#OTRHoopsReport: 1st Round Notebook -Feb 21, 2018

Kadarius Johnson of Southwest Dekalb (GA) is one of the top sophomore guards in the Peach State. Photo – Ty Freeman

Atlanta, Ga., – The Georgia high school playoffs began last weekend and a new crew of champions look to be crowned. We take a look back at some individuals who made the biggest impact for their teams in the first round.

Messiah Thompson – North Atlanta (GA) – 2019

North Atlanta has been on a roll this season and their junior point guard has helped wheel them to the second round of the playoffs. Thompson does a good job of advancing the ball in transition off the pass or dribble and if the defense fails too control him he can get to the rim or stop and pop with range behind the arc. He is also a good penetrator with deceptive speed and quickness. He can not only create a shot for himself but can drive, draw and kick to an open teammate with his excellent court vision.

Chase Hunter – Westlake (GA) – 2019

Hunter is a physical presence on the perimeter that is at his best in transition. He can get to the rim by running the floor or rebounding and pushing the ball. He gets to the rim with ease and finishes through contact with his powerful jumping ability. In the half court, he can hit the open mid-range jumper or score off power drives with one or two dribbles. McEachern will have their hands full on Thursday trying to find ways to slow Hunter down. 

Nathan Presnell – Hiram (GA) – 2019

Presnell has steadily improved in the past year and his frame has filled out as well. he is deceptively bouncy and has the ability to score from multiple ways in the paint. He is an above the rim finisher on the break and works the glass on both ends. Shaw can rebound in and out of his area and crashes the offensive class with great urgency when he sprints in from the perimeter. Presnell has plenty of talent and with continued improvement could be one of the hottest names in the peach state this spring and summer.

Mekhail Bethea – Dacula (GA) – 2019

Bethea is an excellent floor general that does a good job of running the team and being productive on a consistent basis. He has excellent point guard instincts and is a good decision maker. He has the ability to make shots from behind the three-point stripe or mid-range area. He is also an excellent penetrator and can drive, draw and kick extremely well. His feel for his surroundings on the floor is very good.

Charles Smith IV – McEachern (GA) – 2019

One of the most effective and efficient shooters in the state, Smith is a legitimate 6-foot-5 wing who has range out to 25-plus feet. When he heats it up he has the ability to go on a run to knock down five or six deep ones in a row no matter how he is guarded. He runs the floor well finding the 3-point line in transition and is more than capable of filling the lane to finish in transition.

Nahiem Allenye – Mountain View (GA) – 2019

He sprints the wing and can get to the rim with his speed and quickness where he is an above the rim finisher. In the half court Alleyne displays good ball handling ability when he slashes to the rim from the wing or along the baseline using his extremely quick first step. He can connect on shots from the mid-range area and behind the arc when given time.

Kadarius Johnson – Southwest Dekalb (GA) – 2020

Southwest Dekalb (GA) is loaded with plenty of talent this year, their sophomore standout Kadarius ‘KD Johnson can put numbers on the board in a hurry. He attacks the rim in transition as well as in the half court with good speed and quickness with the ball. He finishes through contact or with acrobatic athletic plays. He is a dog defensively and applies good ball pressure with his active hands and excellent lateral foot speed in order to control the ball handler. 

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