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2020-21 BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
Kohl Harris
South Forsyth senior Kohl Harris, right, puts up a shot last season during a game against Lambert. File photo

Forsyth Central

Last year’s record: 9-16

Key returners: Dylan Carter, Sr.

Key newcomers: Eli Chol, Jr.; Cade Chitty, Jr.; Usman Barry, Sr.

Season outlook: Forsyth Central will lean heavily on senior Dylan Carter, who is the Bulldogs’ only returning starter from last year’s team. Carter averaged 8.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a junior. 

Central must replace Jake Craft and Joakeim Celestin, who each transferred to Dawson County, as well as Brandon Sherer (Piedmont College) and Anthony Roveto (Covenant).

Second-year head coach Brandon Hutchins hopes 6-foot-10 junior Eli Chol will bring some size to the middle on offense and defense.

Dylan Carter
Forsyth Central junior Dylan Carter, left, tries to get around Lambert senior Wilson Logan during Tuesday's 71-70 loss to the Longhorns. - photo by David Roberts

Denmark

Last year’s record: 25-6

Key returners: Sutton Smith, Sr.; Joseph Scott, Sr.; Kourtland Tolbert, Jr.

Key newcomers: Jayden Hilliman, Jr.; Sefan Davidov, So.; Lucas Garabadian, Sr.

Season outlook: Denmark returns three starters in seniors Sutton Smith (14.3 points, 6.3 assists) and Joseph Scott (9.7 points, 6.3 rebounds), as well as junior Kourtland Tolbert. Smith is a two-time All-County selection and a University of Alabama in Huntsville commit.

The most noticeable hole in Denmark’s starting five is the absence of Robert Cowherd, who transferred to Grayson after averaging more than 20 points per game last year. Also gone is Adonnis Tolbert (Augusta University). 

Still, following deep playoff runs in each of their first two seasons, the Danes figure to be one of the top teams in Region 6-7A. Head coach Tyler Whitlock said he expects each of his newcomers — Jayden Hilliman, Lucas Garabadian, Stefan Davidov — to play significant roles.

Sutton Smith
Denmark junior Sutton Smith, left, tries to get around a Marist defender Jan. 31 during the Danes' 68-61 win. - photo by Ben Hendren

Lambert

Last year’s record: 18-10

Key returners: Marc Mauge, Sr.; James Tyre, So.; Paul Lunguana, Sr.; Luke Paris, Sr.; Joao Moreira, Sr.

Key newcomers: Mason Barnes, Sr.; Niko Wilson, So.; Matthew Whicher, Jr.; Will Sorel, Sr.

Season outlook: Seniors Paul Lunguana and Mason Barnes figure to handle the bulk of the scoring this season after the departure of seven seniors.

Lambert sent three players to the Division I ranks — Colin Granger (Ohio), Braxton Beaty (Navy), Luke Champion (Samford) — but head coach Scott Bracco said he expects his team to compete with high energy despite many new faces.

Barnes is a transfer from Dawson County, where he helped the Tigers to a 25-3 record and a region championship last season.

James Tyre
Lambert freshman James Tyre passes the ball to a teammate Tuesday during the Longhorns' 84-68 loss to Milton. - photo by David Roberts

North Forsyth

Last year’s record: 6-19

Key returners: Aidan Kudlas, Jr.; Jackson Olson, Sr.

Key newcomers: Matthew Rouse, So.; Will Sokol, So.; Kal-El Delgadillo, So.; DJ Hyams; Braden Mullis, Fr.

Season outlook: North Forsyth looks to take the next step under third-year head coach David Sokol.

North finished 1-9 in region play last year, and was anchored by center Cory Seitz (Truett-McConnell), an All-County selection who averaged 14.9 points and 9 rebounds per game last season.

Junior Aidan Kudlas came on strong at the tail end of last season, while sophomore Matthew Rouse impressed in limited action. Sokol said the Raiders have emphasized half-court defense and rebounding this season.

Aidan Kudlas
North Forsyth sophomore Aidan Kudlas, left, drives toward the basket Tuesday during the Raiders' 63-57 win against Forsyth Central. Photo by Ben Hendren

Pinecrest Academy

Last year’s record: 17-12

Key returners: Oscar Lynch, Jr.; Ryan Kieffer, Sr.; Will Howell, Jr.; Colin Brown, Jr.

Key newcomers: Carter Kling, Sr.; Pat Flanigan, Jr.; Pat Frain, So.

Season outlook: A season after reaching the Class 1A Private Elite 8, Pinecrest has much to replace. 

Six-foot-6 guard Oscar Lynch is the only returning starter for a Paladins squad that must also replace head coach John Bauersfeld. Jay Lynch, who led Pinecrest’s basketball team from 2012-16, will lead the Paladins. Lynch averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals last season. Tony Carpio transferred to Providence Christian and JJ Hayes transferred to Hilton Head Prep (S.C).

Jay Lynch said shooting guard Carter Kling will be a key scorer this year, while Ryan Kieffer and Colin Brown will be defensive leaders and Will Howell and Pat Flanigan will be asked to be key rotation pieces for the Paladins.

Oscar Lynch
Pinecrest Academy sophomore Oscar Lynch lays the ball up while trying to beat the clock Friday during the Paladins' 70-62 loss to Mount Pisgah. Photo by Jay Rooney Photography

South Forsyth

Last year’s record: 18-12

Key returners: Devin McGlockton, Sr.; Kohl Harris, Sr.; Ethan Underwood, Jr.

Key newcomers: Brandon Stoudamire, Sr.

Season outlook: Bolstered by 2019-20 Forsyth County News Player of the Year Devin McGlockton and a second-round playoff appearance, South Forsyth heads into the season with plenty of momentum. 

McGlockton averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds last season, while Ethan Underwood stepped up as a sophomore to shoot 45 percent from the field and average 13 points per game.

The War Eagles picked up a big transfer in Brandon Stoudamire, who figures to give South another legitimate scoring option.

McGlockton
South Forsyth's Devin McGlockton attempts a shot against Walton on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. Photo courtesy Jay Rooney Photography.

West Forsyth

Last year’s record: 18-11

Key returners: Mason Little, Sr.; Caleb Lesch, Jr.; Elijah Massard, Sr.; Russell Miller, Sr.

Key newcomers: Jake Mooney, Jr.; Mark Daly, Jr.

Season outlook: West Forsyth lost one of the top guards in Forsyth County in Broc Bidwell, but the Wolverines return several promising pieces.

Bidwell, who averaged 14.6 points, 4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2 steals per game last season, transferred to former region foe Milton. The Wolverines must also replace Dawson County transfer Tyler Lane, as well as Joseph Staiti, Jack Bock and Nick Zabetakis, who all graduated.

However, West returns plenty of size in 6-foot-7 Jake Mooney, 6-foot-5 Russell Miller and 6-foot-4 Caleb Lesch and figures to be one of the top teams in a competitive Region 6-7A.

Russell Miller
West Forsyth junior Russell Miller, center, goes for a layup Friday during the Wolverines' 58-54 win against North Forsyth. - photo by David Roberts