Five games you gotta watch in Georgia's Sweet 16

There are some terrific games happening across the Peach State in the Sweet 16. We take a peek look at five games you’ve got to see this week. 

GACS at Morgan County 
Thursday, 7:30 p.m., AAA

There could be an argument that this game, not the Norcross at Grayson game, is the best second round match-up in the state of Georgia this week. These two powerhouses have often times ended their respective seasons in the state title game. But here we are in the Sweet 16. That’s the drama of the tournament. How can you not love such a thing? The two teams met up last year in the semi-finals with GACS winning 73-71 in overtime for an instant classic. Several of the key players in that game are back for the rematch. GACS will have to lean heavily on Tulane bound Hunter McIntosh, who went for 30 points in the game last year. He won’t have his backcourt mate Ben Sheppard, a Belmont signee, because of a wrist injury. Morgan County’s backcourt of Alec Woodard (Austin Peay), Tyrin Lawrence and Stevin Greene make up a scary trio. Morgan County hasn’t lost at home all season. And GACS is 8-0 in true road games. The two teams have a loyal fan base and you better pack earplugs.

Fayette County (23-5) at Eagle’s Landing (23-4)
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., AAAAA

This should be a fun one. Fayette County is a perimeter-centric team with terrific shooters and a fast-paced backcourt. Senior Josh Dupree was the 3-AAAAA Player of the Year because of his ability to get up and down the floor and glue all of the pieces together for head coach Andre Flynn. Senior Ricky Knight, Jr. and junior JaKobe Coleman are two of the deadliest perimeter threats in the entire tournament field. For Eagle’s Landing, Region Player of the Year CJ Hood spearheads an experienced group that has won 90 games over the last four years. Rashad Ellole, a senior guard, is a nice balance for Hood to work with in the backcourt. Junior wing Keith Lamar and giant senior center Josh Nwafor may be the x-factors tonight.

RELATED: Norcross at Grayson preview | Must-see player match-ups in the Sweet 16

Chattahoochee (23-6) at Tri-Cities (22-6)
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., AAAAAA

If you like great guard play and terrific action on the offensive end of the floor. This game pairs two of the best offensive teams in the state against each other. And, honestly, this could feel like a state championship level game. Both teams are talented enough to hold up a trophy at the end of the tournament. For Tri-Cities, the Bulldogs are 10-0 at home this season. That could be the deciding factor. Coach Omari Forts has a steady force in the backcourt with PG Titus Hunter, the Region Player of the Year. Guards DaMarcus Johnson and Demetrius Rivers are good enough to be go-to guys, too. As Tai Young noted in his player match-ups, the sophomore guard pairing of AJ White of Chattahoochee and Peyton Daniels of Tri-Cities should be a fun back-and-forth to watch. For Hooch, White will pump in the points. But so will Cameron Sheffield, a junior wing with a three-point attack that has to be guarded hard. Big man Grant Van Beveren is a steady post presence while junior Frank Bailey is also a three-point specialist.

Newton (22-7) at Meadowcreek (21-5)
Thursday, 6:30 p.m., AAAAAAA

There is a layer of toughness in this game that any hoops purist should love. Both teams are wonderfully coached and both teams understand what it takes to advance in Georgia’s toughest and most competitive bracket. Meadowcreek has the target on the back because of their championship run from last season. Newton is no stranger to digging deep and finding ways to win in the March to Macon. Both teams have alpha dogs. For Newton, Tre Clark has been one of the most important players to a team across the state. The VCU-bound guard can take over a game as a scorer, passer and/or defender. Big man Armani Harris could be the catalyst for the Rams inside the paint. For Meadowcreek, there are a lot of guys who can hurt you. Senior Jamir Chaplin has been the most steady Mustang in the starting line-up. That said, Jalen Benjamin and Damian Dunn, two North Carolina move-ins this season, have been outstanding in their own right. But for Meadowcreek, the Mustangs don’t worry too much about the hero. They shine by slowing down the game and winning with defense. What a chess match this should be.

Americus-Sumter (23-4) at Upson Lee (25-1) 
Thursday, 6:00 p.m., AAAA 

It is no secret Upson Lee’s success in the post season over the last couple of seasons, winning back to back championships. Can their March to Macon continue this week? Not if America’s Sumter can help it. This game should have middle Georgia talking and the crowd should be lining up right about now to get into the game. Americus Sumter has a star in Josh Lusane but will he be enough to corral the man child known as Travon Walker. The 6-foot-6 defensive lineman is headed to Georgia to likely be the next superstar Dawg on defense. On the hardwood, he is as hard to guard as any player in the Southeast. Can Lusane stay out of foul trouble guarding Walker? That’s the biggest storyline of the game. Upson Lee point guard Zyrice Scott has a 111-5 record as the starting floor general over the last four seasons. Upson Lee hasn’t lost at home since Feb. 17, 2016 when New Hampstead came to town for the first round of the state tournament. 

GACup I

 

Editor-in-Chief

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