Previewing Georgia's 7A Second Round State Tournament Bracket

Jamir Chaplin

The second round of the GHSA Class AAAAAAA playoffs are set and the match-ups get bigger and better. We break down all eight games in Georgia’s biggest classification and make our picks on the winners. We encourage you to do the same. 

THE GAMES 

Mountain View (22-5) vs Newton (25-3):Two battle-tested teams meet up in a game that is sure to be a good one...much like the first that ended in a 66-65 overtime win for Mountain View. This game features a lot of notable names that have routinely be difference makers. Ashton Hagans, the UGA commit has dominated the box scores all season while Troy signee Spencer Rodgers continues to fill it up well beyond the 3. Expect the difference in a win or loss to come from someone that is looking to make their stamp on the team going into next season. When it’s close, its the “other guys” that make the biggest plays. - Tai Young 
Justin Young’s pick: Newton  
Tai Young’s pick: Newton
Your pick:

Meadowcreek (21-6) vs Lambert (22-5): Two contrasting styles come to a head in this one. Lambert leans on a terrific senior trio of Jordan McIlwain, Damon Stoudamire, Jr., and Austin Dekard. Junior guard Mitch Ganote is just a good ball-player all around and will probably draw the call of matching up with Jamir Chaplin, Meadowcreek’s best player. Lambert big man Colin Granger, a rough-and-tumble 6-foot-8 sophomore, will draw the assignment of locking horns with the 1-2 punch of Amari Kelly and Cory Hightower of Meadowcreek. This will probably be a low-scoring affair and it could come down to the last minute of action. Lambert beat Meadowcreek last year in the state playoffs 72-70 in the first round of action. - Justin Young
Justin Young’s pick: Lambert  
Tai Young’s pick: Meadowcreek
Your pick:

Grayson (20-6) vs Peachtree Ridge (24-4): Another terrific Gwinnett County battle. Both teams are lead by some sharp shooting seniors in Travis Anderson and Devin Vassell. Being able to keep Vassell under wraps has been no easy tasks as he is leading all scorers with 22.3ppg. Grayson has a group that can take over in moments with junior guard Reco Hallmon Jr. and senior guard Nick Edwards. Peachtree Ridge has multiple guys on the scouting report that get the job done starting with hard nosed defender Hirum Maxey. The margin for error is low in this matchup - Tai Young Justin Young’s pick: Grayson   
Tai Young’s pick: Grayson
Your pick:

Duluth (20-9) vs Norcross (25-3): Will Huzzie, an East Tennessee State football prospect, may be the best player in AAAAAAA that no one is talking about. He scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Wildcats' 80-55 win over West Forsyth. Fellow senior Adam Flagler scored 20. Norcross is no stranger to the Big Dance and have plenty of firepower to combat all comers. Kyle Sturidvant and Brandon Boston combined for 49 points in the Blue Devils’ win over Archer. Both teams were battle-tested in region play this season. Neither program will be intimidated by the opposition or the stage. Hopefully Gwinnett County hoopheads pack the gym for this game. - Justin Young Justin Young’s pick: Norcross  
Tai Young’s pick: Norcross
Your pick:


Westlake (15-13) vs McEachern (25-2): The road to the championship game won’t be an easy one for McEachern and it starts now. The nationally-ranked Indians have a projected difficult road to the coveted hardware and they’ll lock horns with a Westlake team that is better than their record. From top to bottom, there isn’t a better starting five than what the Powder Springs rolls out game in and game out. Westlake has been that team in the past and head coach Darron Rogers is familiar with guarding teams with such star power. Westlake is young but they went to South Georgia and beat a good Colquitt County team in the opening round. And playing the likes of Pebblebrook, Wheeler and Campbell in region play will have them ready for what should be a packed house at McEachern. In the end, though, the Indians may just have too many weapons. - Justin Young 
Justin Young’s pick: McEachern  
Tai Young’s pick: McEachern
Your pick:

Wheeler (17-10) at Etowah (23-2): Wheeler will want to go out and push the tempo while Etowah wants to slow it down and defend. Etowah did a stellar job of guarding the paint against North Cobb and proving themselves as a big time defensive team. Wheeler scores nearly 70 points a game and go to McDonald’s All-American EJ Montgomery early and often. Don’t be surprised to see Wheeler’s guard play (i.e. Roscoe Eastmond and Isaiah Martin) come up big in this game. There are plenty of one-to-one match-ups that stand out. Don’t forget, Etowah is the home team either. - Justin Young
Justin Young’s pick: Wheeler
Tai Young’s pick: Wheeler
Your pick:

 


Roswell (17-11) vs Pebblebrook (25-2): Roswell hits the road for a big match-up against the hottest team in 7A. Led by junior guard Miles Herron (15.6 points a game), the Hornets have a backcourt-centric attack. So does Pebblebrook with two of the best senior guards in the tournament with DJ Murray and Grant Howard. However, big man Mervin James of Pebblebrook is the toughest player to guard in this one. And he’s been on a tear this season.
Justin Young’s pick: Pebblebrook   
Tai Young’s pick: Pebblebrook
Your pick:

 

Woodstock (16-13) vs Campbell (19-9): Woodstock surprised nearly everyone outside of Towne Lake Parkway on their first ever playoff win as they put away a higher seeded Kennesaw Mountain. Woodstock is paced by senior Dylin Hardeman, who scored 26 points in their win on Saturday. Campbell also played the role of the spolier, ending Tift County’s season in Tifton. Campbell is always a threat to knock off a big dog because of their toughness and coaching. Kiya Randolph scored 26 points against Tift County but guys like Brandon Dervine, Terrell Burden and Donovan Grant can all be the go-to guys. - Justin Young Justin Young’s pick: Campbell  
Tai Young’s pick: Campbell
Your pick:

NOTABLE PLAYER MATCH-UPS

Babatunde Akingbola(Sr, 6-8, McEachern) vs. Frank Anselem (Fr, 6-10, Westlake)

The battle of the big man is sure to have some highlight moments between the two shot blocking forwards. Both bigs have the ability to rope off the paint and not allow anyone to get a clean look at the rim.  Babatunde is heading to Auburn after his senior season while Frank has the makings of a HM big. Expect some physical play.

Brandon Boston (So.,6-6, Norcross) vs Adam Flager (Sr., 6-3, Duluth)

Two of the best shooters square off in a test of who can give the other the fewest open looks. These two guards have shot well from behind the arc all season and have been able to put pressure on the defense after defenders chase them off the line. Look for the two of them to to be glued to each other to not allow any easy catch and shoot attempts. 

Brandon Younger (Sr., 6-6, Wheeler) vs. Adrian Cohen (Sr., 6-4, Etowah) 

Versatility is the buzzword in this matchup, rightfully so when discussing two guards with size and skill. Both of these players are essential to their teams production as they play a significant role as ball handlers and playmakers. Skilled enough for the perimeter yet big enough for the post makes this a great matchup for coaches and fans alike. 

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