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High school basketball: Boys Previews
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The Starting Five Ebo Smith Guard School: North Hall Height: 6-2 2012 stats: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists per game Brian Edwards Guard/Forward School: East Hall Height: 6-3 2012 stats: 17 points, 8 rebounds per game A.J. Davis Guard/Forward School: Buford Height: 6-8 2012 stats: 12.7 points, 5.9 rebounds per game Shaquan Cantrell Forward School: Gainesville Height: 6-4 2012 stats: 18 points, 7 rebounds per game Montrell McKenzie Forward/Center School: Johnson Height: 6-6 2012 stats: 12 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.6 blocks per game Team Previews Banks County Coach: Mike Cleveland Region: 7-AAA 2011-2012 record: 11-15 Returning Starters: PG Greg Canon (Sr.) Key Contributors: P Zac Orr (Fr.); W Will Ledford (So.); P Austin Venable (So.) Key Losses: G Adam Hiten, G Jacob Blalock, F Brenton Ruark, Clayton Martin, Jonah Thomas, Tucker Gardner, Taylor Foster. Notable: The only player on the team with varsity experience is Canon. …The Leopards plan to start one freshman and two sophomores. …The young team will look to Canon for leadership after losing a majority of the 10-man rotation after last season.Buford Coach: Allen Whitehart Region: 7-AAA 2011-12 record: 22-8, Region 6-AA runner-up, second round state playoffs Returning starters: G/F A.J. Davis (6-8, Sr.; 12.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg); PG Isaiah Williams (6-1, Sr.; 14 ppg, 4 apg, 2 spg)Key contributors: G/F Justice Bartley (6-5, Jr.); F/C Kyle Doyle (6-7, Sr.); F Brad Mapes (6-5, Sr.); G/F Colby Durden (6-5, Sr.); PG Austin Pickett (6-1, Sr.) Key losses: F/C T.J. Shipes (15 ppg, 11 rpg, 2 bpg); G Kyle Kellam Notable: A year after falling to Dawson County in the second round of the state playoffs, the Wolves are reloaded and figure to be in the mix with the Tigers, North Hall and East Hall in a highly competitive Region 7-AAA. ... Davis, the son of former NBA player Antonio Davis and brother of Buford girls standout Kaela Davis, is committed to Tennessee. ... The addition of Doyle, who transferred from Westside-Augusta, will help soften the loss of Shipes, the Region 6-AA Player of the Year last season.Chestatee Coach: Gary Barnes Region: 8-AAAA 2011-12 record: 5-20 Returning starters: G Keelan Passmore (6-1, Sr.; 15 ppg, 5 apg); G Jordan Degraff (6-1, Sr.; 12 ppg, 4 apg); G Kelley Arthur (6-0, Sr.; 4 ppg, 6 rpg) Key contributors: G Justin Jones (6-1, Jr.); G Jordan Pulliam (6-1, So.); F Aaron Manders (6-2, Jr.)Key losses: G Cole Morgan (15 ppg) Notable: Chestatee will be in its second year playing a high-pace, pressing style, and returns many players comfortable with the system. ... The War Eagles have talented young players, who played on the 12-4 junior varsity team and the 9-1 freshman team last season, to add depth. ... Barnes said the team has focused on team building, getting more athletic, and fundamentals throughout the summer and offseason, and will look to be in the mix for a playoff spot.Commerce Coach: Rob Brown Region: 8A-A 2011-2012 record: 15-13 Returning Starters: G Thomas McMillan (6-3, Sr.; 15.4 ppg); G Jonathan Book (5-11, Sr.; 11.8 ppg); F Robert Hayes (6-4, Sr.; 8.3 ppg); G Keenan Lord (5-8, Jr.) Key Contributors: F Tony Patman (6-3, Jr.); G Tyre Treadwell (5-8, Sr.) Key Losses: G Chase Klugh Notable: This is Brown’s first season as the varsity head coach after serving as assistant and junior varsity coach for the Tigers for the past six seasons. …The Commerce roster is experienced and has many players that have seen significant playing time over the past few seasons. Dawson County Coach: Thad Burgess Region: 7-AAA 2011-12 record: 25-8; Region 8-AA champion, state quarterfinalist Returning starters: G/F Tyler Dominy (6-5, Sr.; 15 ppg, 8 rpg); G/F Will Anglin (5-10, Sr.; 9 ppg, 3 spg); G/F Gunnar Armstrong (5-10, Sr.; 8 ppg, 85 percent FTs); C Bruce Clark (6-5, Sr.; leading rebounder); PG Jonathan Sanderson (6-0, Jr.) Key contributors: C Camron Chester (6-4, Sr.); G/F Lucas Pain (6-5, Jr.); G/F Jackson Putnam (6-0, Jr.) Notable: The top eight scorers and rebounders return from the most successful team in Dawson County history, and they’ll be needed as the Tigers transition into what is expected to be a very competitive region. ... Dominy was an All-Region and All-State honorable mention selection last year; he’s one of many Tigers currently playing football. ... The Tigers made their run last season leaning on a matchup zone defense and efficient offense; having so many players back who understand the system is a boon for Burgess.
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