SWD Showdown Recaps
By: Chuck Jones — sportal contributorFollow @sportalspace
The SWD Showdown Showcase at Southwest DeKalb High School was lit with tons of untapped talent invading DeKalb County. Especially, with the nightcap games providing some strong introductions to the seemingly wide open talent pool in Georgia, which happens to boast several top players players nationally. Well the SWD Showdown didn’t disappoint those that were in attendance. The game results of earlier games were:
Lakeside-DeKalb – 51
Towers – 49
Savannah – 49
Clarkston – 40
Butler – 68
No. 10 Redan – 60
No. 4 Cedar Grove 59, Stockbridge 40: The evening games started off with No.4 (4A) Cedar Grove Saints taking on the Stockbridge Tigers (5A) where the Saints thwarted the Tigers persistent attack. Cedar Grove’s Jakeem Faulkner and 2020 guard, Jeffrey Daniels proved to be too much for Stockbridge as they combined for 33 points as the Saints rode their coattails to a 59-40 win. Daniels displayed a knack for finding the ball for easy scores, mostly with pull up jumpers and slashes to the basket that introduced him to the hoops public. Daniels lead the Saints with 18 points, supported by Faulkner’s 15. Stockbridge was paced by 6-7, Bryan Thombs’ 16 points.
No. 8 Tucker 89, Creekside 53: No.8 (6A) Tucker Tigers faced Creekside Seminoles and found themselves in a blender early against their undersized opponents. The Seminoles surprised the Tigers behind the plays of guards Josh Favors, Koby Isaac, and John Moliere, to take a three point lead into the half. Tucker was able to shake off the first half blow by coming with a blow of their own in the third quarter, after Braelon Seals and Nick Watson got their flame’s hot and became a mini version of “The Splash Bros.” The Tucker duo combined for (9) three-point field goals in the game and eight in the second half. If that wasn’t enough, Tigers big man, Nate Ogbu dominated the paint with dunks, rebounds, put-backs and blocked shots to help put the game out of reach for the Seminoles. Creekside head coach, Anthony McKissic, simply said, “we have to be able to play two great halves of basketball in order to win games.” Tucker survived the scare with a 89-53 win. Watson lead all scorers with 23 points, including (6) three-pointers, while Ogbu poured in 21 points and 16 rebounds; Seals chipped in 13 points. Creekside was led by Favors’ 14 points.
No. 4 Lithonia 76, Banneker 34: No.4 (5A) Lithonia Bulldogs played the Banneker Trojans (5A) in one the remaining nightcaps. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 38-10 halftime lead without star 2020 PG, Eric Gaines, who was benched for undisclosed reasons in the first half. However, when Gaines hit the floor in the third frame, everybody found out quickly why he is considered one of the best point guards in Georgia, regardless of classification. The lanky 6-2 junior put on a show to be remembered by utilizing his high basketball I.Q. to cleverly deliver assists that would make Jason Kidd blush, a few two-handed backboard pinning blocks and a couple of air-deflating three-pointers. But it was his aerial assault performance that kept the crowd on 10. Gaines had several ferocious dunks, with the encore being a through-the-legs-windmill that sent the spectators into a frenzy. The Bulldogs cruised to a 76-34 win over the Trojans. Gaines finished with a game-high 16 points.
No. 1 Southwest DeKalb 88, No. 1 Therrell 87: The final installment of the SWD Showdown Showcase featured two No.1 teams in their respective classifications in Georgia. With Therrell of Atlanta (2A) versus event host, Southwest Dekalb (5A), the match-up should be dubbed “The Battle of Panthers” as both teams share the same mascot. The game most definitely lived up to the billing as two of the fastest with the ball, in Therrell’s preseason all-state 2020 PG, Roman Son going toe-to-toe with Southwest’s preseason all-state 2020 PG, KD Johnson. Son struck first, while cooking a steady diet of attacking the rim to eat for 23 first half points and six assists to keep Therrell ahead by three at halftime. Meanwhile, Johnson struggled in the first half, but 6-6 2020 G, Eugene Brown III went crazy from grown-man-land by stroking four three-pointers in the first half and getting effective inside play from 2019 F, James Glisson III. The second half action left fans searching for oxygen masks, as the two state title contenders clashed for Dekalb-Atlanta bragging rights. Southwest’s 2020 G, Jarrett Walton torched Therrell’s defense with 12 third quarter points to keep his team in the game, despite the shooting woes of Johnson. Southwest made a defensive adjustment to slow down Therrell’s Son, by double-teaming (sometimes triple) the junior, but the true point guard made plays to feed his supporting cast of Ra’Sean Frederick, Cam Fortson and Robbie Armbrester, for timely baskets. Although Johnson, of Southwest, was having a bad night finishing, he managed to keep parading to the free-throw line due to his aggressive style of play. Southwest’s Glisson, appeared to be the difference as he bullied his way to 20 points and 14 rebounds against Therrell’s inside defenders. The two squads battled to a tied game of 87 points apiece and it basically came down to execution and free-throws, in which Southwest succeeded down the stretch with the game winning free-throw by Brown to capture an 88-87 triumph over the talented Therrell Panthers. Son finished with a SWD Showdown Showcase event high of 29 points, while Frederick had 20 for Therrell. Southwest was led by Glisson’s 20, Walton’s 18, Johnson’s 17, and Brown’s 17 points.