General News for December 2015

The 33rd annual Huntsville Times Classic tipped off this week. Each year, it brings together the top teams in the Huntsville area to compete and see who is the top team in the city.

Another year and another Lake City Classic is in the books. Yet again, it was a very well organized and well run event that had some of the best teams in the state competing in a collection of great games. Here are a few thoughts from the three days of action:

The Smile Generation bracket of the Lake City Classic was a fun-filled three days of action. Calhoun took home the championship with a win over Carrollton.

In a battle with future Big 10 stars including Miles Bridges and Curt Jones of Huntington Prep, it was a junior wing out of the Buckeye State that shined the brightest. Suiting up with the Massillon Jackson High bunch, Kyle Young displayed all of the tangibles along with the intellect that has quickly made the improving junior a priority for those within the Big 10 and Big East.

ACWORTH, GA – In a game of 32 minutes of back and forths, the little things matter down the stretch.

The final minute of the Mellow Mushroom bracket championship game between Allatoona and McEachern at the Lake City Classic was nothing short of entertaining.

ACWORTH, GA – In Georgia basketball circles, we know about the longtime state championship teams. For the most part, the same teams compete for titles year in and year out.

TUCKER, GA – The Chick-Fil-A Invitational has become a staple in the post-Christmas holiday basketball schedule for us at

McEachern upsets McIntosh in LCC semifinals

There might not be a hotter team in Georgia right now than McEachern, who is off to a 10-1 start and has won seven in a row. The Indians are a well-rounded bunch who doesn’t have too many weaknesses.

That showed today in the semifinals of the Mellow Mushroom bracket at the Lake City Classic in a 75-68 upset win over McIntosh that took an extra frame to be decided.

The standout for McEachern was freshmen Isaac Okoro, who is showing the makings of a very special player. Okoro finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds, & 3 blocks.

McEachern also got great play from its senior backcourt. AJ Jones ran a tremendous point, scoring 7 points and dishing out 11 assists, while Darius Jones scored 20 points.

The Indians also got some key buckets from freshman Isaac Martin and strong play on the interior by big man Bryce Smith.

They held off a very strong McIntosh team, who was led by Jordan Lyons with 18 points. Dishon Lowery added 14 points & 10 rebounds, and point guard Will Washington added 7 points & 7 assists.

However, losing Lowery and Washington to fouling out in overtime was too much for the Chiefs to overcome, and McEachern came out victorious in overtime.

Allatoona defends its way to LCC finals

Allatoona has become known as one of the most consistent and steady programs under head coach Markus Hood.

If there’s one thing that this year’s team should be known for, it’s getting after it defensively. The Buccaneers fly all over the floor on defense and employ a defense that confuses and frustrates opponents.

That was apparent again today in the Lake City Classic Mellow Mushroom bracket semifinals against Berkmar, who could not get anything going offensively.

Allatoona got an offensive spark from guard Tyler Jackson, who knocked down a number of perimeter shots. They also got steady play from their backcourt of Ephraim Tshimanga, Dylon Ramsey, and Trey Doomes.

Berkmar made a run late on the backs of Lane Foster and Al Durham, but Allatoona’s swarming defense was too much in the end, as the Buccaneers came out victorious 55-46. They advance to play McEachern in the Mellow Mushroom bracket finals, while Berkmar will take on McIntosh.

Dual-sport athletes lead Calhoun past Kell

Certain teams just have a look of toughness. Calhoun is certainly one of those teams, with a number of high-level football players making contributions on the hardwood. Those guys helped lead Calhoun to a 64-50 win over Kell in the Lake City Classic Smile Generation semifinals.

One of those players is Mercer football commit Kaelan Riley, who has come up huge so far at Lake City Classic. He led the Yellow Jackets today with 21 points and made some very eye-opening plays.

He isn’t the only one, however. Wofford football commit and Calhoun point guard Jireh Wilson has also had a big tournament. He scored 20 points of his own in the victory.

They were able to overcome the size of Brian Thomas in the middle for Kell, who continued his shot blocking ways, totaling 9 blocks. Thomas is emerging as a big time presence in the middle.

Calhoun advances to play Carrollton in the finals of the Smile Generation bracket.

Webb & Rowe lead Carrollton past Riverwood

Riverwood has been one of the most impressive teams around Atlanta in the early going of the season, getting off to a 13-0 start.

However, Carrollton and head coach Tim Criswell are always going to be a factor and play teams tough.

That proved to be true in the semifinals of the Smile Generation bracket of the Lake City Classic.

Carrollton was led by senior wings Desmond Webb and Jarel Rowe, who both shot the ball very well, scoring 15 and 13 points respectively to lead the Trojans to a 47-38 win.

Credit the defense for Carrollton, as Riverwood standout big man Kohl Roberts was never able to get into a rhythm offensively, a frustration which permeated throughout the Riverwood team.

Carrollton advances to the Smile Generation bracket finals to take on another undefeated team in Calhoun, while Riverwood will play Kell.


Every year, like clockwork, some guys fly under the radar for one reason or another.

Class AA

No. 6 Holy Innocents’ 58, Waggoner (KY) 56: Cole Smith caught fire and pumped in 20 of his team-high 26 points in the first half to notch another win at the Pensacola Catholic Holiday Classic. Jules Erving finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Bears capture what Coach Terry Kelly called “The biggest win in the last three years”. Harrison Cobb chipped in 11 points and Richard Surdykowski added eight. 

No. 7 GAC 68, Harrison 48: Garrett Covington poured in 21 points and Brian Coffey Jr. added 15 to defeat Harrison at the Deep South Classic at Brookwood High School.

Model 50, Woodstock 45: Tyreke Johnson scored 13 points while Brant Hurter and Cameron Crowe added 12 apiece but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Devils took out the Wolverines at the Pickens Holiday Tournament.

Class A

No. 1 Greenforest 60, Byrnes (SC) 57: The Eagles survived in the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic after holding off a dangerous Byrnes team that was led by Christian Eitel’s 14 points. Greenforest received 20 points from John Ogwuche and 14 from Justin Forrest. Victor Enoh finished with 10 points in the win.

Montverde (FL) 81, No. 3 St. Francis 55: The Knights were dropped by national power Montverde at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach. St. Francis was outrebounded 43 to 26. Kobi Simmons scored a game-high 18 points in the loss. Anthony Showell finished with 17 points. Chance Anderson poste a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Bruno Fernando led four Montverde players in double figures with 17 points and six rebounds.

Public No. 5 Lincoln County 74, Washington-Wilkes 64: The Red Devils scored a big rivalry win over Washington-Wilkes. Devon Holloway poured in 26 points to lead the way.  Zach Crite added 17 and Javon Reid 13. Junior 6-foot-7 forward Ahmad Rand continued to be a stalwart defensively, finishing with nine points, 16 rebounds and nine blocks. Ty Elam played pesky defense on the perimeter picking up seven steals.

Georgia Military 77, No. 6 St. Anne-Pacelli 74: The Vikings trailed 40-27 at the half after being outscored 25-11 in the second quarter. St. Anne-Pacelli fell behind by as many as 24 in the third quarter and saw four starters foul out, but battled back before falling to the Bulldogs. Senior Luke Lawson went 6-of-10 from deep and scored a game-high 32 points for GMC. He is now averaging 24.4 points per game on the year. Malik Foston and Alex Moss played well scoring 13 and 11 points respectively. In the loss, Tre Sudberry finished with 24 points and four steals. Triston Wells added 24 as well and Armon Prophet filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 11 assists and five steals.

No. 7 Whitefield Academy 51, North Cobb 39: The Wolfpack bounced back from a loss against Kell in the first round of the Lake City Classic to edge North Cobb in the losers bracket. Isaiah Hart and Brendon Myles led the way. The guard duo combined for 31 points with Myles scoring 16 and Hart 15.

Stratford Academy 78, Chattanooga Christian 52: Stratford Academy won its sixth straight game behind 21 Quintez Cephus points at the Tattnall Square Academy Christmas Tournament. En route to his 21 points, Cephus made six three-pointers on the day and broke the school-record for threes made in a career with 217. Nate Brooks added 15 and Tyler Jordan netted 10 points. 

Christian Heritage 52, Rockmart 32: The Lions moved to 9-1 on the season with a blowout of Rockmart at the Chatooga Christmas Tournament. Sam Dindoffer finished with a team-high 19 points.

Providence Christian Academy 52, George Walton Academy 40: Bobby Rodgers finished with 16 points to help the Storm to their second win of the year. Alex Timm pitched in 12 points and Jeremy Hardnett added 10.

ACWORTH, GA – You couldn’t escape the question no matter where you went at the Lake City Classic.

“Did you see it?”

Class AAAA

No. 1 Grady 77, Sacred Heart (AL) 75: Avi Toomer had 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals to lift the undefeated Knights. Christian Bryant netted 18 points as well. DJ Brittian scored 13 and Tykwaan Bryant had a 10-point 10-rebound double-double.

No. 5 St. Pius 54, Belen Jesuit (FL) 34: The Golden Lions roll into the St. Pius X Christmas Tournament championship and will face Blessed Trinity. Kerney Lane propelled the Pius offense with 16 points while Carson Seramur chipped in 12.

No. 6 Walnut Grove 67, Winder-Barrow 38: The Warriors continued to slice-and-dice opponents with their superb guard play. Walnut Grove downed host Winder-Barrow at their Christmas Tournament behind Faizon Jackson’s 20 points and eight assists and AJ Jones’ 18 points.

Carrollton 47, 5ANo. 7 Riverwood 38: Last year’s state runner-ups, Carrollton, stunned 5A No. 7 Riverwood at the Lake City Classic, handing the Raiders their only loss of the season. Desmond Webb led the Trojans with 15 points while Jarel Rowe notched 13. The Trojans used six first half threes to gain separation and never relented the lead after Riverwood managed to tie the game in the third quarter.

Class AAA

No. 4 South Atlanta 82, Sequoyah 54: The Hornets met Sequoyah at the Farm Bureau Classic in Spartanburg, South Carolina and thumped the Chiefs. Artavious Banks scored 25 points in the win and dropped Sequoyah to 0-2 in the tournament.

No. 5 Calhoun 64, Kell 50: The Yellow Jackets advance to the Lake City Classic bracket Championship to face Carrollton. Kaelan Riley finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Jireh Wilson added 20 points and 11 rebounds of his own. Ray Reeves netted 15 points and hauled in five rebounds.

No.7 East Hall 76, North Hall 73 2OT: The Vikings prevailed to earn a trip to the Lanierland championship. Markese Jackson scored a team-high 18 points and was followed closely by Tylor Brown’s 17. Luke Cooper and Andy Lara added 13 and 12 points respectively. The Vikings play Flowery Branch in the title game, which is also the pairing on the girls’ side of the tournament.

Blessed Trinity 59, McGill-Toolen (AL) 49: Behind a 15-4 first quarter, the Titans held on to advance to the St. Pius X Christmas Classic championship game. Freshman CJ Abrams scored a game-high 16 points with seven coming in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Ben Shappard added 11 points and Jackson Svete finished with 10. Marlon Williams led the Yellow Jackets with 12 points.

St. Edwards (OH) 93, East Jackson 71: The tumultuous season of the Eagles continued at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with their second blowout loss in as many days. Yesterday Bartow (FL) defeated East Jackson 89-58. Both last night and tonight Drue Drinnon scored 28 points.

Dawson County 62, Prince Avenue 39: In the George Walton Holiday Classic the Tigers took a bite out of the Wolverines. Jeremiah Crumley scored 18 points to lead the attack. Gabe Bryant added 13 points and Cullen Reed chipped in 12. The Tigers advance to the title game tomorrow night at 8:30.

Westminster 51, Etowah 44: Will Benson brought the heat with 15 points to lead the Wildcats. Westminster advances to the finals of the Westminster Holiday Classic.

Jackson County 70, Walhalla (SC) 58: The Panthers have continued their remarkable turnaround from a 4-22 campaign a year ago. Jackson County is now 8-6 and finds itself playing in the Apple Classic championship. Joel Ellis scored 24 points to pace the Panthers while both Preston Giroux and Malique Wade pitched in 10 points. Stephen Fogarty and Skylar Hancock added eight apiece.


Lumpkin County 68, Piedmont (AL) 50: The Indians advanced to 11-2 on the year and to the Battle of the States championship game. Jack Howard (26) and Brandon Zarate (25) exploded for 51 of the Indians’ 68 points. Zach Pulley pulled down 13 rebounds.

ACWORTH, GA – The first round of the Mellow Mushroom bracket of the Wellstar Lake City Classic was anchored by one of the best games you’ll see in the state of Georgia this high school season. Three emphatic wins were also on the slate on Monday at Allatoona High School.


No. 2 Shiloh 62, Dorman (SC) 42: Shiloh shook off a slow start at the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic to blow past Dorman. The Generals trailed at the half 28-25 before Josh Okogie and company took care of business. Okogie finished with 20 points and Malik Chandler pitched in 12 to down upset-minded Dorman who was led by Tyson McClain’s 11.

Providence Day (NC) 62, No. 4 Wheeler 60: Wheeler sank a three at the buzzer for the win, but the horn sounded just before the release, meaning the Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the Hoodies Classic. Wheeler squandered a 17-4 first quarter lead. Darius Perry scored a game-high 23 points and added four assists. Both Romello White and Al-Wajid Aminu ended with 12 points apiece. White posted a double-double with a game-high 13 rebounds. Trey Wertz led a balanced Providence attack with 14 points.

No. 5 Tift County 67, North Mecklenberg (NC) 64: The Blue Devils handed North Mecklenberg its first loss of the season at the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tennessee. Tyrie Jackson scored 22 points and Preston Horne added 20 in the win. Horne suffered a right knee injury with 3:43 to play in the second quarter and did not return after trying to play through the pain in the third. Micah Johnson stepped up in Horne’s absence with 11 points and five assists.

No. 6 Lambert 93, No. 8 Milton 67: After being dumped by No. 10 McEachern in the opening round of the Lake City Classic 73-37, the Longhorns came back with a vengeance and drilled the Eagles, who entered the losers bracket following a hard fought 74-68 loss to No. 2 McIntosh. Alex O’Connell was harassed all night by double teams and denials following his 25-point night against McIntosh. He finished with 27 points today, but Lambert’s inside punch of Navy signee Connor Mannion and North Georgia signee Ross Morkem was too potent. Mannion finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds after posting 16 points and six boards in last night’s rout. Morkem bounced back in a big way with 19 points of his own. Andrew Melms chipped in 15 points and seven assists from his point guard position to steer the Horns back in the winning direction.

No. 7 Collins Hill 65, Douglass 62: It wasn’t easy, with three starters out for the sixth straight game and down 37-25 at the half, but Coach Ty Baumgardner was able to pull the right strings to help advance the Eagles to the Commerce Christmas Tournament championship where they will face 3A No.10 Banks County. Five Eagles scored in double figures paced by TeShaun Hightower’s 14 points. Chris Parks (13), Justin MaCaulay (10), Justin Lee (10) and Kenny Stanciel (10) rounded out the balanced attack. The Astros received 15 points from Johnny Lumpkin and 13 from Darius Williams.

No. 9 Newton 73, North Panola (MS) 33: JD Notae led the way with 16 points. Jaquan Simms added 11 points and six steals. 'Dre Butler scored 10 points and collected eight rebounds while freshman guard Ashton Hagans finished with nine points, five assists, four steals and four rebounds.

No. 10 McEachern 75, 5A No. 2 McIntosh 68 OT: The young stars of McEachern got the best of the veteran laden Chiefs in a Lake City Classic instant classic. Down 11 in the fourth quarter, freshmen Isaac Okoro and Isaac Martin played two of their best games of the season to stun McIntosh. Okoro finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and three blocks while Martin hit big three after big three to draw the Indians even with eight seconds to play in regulation. Senior guards Darius Jones and AJ Jones never rattled even after trailing big. Darius scored 20 points and AJ finished with seven points and 11 assists. In the loss, McIntosh was paced by Jordan Lyons’ 18. Dishon Lowery had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Will Washington finished with seven points and 11 assists and fouled out early in overtime. Chase Walter had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Tucker 70, North Clayton 61 2OT: It took two overtimes, but host Tucker was able to survive North Clayton and advance to the Chick-Fil-A Invitational championship. Kenton Eskridge made countless big plays down the stretch and finished with a game-high 28 points. North Clayton’s Ahsan Asadullah’s stock continued to sky rocket after posting 20 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in the loss.

Brookwood 65, Johns Creek 62: Brookwood continued its red-hot play and moved to 9-3 with a chance to win the Deep South Tournament on their homecourt tomorrow. To get there, they had to knock of one of the state’s biggest surprise teams, the Johns Creek Gladiators, who entered a perfect 11-0 following a 14-win season a year ago. Mark Lancaster poured in 25 points for the Glads, but it wasn’t enough to buck the Broncos. Bubba Parham went for 27 points in the win.  Micah Kinsey scored 14 points, grabbed six boards, dished out five assists and collected five steals for Coach Daniel Bowles.

Duluth 69, Decatur 61: The Wildcats advanced to the Antebellum Classic at GCSU championship thanks to three double figure scorers. Adam Flagler netted 18 points while Javis Diaz scored 15 and Brandon Blair 12.

South Forsyth 48, Paideia 38: Evan Cole finished with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds to help the War Eagles prevail. Tyler Elliot added eight points.

Grayson 67, Banneker 39: Austin Dukes and Joey Chavez both scored 12 points for the Rams. Dukes tallied five assists and Chavez had five rebounds. Tre Sconiers finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Freshman Kenyon Jackson scored five points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots. 


No. 1 Miller Grove 60, 4A No. 3 Lithonia 47: Miller Grove flexed its muscles and proved they are still the class of the county and possibly the state as the Wolverines move onto the Chick-Fil-A championship where they meet host Tucker. Raylon Richardson came up big with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Alterique Gilbert finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Aaron Augustin added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Jacara Cross led Lithonia with 20 points, but was ejected after two technicals in the fourth quarter. Rodney Chatman was held to just three points in the loss.

No. 3 Allatoona 55, Berkmar 46: The Bucs held off a late Patriot charge to set up a meeting with No. 10 McEachern in the Lake City Classic championship. Trey Doomes fresh off an offer from Kennesaw State scored 11 points. Tyler Jackson added 11. Ephraim Tshimanga finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

No. 6 Cedar Shoals 48, 1A-Private No. 2 SWAC 44: Phlan Fleming finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five steals to knock off Southwest Atlanta Christian in the Sweet South Classic at Morgan County. Arthur Jones scored 15 points in the win. The game started sloppily for both teams, entering the second quarter tied at 2. The Jaguars extended their lead to 17-8 at the half before nursing a 28-27 lead into the fourth. Jones scored 13 of his 15 points in the final frame. De’Andre Ballard finished with 21 points for SWAC.

No. 10 South Paulding 71, Cumberland County (TN) 36: At the King of the Smokies Classic in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee the newly minted No. 10 Spartans hammered Cumberland County. Ja’Cori Wilson finished with 20 points and eight rebound. Kane Williams scored 10 points, notched six rebounds and dished out nine assists. Anthony Brown added 10 points down low.


Southwest DeKalb 68, Moore (KY) 50: Nathaniel Ambersley scored 19 points to lead the Panthers in a win at the Wes Unseld Classic in Louisville, Kentucky. Keith Gilmore added 17 and Darius Hogan nine.

ACWORTH, GA – The opening rounds of the Bracket of the Wellstar Lake City Classic gave us a chance to see some talented big men, talented unsigned seniors and a couple of impressive two-sport players. We recap the action from Monday at Allatoona High School.

Kell High School big man Brian Thomas is still looking under the Christmas tree. He’s looking for something that should already be there – his first scholarship offer.

ACWORTH, GA -- Holiday tournaments provide a great stage for unsigned players to showcase their skills and gain attention from collegiate programs.

Since he was in middle school, 2017 Mobile (AL) Faith Academy power forward R.J. Mhoon has shown an immense amount of talent.

Last spring, 2018 Homewood (AL) power forward Trey Jemison attended the inaugural Alabama Elite Preview as a thin, athletic big man with potential. Fast-forward to now and he is quickly becoming one of the hottest prospects in Alabama. That was proven at the Steel City Invitational.

Over the course of the past year, Jemison, a 6-foot-8 big man, has added weight and muscle to his once-thin frame. The sophomore is now comfortable and strong around the basket. His good feet and hands have already intrigued many college coaches.

“I have offers from UAB and Samford,” Jemison told “Alabama, Georgia, and Troy are also interested.”

Jemison earned scholarship offers from in-city programs UAB and Samford during the fall. There are several things that attract him to stay close to home with both programs.

“I love the coaches at UAB. Each year they want to get better and better and work for championships and send people to the next level.”

“I like Samford, too. The coaches are really training their players to reach their maximum potential. The campus is beautiful and the academics there are awesome.”

After a couple of strong performances this week, Jemison’s name will continue to be popular amongst college coaches. Several new programs have shown interest since his performance at the Steel City Invitational. Running on the travel circuit with the Alabama Challenge once again, more and more programs will be involved with his recruitment heading into the spring.

While we do not rank sophomores quite yet, it’s safe to say Jemison will find himself amongst the top 2018 prospects in the state.

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