Class A Basketball Blog: 5 boys teams to watch in the state playoffs

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are five boys teams to watch in the Class A playoffs.

North Cobb Christian. The question is simple, and one that the undefeated Eagles have face all season: Are they really this good? In their 28 wins this season, the margin of victory for the Region 6 champs, ranked No. 1 in Class A, was 32 points and only two teams came within ten points of them – Mt. Paran Christian (59-51) and McCallie of Chattanooga (61-56). Still, there are some who think NCC’s championship credentials are suspect, pointing to the 86-59 loss the Eagles suffered at the hands of Whitefield Academy in last season’s Elite Eight. But they remain resolute that they are worthy of being considered the favorite to win it all this season. “We hear that but it doesn’t bother us because we know we can compete with anybody,” senior forward Dauson Womack said back in January. Due to a scheduling quirk, Womack and fellow senior leader point guard Corey Harris, will most likely face Whitefield in the second round of this year’s tournament.

Whitefield Academy. The Wolfpack appear to be playing their best at the right time. They have won 17 straight and tore through the Region 9 tournament, winning three games by 20 points, including a 71-45 blowout of Landmark Christian in the title game. Whitefield is led by Georgia signee Kenneth Gaines, one of the state’s best shooting guards and scorers. The likely second round match up with North Cobb Christian – created by the Georgia High School Association’s pre-determined playoff brackets – is already being discussed as defacto state championship game. Whitefield is looking for its third title in school history, it’s second since 2009.

Wilkinson County. After they were blown out at home by No. 8 Turner County (76-53) back in December, many forgot about the defending state champs, who returned just two regulars from last season’s title run. But the Warriors (25-2) lost just once more – to Region 1-AAAA champion Northside-Warner Robins – and are a serious threat to win the school’s sixth state championship.

Mt. Pisgah Christian. The Patriots may be the most resilient team in the tournament. They were five minutes away from not even making the state playoffs when they needed overtime to beat Holy Innocents in the quarter finals of the Region 5 tournament. They went on to edge Wesleyan in the semi finals (52-51) and then upset Providence Christian, 64-54 in two overtimes, to win the championship. Mt. Pisgah is led by senior guard/forward Kyle Sloter, who has signed to play quarterback at Southern Mississippi.

Mitchell County. Where’s the love for the Eagles? They are the only region champion and No. 1 seed in the state tournament not ranked in the top 10 in the most recent poll. But Mitchell County has caught fire down the stretch and will look to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since Mitchell County and Baker County separated into two different high schools in 2006. Prior to that, Mitchell-Baker won four state titles (1998, 1999, 2000, 2003) in six years. The Eagles (16-9) boast a solid nine-man rotation, led by senior forward DiQuan Isom and junior guard Stacey Butler, along with seniors Grover Stewart and Modzelle Atkins.

20 comments Add your comment

Eagle Fan

February 23rd, 2012
2:17 pm

Don’t discount the NCCS Eagles. This team is much better than the team from last year. As Corey Harris stated in an interview this week “there are no stars on this team”. They all play well together. It is unfortunate that the NCCS vs. Whitefield matchup will come that soon in the tournament. It really should be played on a neutral court and not in either of these two school’s gyms.

South Ga. Basketball

February 23rd, 2012
7:04 pm

Don’ t sleep on Lanier County

dr nick

February 23rd, 2012
10:26 pm

Watch out for little ol’ Portal High school (Bulloch County)

Basketball Fan

February 24th, 2012
8:04 am

To Eagle Fan – the Whitefield vs. NCCS game is at a neutral site – Marietta High School. Only the first round are at home gyms. Should be a great game.

NCCS

February 24th, 2012
8:18 am

Basketball fan you are incorrect. 1st & 2nd round games are hosted by the higher seed. If the teams are the same seed there is a coin flip to determine who hosts. 3rd/quarterfinals round game will be at Marietta High on March 2nd.

Malik

February 24th, 2012
8:57 am

Basketball fan is right. Coin flip will determine host…Will be a great opportunity! Either NCCS is serious OR their strength of schedule was certainly suspect. In my opinion, I predict NCCS by 5.

athensbball

February 24th, 2012
10:54 am

BREAKING NEWS: Defending Class-A State Champion, Wilcox County, forfits their 1st round game!!

Rodney Dangerfield

February 24th, 2012
11:08 am

Wilcox did forfeit, but they’re not defending state champs.

NCCS

February 24th, 2012
11:22 am

Malik, no Basketball Fan is not right. The first 2 rounds are hosted by the higher seed. If Whitefield and NCCS advance to the 2nd round there will be a coin flip to determine the host. Basketball Fan said “only the first round are at home gyms”. Look at the bracket at ghsa.net. The fine print at the bottom explains this and it it the same for all classifications.

athensbball

February 24th, 2012
11:23 am

I stand corrected…final four last year…anyone know why they forfeited?

Eagle Fan

February 24th, 2012
12:23 pm

My prediction for the possible NCCS vs. Whitefield game is that the “coin flip” will land on the positive for Whitefield. Their gym is larger and will give an opporutnity for a much larger audience. I’m just saying…But to me, since NCCS will be the home team (according to how they are lined up on the bracket), the game should be played at NCCS.

Malik

February 24th, 2012
2:27 pm

@ NCCS- You’re correct, I was in agreement with your post on coin flip. Is Whitefield battle tested? Does anyone think they will actually beat NCCS?

byrd#20

February 24th, 2012
4:56 pm

Watch Out for Claxton, LaBron Glover the best point guard in Class A Ball

tj

February 25th, 2012
4:30 pm

whitefield is very much battle tested. there non region schedule was much tougher than ncc. ncc will need much better ball handlers than they had last season or they will be blown out again. whitefield went on the road in the 2nd round last year as a 1 seed and blew out their oppenent.

tj

February 25th, 2012
4:36 pm

harrison, peachtree ridge, tift county, east hall and buford all lost to whitefield. if ncc loses to whitefield again they need to step up their out of region schedule.

tarhills

February 25th, 2012
9:15 pm

No need for coin flip, NCC lost

yes i am worried

February 25th, 2012
9:42 pm

Opps NCC lost.

swanny

February 25th, 2012
10:09 pm

message to NCC. step up your schedule and you will be better prepared for tight games and the pressure of the state tournament.

wilcofan

February 25th, 2012
10:20 pm

Wilco still may be looking for a repeat. Whitefield looked very strong by the scores as well tonight.

Malik

February 27th, 2012
8:36 am

Wilco are the state champs until beaten…You may very well witness a 2007 rematch between the Warriors and Wolfpack in Macon on March 10th.