Warner Robins, Georgia – Warner Robins High School hosted the boys edition of the Hypesouth Hardwood Invitational on Saturday. Squads from varying corners of the state clashed and we saw some intriguing storylines. Here, we dissect the standouts from the event.
Jaedon McClendon got things started with 12 points, 5 steals, and 4 assists in Dodge County’s seventeen-point victory over Central-Macon. He showed off an impressive arsenal hitting a couple threes, knocking down midrange pullups, as well as finished at the basket. In addition, McClendon’s facilitating and defensive presence were superb. Head coach Cedric Jordan couldn’t have asked for a better all-around showing.
Jaleel Jordan, Jaden Stanley, and Kaden Douglas were clicking on all cylinders in the second game of the evening. The Jones County trio combined for 47 points in the Greyhounds rout of Glenn Hills. Jordan and Stanley scored 16 points apiece while Douglas contributed fifteen. Year in and year out coach Buck Harris puts a solid stable of guards on the floor and this season will be no different.
Tre Lawrence is already known around the state, but newcomer Karez Demory has burst onto the scene in a major way for Baldwin. He turned in 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, and collected two steals. Lawrence earned Player of the Game recognition with 21 points, four rebounds, and four steals. The Braves are off to a 3-0 start and have leaped into the class 4A rankings (No.10) in large part due to the two-headed monster previously mentioned.
Southwest-Macon has a talented bunch that showed some flashes of what’s to come. Sophomores Chase Dupree (10 points) and CJ Howard (7 points, 5 assists) are a reliable backcourt duo. New into the fold are Brandon Ashley (10 points) and 6-foot-9 senior Tobias Rice who will provide quality depth for the Patriots as the season progresses.
6-foot-8 combo forward Nigel Thomas of McDonough has expanded his game since last year’s event. He finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds and nailed five triples in the process. Several high major programs are already in hard on the budding junior. Teammate Keenan Gray was also steady with 10 points.
Houston County made it a respectable game versus McDonough. Malachi Jackson and Kam Plummer contributed 13 points and 12 points respectively, but in the end the Warhawks squeezed out a two-point win.
Jabarri Williams (11 points, 6 assists) and Israel Jenrette (15 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks) got all the headlines for Valdosta, but Eric Love was the x-factor in the Wildcats victory over Warner Robins. He led the way with 16 points including 4 made trifectas. It is clear that Williams is the lead dog and Jenrette anchors the interior, however, Love may very well be the unsung hero when it’s all said and done.