High-SchoolGeorgia: POWERADE FAB 50



The first regular-season POWERADE FAB 50 hoops rankings dropped today, and Georgia is well represented with two squads ranked in the top 15 and three nationally ranked teams.

Miller Grove survived Tuesday night's matchup with Southwest DeKalb to move to 2-0 on the season. The Wolverines' No. 2-ranking will be tested in the next few weeks, with a nationally televised matchup against No. 3 Oak Hill Academy of Virginia looming on Dec. 15. Columbia is off to a fast 5-0 start but dropped down a spot to No. 13 overall. Milton made a big move, leaping up four spots to No. 23. The Eagles were rewarded after defeating a pair of strong teams from North Carolina, including a win over West Charlotte. Southwest DeKalb has got off to a rocky start and fell out of the FAB 50.

Click here for the entire FAB 50 Rankings.

Click here for the Southeast Region rankings.

Columbia, Ga. hoops 1Columbia AthleticsThe Columbia basketball team is ranked No. 12 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and claimed a tourney title playing in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break.
Jarmal Reid has always cherished Thanksgiving dinner.

Just the thought of his aunt’s potato salad combined with large helpings of turkey, ham and cranberry sauce makes the Columbia senior forward’s mouth water. But this year, Reid had to pass up his favorite dinner offerings in favor of curry chicken and rice — a staple meal in the Bahamas.

“The meal was different this year,” laughed Reid.

Reid and his teammates and coaches traveled to Freeport, Bahamas, last week to participate in the Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy Thanksgiving Basketball Classic.

The annual event pits several of the islands' top squads against a contingent of American high school teams. This year marked the second time Columbia, ranked No. 12 in the POWERADE FAB 50, competed in the six-day event. Head coach Phil McCrary, who uses the trips as an educational tool, has also entered the Eagles in tourneys in Alaska and Hawaii.

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MG-SW rivalryRyan Gibson/ESPNHSShaq Goodwin and Jordan Price of Southwest DeKalb hope to knock off Miller Grove's Tony Parker and Brandon Morris in Class AAAA action this winter.
This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Georgia edition.

Remember the 2003 Atlanta Celtics AAU squad? There was some 6-foot-10, muscular kid named Dwight Howard. There was a freakishly gifted high-riser named Josh Smith. And manning the middle was future McDonald’s All-American Randolph Morris.

They ended the summer by hoisting the AAU national championship trophy for Georgia. They would all land in the NBA a few years later, leading several hoop pundits to label that squad the greatest AAU team of all time. That crew also helped establish the Peach State as fertile ground for recruiters.

Fast-forward to 2011.

There are 10 Georgia ballers in the ESPNU 100 and four local teams in the preseason POWERADE FAB 50. Miller Grove enters the season No. 2 in the nation, led by Tony Parker (No. 31 in the ESPNU 100) and Brandon Morris (a Georgia commit). Southwest DeKalb is No. 39 thanks to Shaq Goodwin (No. 19) and Jordan Price (No. 42). The teams faced off three times last year, with Miller Grove winning the first two encounters, and Southwest DeKalb exacting revenge in the region final before Miller Grove rebounded to win the AAAA state title. We caught up with these four to get their takes on the state of Georgia hoops.

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The Stephenson-MLK battle for the Region 2-AAAAA crown exceeded the hype, and should go down as the game of the year in Georgia this season. Georgia commit Blake Tibbs ran back a kickoff 82 yards with 16 seconds to play to give the Lions a 50-49 win. The return came just moments after the Jags had pulled ahead on a Mike Davis 4-yard score. With the regular season in the books, the next month of playoff action is guaranteed to deliver its fair share of dramatic finishes, as five champions will be crowned on Dec. 2-3.

Here's how the top three teams fared last week:
Grayson — defeated Central Gwinnett, 22-0 (last week No. 1)
Camden County — defeated Beach, 62-0 (last week No. 2)
MLK — defeated Stephenson, 50-49 (last week No. 5)

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.

David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.
No. 3 Stephenson at No. 5 MLK
If you didn't think this was a big game, just check out this diss track Stephenson made for their region rivals or the ongoing war of words between fans and players on Twitter. It's getting heated online but let's move on to the game. We have hyped up Stephenson and it's loaded roster all season, and the players have held up their end of the bargain by going 9-0 and earning the No. 24 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50. With weapons all over the field, including Mr. USA candidate Mike Davis (19 TDs, 1,500 yards), the Jags have rarely been tested this season and outscored opponents 320-121. On the other side, MLK has flown under the radar for much of the season but is looking to send the Jags to a second-straight loss in the series. Last year, MLK won a tight 26-24 contest en route to the Region 2-AAAAA crown. The Lions' offense can't be overlooked with the pitch-and-catch combo of QB Jonquel Dawson (26 passing TDS) and WR Blake Tibbs (Georgia commit). The star power is overwhelming in this one, so get a ticket if you can because this contest won't disappoint.

Here are three other games to keep an eye out on:
Peachtree Ridge (8-1) at North Gwinnett (8-1)
The Region 7-AAAAA crown is on the line when these two one-loss teams hit the field.

Ware County (8-1) at Statesboro (9-0)
Ware County looks to send Statesboro to its first loss while capturing a one seed for the postseason.

Flowery Branch (9-0) at Clarke Central (8-1)
Kanler Coker looks to deliver Branch's first region crown and avenge last year's 21-0 loss to Clarke Central.

Georgia football rankings: Week 9

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
5:14
PM ET
It's the final week of the regular season and there is lot still at stake when teams hit the field this weekend. There will be 18 contests that will have region championship implications, highlighted by the big MLK-Stephenson tilt. No movement in this week's rankings as No. 1 Grayson held off defending champ Brookwood, 14-7, to grab the Region 8 crown.
Here's how the top three teams fared last week:
Grayson — defeated Brookwood, 14-7 (last week No. 1)
Camden County — Savannah, 55-0 (last week No. 2)
Stephenson — defeated Newnan, 35-13 (last week No. 3)

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.

David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.

Georgia football rankings: Week 8

October, 24, 2011
10/24/11
12:04
PM ET
Another perfect week for our top 10 but there are a few bubble teams we'd like to give some props to this week. St. Pius X topped Grady to move to 8-0 and emerge as a legit title contender. Senior Geno Smith is the star, but backup QB T.J. Holloman (three TDs) and Nick Ruffin have made some big plays this year. Brookwood appears to be back in championship form, Calhoun's attack is one of the state's best and Allatoona is tough to beat anytime Miles Jones is on the field.

Here's how the top three teams fared last week:
Grayson — defeated South Gwinnett, 40-0 (last week No. 1)
Camden County — defeated Jenkins, 56-7 (last week No. 2)
Stephenson — defeated East Coweta, 24-17 (last week No. 3)

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.

David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.
Georgia basketball is looking as strong as ever.

The Peach State boasts four teams ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50, led by No. 2 Miller Grove. The defending Class AAAA champs return National Player of the Year candidate Tony Parker to a team that went 31-2 in 2010-11. AAA champ Columbia is No. 12, AAAAA runner-up Milton is 27th and Shaq Goodwin's Southwest DeKalb squad is 39th.

The top three looks like this:
1. Miller Grove
2. Columbia
3. Milton

For the rest of the POWERADE Georgia basketball rankings, click here.
Our game of the week certainly lived up to the hype. Hillgrove's 12-10 victory over McEachern vaulted the Hawks to No. 4 in our rankings while the Indians fell four spots to No. 8. This week we welcome undefeated Walton to the rankings as they replace two-loss Lowndes. They get the nod over Valdosta, which pulled off a surprising late win at Lowndes Friday night. Not much movement otherwise. The top three of Grayson, Camden and Stephenson are all ranked in the top 25 in the POWERADE FAB 50, with Grayson holding down the No. 11 spot, Camden at 15 and Stephenson up to 21.

Here's how the top three teams fared last week:

Grayson — defeated Dacula, 34-14 (last week No. 1)

Camden County — defeated Benedictine, 56-6 (last week No. 2)

Stephenson — defeated Newton, 34-6 (last week No. 3)

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.



David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.
MLK pulled off a mini upset in beating Valdosta Friday night, and the team was rewarded with the No. 5 spot in this week's rankings. The Lions' defense stepped up in a big way, shutting down Valdosta's potent attack in the 16-3 win. Senior QB Jonquel Dawson (211 yards) accounted for both of the team's TDs in the win.

This upcoming weekend's contests could help in clearing up the muddy playoff picture. No. 4 McEachern hosts No. 10 Hillgrove in a battle of undefeated Region 4 teams, while No. 9 Lowndes plays an angry Valdosta squad that just fell out of the top 10 after its loss Friday.

Here's how the top three teams fared:
1. Grayson — defeated Shiloh, 42-14 (last week No. 1)
2. Camden County — defeated Treasure Coast, Fla., 59-14 (last week No. 2)
3. Stephenson — defeated Luella, 35-14 (last week No. 3)
Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.

David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.
With Valdosta entering the mix at No. 50, Georgia now boasts five nationally ranked teams in the POWERADE FAB 50. Grayson is the state's top team at No. 14, while Camden County (21), Stephenson (22) and McEachern (35) round out the list. There could be a few more teams to make it before season's end as Buford (6-0) and Sandy Creek (4-0) knocking at the door. Some big games are on the horizon this weekend and could lead to a shake up in next week's rankings.

Here's how the top three teams fared last week:
1. Grayson — bye week (last week No. 1)
2. Camden County — defeated Bradwell Institute, 58-0 (last week No. 3)
3. Stephenson — defeated Westlake, 56-35 (last week No. 2)

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.
It's time for the All-State Stock Watch, as we look at All-State football players who saw their potential value rise or fall over the past week. A player could have performed well in a game, received a big-time scholarship offer, broken his leg or just had an off game.

UP — Marteze Waller, Putnam County, RB
We didn’t put Waller on our All-State first team, but he’s certainly producing like one of the best 11 players in Georgia through the first month of the season. The senior has torched opposing defenses to the tune of 837 yards and 11 touchdowns to propel the Eagles to a 3-1 mark.

DOWN — Robert Nkemdiche, Grayson, DL
It’s odd to say Nkemdiche’s stock is dropping when Grayson is No. 1 in the state and ranked No. 16 in the POWERADE FAB 50, but his team’s relative ease in dispatching opponents has the junior All-American candidate hanging out on the sideline while the second string players get some burn. Grayson’s games haven’t been close as the Rams have outscored their opponents, 133-28.

UP — Darius English, McEachern, DL
The Indians have skyrocketed to No. 36 in the POWERADE FAB 50 (No. 4 locally) on the strength of their suffocating defense, which has allowed 44 points in four games. English has been McEachern’s most consistent defender, and is coming off a two-sack, one-blocked punt effort in a shutout of Campbell. English has accrued nine sacks and has scored a defensive TD for undefeated McEachern.
We’re getting pretty good at this rankings stuff.

Again there wasn’t much movement as teams one through eight all won in convincing fashion. The state’s top four teams are all ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50, with Grayson (No. 16) being the highest. Hillgrove, which had QB Troy Thompson return and has Kenyan Drake putting up all-world numbers on the ground, moved up to No. 9 after trouncing South Cobb, 40-7. The Hawks have scored 40 or more points in each of their last three games and have a huge contest looming at McEachern on Oct. 7.

Back in the rankings is Lowndes, a team that was in the top three two weeks ago before falling to McEachern. Lowndes has responded to that loss with a pair of wins by a combined score of 70-43. The Vikes have undefeated Ware County this week before heading to No. 5 Valdosta.

Here is how the top three teams fared last week:

1. Grayson — defeated Berkmar, 56-6 (last week No. 1)

2. Stephenson — Bye week (last week No. 2)

3. Camden County — defeated Windsor Forest, 55-13 (last week No. 3)

Click here for the rest of the POWERADE Georgia Football Rankings.
The start of the Week 3 slate of games is just hours away. Here’s some of the best action this weekend will offer.

Game of the Week: Westlake (2-1) at MLK (2-0)
Westlake's defense put together a strong overall effort against Colquitt County last week, scooping up five fumbles and recording a pick. But the final result was a tough-luck 21-10 loss to the top 10 squad. Westlake hopes for a repeat performance by their defense, while the Charles Purnell-led offense looks to make regular visits to the end zone in order of claiming an upset over undefeated MLK.

On the ofther side of the field, MLK has had no trouble scoring this season and the Lions feature weapons all over the gridiron. Senior Blake Tibbs is MLK's most explosive player and has five touchdown grabs and a rushing score to his credit. QB Jonquel Dawson can air it out with the state's best and Jamonde Hunter controls the game from the ground. Look for ESPNHS senior DL Kenderius Whitehead to try and limit Purnell's impact in the running game.
David's pick (1-0): MLK just has too many weapons. Give me the Lions, 42-21.

Duluth (2-1) at Norcross (3-0)
This one promises to offer its share of aerial highlights with Anfornee Stewart (902 yards and 11 TDs) airing it out to Myles Campbell for Duluth and Joseph Wilber looking to connect with Jason Croom (196 yards and two TDs). Expect some big gains through the air and replay-worthy highlights in this one.

Kell (2-1) at East Paulding (3-0)
The Bone Yard will be rocking for this contest between Region 5-AAAA North foes. Kell won last year's game 20-10 in dramatic fashion after a touchdown with under a minute to play. East Paulding looks to remain undefeated behind the accurate arm of Mitchell Webb, who powered the team to a 54-6 victory against Douglas County in Week 4.
It's time for the All-State Stock Watch, as we look at All-State football players who saw their potential value rise or fall over the past week. A player could have performed well in a game, received a big-time scholarship offer, broken his leg or just had an off game.

UP — Mike Davis, Stephenson, RB
Davis was already under consideration for this honor after his stellar 221-yard, four-TD performance against Tift County. But then we found this video of one of his scores, and we went nuts. The 46-yard scamper might be the best TD run you see in HS football this season and helped cement his status as one of the nation’s great backs. Florida fans must be pumped to have this talented 5-foot-10 back heading to Gainesville next fall.

DOWN — Jonquel Dawson, MLK, QB
A change in MLK’s offensive philosophy has severely hampered Dawson’s individual numbers this season. In 2010, you could bank on the senior torching opposing secondaries for 300-plus yards through the air, but the Lions have put more stock in their rushing attack this fall, thereby limiting Dawson’s productions. The change could ultimately help Dawson evolve into more efficient passer. In last week’s win against Collins Hill, he completed 11-of-18 passes for 145 yards and two scores.

UP — JaQuay Williams, Sandy Creek, WR
Opposing corners hate drawing the assignment of covering Williams. The senior has caught four touchdowns in the last two games and had a monster effort in a 49-0 win against ELCA Friday. Williams pulled down five passes for 151 yards and found the end zone twice to lead Sandy Creek to its third win of the season. The Auburn recruit is averaging more than 50 yards per catch.

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