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MID-SUMMER BASKETBALL REPORT: Boys teams to follow

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Daniel Peace, a rising senior at Jonesboro, helped the Cardinals to a 26-4 record last season and a second straight trip to the Class AAAA semifinals.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Daniel Peace, a rising senior at Jonesboro, helped the Cardinals to a 26-4 record last season and a second straight trip to the Class AAAA semifinals.

After June, a month heavy with summer leagues and weekend camps at colleges, the high school basketball offseason slows down. Here is a look at five boys teams that should be worth following this upcoming season.

Eagle’s Landing: Take Isaiah Dennis, Desmond Ringer, Jordan Sessions and Eric Wortham; add Chris Davenport (Montverde Academy, Fla.) and Trevin Joseph (Stockbridge), and you’ve got perhaps the most highly-anticipated boys team to come through Henry County. Perhaps ever.

Jonesboro: Eagle’s Landing isn’t the only Southern Crescent team coming off back-to-back semifinals appearances with virtually its entire roster intact. Patrick Petty, Daniel Peace, Cameron Sutton, Duby Okeke and on and on and on return for the Cardinals. Mark down Jan. 5. That’s the only regular season meeting between Jonesboro and Eagle’s Landing.

Lovejoy: It’s easy to focus on what the Wildcats lost from last season’s quarterfinals team — 6-foot-9 center Justin Tuoyo, veteran point guard Jermaine Hough and five other seniors — but they return enough talent in football standouts Arshad Jackson, JuMichael Ramos and Alejandro Bennifield to support DeAngelo Anthony, a smooth scoring guard.

Luella: Here’s a team on the rise, though the Lions’ problem in the past has always been their fall from a strong early season. But Luella may have enough pieces to stay consistent next season, and it starts with rising senior point guard Nyrryk Evans and rising junior small forward TeMarcus Blanton. And if 6-foot-10 rising sophomore Doral Moore develops into a solid contributor, watch out.

North Clayton: The Marcus Hunt-era is over. So let the James Walker-era begin. The hype is tempered for now, but Eagles coach Martisse Troup says Walker, a 6-foot-4 incoming freshman, is better than Hunt was at this stage of his career. That’s good news for North Clayton, which is coming off a semifinals appearance and looking for leadership and scoring from Stefan Bradley and Devin Lewis.