AAAAA basketball blog: Five teams to watch

The five most intriguing boys teams in the AAAAA field –

Milton – The odds-on favorite, Milton is seeking its fourth straight state finals appearance and second championship in three years. The roster is full of major Division I recruits led by 6-8 wing Evan Nolte (Virginia signee), point guard Charles Mann (Georgia), forward Shaquille Johnson (Auburn) and center Tevin Glass (offered by Georgia Southern and Jacksonville). Jalyn Patterson, who scored 24 points in the Region 6 final against Alpharetta, is a nationally known sophomore. Milton’s record is 23-4, but three of losses were victories overturned by forfeit, and the other, to Tift County, came when Mann was out of the lineup. Milton is ranked as high as No. 3 in national polls.

North Cobb – The most surprising team in Class AAAAA has been North Cobb (24-4), ranked No. 2 after winning 16 of its past 17games. Though always respected as coach who got the most from limited talent, Terry Gorsuch has his first 20-game winner at North Cobb in his 11 seasons. Jordan Neff, a a 6-foot-7 junior, is a rising Division I recruit. He’s one of five juniors in North Cobb’s starting lineup that also includes Jon Beausejour,Lee Moore, Saxon Steele and Dennis Young-Coleman. North Cobb has never advanced past the round of 16.

Shiloh – The Generals (24-4) failed to win their Region 8 and lost two of three game Berkmar, but they remain the more intriguing team partlly because of Thomasville transfer Robert Carter, the 6-foot-9 forward who has signed with Georgia Tech. Another player to watch is 7-foot sophomore Trayvon Reed, who has been erratic but had 15 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in the 51-50 loss to Berkmar. Note that Shiloh and Berkmar share tough draws. Berkmar must face defending state champion Norcross in the first round, while Shiloh is seeded to play Milton in the second round – if the Generals can get past Mill Creek (21-6).

Westlake – Westlake (24-3) was unbeaten against Georgia opponents until the Region 2 semifinals, when beaten by M.L. King 61-59. The result is a No. 3 seed and a first-round visit to Tift County. Westlake and Tift each have been ranked in the top five at times this season, so this should be this week’s most interesting opening-round matchup. Tift was a semifinalist last season and is led by star stophomore Tadric Jackson. Westlake’s top player is junior Tony Bagtas, a 5-10 point guard who got some starts on Westlake’s 2010 state runner-up team.

Wheeler – A four-time state champion since 2002, Wheeler remains a marquee team in any state tournament despite patches of mediocrity that have led some to count this team out. The 16-10 record isn’t pretty, though most losses are to out-of-state teams. The Wildcats have survived the loss of two early-season starters for academic reasons and won the games that have counted most. That includes a victory in the Region 5 tournament. Charles Mitchell, a 6-8 senior, remains one of the state’s top post players. High-scoring guard Kejuan Johnson is one of the handful of best freshmen in the state.

16 comments Add your comment

G-dub

February 23rd, 2012
11:44 am

Shiloh 2014

February 23rd, 2012
7:30 pm

The Generals Nation is taking this one game at a time. We have respect for every team and will plan accordingly.

Coffee Trojans#1

February 23rd, 2012
9:41 pm

BHS

February 24th, 2012
2:43 am

BEEERRRRRRRKKMMMMAAAARRRRRRRR

Coach'sson

February 24th, 2012
9:27 am

Westlake Westlake Westlake!!! Its great to have a formidable opponent first round becasue if you win you deserve to keep going. If you lose you didnt deserve to go as far its that simple. Put up or shutup. ” Lets go Lions” The Big Payback!!!!

Joe

February 24th, 2012
12:21 pm

Kejuan Johnson is one of the handful of best freshmen in the state??? Ummm, he’s 18 years old.

007

February 24th, 2012
4:51 pm

Westlake had no strong inside presence. If Tift can control the boards then it will be goodbye Westlake. If Tift lets Westlake guards control the game then it will be goodbye Tift. Should be an interesting game.

marietta fan

February 24th, 2012
5:05 pm

Watch out for Marietta!

atlanta bball player

February 25th, 2012
10:21 am

Kejuan johnson is the oldest kid on his team and only a freshman lol He is 18 or n19 yrs old.

Keep it real high School BB Fan

February 25th, 2012
1:20 pm

True freshman are 14 and 15 yrs old..16 and 17yr olds as freshmen get no press!!! Daniel Giddens is a true Freshman at 6′ 10″ for Wheeler..NOT K Johnson!!!

SpiderFrodo

February 25th, 2012
7:27 pm

K Johnson is NOT 18 idiots. hes turning 17 over the summer. You all think your so smart. Micky Mitchell is the real 18 yr old freshman…..idiots.

rudbuck

February 26th, 2012
12:03 am

The biggest point is that 3 of these 5 teams are all in the same bracket and the other 2 are locked into a bracket also.

marietta hooper

February 26th, 2012
10:01 am

we beat north cobb by 16 and wheeler by 9 and marietta not on there? its cool we just goona ease are way thru our bracket and people will slowly but surely jump on the bandwagon. MARIETTAHOOPS!!!!!!

Coach'sson

February 27th, 2012
2:32 pm

Marieeta hooper if Westlake so happens to meet you, do you plan on easing through that game as well!!!

Big Blue Fan

February 28th, 2012
11:23 am

@coahe’s son I’m not sure if marietta hooper meant that they will ease thru, but more so I think he meant that they will just stay under the radar and continue to get no respect and let all these writers, fans, and other teams take them lightly until its too late, then they all sitting at home wishing they had taking this team more seriously. These boys are undersized but that hasn’t made a difference this year. They are well coached, play great defense, and shoot the hell out of the 3ball. Not to mention that their best athlete (a 6′2″ center, LOL) is out to injury; but they have continued to win. So all of you can just keep on looking past them. We will embrace the underdog, no-respect mentality and see how that works.

HENJAMCOL

March 2nd, 2012
5:55 pm

MARIETTA WAS NOT THE SAME TEAM WHEN JENNINGS WENT DOWM WITH A KNEE INJURY THEN THEY LOST THIER POINT GUARD WITH A HAND INJURY.THE COACHES AT MARIETTA LET TWO GOOD PLAYERS GET AWAY, THIER AT N.COBB NOW, ON THIER WAY TO FT. VALLEY. N. COBB WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYIN THEM AGAIN TO AVENGE THAT EARLY SEASON LOSS, BUT THEY COULD’NT GET THRU AFTER THOSE INJURIES.SO WILL SEE U NEXT YR. MARIETTA HOPEFULLY WHEN N. COBB RETURNS ALL 5 STARTERS….PEACE