The first set of second round games in the GHSA State Tournament took place on Wednesday night, and there were standout performances all over the Peach State. Our staff shares what you need to know from Wednesday night and what to look for in tonight’s action.
BIG NIGHT FROM AJ WHITE
Down 34-29 at the half to Heritage-Conyers, Chattahoochee junior point guard A.J. White showed the poise of a battle-tested junior point guard who has started every game of his high school career. He calmly hit big shots throughout the second half and went 4-for-4 on free throws in the last minute to help the Cougars advance with a 73-68 win. White tallied 30 points and six assists.
It wasn’t all White though for Chattahoochee. Rice signee and senior wing Cam Sheffield scored 17 points and ripped down some big rebounds in traffic. Unsigned senior big man David McDaniel scored some timely baskets, but it was his rim protection (probably 10 blocks) that was his biggest impact.
For Heritage-Conyers, junior guards James White and R.J. Noord both scored 24 points to combine for 48 of the team’s 68 points. Clemson had an assistant in the building to check out White.
GRAYSON KEEPS ROLLING
Grayson has been one of the top teams in the state and one of the best in the country this season with a 28-1 overall record against a tough schedule. The Rams rolled past a tough Pebblebrook team on Wednesday night, 67-54. South Florida signee Caleb Murphy (Pictured) led the way with 25 points along with 5 assists. Mississippi State signee Deivon Smith recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists as did junior big man Ian Schieffelin with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Winthrop signee Toneari Lane also chipped in with 16 points.
Clemson, Xavier and Charlotte had assistant coaches into watch Schieffelin as well as Pebblebrook standout juniors Kaleb Washington, Danny Stubbs, Jamall Clyce and Tyler Shirley.
Grayson’s win sets up a huge matchup of Gwinnett County powers as the Rams will host Norcross on Wednesday after the Blue Devils defeated Hillgrove 67-27.
MILTON MOVES INTO QUARTERFINALS BEHIND BRUCE THORNTON
Milton’s young team that starts two freshman and two sophomores has steadily improved all year against a challenging schedule and now the Eagles are in the quarterfinals waiting to play the winner of Newton and Westlake tonight. Star sophomore point guard Bruce Thornton scored 25 points along with his seven assists and four rebounds. Unsigned senior guard Evan Hurst also chipped in with 22 points and sophomore guard Devin Ferrell tallied 18 points.
Speaking of Thornton, it was a big night for him off the court as well. Purdue sent an assistant coach down to see him. It’s third trip of the year for the Boilermakers coaching staff. Cincinnati is the most recent offer for the four-star prospect and join a list that includes Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Xavier and more. Thornton also received an invite to participate in the USA Basketball mini camp in April.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES FROM WEDNESDAY
North Cobb Christian, who participated in the LakePoint Tip Off back in November, advanced to the quarterfinals on Wednesday with an 84-44 victory over Riverside Military Academy. Without 16U Battle For Georgia MVP Robbie Armbrester, who is out with a broken arm, Therrell defeated Augusta-area power Laney 65-56 behind big nights from Ra’Sean Frederick and Roman Son, who both played for the 17-under Battle For Georgia champions Georgia Knights. Mt. Pisgah now sits with a 21-7 record on the season after a 65-47 win over W.D. Mohammed behind 17 points from Chase Tucker and 14 points from Jojo Peterson.
THURSDAY NIGHT’S TOP GAMES
If you’re looking to take in some high school basketball on Thursday night, we have you covered as there are plenty of quality games in the Peach State.
· Sequoyah (23-5) at Richmond Hill (24-4) 6:00 PM
· Blessed Trinity (18-9) at Americus-Sumter (28-0) 6:00 PM
· Kell (24-5) at Warner Robins (22-4) 6:30 PM
· Brunswick (19-8) at South Cobb (26-2) 6:30 PM
· Westlake (10-19) at Newton (20-9) 7:00 PM
· Allatoona (18-10) at Tucker (25-3) 7:00 PM
· Shiloh (24-3) at Wheeler (20-7) 7:00 PM
· Stephenson (18-10) at Lanier (23-5) 7:30 PM
· East Coweta (19-9) at North Gwinnett (17-11) 7:30 PM
· Langston Hughes (20-8) at Valdosta (24-3) 7:30 PM
· Lithonia (25-3) at Veterans (25-3) 7:30 PM