AAAAAAA State Tournament Superlatives



Best Game

Cherokee vs. Westlake

If you like good programs with a lot history, this is a game for you. Not to mention that it’s a game loaded with college prospects as well. Cherokee comes in at 23-4 and winner of Region 4 led by junior duo Taihland Owens & Elijah Tucker and senior Zack Vickers. Owens and Tucker both have high major potential while Vickers eclipsed the 1,000-point mark earlier this season. While Westlake won just nine games this year, they will always play tough, and with sophomore PG Dillon Hunter leading the way, they will be a threat in this one.


Best Look Ahead

Grayson vs. Norcross

We all know the look ahead is tough, and these teams are going to have to put in a lot of work to get to this point, but the potential third round matchup between these Gwinnett powerhouses would be a must-see. Grayson’s senior trio of Deivon Smith (Pictured), Caleb Murphy, and Toneari Lane have been hungry for a state title all year, while Norcross features one of the biggest and toughest front lines in the country with JT Thor and Josh Taylor. If this matchup comes to fruition, be prepared to be lined up at the door a couple of hours early.


Best Player Matchup

Sharife Cooper vs. George Pridgett

We all know all of the accomplishments that Sharife Cooper has attained in his career at McEachern. The Auburn-bound floor general is the top guard in the state and one of the most dangerous players with the ball in his hands that you’ll find in the country. On the other side of the floor is Roswell’s Pridgett, who comes in a little less heralded but still very talented. One of the most under-recruited players in Georgia’s 2021 class, he has the ability to play the role of disruptor, although his work will be cut out for him with Cooper eyeing another state title to add to his resume.


Most Intriguing Storyline

Bracket Imbalance

Is there any sort of fairness to the setup for the state tournament? This has been a topic of discussion for a long time, but this year it sits on the forefront of controversy. In Georgia’s top classification, you could argue that some teams that have earned their seeding in the regular season and region tournaments face a much more difficult road than others who have done the same. Think about it this way, Grayson lost one game all year and would have to run through a potential gauntlet of Discovery, Pebblebrook, and Norcross to earn a spot in the Final Four.


Most Likely to Make A Name

Kent Garard, Camden County

Down in the corner of southeast Georgia lies a sleeping giant in Camden County, who have been one of the best teams in Georgia’s top classification all year. They are led by 6-foot-5 senior Kent Garard, who could make one final push for a state title run and boost his already very accomplished career.


Sleeper Team to Make A Run

Newton

The Rams are no stranger to winning games over the past few years and head coach Charlemagne Gibbons has a career filled with big wins. With senior guards Caleb Byrd and Shawn Smith as well as junior Jordan Marshall and some good underclassmen in Qua Brown and TJ Clark, can put up points in a hurry and are primed to make a run in the coming weeks. The bracket sets up pretty nicely as well.