Westlake preps for Art Turner Memorial

The Lady Lions took care of business, defeating Parkview 78-30 on November 26, 2019.  MaxPreps has them as the top-ranked team in its Xcellent Rankings as of this post. The Art Turner Memorial Tourney @ Paul VI High School this weekend (Dec 6-8) should shed some light on just how talented these young ladies truly are.  Head Coach Hilda Hankerson and her coaching staff look to keep the momentum going as we close out 2019.

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Georgia Girls HS Hoops

Highlights from The Lady Warhawks of McDonough as they host the Eastside Eagles on December 03, 2019.  McDonough was able to hold on for the win, 64-54.  Jr. PG Ja’Niah Alexander for McDonough was special.

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Alcovy Highlights vs Lamar County

Highlights from the Alcovy vs Lamar County contest played on November 22, 2019, at Alcovy High in Covington, GA.  The Tigers with too much firepower for Lamar County to handle, defeating the Trojans by the score of 90-47.  I can’t wait to see Alcovy a few more times to create a scouting report for their players.

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Popscout Scouting Report: 2021 Brooke Demetre

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Brooke Demetre
6’3 Guard 2021
Mater Dei High School (CA)
Stanford commit

Brooke started as a freshman for the Lady Monarchs as we’ve seen her game continue to develop since 2019.  She loves to move without the ball and finish around the bucket with either hand.  She runs the court well but could improve her athleticism as she continues to develop her craft. Capable ball handler who should stay in the lab to develop her handles to become an elite playmaker. Her high basketball IQ allows her to outsmart her defenders on both ends of the court.  Shows the ability to rebound and push, making solid decisions in transition.  A good defender but must continue to work on her quickness and agility to become lockdown. 5 Star stud who should continue to focus on her weaknesses, over the next two years, to become great at the next level.

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Popscout Game Highlights: Tri-Cities (GA) vs Westlake (GA)

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Tri-Cities vs Westlake High
November 16, 2019
20019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic  – Pace Academy

Popscout Ones 2 Watch: 2022 Dillon Hunter

6’3 PG Dillon Hunter – 2022
Westlake High (GA)
2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic
November 16, 2019 – Pace Academy

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2022 6’3 PG Dillon Hunter could very well be the next big thing. ESPN lists him as the #2 Recruit for the Class of 2022. Image by Popscout.

 

Jillian Hollingshead G 2021

 

2021 Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School 6’4 G Jillian Hollingshead during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic. The game was played on November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.

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2021 6’4 F Jillian Hollingshead during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019. Popscout

 

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GA Girls Hoops: Heritage holds on for the win

The joint was jumping as the Lady Patriots of Heritage were able to hold off Rockdale County down the stretch 44-41, evening their season record to 2-2. Rockdale County suffered their 1st defeat of the season, dropping their record to 4-1.  Both teams played their hearts out, giving the crowd what they came for…some good basketball.  Although play at times was a bit sloppy, it’s early enough in the season, that coaches have time to make the adjustments and fine-tune their ball clubs.  Jr. Guard Kristyn Goshay was impressive down the stretch for the Lady Patriots, showing the ability to be a solid floor general and become special on the offensive end when need be.  Here’s a look at the 4th Quarter action from the game played Friday, November 22, 2019.

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GA Girls Hoops: Westlake continues to shine

It’s been a while since the Westlake Lady Lions have lost a basketball contest.  Their winning streak currently sits at 32 (per MaxPreps).  MaxPreps also has them sitting pretty in the #4 spot on the MaxPreps Preseason Top 25 National Rankings – 1 spot ahead of Sierra Canyon (CA).  The season has begun and boy are they living up to the hype. We had the pleasure of seeing these young ladies do their ‘thang’ during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic hosted by Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA.  A few clips of them in action as we spotlight Super Sophomore Guard Ta’Niya Latson.

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5’8 Jr. Guard Raven Johnson pulls the trigger during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic. Image by Popscout.

2022 Ta’Niya Latson is a Super Sophomore

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Have you ever seen a girl’s player sit and slide on the defensive end, then when getting beat, release and recover back into her stance?  Many of you newcomers to the game have no idea what I’m referring to.  You gotta witness So. G  Ta’Niya Latson in action.


We had to branch out and see some different talents family. Boy, are we delighted that we did.  Don’t get me wrong.  The State of CA has some of the best ballplayers in the country.  Guys and gals who take their craft seriously and show up and out on the hardwood. With that being said, Atlanta is beginning to shine in that area as well.  Take a look at a few clips of 2022 G Ta’Niya Latson.  She’s one of the top Sophomores in the Country.  She runs for the Westlake Lions, who just happens to sit one spot (4) above Sierra Canyon (CA) in the MaxPreps Preseason Top 25 Rankings.  Few from the State of CA can say they’ve migrated to the Dirty South to truly scout talent except yours truly.  These young ladies can go.

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Langston Hughes starts fast, finishes strong.

Langston Hughes (GA) traveled to crosstown rival Westlake High (GA) in a game that’s sure to stay on each other’s minds as the season unfolds. Showing no signs of road jitters, Langston Hughes opened up the game on a 15-1 run.  At the end of one, it was 18-6 Langston Hughes.  Things were not looking special for the Lions of Westlake, whose student body showed up and out, packing the gym and cheering for each and every bucket. Westlake regained its composure to start the 2nd Quarter, going on an 18- 4 run to bring themselves within two at halftime, 22-24.

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2022 6’3 PG Dillon Hunter could very well be the next big thing. ESPN has him as the #2 Recruit for the Class of 2022. Image by Popscout.

A sensational dunk by Super Soph. Dillon Hunter wasn’t enough during a 2nd half that saw both teams use the non-30 second shot-clock to work the tempo and control the momentum of the game. It’s a different type of feel when you’re able to just sit on the rock until ‘you’ decide when to begin your descent on the bucket.  Having no shot clock really changes the ‘meaning’ of the game out here in the ‘Dirty’. Langston Hughes nonetheless weathered the storm in front of a sold-out crowd, eventually coming out victorious by the score of 46-42.  A few highlights from the game.  Popscout Out and About.

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5 Star Dillon Hunter all by his lonesome

5-Star So. PG Dillon Hunter uses the glass as his friend.  He catches everybody slippin’ for the self-lob.  The 6’3 PG out of Atlanta, GA is the #2 ranked player for the Class of 2022, per ESPN.  He holds an offer from Clemson, Georgia, and Florida State. Unfortunately, Westlake (GA) took the L against Langston Hughes (GA) 46-42 on their home court, November 21, 2019.

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2022 6’3 PG Dillon Hunter could very well be the next big thing. ESPN has him as the #2 Recruit for the Class of 2022. Image by Popscout.

Big O and Melo could go 1 and 2 in 2020 NBA Draft

 

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Dude…Big O dropped 33 last night for USC in a win against crosstown rival Pepperdine (11/19/19).  LaMelo Ball continues to put in work overseas.  Could we be looking at the Number 1 & 2 picks in 2020’s NBA Draft?  Yes, sir!  The two who prepped out of Chino Hills High School (CA), look poised to go high on the board come NBA Draft Night.  Continue to shine young men, stay humble and in the lab.

Big O shines during the 2019 Classic @ Damien.  MovieMode is a beast on them mixtapes.


2019 Nike Drew League footage of LaMelo Ball and Onyeka Okongwu as they reunite during Summer League play in Los Angeles, CA. Movie Mode is a beast with the mixtapes you feel me.

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LaMelo Ball pushes the rock in front of the fam’ during the 2019 Nike Drew League in Los Angeles, CA. Image by Popscout

Popscout Chats: Mikey Williams

Caught up with the #1 Recruit for the Class of 2023, Mikey Williams.  The kid is as skilled as they come and only in the 8th grade (time of interview).  His development over the next 4 years will be fun to watch. The interview was taken during the 2019 Pangos Best of the West Camp.

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2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic Standouts

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Recap of players who stood up and out during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic’s final day of action on November 16, 2019.  Images by Popscout.

Game 1
Denmark 55 vs Maynard Jackson 52

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Robert Cowherd willed his team to victory at the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019. Game played at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout.

10 -Robert Cowherd 
Denmark HS
6’3 CG Class of 2022
(Listed as 6’5 on the submitted team roster)

Cold shooting night for this Combo Guard (3 for 12 shooting) who nonetheless stayed poised, leading his team to a come from behind victory after Maynard Jackson jumped out to an early lead.  Robert does a great job of handling the rock under duress, becoming a pressure valve for his teammates. He gets to the rack to create opportunities by his penetration and kick to teammates who spot up for open looks. He can also become special by finishing around the rim with jellies and euro steps.  Solid open court creator with a high basketball IQ. These aforementioned traits will be key assets towards the success of his squad as the season progresses and his development continues over the next two and a half years.  He went 15-18 from the line, tallying 23 points, showing his effectiveness to cause issues once he gets by his defender, draws fouls, and then cashes in at the charity stripe.  After watching this young man shine during the North Georgia HS Showcase (11/9/19), we expect some serious buzz in the very near future. Georgia has already offered and I’m sure many more to come


Game 2
Girls – Holy Innocents 63 Marietta 29

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2021 Jillian Hollingshead with the blow by during their 63-29 victory over Marietta (GA). Popscout

35-Jillian Hollingshead
Holy Innocents
Jr. 6’5 W 2021
#6 Position, #25 overall recruit for 2021 (Per ESPN)

Marietta gave little resistance as Holy Innocents pretty much did what they pleased. 2021 Jillian Hollingshead logged a double-double, pulling down 12 rebounds to go along with 12 (4 for 9 shooting, 4-11 FT) points.  She also had 3 steals and limited her mistakes to 1 turnover.  UCLA was on hand, which is an indication that this young lady is drawing national attention on the recruiting trail.   As she uses her Jr. season to fine-tune her game by continuing to work on her mechanics and athleticism, at the end of the day, results should give her the edge she needs to be a true difference-maker at the collegiate level.


Game 3 
Glen Hills 49 Mt. Bethel 47

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2020 G John Whitehead III goes to work during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic. Image by Popscout

24 – John Whitehead III
Glen Hills High
6’3 CG Class of 2020

John hit a deep 3 ptr. wet ball to send the game into overtime as Glen Hills capitalized on the extra period to escape with a 49-47 victory over Mt. Bethel.  The 6’3 Combo Guard was a stocking stuffer, scoring 15pts on 6 for 16 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds, 8 steals, and 3 assists (3 TO). We like the athleticism of this young man, who handles well, shoots with confidence, and can go down low to do damage, working several times off the block to post and score over smaller defenders.  Concerned that 1st year Glen Hills HC William Cunningham micromanages his squad a bit too much and thus limits the development of his players.  Many seemed a bit timid to express themselves as Cunningham has to have control over each and every situation, instead of relying on his players to figure it out.  If John can continue to stay focused and play his game despite the tight reign that he’s under, we should see him drawing D1 interest at the end of the day.


Game 4
Greenforest 69 St. Pius X 55

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2022 Jalen Forrest is an up and coming prospect out of the State of GA. He stepped his game up during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019. Popscout

Jalen Forrest
Greenforest High
6’2 So Guard Class of 2022

St. Pius X came out swinging, scoring the first 8 points of the game. The backcourt running mates of 6’1 Chase Cormier (2022) and 5’10 Brooks Kahlert (2021) from St. Pius X can wreak havoc on defenders.  Greenforest showed great composure, eventually, pulling away for the dub.  Greenforest is tall but wet behind the ears, as their Freshman bigs saw limited action.  We always wonder how bigs will adapt to the speed of the game which can make or break a player’s chance of becoming the next big thing.  We like the development and play of So. 6’2 G Jalen Forrest who held his own against a strong defensive effort from St. Pius X.  Jalen is a stocky guard who can get to the bucket and finish with floaters and stop and pops, thus eliminating charging calls/ turnovers and momentum swings. His ability to become special was a determining factor for the Eagles as he poured in 22 points while shooting 7-11 and 3 for 6 from 3 pt. land.  He also knocked down 5 of his 6 attempts from the charity stripe.  All signs point to a stud in the making from this young soldier and witnessing his development over the next two years will be a joy for Greenforest HC Rory Griffin.


Game 5
Girls Westlake 69 Spaulding 35

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#20 So. G Ta’Niya Latson goes up for a rebound during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019. Image by Popscout.

#20 Ta’Niya Latson
Westlake High (GA)
5’7 G Class of 2022

Westlake was too polished – even though they only sport 2 seniors on their roster.  Head Coach Hilda Hankerson has to be stoked about the potential of her squad.  She runs a tight shift, showcasing a full-court press while running sets that allow her players to shine. Keep your eyes and ears open for Ta’Niya Latson who’ll emerge as a top recruit when it’s all said and done.  Ta’Niya is active as can be, sitting and sliding and releasing and recovering on defense, while showing great activity on the offensive end of the court with her tenacity and relentless pursuit of the ball.  We only got a glimpse of Westlake (2 and a half Quarters) but loved what we see.  This team will compete with the best of them and should garner National attention because of their deep and young roster.  Another player to watch is Jr. 6’3 W Brianna Turnage who shows a uniqueness to her game that’s a joy to watch.


Game 6
Tri-Cities 87 Westlake 72

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2021 Peyton Daniels of Tri-Cities (GA) looking to eat during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic. November 16, 2019, Popscout.

Peyton Daniels
Tri-Cities High
6’2 PG Class of 2021

No one works harder than Tri-Cities who were able to literally impose their will on rival Westlake, grinding them to a halt.  2021 6’2 PG Peyton Daniels, who has 8 offers including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and James Madison, was special.  Although he shot 8-25 from the field and 2 for 13 from 3pt land while missing 5 of his 10 free throw attempts, he finished the day a stocking stuffer scoring 23 points, with 7 boards, 4 dimes, and 3 steals.  If Peyton can limit his mistakes (4 TO’s) and be a bit more in control of his game in terms of shot selection and pressing the issue, we’re looking at a difference-maker at the next level.  He was able to shine against Westlake 5 Star Super Soph. Dillon Hunter who was held to 13 points on 2 for 4 shooting.  With one year left for this young man to develop his skillsets and leadership attributes, we may be looking at the #1 PG in the state of GA for the Class of 2021


Game 7
St Francis 62 Langston Hughes 57 

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2020 6’2 PG Dwon Odom with the stop and pop. The Xavier commit is electrifying on the court. Popscout

#1 Dwon Odom
St. Francis High
6’2 PG Class of 2020
Xavier commit

There’s one word to describe 2020 Dwon Odom:  electrifying.  This kid right here is as special of a PG as we’ve seen in quite some time.  When was the last time you saw a guard rebound and push, outrun the entire defense in the process, and go coast to coast for a monster slam?  Not once but twice!!  His athleticism allows him to play above the rim as he just wreaks havoc with his ability to jump out of the gym. He’ll need to continue to develop consistency in his jump shot but the potential to be a top collegiate player and NBA playmaker is evident.  The potential for this young man to be great at the next level will be fun to watch as he heads off to Xavier, bringing a bag load of skillsets to the Musketeers.

Game 8
Woodward 56 Pace Academy 52

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2020 7’0 Walker Kessler shows the ability to sit and slide during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout.

It was a packed house at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA as all eyes were on 7’0 big Walker Kessler.  The UNC commit even had his future coach Roy Williams in attendance.  Mr. Kessler didn’t disappoint, hitting key buckets down the stretch to seal the victory for the War Eagles.  Because of his ability to stretch the defense, protect the rim, and score off the block, it’s no wonder he’s the #1 prospect out of the State of GA for 2020.  He runs the court well getting to his comfort zones and spots on the court where he’s effective at pulling the trigger and knocking down wet balls.

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7’0 2020 Walker Kessler warms up during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout

His footwork is advanced, showing an array of post moves on the block and then his ability to just shoot over smaller defenders.  Stretches defenses to behind the arc, shooting with confidence and a silky smooth stroke.  One play in transition, he was able to receive a pass then stop and pop for a step back midrange jumper.  Fluid.  The gripe many may have about Walker is that he’s a bit soft and lacks explosiveness.  I’ve seen Evan Mobley (CA), the #1 Center for the class of 2020 since he was a Freshman, develop into a multifaceted player under the tutelage of AAU’s Compton Magic.  Evan is a bit grimier than Kessler with a lot more explosiveness.  If Kessler can add muscle and toughness to his already semi-polished game, he’ll be a top 5 pick in the NBA Draft, whenever he decides to jump ship.


We appreciate the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic and host Pace Academy.

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7’0 Walker Kessler shines during Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic

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2020 7’0 Walker Kessler shows the ability to sit and slide during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout.

Walker Kessler showed why he’s the #1 Recruit in the State of Georgia during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA.  The 2020 big from Woodward Academy in College Park, GA has excellent feet, the ability to protect the rim, and a soft release on his shot which allows him to extend the defense beyond the 3 pt. range with a silky smooth release. He lacks the toughness and physicality you would like to see from a big but his potential to develop into a solid NBA prospect is a no-brainer.  Mr. Kessler chose UNC over Duke and other major D1 schools looking to capitalize on his skillsets.

Popscout was on hand doing what we do…evaluating players, getting great footage, and taking butter action shots.  A few clips of this young man in action as they outshine host Pace Academy 56-52 in front of a sold-out crowd.  The atmosphere was lit out here in the dirty!

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7’0 2020 Walker Kessler warms up during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout