Top players to watch in 2021 Georgia (GHSA) boys basketball state finals

The 2021 Georgia high school boys basketball state finals tip off Wednesday and continue through Saturday. All eight state championship games will be played at the Macon Centreplex.

Here’s a look at the top boys players to watch across all eight state title games.


(The players are listed in order of when the state title games are being played. All game times are Eastern Standard Time).


Class A Private

Mount Pisgah (26-6) vs. Holy Innocents’ (16-3), Wednesday @ 2:30 p.m.

G JoJo Peterson, sr., Mount Pisgah

Peterson is a three-star prospect who will play Division I college basketball at Purdue University Fort Wayne. The 6-foot-4 guard filled up the stat sheet in the A private quarters, recording 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four blocks. He then had a team-best 12 points in a 66-57 semifinal win over Christian Heritage. 

G Garrison Powell, jr., Holy Innocents’

A three-star prospect with offers from Mississippi State and Ole Miss, the 6-foot-4 Powell is averaging 18.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a senior. Powell had 23 points and four assists in the team’s 59-46 victory over St. Francis to advance to the A Private finals. 

Class 4A

Fayette County (18-11) vs. Baldwin (16-0), Wednesday @ 7:30 p.m.

F Kaleb Banks, jr., Fayette County 

Rated the country’s No. 95 overall recruit for the class of 2022 in the 247Sports composite rankings, Banks is a 6-foot-8 forward with plenty of length. The four-star recruit netted a team-high 16 points in Fayette County’s 59-50 4A semifinal win over Westover and is averaging 24 points and 8.5 rebounds. 

G Rudolph Satcher, so, Baldwin

Satcher, a sophomore point guard, played a key role in Baldwin’s 4A semifinal victory over McDonough. Satcher scored a team-high 16 points as Baldwin overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to earn a 46-42 victory. 

Class 2A

Pace Academy (27-1) vs. Columbia (21-6), Thursday @ 2:30 p.m.

G  Kawasiki Ricks, sr., Columbia

Ricks has been a force in the 2A playoffs for Columbia and is averaging 11.8 points and 7.4 assists as a senior. The 6-foot guard hit game-winners in two early-round games and netted 14 points in a 67-52 semifinal victory over Lovett. 

F Matthew Cleveland, sr., Pace Academy 

A five-star prospect and Florida State signee, Cleveland is an explosive wing averaging 23.1 points and 10.7 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 senior had 14 points and 12 rebounds as Pace Academy, the defending 2A state champion, defeated Thomasville 56-44 in the semifinals. 

G Madison Durr, sr., Pace Academy

Durr notched 11 assists and eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier for his high school career in the 2A semifinals. The 6-foot-4 guard is a three-star prospect with offers from North Alabama and UAB. 

F Josh Reed, jr., Pace Academy 

Reed is a four-star prospect for the class of 2022 and is the country’s No. 126 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite rankings. The 6-foot-6 swingman tallied 12 points and nine rebounds in the 2A semifinals and is averaging 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds. 

Class 5A

Tri-Cities (23-4) vs. Eagle’s Landing, Thursday @ 7:30 p.m.

G A.J. Barnes, jr., Eagles Landing

Barnes notched a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) as Eagles Landing cruised by Chapel Hill in the 5A semifinals. The 6-foot-5 junior was voted Region 4 Player of the Year. 

G Peyton Daniels, sr., Tri-Cities

Daniels scored 26 points in the 5A quarterfinals and had another strong game in the semis (20 points, eight assists, seven rebounds) as Tri-Cities knocked off defending champion Dutchtown, 70-57. Daniels, a 6-foot guard, is a three-star recruit who signed with Vanderbilt. He is averaging 23 points and 5.5 rebounds. 

G David Thomas, so., Eagles Landing

A young star on a deep and talented Eagles Landing squad, Thomas netted a team-high 18 points in the 5A semifinals. Thomas is 6-foot-2 and can score from anywhere on the court. 

Class 3A

Sandy Creek (28-4) vs. Cross Creek (24-4), Friday @ 2:30 p.m.

G Myles Rice, sr., Sandy Creek

A three-star point guard, Rice will play college basketball in the Pac-12 for Washington State. The 6-foot-2 senior had seven points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in Sandy Creek’s 3A semifinal rout of Hart County. He is averaging 19.1 points and six assists. 

F Jabari Smith, sr., Sandy Creek

Smith is one of the state’s most imposing big men at 6-foot-10 and is averaging 23.4 points and 9.8 rebounds. The five-star Auburn signee is the nation’s No. 5 overall recruit according to 247Sports. He scored a team-high 30 points while collecting 14 rebounds and eight blocks in the 3A semifinals. 

F Corey Trotter, sr., Cross Creek

Trotter was the hero for Cross Creek in the 3A semifinals by scoring the winning basket with two seconds remaining in a 77-76 victory over Windsor Forest. The 6-foot-4 swingman and Miles College signee had 16 points in the win as Cross Creek advanced to the title game for the second straight season. 

Class 6A

Wheeler (26-5) vs. Kell (22-6), Friday @ 7:30 p.m.

G Isaiah Collier, so., Wheeler

A five-star recruit for the class of 2023, Collier helped lead Wheeler to the 6A title game. He is rated No. 17 nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings and holds offers from Florida, Ole Miss and Texas Tech. 

F Ja’Heim Hudson, sr., Wheeler 

A Florida Gulf Coast signee, Hudson is a versatile forward with a 6-foot-7 frame. He is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports. 

G Scoot Henderson, jr., Kell

Arguably the top player in Georgia regardless of classification, Henderson had 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals in Kell’s 60-55 6A semifinal win over Lee County. The 6-foot-3 guard is the class of 2022’s No. 14 national recruit in the 247Sports composite rankings. 

Class A Public

Towns County (24-3) vs. Hancock Central (16-1), Saturday @ 12:30 p.m.

G Kolby Moss, sr., Towns County 

The 6-foot-1 Moss helped lead Towns County to the program’s first A Public title game appearance. The senior guard was the Region 8A player of the year. 

G Jamal Taylor, sr., Hancock Central

Taylor’s half-court buzzer-beater lifted Hancock Central, the reigning A Public champion, to a 73-72 semifinal victory over Dublin. The 6-foot senior had 17 points — just shy of his average of 17.8 — in the dramatic win. 

Class 7A

Berkmar (26-5) vs. Milton (27-2), Saturday @ 8 p.m.

F Kendall Campbell, jr., Milton

One of the state’s top juniors, Campbell is a rangy forward who stands 6-foot-7. He is a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 128 overall prospect for the class of 2022 in the 247Sports composite rankings.

G Kanaan Carlyle, so., Milton

Carlyle netted a team-high 24 points as Milton edged Pebblebrook 74-67 in the 7A semifinals. The 6-foot guard is a five-star recruit for the class of 2023 and already holds scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida and Georgia Tech. 

G Bruce Thornton, jr., Milton

An Ohio State commit, Thornton is a 6-foot-2 point guard who had eight assists in Milton’s 7A semifinal victory. He is a four-star recruit and rated No. 60 overall nationally for the class of 2022 in the 247Sports composite rankings. 

C Malique Ewin, jr., Berkmar

Ewin had 11 points, six rebounds and a block in Berkmar’s 59-58 7A semifinal victory over McEachern. The 6-foot-9 center is a four-star prospect and checks in at No. 88 in the 247Sports class of 2022 composite rankings. 

G Jermahri Hill, jr., Berkmar 

Hill is a big guard at 6-foot-4 and can score at all three levels with ease. A three-star prospect, Hill had 16 points, five assists and a steal in the 7A state semifinals. 

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