Posted On: 11/10/17 9:00 AM
Miller Grove & Wheeler are two of the best high school basketball programs in the peach state. Not only are they a couple of the best in Georgia but both are one of the elite programs in the nation. Wheeler & Miller Grove both represented Georgia in the Dick’s National High School Tournament. With famous coaches Doug Lipscomb for Wheeler and Sharman White for Miller Grove, who have both moved on. Wheeler was the first ever GA team to head to New York in 2015. Miller Grove followed in 2016.
Both squads met in Wildcat Arena for an exhibition game before a long and hard season. Both teams came out defensively and there was no scoring for a couple of minutes. You would think it was a first round playoff game the way both teams came out, but thats just the culture for each program. Wheeler was the first on the board with a running floater off the glass from 2019 PG Jaire Eastmond. Eastmond bought the energy for his team, he is a 5’9 PG but definitely impacted his team, Eastmond finished with nine points, six assist, and three steals for Wheeler. 2018 PG Timothy Stargell put the Wolverines on the board with a step back corner three.
As the quarter went along it started to be a back and forth affair with both teams scoring at will. 2018 C EJ Montgomery got the crowd up on it’s feet with a few dunks. Wheeler had real success on the defensive end, forcing the Miller Grove Wolverines to turn the ball over on multiple occasions. But 2018 CG Lorenzo Anderson was the spark that got the Wolverines going towards the end of the first quarter and second quarter. Anderson got a few steals and rebounds and became a one man fast break. At halftime the Wildcats led 29-25.
In the second half, 2018 forwards Jermon Clark and Kevin Paige started to merge. Both guys were killers on the glass combining for 15 rebounds. They were able to give Miller Grove second chance points and also get to the free throw line. 2018 WG Brandon Younger started to also feel it, especially from deep, going 3-3 from three point range. The game got physical in the third and fourth quarters. The fourth quarter was just like the first. Both teams were locking in offensviely with the clock winding down. 2019 CG Maurice Harvey began to score for the Wolverines, Harvey finished with 11 points on the night. With just about 30 seconds left on the clock, 2018 C EJ Montgomery for the Wildcats hits an and-1 from in the post after being down 3. As Miller Grove tries to run the clock down for one shot, 2019 SG Isaac Martin gets the steal for Wheeler and then scores an and-1 layup to ice the game for the Cats 60-57.
The After Game Honors:
MVP: 2018 C EJ Montgomery – Wheeler
EJ finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds. He is arguably the best big man in the state of Georgia and will have a tremondous season moving forward for Wheeler.
Best Offensive Performance: 2018 WG Brandon Younger – Wheeler
Brandon Younger looked great on the both ends of the court for Wheeler. Younger, who could not really do as much last season with the elite talent the Wildcats already had, will definitely be emerging this season and will show what he can do on the floor. Brandon will make his case on the best wing in Georgia. He finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds.
Best Under-the-Radar Performance: 2018 CG Lorenzo Anderson – Miller Grove
Anderson came out and was one of the players on Miller Grove who gave the team a spark. Lorenzo was everywhere on the floor. He got rebounds, steals, and also scored in transition with his running mate Timothy Stargell. Lorenzo did not have much buzz around him coming into this season and will be one of the combo guards to keep an eye on this year. He finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
Best Defensive Performance: 2019 PG Jaire Eastmond & 2018 WG Isaiah Holt – Wheeler
I had to give both of these guys the best defensive performance. Isaiah Holt, if we had 6th man of the year awards, this kid will no doubt be in the conversation. Holt will be Wheeler’s best defender right now. He has good size and his strength comes on the defensive end and was able hack defenders when driving the lane. Same goes for Eastmond. Since he is so small it is hard for bigger guards to try and dribble past him. He also uses his quickness to rip the ball away from the opponent. Both guys combined for 5 steals.