Did Georgia’s Best Get Snubbed?

Kyle is the Assistant Managing Editor at Score Atlanta and the Owner of sandysspiel.com

The 8th annual DICK’s Sporting Goods National Tournament released its eight team field for this year’s tournament which begins play on March 31 in New York City and lasts till April 2 when the country’s best is crowned. But what if one of the nation’s best teams has been left at home?

Actually, the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, undefeated Chino Hills (CA) and unblemished No. 4 St. Anthony’s (NJ) are ineligible to play due to state association rules, the same type of rules that Wheeler had to conquer in order to play last year.

This year it’s not Wheeler representing Georgia, but perennial power Miller Grove (30-2) who successfully captured its seventh title in eight years after falling to Warner Robins in the Elite Eight a year ago. Coach Sharman White’s Wolverines are led by McDonald’s All-American and UConn signee Alterique Gilbert along with guards Aaron Augustin, Tae Hardy, Colin Young and Joshua Jackmon. They held off previously undefeated Allatoona, a team with one player holding a Division-I offer, 50-48 in the Class AAAAA final.

Miller Grove is one of the state’s best programs year-in and year-out, but are they really the team that should be representing the Peach state in the Big Apple?

Greenforest Christian (30-2) has been regarded as the state’s best team all year long. The Class 1A-Private school knocked off McDonald’s All-American and Arizona-commit Kobi Simmons in the state championship 78-66 to end St. Francis’ quest for a three-peat.

The Eagles boast possibly the biggest front line in the country consisting of five-star 7-foot junior center Ikey Obiagu, the nation’s best shot blocker who sent back 20 shots in the Region 5 championship this year, 6-foot-10 (Jr.) Abayomi Iyiola, 6-foot-9 (So.) Mohammed Abdulsalem, 6-foot-8 (Jr.) Victor Enoh and 6-foot-7 Miami (OH) signee Precious Ayah.

As dominant as Greenforest’s trees are inside protecting the paint, its junior Justin Forrest and New Hampshire signee John Ogwuche that orchestrate Coach Larry Thompson’s offense. Ogwuche poured in 27 points and five assists while getting to the line 23 times. Forrest, the team’s leading scorer on the year, added 13 points in the state championship.

Greenforest’s only losses came to Hammond (SC) 70-58 when Obiagu did not play due to injury and to South Atlanta 62-57. Hammond sported UNC signee Seventh Woods and College of Charleston signee Chevez Goodwin.

Miller Grove’s lone defeats came to Lone Peak (UT) and McDonald’s All-American and Duke signee Frank Jackson 73-71 and to Chaminade (MO) 86-77 powered by another All-American and Duke signee Jayson Tatum.


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