Pace’s Playing for a Change fellow senior Da’Avion Thomas had another good showing at Lemons Street’s Day 2 in a close loss to Buford, but the light shone on Nichols who had some great moments and frankly not-so-great moments in the game, but in watching him now the last two years that is kind of what you’re going to live with and thrive with in this player, the energy and fight within him is uncontested but can be over-exuberant even for a senior with his experience, but when push comes to shove I’ll bet on those same traits in a potential Final Four or perhaps championship environment likely producing something big to help them advance.
Jeremiah Edwards | 6-4 | SG | Dutchtown | 2023
Loved seeing southside power teams like McDonough, Eagle’s Landing and the Dawgs come up and continue to take on powers from Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton and Edwards was right back in the thick once again in a down-to-the-wire 1-pt setback to NCCS to top off Monday’s action, the still-available shooting guard was assertive and smooth once again in his multi-level scoring and now as a fully confident senior is leading this deep and talented 5A bunch, their five losses at press time have been to Kell, The Rock (FL), a surging Cedar Grove, South Gwinnett and the Eagles last Monday, no dodging from this south side program.
Gabe Bolden | 6-1 | PG | North Cobb Christian | 2024
The Eagles opened the season unsure if Bolden’s hardship transfer was going to be approved but now fully integrated into the lineup his presence is being felt big time, muscular inside-out senior forward Albert Wilson has consistently been dynamite since game 1 but I think Bolden’s arrival opens up new possibilities as he can take over the ball for you and be a confident scoring point or play off unselfish glue senior CJ Wallace and seriously augment the backcourt versatility options, this team’s best basketball lies ahead.
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 also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
OTR The Opening – Sunday Scene-Stealers
March 24, 2023
OTR’s The Opening – Rising Names To Know
March 23, 2023
OTR’s The Opening – Backcourt Gems
March 22, 2023