Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Final Four primer

Wednesday at Macon Centreplex
Turner Co. vs. Athens Christian, 5:30 p.m.
Wilcox Co. vs. Whitefield Academy, 8:30 p.m.

Why Turner County wins: Because this is the best team in class A right now. It’s been long chronicled on Georgia Hoops that the Rebels have the pieces in place to run the table in Macon. Seniors Ternell Davis and Tray Pearce have proven to be the capable scorers in the clutch while the depth and size inside, paced by Chris Spears and Breon Dixon, are too much for teams to handle. Athens Christian has no answer for all four players. Plus, Eric Holland is proving to be one of the premiere coaches in the state, too.

Why Athens Christian wins: Coming off a monster win over Greenforest Christian, the Eagles are flying high thanks to the speed and athleticism of Raymond Higgs and the perimeter touch of David Mann. Head coach Ron Link has a storybook filled with playoff moments and he has helped this team go from a .500 team to a 28-win team.

Why Wilcox County wins: Nick Marshall won’t let his team lose. That was the case against Wilkinson County last week in Columbus. The sophomore fought through a hamstring cramp and hit big shot after big shot in the fourth quarter. The two-sport star is proving to be one of the elite big game players in the state. The team is young but balanced at the starting five. Junior big man Lonnie Outlaw is a big defensive presence in the paint, too.

Why Whitefield Academy wins: Senior leadership. The Wolfpack has plenty of it. Brandon Reed (pictured) is having about as good of a senior year of any guard in the state and he seems to play his best basketball inside the Macon Centreplex. Big man Cameron Baskerville is a tough match-up because of his inside-outside ability. Watching Reed go against Marshall will be one of the best match-ups of the Final Four in any classification.

Georgia Hoops picks: Turner County over Athens Christian, Whitefield Academy over Wilcox County