Top boys, girls players to watch
As the basketball season heats up, here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of the better players in Class AA. This list is incomplete and other players will emerge to earn statewide recognition, so feel free to leave your picks for the best in AA in the comment section.
Height/Weight: 6-2, 185
Notes: Sanders is a two-sport standout who will likely play football at the next level, with numerous FBS offers including one from Georgia. On the hardwood, he’s the Cavaliers’ top scorer and team leader. He was an AJC all-state honorable mention last year.
Height/Weight: 6-9, 200
Notes: Perry, only a junior, is committed to play for Arkansas and led the Bulldogs to the AA quarterfinals last season. He was the only sophomore to be named to the AJC all-state first team last year. He is considered one of the nation’s best players.
Height/Weight: 5-10, 180
Notes: Foster is a two-sport standout coming off helping the football Indians to a quarterfinals appearance. He’s carrying that winning trend over to the basketball Indians, most recently guiding them to a title in the Cherokee Invitational. He was an AJC all-state honorable mention last year.
Height/Weight: 5-9, 140
Notes: The undersized Pauldo, only a junior, is averaging 28.5 points through 11 games, according to stats posted on MaxPreps. Pauldo was an honorable mention for the AJC all-state team last season.
School: South Atlanta
Height/Weight: 6-7, 200
Notes: The Hornets are AA’s top-ranked team, and Thornton is a big reason why. Thornton led the Hornets to a Peach State Classic championship over the Christmas holidays against a field with some of the state’s best teams and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Notes: Last season as a sophomore, Saxton led the Lady Blue Devils to a 28-0 start and a trip to the AA quarterfinals. She averaged 21 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.0 blocks and 2.8 steals a game and is the reason Model is ranked No. 2 this season. She was an AJC all-state first team selection last season and is one of the nation’s top prospects.
Notes: Benjamin was the only sophomore named to the AJC’s AAA all-state first team last season. With Laney now in AA, she’s guided them to a No. 1 ranking and an 11-1 start by averaging 21.8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block according to stats posted on MaxPreps.
School: Rabun County
Notes: Scott, a senior guard, recently surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her prep career and is the leader of a Lady Wildcats team currently ranked No. 3. She was an AJC all-state second team selection last year.
Notes: Brown is the only sophomore on this short list and was an AJC all-state honorable mention after turning in a stellar freshman campaign after averaging 17.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5 steals and 1.1 blocks according to stats posted on MaxPreps. This season she’s averaging 15.8 points, 7.8 points and 4.1 steals.
School: Early County
Notes: Powell has guided Early County to a 6-4 start and is averaging 18.1 points and 5 assists per game according to stats posted on MaxPreps. She was an AJC all-state honorable mention last year after averaging 17.3 points, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals.
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