Battle in the Peach: Prolific Prep, Milton guards, Evan Sterck headline Friday
MARIETTA, Ga.—The annual Battle in the Peach has tipped off. One of the more star-studded events on the Georgia high school basketball calendar every year, Friday’s opening three games lived up to expectations.
Coaches from Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Georgia Tech and SMU were on hand throughout the evening.
Here are some notes from the event’s opening day.
Prolific Prep is as good as it gets
For followers of the national basketball scene at this level, this will be obvious, but Prolific Prep lived up to their billing as one of the very best teams in the country.
They picked up an 80-45 win over Raleigh (NC) Word of God, and I don’t think anyone watching would have told you they played their best game.
Prolific looked like they were in cruise control the entire way, but their many stars showed flashes of what makes them so touted.
Every conversation about this team starts with AJ Dybansta, the No. 1 player in the 2025 class.
Dybansta was outstanding defensively on Friday night. He got stops at will and made life difficult for an undersized Word of God team (by comparison). Dybansta used his length and lateral mobility to clog any open space and create deflection.
He has nice moments offensively as well. Dybansta made athletic plays at the rim and hit some jumpers, but his defense was the highlight of his game on Friday.
Prolific has another No. 1 player on their roster. Tyran Stokes is the top dog early in the 2026 class, and he showed why in spurts.
Stokes is a massive person, and he has enough ballskills to create plays off the bounce. He has a strong build, so he can be a bit of a bully down on drives, and his athleticism pairs well with his strength.
One play saw Stokes drive from the wing, bring the ball over a defender, and emphatically slam the ball through the basket.
He’s only a sophomore and makes some youthful mistakes here and there, but man, he’s talented.
Two familiar faces in Georgia Derrion Reid and Aiden Sherrell had their bright moments as well.
Reid—formerly at Grovetown (GA)—just made plays across the board. He showed his vision with some nice passes, he flew in from the wing for rebounds, and he caught alley-oops for dunks.
Sherrell—formerly at Norcross (GA)—is committed to Alabama, and he looks like a Nate Oats forward. At 6-foot-10, Sherrell can be that big stretch four that Oats loves to employ. He showed some of his shooting touch and made plays around the basket as well.
All of that, and there are still five-stars and four-stars on the roster that will have their big games this season.
In other words, they have a couple of dudes over at Prolific Prep.
Milton’s backcourt pushes them over the edge
Milton (GA) picked up a 68-65 win over Greenforest in overtime after mounting a late comeback to overcome a double-digit deficit.
The Eagles were led by their guards Anthony Gause (2024) and Josh Dixon (2025) who combined for 55 points.
Gause was the major catalyst behind the team’s late surge. He got going late in the third quarter and rattled off bucket after bucket to get the Eagles out of their hole.
Gause is one of the best available prospects in the state, and he showed off his ability to score from all levels during his microwave moment.
Dixon had it working early for Milton and helped them late as well. He’s a bucket. He always has been.
Quick and slippery, Dixon was able to get to his spots well, and he nailed tough finish after tough finish. Like Gause, Dixon showed that he can score from all over the floor. His jumper worked well for him from the mid-range to the 3-point line.
This is easily one of the best guard tandems in Georgia.
Evan Sterck opens the weekend with a bang
In the opening game of a busy basketball weekend in Georgia, 2025 guard Evan Sterck led Gainesville (FL) the Rock to a win 28 points on six-made 3-pointers.
Sterck scored over half of the team’s 55 points, and he changed the complexion of the game with his shooting.
The Rock and 1 of 1 Academy (NC) traded leads throughout the game until a series of threes from Sterck gave the Rock some breathing room to close things out.
Look for him to continue to gain buzz as a prospect over the next year or so.
More quick hitters
Greenforest’s Elijah Lewis and Michael Robinson impressed. The guard tandem is capable of rattling off points with their quality shotmaking. They combined for 33 points against Milton.
Denver commit Sebastian Akins was a brightspot for 1 of 1 Academy. He was their most consistent playmaker and source of offense.
2026 G Yohance Connor is a high-level athlete. It’s nothing new to anyone at HoopSeen, but for those who aren’t aware, the guy has serious bounce.