Posted On: 01/2/19 8:00 AM

Atlanta, Georgia – The first half of the 2018-2019 high school season is now in the books and what a season it has been this year in the peach state. Georgia basketball is growing and growing each year and it seems like every season it has received more and more national attention. Starting this week, we will have updates on team rankings and who the top ten best programs are. McEachern, Grayson, Buford, Meadowcreek, Wheeler, Morgan County, Pebblebrook, Norcross, St. Francis, and Newton headline the first set of rankings in the top ten thus far. Programs like Lambert, East Coweta and Greater Atlanta Christian are not too far behind and other programs like Fayette County, Southwest Dekalb, Holy Spirit, and Shiloh are receiving attention as well. 

Note: Updated as of Dec. 31st 2018


2020 PG Sharife Cooper at the City of Palms Classic. Photo by City of Palms.

1. McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Georgia) 10-0 

Good Wins: Holy Spirit Prep, Wheeler, Miami Christian (FL), Paul VI (VA), Mountain Brook (AL), and Imhotep Charter (PA)
Bad Loses: None 

After being off for almost two weeks, McEachern is coming off their run in the famous City of Palms Classic where they went undefeated and beating almost all of their opponents by 20 or more points. The Indians defeated major out of state programs like Miami Christian (FL), Paul VI (VA), Mountain Brook (AL), and Imhotep Charter (PA) down in Fort Myers, Florida. 2020 PG Sharife Cooper was named most valuable player of the loaded tournament while Auburn signee 2019 F Isaac Okoro and Northwestern signee 2019 F Jared Jones was put on the all tournament team. Before their trip to south Florida, McEachern defeated a couple top in state programs like Holy Spirit Prep and Wheeler High School. It is pretty clear who the number one team is in the state of Georgia. The Powder Springs public school has also been named the number one team in the country according to MaxPreps coming into this week and will look stay at the top as the season goes along. McEachern arguably might have the toughest second half schedule in the country. They are expected to face Findlay Prep (NV) and a rematch with Imhotep Charter (PA) in the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia, compete in the Bass Pro Shop TOC in Missouri, and face Rancho Christian (CA) in the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts. 


2020 PG Deivon Smith at the 2018 TOC Classic. Photo by Ty Freeman.

2. Grayson High School (Loganville, Georgia) 13-2

Good Wins: Wenonah (AL), Newton, John Marshall (VA), and Meadowcreek
Bad Loses: Mill Creek

Will this year be the year the Grayson Rams get to that 7A state title game? Coach Pierce and the Rams have made appearances in Georgia’s class 7A elite eight and final four matchup twice over the last three seasons. This season could certainly change that and especially with the squad they have put together. 2020 PG Deivon Smith has been the leader of this year’s squad averaging 16.6 points per game, 5.7 assists per game, and 9.1 rebounds per game. Senior guards Jevon Tatum and Reco Hallmon Jr. have also helped this year’s team get to where they are so far into the season. We put Grayson at number two despite them not having as many high quality wins just yet and sitting with that one bad lose to Mill Creek. After their great run in the 2018 TOC Classic and defeating Georgia’s class 7A defending champion in Meadowcreek, the Rams have earned their spot at number two in the state. Grayson’s upcoming key matchups for the season include a road game and rematch with region rival Newton. They will also have to face a tough Shiloh team twice and possibly three times in region play, same goes for Newton. 


Oklahoma State signee 2019 F Marcus Watson at the 2018 Hawks Naismith Classic. Photo by Ty Freeman.

3. Buford High School (Buford, Georgia) 12-1

Good Wins: Wheeler, Tennessee (TN), and Cardinal Newnan (SC), and Wenonah (AL)
Bad Loses: None

The Buford basketball program has been one of Georgia’s top programs over the last couple of years and once again making that case this season so far. The class 5A powerhouse comes in at number three and is sitting at a 12-1 overall record thus far. The Wolves are coming off an appearance in the Arby’s Classic in Tennessee where their only lost and only lost of the season was to one of the best teams in the nation in Carmel Christian (NC) 67-62. Oklahoma State signee 2019 F Marcus Watson has been the leader of this Buford team this year and has been putting up numbers offensively. Head Coach Eddie Martin will be looking to return to the class 5A state title game this season after winning the title back in 2017. The Wolves do not have much competition on their schedule in the second half of the season besides facing region rival Cedar Shoals, who they will face twice and possibly three times, and facing Ridgeview (SC) at the Peachtree Corners Invitational at Norcross High School. 


UAB signee 2019 PG Jalen Benjamin at the 2018 Holiday Hoopsgiving Showcase. Photo by Ty Freeman.

4. Meadowcreek High School (Norcross, Georgia) 13-3 

Good Wins: Wheeler, Discovery, South Shore (NY), Norcross, Holy Spirit Prep, and The Heritage School
Bad Loses: None

Georgia’s class 7A defending champs have not shyed away from none of the major competition and Coach G and his staff have done a tremondous job trying to build a new culutre in Meadowcreek’s basketball program. The Mustangs, like I have stated already, have played some heat so far this season and hold some good high quality wins. Although they are coming off their lost too #2 Grayson, they have a nice resume that puts them at number four just behind Buford. New comers in UAB signee 2019 PG Jalen Benjamin and Temple signee 2019 SG Damian Dunn have settled in nicely in the peach state along side their AAU teammate South Florida signee 2019 SG Jamir Chaplin. Meadowcreek’s schedule does not really get easier from this point on. They are expected to make stops in Memphis this weekend where they will face Barlett (TN) and Brentonwood Academy (TN) in the Memphis National Hoopfest and let us not forget they have a rematch against neighbor rival Norcross High School in February. 


Denver signee 2019 PG Jaire Eastmond at the 2018 Holiday Hoopsgiving Showcase. Photo by Ty Freeman.

5. Wheeler High School (Marietta, Georgia) 14-4

Good Wins: Norcross, Holy Spirit Prep, Greater Atlanta Christian, Wright (LA), Bishop O’Connell (VA), Southwest Dekalb, and St. Francis
Bad Loses: None

I do not think anyone has played a more tougher schedule in the state of Georgia then Coach Thompson and the Wheeler Wildcats. Wheeler started off their season with four major primetime matchups against Meadowcreek, Norcross, Holy Spirit Prep, and Greater Atlanta Christian. Coach Thompson and his staff do not duck anyone and Wheeler is coming off their tounrnament victory in the TOC Classic over St. Francis. All of their loses thus far have come against Meadowcreek, McEachern, Buford, and Wasatch Academy (UT). The Wildcats have been led by their backcourt in Denver signee 2019 PG Jaire Eastmond and Cal signee 2019 SG Charles Smith IV. Smith IV and Eastmond have been fluid together along side senior big man Bucknell signee Malachi Rhodes. The Wildcats already play in one of the toughest regions nationally and still have matchups with Pebblebrook, Westlake, and East Coweta. Another matchup Wheeler should look forward too is against Gonzaga (DC) in the Peachtree Corners Invitational at Norcross High School. 


2019 G Tyrin Lawrence at the 2018 Holiday Hoopsgiving Showcase. Photo by Ty Freeman.

6. Morgan County High School (Madison, Georgia) 13-1

Good Wins: Pebblebrook, Ridgeview (SC), St. Francis, Holly Springs (NC), Blythewood (SC), and Greene County
Bad Loses: None

Morgan County High School will be our number six best team in Georgia up to this point and could arguably be ranked higher than where they stand. Coach Sims and his Bulldogs are sitting at an overall record 13-1 and with major quality wins over the holiday break. The Bulldogs competed in the Phenom’s Palmetto Winter Classic in Columbia, SC and defeated Ridgeview (SC), Holly Springs (NC), and Blythewood (SC) in that stretch. Their resume shapes up pretty well after the first half of the season and should look forward to key matchups with Duluth High School and Newton High School this month. Morgan County is no doubt the favorite to win Georgia’s class 3A state title and they are led by senior trio Austin PEAY signee SG Alec Woodward (19.7 ppg), G Tyrin Lawrence (18.7 ppg), and PG Stevin Greene (15.1 ppg). 


2019 PG Jalen Harper at the On the Radar Hoops Showcase. Photo by Ty Freeman.

7. Pebblebrook High School (Mabelton, Georgia) 11-4

Good Wins: East Coweta, Jemison (AL), The Heritage School, Choctawhatchee (FL), and Moreau Catholic (CA)
Bad Loses: None

Head Coach George Washington is in his eighth season with this Pebblebrook Falcons program and since superstar Collin Sexton’s departure, the Falcons are 37-7 overall to this point. Coach Washington and his staff year after year do a fabolous job developing their players and sending them off to the next level. This season the Falcons have been led by two of Georgia’s top available seniors in PG Jalen Harper and SG Devon Gordon. The Falcons also have some of the states best sophomores in PG Danny Stubbs, W Jamal Clyce, SG Blake Hadley, W Kaleb Washington, and F Tyler Shirley. No matter what team Pebblebrook comes in with the competition they face every year will not change. As if their region was not already tough enough, Pebblebrook has already faced some major competition. The Falcons are coming off their California trip where they competed in the Maxpreps Holiday Classic. Their second half of the season will be a tough one as they are scheduled to face South Cobb once again, Campbell for a second time in a region matchup, Wheeler and Westlake twice in their region, a rematch with region foe East Coweta, and plus their region tournament. 


2020 W Brandon Boston Jr. at the 2018 Chic-Fit-A Classic.

8. Norcross High School (Norcross, Georgia) 10-5

Good Wins: Bishop Snyder (FL), West Charlotte (NC), Alexander, Discovery, and Gray Collegiate (SC) 
Bad Loses: None

Could Norcross get back to the class 7A state title game for the third straight year? The Norcross Blue Devils were mostly everyone’s favorite to return to the Georgia class 7A state title game for the third straight season but the Blue Devils certainly did not get off to the start they wanted to get off too after losing their first two games of the season to Wheeler and Southwest Dekalb. Since their 0-2 start, Coach McMillan and his squad are 10-3 overall with wins over three out of state programs. They have been led by 2020 W Brandon Boston Jr. and USC signee 2019 PG Kyle Sturdivant so far this season. The Blue Devils are coming off their appearance in the Chic-Fil-A Classic in Columbia, SC where they went 1-2 losing to Salesian (CA) and Roman Catholic (PA). Norcross’s second half of the season involves matchups with powerhouse Montverde Academy (FL) in the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia, DeMatha (MD) in the CRC in West Virginia, a rematch with region opponent Berkmar, and a rematch with region opponent Meadowcreek. 


Xavier commit 2020 PG Dwon Odom at the 2018 TOC Classic. Photo by Ty Freeman.

9. Saint Francis (Alpharetta, Georgia) 10-3

Good Wins: Mount Bethel, Mountain View, Blanche Ely (FL), and Newton
Bad Loses: None

Despite falling to Wheeler in the 2018 TOC Classic title game, the Saint Francis Knights got themselves a couple more quality wins to crack Georgia’s top ten with wins over Florida powerhouse Blanche Ely (FL) and Newton. Xavier commit 2020 PG Dwon Odom has had an outstanding junior campaign thus far and carrying the load for powerhouse Saint Francis. The toughest part of Saint Francis’s schedule has been put to bed after their appearance in the TOC Classic. The rest of their schedule should be breeze as they are scheduled to only face region opponents. Head Coach Drew Catlett and his staff will be looking to make their way to the class A-Private state championship game once again for the second consecutive season. 


2019 PG Tre Clark at the 2018 TOC Classic. Photo by Ty Freeman.

10. Newton High School (Covington, Georgia) 10-3

Good Wins: Lambert, Peachtree Ridge, Greater Atlanta Christian, and Southwest Dekalb
Bad Loses: None

The post Ashton Hagans season has begun this year for the Newton High School Rams and it seems like they are off to a pretty good start to the season. The Rams fill are first set of rankings of the year coming in at number ten and with an overall 10-3 record. Getting wins over in state progams like Greater Atlanta Christian and Southwest Dekalb in the 2018 TOC Classic were some quality wins we took a look at and also wins over Lambert and Peachtree Ridge. Available seniors in PG Tre Clark and F Armani Harris headline this year’s Newton squad. They might not be the most exciting team to watch with the departure of Hagans but this year’s group of guys sure know how to compete and they are in a great position as we speak. The Rams will have more resume building matchups against region opponents Shiloh and Grayson, Morgan County, T.L Hanna (SC), and Eagles Landing coming up in their second half of the season. 


Next Up:

East Coweta High School (Sharpsburg, Georgia) 14-1

Good Wins: Fayette County, Heuytown (AL), Sandy Creek, and Village Christian (SC),
Bad Loses: None

Coach Maxwell is in his fourth season with this East Coweta basketball program and he has the Indians off to a fantastic start to the season at 14-1 overall. The Indians have been led by senior guard Fernandez Jones, who is averaging 21.0 points per game to the season. East Coweta is next in line to crack the top ten, especially with the few quality wins they hold. The Indians are in the same region as Pebblebrook and Wheeler, region 2 in Georgia’s highest classification 7A, so these second half of the season matchups should be very interesting. East Coweta will have another resume building matchup with Therrell High School this week and will still have to grind out their region play. Will this be the year the Indians make their class 7A playoff debut? 


Lambert High School (Suwannee, Georgia) 14-3

Good Wins: Peachtree Ridge and St. Paul (LA)
Bad Loses: Parkview

Head Coach Scott Bracco and his Lambert program are a combined record 60-14 up to this point in the season. The Longhorns have not made their statement just yet as a powerhouse in Georgia but are always right their towards the end of the season. In the past three seasons, they have been eliminated all three times in Georgia’s class 7A sweet 16 game. Could this year be any different? The Longhorns have been led by 2019 PG Mitch Ganote and 2020 F Colin Granger, who is one of Georgia’s emerging prospects. They do not have many high quality wins this season and their region play is not as competitive as others around the state. This is still a sneaky and very solid squad and will be a tough outing when the GHSA playoffs come back around. 


Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, Georgia) 10-4

Good Wins: St. Pius, Dawson County, Blanche Ely (FL), Bishop Snyder (FL)
Bad Loses: None

Greater Atlanta Christian should be a threat in Georgia’s 3A classification alongside Morgan County. The Spartans have been off to a solid start and have some quality wins in the first half of the season. Let us remember these are the defending class 3A state champions and they have returned most of their roster from last year’s 28-3 squad. The team has been led by senior guards in Belmont signee SG Ben Shepard and one of the state’s best available prospects PG Hunter McIntosh. Despite starting the season 0-3, the Spartans are 10-1 since then and are coming off their appearance in the 2018 TOC Classic where they defeated two great Florida programs in Blanche Ely (FL) and Bishop Snyder (FL). Greater Atlanta Christian does have a somewhat tough region schedule but the one game they should mark on their calender is their matchup with Independence (NC) on January 26th at the Peachtree Corners Invitational at Norcross High School.


Others To Pay Attention Too:

Fayette County High School (Fayetteville, Georgia) 13-2
Good Wins: Sandy Creek, Therell, Southwest Dekalb, and Mountain View
Bad Loses: None

Southwest Dekalb High School (Decatur, Georgia) 12-5
Good Wins: Norcross and Bishop Snyder (FL)
Bad Loses: None

Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta, Georgia) 5-9 GISA
Good Wins: Elkins (TX) and Archbishop Carroll (DC)
Bad Loses: None

Shiloh High School (Snellville, Georgia) 12-4
Good Wins: Peachtree Ridge and Berkmar
Bad Loses: None

Discovery High School (Lawrenceville, Georgia) 13-3
Good Wins: Southwest Dekalb, Houston County, Mountain View, and Upson Lee
Bad Loses: Milton

Upson Lee High School (Thomaston, Georgia) 12-1
Good Wins: None
Bad Loses: None

Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Georgia) 10-2
Good Wins: Greater Atlanta Christian 
Bad Loses: None

The Heritage School (Newnan, Georgia) 8-7 GISA
Good Wins: Mount Bethel
Bad Loses: None

Peachtree Ridge High School (Suwannee, Georgia) 11-4
Good Wins: Greater Atlanta Christian, Grayson, and Mountain View
Bad Loses: None

Berkmar High School (Lillburn, Georgia) 12-4 
Good Wins: Mountain View, and Shiloh
Bad Loses: Parkview

Mountain View High School (Lawrenceville, Georgia) 11-6
Good Wins: None
Bad Loses: South Gwinnett

Chattahoochee High School (Alpharetta, Georgia) 12-3
Good Wins: Greenforest, Sprayberry, and North Atlanta
Bad Loses: None