Posted On: 11/13/18 11:16 AM
As we begin our final stretch into the much anticipated start to another high school season, it’s time to take a closer look at what to expect. In this series, we will be previewing various regions and classifications within the VHSL in an effort to highlight who we think are the top teams and prospects. Below we preview and predict Class 6, Region A.
Class 6 Region A is stacked this year, and while it will look a lot different next year there’s a good chance whoever comes out of the south for Class 6 will come from this group. Landstown (14-8 last year) return a lot of starters including JMU commit Mike Christmas, who would be our preseason Class 6 POY pick, but they face six talented teams all with returning cores of experienced players looking to make a run at a state title. Cox (21-5 last year) led by the backcourt duo of 2019 Kavon James and 2020 Jordan Lewis will score a lot of points. Western Branch (25-3 last year) are coming off a state title trip and return star senior point guard Kendall Bynum. Kellam (19-6 last year) is one of the best coached teams in the area and return senior All State guard Josh Talbert. Oscar Smith (19-6 last year) return a starting backcourt of senior Briquan Harrell and junior Andre Bottoms. Woodside and Granby both get boosts from a few transfers and have experienced and talented groups that should allow them to compete with anyone.
Region Champion: Western Branch
Region POY: Mike Christmas | 6’6” WF | Landstown 2019
The JMU commit will have a real shot at being state player of the year for Class 6, especially if Landstown is able to make a run in the state tournament. Christmas can play anywhere on the floor of the Eagles, he can shoot the three with consistency and he’s a strong and athletic finisher around the rim and a big time rebounder. No coach is going to sleep the day before the game knowing they have a good strategy to stop Christmas.
1st Team All Region
Mike Christmas | 6’6” WF | Landstown 2019
Antwan Epps | 6’0” PG | Granby 2019
Caleb Dawkins | 6’2” WG | Grassfield 2019
Quishawn Brevard | 5’11” PG | Woodside 2019
Kavon James | 5’9” G | Cox 2019
Josh Talbert | 6’1” G | Kellam 2019
Kendall Bynum | 6’0” G | Western Branch 2019
2nd Team All Region
Briquan Harrell | 6’0” PG | Oscar Smith 2019
Andre Bottoms | 6’1” PG | Oscar Smith 2020
Jordan Lewis | 5’11” PG | Cox 2020
Javon Elleby | 6’4” PF | First Colonial 2019
Kahleef Jimmison | 6’1” PG | Woodside 2020
Calvin Thomas | 6’4” PF | Tallwood 2020
Jeriah Sweat | 6’4” PF | Granby 2019
Underclassmen to Watch
Jayden Epps | 5’10” PG | Granby 2022
There may not be a point guard from the 757 who comes into his freshman year with more hype than Epps since Matt Coleman was at Maury. Teaming up with his brother Antwan Epps, a senior Hampton commit, Jayden Epps has all the tools to be a very special player. He’s tough and quick, can shoot the ball and gets in the lane at will off the bounce.
DJ Hand | 6’3” WG | Landstown 2022
A super skilled wing that is still growing, Hand has the entire arsenal on the offensive end and he can do it on or off the basketball. He shoots it at a high clip, he can get into the paint and finish and he has a great understanding of the game. As he continues to grow and get stronger he’ll be a versatile guy that can get it done on both ends of the floor.
Matt Nunez | 6’10” C | Woodside 2021
Nunez is set to explode this season as a sophomore, and could be one of the biggest stock boosters across the state. He already holds a few high major offers from schools like Florida, Georgetown and VCU. He’s super skilled and mobile, can shoot the jump hook with both hands and should be a mismatch for almost anyone with his size and skill set.
Mason Melkovic | 6’4” F | Kellam 2021
Melkovic played sparingly as a freshman for Kellam, but he should see a lot more time and play a bigger role this season as a sophomore. He has good size to play on the perimeter and he can shoot, but he’s also a capable rebounder and he can guard and play multiple positions for them this year.