Thursday, February 28, 2008

Class 3A quarterfinals preview

From Score Atlanta reporter Josh Bagriansky:

If there's anything we know about the state tournament, it's that we don't really know anything. I have to admit, I was one of those Region 5-AAA snobs who was sure that at least two of those teams were destined for the Final Four. But after Hart County beat Blessed Trinity, only Dunwoody remains from the region.

The fall of 5-AAA has been the story for me. We always hear about the teams in the metro area, but there is great basketball being played all throughout the state. Big-time props go out to Flowery Branch, East Hall and Hart County; all three defeated 5-AAA teams at some point in the tournament and are headed to the Elite 8 this weekend.

One non-Atlanta team to watch is Glenn Hills, which hasn't lost a game since just before Christmas. The team has a great duo in Chris Reynolds and Jerel Stephenson, who were key in the win over defending champion Jordan last round.

I've still got to say that Dunwoody is my favorite to win it all. They're loaded with talent and impossible for most of these 3A teams to match up with. Delwan Graham and Chris Singleton are a ridiculous combination of size and athleticism, and the backcourt of Pierre Jordan and Issiah Grayson can get them the ball in scoring position all day long. But like I said, none of us know as much as we think, and that's what makes the tournament so great.

As for the girls, it looks like Kendrick just might get it done this year. They've come so close over the past several seasons; and if they don't get it done now, they might not get back for a while with all the talent that will graduate (four of five starters are seniors). The two most talented teams in the state are likely them and Hephzibah, which face off in the next round. Jasmine Judge is a do-it-all talent that will give them a shot against the Lady Cherokees. Look for Carrollton to make some noise as well, as they play Franklin County in the next round.

Bagriansky can be reached at