Players to watch for: #5 Zephaniah Jasper Fr. G, #11 Christian Keeling Fr. G, #22 Jashawn Brooks So. F
Winning Streak: 2 games
Average points scored per game: 65
Average points allowed per game: 54
Macon County High School (Montezuma, GA)
Players to watch for: Devontae Hudson, Juwan Willock
Winning streak: 2 games
Average points scored per game: 60
Average points allowed per game: 62
The Laney Wildcats and the Macon County Bulldogs have take quite different routes to get to the place they are now. Laney, defending AA State Champion, is highly regarded as one of the best teams in the Augusta area and the state. They have beaten several great teams including, Butler and Aquinas, but have also lost a few games. Most recently they were defeated by Region 3 AA Champion, Westside, in the region championship. We all know Westside lost in the 2nd round of the state finals last week but they were regarded by some as the "team to beat" in AA. Laney took a back seat in the region but still achieved a #2 seed in the state playoffs. They have won the first 2 rounds convincingly by defeating Benedictine 72-48 at home and Taylor County 68-52 on the road. Laney looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs and looks to do it in front of a home crowd this Wednesday at Laney High School.
Macon County entered the state playoffs as a #4 seed but didn't let that bother them too much. They came in and immediately knocked off #1 seed Pelham. Macon County has a chip on their shoulder and they plan to play like it. They have not and will not get the opportunity to play at home during the playoffs and every team they play will be a higher seed than them. Oh, I forgot to mention that after beating #1 Pelham, they traveled to McIntosh County Academy, a #2 seed, and knocked them off. Don't let their mediocre record or their #4 seeding fool you. This team is hungry and wants to prove to the state of Georgia they can win.
Ultimately, I see Laney taking this game by double digits. Macon County seems to be tough and has a knack for knocking off higher rated teams but Laney has the tools and experience to keep their composure and pull out a big win. I know you're thinking Laney doesn't have experience because of how young they are and if it were that easy I would agree but don't forget Laney won state last year. They have several juniors and seniors who were on the court last year facing the same challenges that they overcame last year. They know how to lead their fellow players. Also, Laney has Coach Jerry Hunter who led them to victory last year. Leadership and experience along with great play from Jasper, Keeling and Brooks leads Laney to victory and back to the Final Four this weekend.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Laney 72 - Macon County 58