Norcross (20-8) at Grayson (25-3), AAAAAAA
Thursday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
This is the best game in the state of Georgia in the second round of match-ups and it isn’t even close. Norcross has been to the championship game two seasons in a row at the AAAAAAA level. Grayson has been to two straight Final Fours.
Some things to consider here…Grayson has beaten Meadowcreek once this season. Norcross is 1-2 against their region foe. Last season, Grayson lost to Meadowcreek in the Final Four and then a game later the Mustangs beat Norcross for the title. In 2016-2017, Norcross beat Grayson 67-48 in the Final Four and advanced to the title game. There is some serious connectivity here between the foes.
All of that history doesn’t matter on Thursday night. This kind of a big stage is what these programs are built for.
From a player match-up standpoint, we’ll probably see Norcross senior Kyle Sturdivant and Grayson junior Devion Smith line up against each other the most. The two point guards are very different styles of players. Both are all-state caliber competitors.
Smith and Norcross’s Brandon Boston are both top 50 national prospects. A number of high-major schools have expressed interest in being at the game to see the two go at it. Don’t be surprised if head coaches from both Georgia and Georgia Tech are at the game, as well as coaches from a variety of other programs.
The supporting cast will be just as important as the guards previously mentioned.
Norcross has been terrific in the 2019 part of their schedule and have developed a really nice rotation with their younger players, including Caleb Murphy, Kevon Eskridge, and Jaden Harris all finding their places in the lineup. Seniors Issa Muhammad, Daniel Ramsey, Louis Williams, Isaac Martin and Alonzo Johnson all bring various levels of toughness and experience.
Grayson hasn’t played quite the national schedule that Norcross has but the Rams have answered the call in-state all season long. Seniors Kenyon Jackson, Reco Hallmon, Jevon Tatum, Xavier Ayers and junior Josh Smith have all played big roles this season. Young big men Taje Kelly and Ian Schieffelin will match-up well with Norcross’s size.
Norcross is 6-0 in true road games while Grayson is 9-1 at home. Norcross averages 66.9 points a game on offense and gives up 59 a game on defense. Grayson averages 66.5 points on offense and gives up 55 on defense.
The line is tight between both programs. Could this come down to home court advantage? Could this come down to foul shooting? Could this come down to the final shot?
All of those things are possible.
Get ready for a terrific game.
Welcome to the March to Macon.
Who wins this 7A Sweet 16 matchup?— HoopSeen Georgia (@HoopSeenGA) February 18, 2019