Saturday, December 8, 2018

6:00 PM Game #5 Match-Up - Buford HS Boys (GA- #2 5A) vs. Huntsville HS (AL)

6:00 PM Buford HS Boys (GA- #2 5A) vs. Huntsville HS (AL)

When you mention success in Georgia High School basketball, Coach Eddie Martin is normally at the top of most lists.  Last year, he saw the departure of some key seniors but his 2018-19 team has every intention on getting Coach Martin and Buford back to the state title game.  The Wolves are paced by a group of seniors and the most talented is forward Marcus Watson. The Oklahoma State commit is a physical bruiser with the ability to score in a multitude of ways. Senior guard Donnell Nixon is threat from deep and you must know where he is at all times.  Forward Eric Coleman (High Point University commit) is a transfer forward that gives Coach Martin a valuable new piece. Throw-in senior returners Brandon Green, Ashton Young and Bobby Miller, and the Wolves are as deep as anyone in 5A.

In his first season as Head Coach at Huntsville, Christian Schweers has not shied away from fierce competition.  Having already battled St. Pius earlier this season in Alabama, Coach Schweers bring his Panthers to Buford to take on one of the GA’s top 5A contenders.  The panthers are led by Alabama-Huntsville commit, Nathan Moore. Moore had multiple D1 offers but chose to stay close to home. He is a long, athletic forward that impacts the game on both ends, he will be critical in Huntsville battle Saturday night.  The backcourt leader for Huntsville is 6’1” senior JC Norris. The three year starter is a sniper from three and will share the PG duties. Norris is currently being recruited by D2 and D3 schools.

Friday, December 7, 2018

7:30 PM Game #6 - Buford HS Girls (GA) vs. Northview HS Girls (GA)

7:30 PM Buford HS Girls (GA) vs. Northview HS Girls (GA)

Our final game will feature a couple of Georgia’s top girls teams.

Buford girls have long been one of the bench-mark programs for girls basketball in the state of Georgia for years. Head Coach Gene Durden is as respected a coach as you will find. He has guided the Lady Wolves to three of the last four state championships and played in eight of the last ten state title games. They lost a lot of firepower off last year’s championship team, especially in do it all guard, Tori Ozment, who is a Freshman at Michigan State. Despite the losses, Buford’s expectations remain the same. They will rely on an aggressive defensive pressure system and attacking offense for thirty-two minutes.

Durden plays a deep bench typically, but will rely on returning JR guard, Tate Walters, who was an All-County and All-Region player a year ago. Buford seniors Preston Reid and Ebony Grant will be key pieces in helping Buford play at a championship level.

Northview comes in with one of the more talented rosters in GA. Versatile forward Ashlee Austin (Rice University signee) is the emotional leader of the team and is a stat stuffer. Playing alongside the inside presence of Charleston Southern commit Maya Richards gives Coach Chris Yarbrough a versatile attack. The Lady Titans have won 52 games the last two seasons. Yarbrough has helped lead Northview to back-back Final Four appearances. This will be Richards and Austin’s last opportunity to cut down the nets and break through for a State Championship. These are the type of games that Yarbrough wants to use to both test and challenge his team for their expected March run. “We set out this year to play some of the best teams in the state. Playing top teams like Buford are what makes you better come tournament time and I’ve always admired Coach Durden’s program. Buford is going to test us immensely with their pace and how well they are coached. We are just looking forward to this event and the chance to get better as a team,” says Yarbrough.

Junior PG Asjah Inniss will be one the key players as she will have to handle the ball against the Buford press. The night-cap and only girls game of the BCB/Buford event could be the best game of the day.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

BCB Buford HS Showcase - Game #4 Match-Up Norcross HS vs West Charlotte (NC)

4:30 PM  Norcross HS (GA- #4 7A) vs. West Charlotte HS (NC)

The 4:30 matchup has the makings to be one of the best of the day.  Coach Jesse McMillan and his Blue Devils are no stranger to success and are once again one of the favorites to lift the GHSA 7A state title trophy come March.  Norcross is loaded with college prospects, all of which bring their own unique skill set to the court. The Blue Devils are led by the Southern Cal commit, PG Kyle Sturdivant.  Kyle is a polished point-guard with loads of experience and a talented group around him. That includes Senior Xavier University commit Daniel Ramsey, senior forward Issa Muhammad and senior guard Issac Martin.  The most heralded prospect on the Blue Devils may be junior guard Brandon Boston. Boston is one of the country’s top rated junior prospects and is being recruited by all of the blue-bloods of college hoops. Not to be forgotten, juniors Caleb Murphy and Kevon Eskridge provided Norcross with the depth needed to win each and every night.

West Charlotte and Coach Jacoby Davis will be traveling down I-85 from North Carolina and are excited to have the opportunity to compete against a national program like Norcross.  The Lions also have a talented roster loaded that features several college prospects to match up with Norcross. 6’8” Senior forward Patrick Williams, committed to FSU, and 6’6” sophomore forward Josiah Dow control the interior and both have the potential to score the basketball.  Coach Davis relies on a senior backcourt, both of which are willing to compete at both ends of the floor. 6’3” Quinton Thomas currently holds multiple mid-major Division 1 and high Division 2 offers, while 6’1” Cartier Jernigan is a division 1 prospect also. After a recent victory over Charlotte Christian, the Lions look to bolster their resume by knocking off one of Georgia’s best this Saturday in the 4:30 tip-off.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

BCB Buford HS Showcase - Game # 3 Match-Up GAC vs Lithonia HS

3:00 PM  GAC (GA- #2 4A) vs. Lithonia HS (GA- #4 5A)

Coach David Eaton and Spartans have every intention to defend their state title this season and will continue a challenging schedule when they face the Lithonia Bulldogs this weekend.  The Spartans have a well balanced team but it all starts with senior guards, Ben Sheppard and Hunter McIntosh. The 6’4” Sheppard, a Belmont University commit, has the ability to score in a variety of ways and can heat up in a hurry.  His backcourt running mate, the unsigned McIntosh controls more of the offense but is just as capable to carry the scoring load. Senior do-it-all guard Roy Dixon, shot-blocking senior post Shawn Ohuabunwa and the senior Michigan football commit Chris Hinton all contribute for a GAC team that likes to score the basketball and already topped 100 points this season. David Eaton, who is a GAC alum himself, and won a state championship as a coach in South Carolina, before taking over at GAC is entering his 4th season.  

One of state’s best regions has always been Region 5 AAAAA in Dekalb County and Coach Wallace Corker’s Bulldogs have proven to be a great test each and every year.  The Bulldogs have also played a challenging schedule thus far and have relied on a well balanced backcourt trio. Seniors Brison Rockcliffe and N’Kyzie Hawkins provide Coach Corker with experienced guards, each of which are capable to carry the team on any given night.  Junior Eric Graines' scoring and athletic finishes have given the Bulldogs a lift early this season. This should be a great guard matchup across the board come Saturday. Intriguing senior forward prospect Justin Myles is a player still scratching the surface and will need to give some good minutes as well vs GAC.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

BCB Buford Showcase Game #2 - Wheeler vs Aquinas

1:30 PM  Wheeler HS (GA- #3 7A) vs. Aquinas HS (GA)

In his second season as the Wheeler Head Coach, Larry Thompson and the Wildcats are off to a 5-1 start with aspirations of improving on their Elite Eight 7A finish last season.  The Wildcats have the luxury of leaning on one of the states best and most seasoned players, Denver commit Roscoe Eastmond. Eastmond’s experience and ability to control the tempo allow for California commit Charles Smith IV to score in a variety of ways in transition or in the half-court.  Senior forward Malachi Rhodes gives Coach Thompson an inside presence that teams will have to honor each night and athletic forward Sam Hines Jr. is a highlight reel waiting to happen at any second. With each game and one of the toughest region schedules in the state, this years Wheeler team will gain the much needed familiarity that will make them a contender come March.

Over the last two seasons, defending 1A-Private State Champs Aquinas High School have gone an impressive 53-7 under Head Coach Darren Douglas. After losing some key seniors from last years title team, Coach Douglas has regrouped with a team led by a trio of juniors and no seniors on the roster.  Point guard Johnathan Taylor has taken on the lead-guard responsibilities for the Irish this season while 6’4” wing-man Zy Wright has played well and been one of the team’s leading scorers. 6’8” Junior Forward Chris Williams will be key vs Wheeler with his ability to matchup with Rhodes on the interior.  Look for Aquinas to rely on their defensive ability to slow down the Wildcats and make this a possession game.

Monday, December 3, 2018

BCB Buford HS Showcase - Game # 1 Match-Up St.Pius vs Newton HS

12:00 PM St Pius (GA- #3 4A) vs. Newton HS (GA- #7 7A)

The buzz surrounding this year’s showcase has been building for a year. In 2017, the night before the event that featured top teams in GA facing off the top teams from the Southeast, the city of Atlanta and some of the Southeast was hit hard by a snowstorm. Parts of Georgia received over 7 inches of snow leading to cancelling the event.

The opening game of the 2nd annual BCB/Buford Showcase brings together two Georgia high schools with championship aspirations.  Coach Aaron Parr and his Golden Lions have been to the GA State title game in 4A the last two years and with a senior-laden team returning, don’t be surprised to see them there again in 2019.  Matthew Gonzalo is a fiery competitor who has the ability to score from deep and create for others, while his twin brother Brian provides another wing scoring threat as well. Do-it-all wing players Niko Broadway and Riley Costas, along with Wake Forest football commit Zac Ranson, give Coach Parr a group poised to lift a state title. They currently sit at 3-2, with both losses coming to State Championship teams in Mountain Brook HS (AL) and Greater Atlanta Christian. Coach Parr on the match-up, "We look forward to this early season test against a talented and well coached Newton team. These are the kind of games that prepare your team for tournament time. Our players are excited to play at Buford Arena" 

Coach Rick Rasmussen and his Newton HS teams have been one of the most consistent and dominant teams in 7A over the last decade. Since the 2009-10 season, Newton HS has averaged just under 25 wins per season.  They have captured three Elite 8, three Final 4 berths and five Region Championships.  Senior forward Armani Harris (27 points and 9 rebounds) was dominant this past weekend in a matchup vs 7A foe Lambert HS in North Georgia.  Partnering with Harris are senior guards Tre Clark (17 PPG) and Tyrease Brown (13 PPG) which give Coach Rasmussen a trio of experienced leaders who are determined to carry on the programs recent success. They currently sit at 4-0 on the season. Coach Rasmussen says, "We are really excited to be in the BCB Showcase. Great event, environment and competition. We can't wait"

Friday, January 12, 2018

3:00 PM United Faith (11-8) vs. Buford (14-2)

United Faith and Buford were originally scheduled for the BCB December Showcase but, thanks to the generosity of Coach Josh Coley and his team’s willingness to travel, they return on MLK Day looking to go 2-0 at the event.  The Falcons are looking to improve on their state runner-up finish last season in North Carolina and are led by a group of seniors: guard Jaylen Sims (UNCW Commit), guard Rafael Jenkins, forward KC Hanston and center Nate Springs (Ohio Commit).  Coach Coley also relies on juniors Jason Thompson and Sam Wolfe, and with a Buford team finding their stride, the Falcons will need all hands on deck Monday.

Ever since the return of senior PG Alex Jones, the Buford Wolves have been rolling.  With the Lipscomb commit at the helm, life has become easier for Georgia Southern commit David Viti,  sharp-shooter Donnell Nixon and arguably the most talented player on Buford’s team, junior wing/forward Marcus Watson.  Led by the legendary Head Coach Eddie Martin, Buford has once again found themselves as the state championship favorite in 5A and will look to continue their run of good play on Monday against United Faith.