Elite 8 Tip-Off Classic returns to McEachern for Saturday showcase

The 2023-24 GHSA Basketball season tipped off this week and one of the biggest showcases of the season is set for this Saturday, Nov. 11 with Georgia’s Elite 8 Tip-Off Classic taking place at McEachern High School. A total of 14 teams will headline the seven-game lineup, starting with Carrollton against Maynard Jackson at 11 a.m. and concluding with state-champion contenders McEachern and Grayson in the 8:30 p.m nightcap. Host McEachern and Grayson are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 across the statewide rankings and did not meet last year—making this matchup a tone-setter for the entire season.

“This is our seventh year doing it and we started it at McEachern,” said Event Founder and Coordinator Damon Wilson.” We wanted to bring some of the best teams in Georgia together early and matchup those teams who weren’t scared to play or put their rankings up. It just happened to be Grayson and McEachern are No. 1 and No. 2 and nationally ranked this season and they didn’t mind playing each other early.”

Grayson is one of the power programs in basketball and continues to make deep runs in the postseason. The Rams are coming off a 24-6 season and lost in the semifinals to Wheeler 67-55. They have arguably one of the best backcourts in basketball in 4-star Gicarri Harris and Western Carolina commit CJ Highland. Harris is a veteran of the program and one of the best combo guards in the country. He is crafty and adept at playing point or shooting guard and can create off the dribble with an impressive outside shot. Highland is great at pushing the ball in transition and has incredible vision in the halfcourt to find open shooters or set up easy buckets for the big man.

Harris is a preseason First Team All-State selection with his teammate Jacob Wilkins (Georgia-commit. Wilkins is viewed as one of the best players in the state in the 2025 class. Returning starter Amir Taylor will man the middle this season. He is a force on the glass and a great rim protector. Grayson will have a lot of athleticism and versatility in the front court this season. McEachern’s Ace Bailey is the highest-rated prospect in the state and headlines the First Team All-State team with Harris, Wilkins and Osborne junior Akai Fleming, who will be taking the court at 5:30 to go up against Newton.

McEachern made it to the quarterfinals last season before losing to eventual state champion Wheeler 79-71. The Indians have the No. 3 player in the country in forward Ace Bailey (Rutgers commit) who is a versatile player. With his 6-foot-9 frame, he has terrific size and athleticism on the wing. He plays with fluidity, can get to anywhere on the floor and has a tremendous skill set on offense and defense.

McEachern also has Jaye Nash in the backcourt. Nash is a three-star prospect who is good off the dribble. Nash recently transferred from Briarcrest where he led them to a 33-3 record and a berth in the Division II-AA state championship game. Nash is an elite passer on the floor and great at opening opportunities for others. He broke the career assists record of former Briarcrest and Memphis Grizzlies guard Kennedy Chandler in his tenure in Tennessee.

The other big-name prospects appearing in the Elite 8 Tip-Off Classic will be Gainesville sophomore Charlie Gersmehl, Wheeler seniors Ricky McKenzie and David Clark, Maynard Jackson First Team All-State selection Mehki Turner, junior teammate and guard Yusef Bowyer and Kell First-Team All-State selection CJ Brown and senior teammate Cannon Richards. Dutchtown’s roster is highlighted by senior forward Joah Chappelle.

Tickets are priced at $15 for students and $20 for adults and all of the games will be broadcasted live on SUVTV.



Saturday, Nov. 11 at McEachern

Game #1 Carrollton vs. Maynard Jackson

11:30 a.m.

Game #2 Heritage-Newnan vs. Campbell

1 p.m.

Game #3 Hillgrove vs. Gainesville

2:30 p.m.

Game #4 Greenforest Christian vs. Kell

4 p.m.

Game #5 Osborne vs. Newton

5:30 p.m.

Game #6 Dutchtown vs. Wheeler

7 p.m.

Game #7 McEachern vs. Grayson

8:30 p.m.



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