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Monday, January 9, 2012 - 12:20pm

An Early Look At The Prep Hoops Season

The Norcross Blue Devils captured both the boys and girls titles in 2011 but so far this season, each is flying a bit under the radar. The boys team struggled out of the gate and is not currently ranked as coach Jesse McMillan is breaking in nearly an entirely new team due to transfers and graduation. The Blue Devils started out slowly out of the gates one year ago however and it seems as though the Norcross boys have found their footing in region play (7-6, 5-0). The girls, meanwhile, dropped an early-season game to McEachern and fell to No. 2 behind the Indians in the Score rankings.
McEachern, meanwhile, is ranked No. 4 in the latest ESPN Rise Fab 50 national poll and is led by a trio of Score 44 members. .
Robert Carter of Shiloh has been dubbed one of the Big Three in Georgia’s Class of 2012, but Carter may not even be the best player on his own team. Sophomore Trayvon Reed measures out at 7-feet and he was dominating recently against South Gwinnett. Reed scored 14 points, pulled in six rebounds and swatted away five shots in a victory over the weekend. Shiloh was recently No. 1 in the Score Atlanta poll but is now behind Milton. The Eagles are rolling now that Charles Mann is eligible to play and suiting up for coach David Boyd. Milton was forced to forfeit several victories from early on in the season, but with Mann teamming up with Evan Nolte, Tevin Glass and Shaq Johnson, this Milton squad will be tough to defeat.
The Wheeler boys have been impressive this season and it starts down low with Charles Mitchell. The post player has been dominating this year and the offers have started pouring in for the 6-foot-9 big man. Finally, what is in the water at North Cobb and Mill Creek? Both programs have both their boys and girls teams ranked in the top 10. The Mill Creek girls have won nine straight while the North Cobb boys have clamped down on defense, allowing a region-low 52 points per game.

Class AAAA-power Miller Grove has lost five in a row, but all were to highly-ranked out-of-state programs. The most recent loss came to Chicago’s Simeon, which is ranked No. 1 nationally according to the Powerade Fab 50. Despite the setback, the Wolverines turned some heads by coming back from a 35-20 halftime deficit to lead in the fourth quarter. The Grove’s other losses came to No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and to Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and Lake Wales (Fla.) in the Isle of Palms Tournament. Coach Sharman White’s bunch will host a more familiar foe in Lakeside-DeKalb tomorrow night.
No. 2 Thomasville got back on the winning track with a 56-40 victory over Class AAAA neighbor Thomas County Central on Jan. 7. Willie Clayton led all scorers with 17 points, according to the Thomasville Times Enterprise. On Jan. 3, the Bulldogs lost to No. 10 Early County 67-61 in a key Region 1-AA battle.
The No. 7 Decatur girls (13-3) gave top-ranked and three-time defending state champ Buford (8-5) a run on Friday, but fell 45-41 in a Region 6-AA matchup. Kaela Davis had 16 for the Wolves, while Queen Alford tallied 22 for the Bulldogs. The Wolves came into the game having lost five of seven in tournaments featuring teams from other states. The Bulldogs rebounded well from the loss by destroying McNair 67-6 (this is not a misprint) on Saturday.
Wesleyan, the No. 1 girls team in Class A, went 2-2 at the prestigious Nike Tournament of champions over Christmas break. All four games were against out-of-state programs. Despite their struggles in Arizona, the Wolves (10-2) returned to defeat Class AAA No. 4 St. Pius X on Jan. 4.