Among Josh Grayson’s most lasting memories of the recently past basketball season will be the state tournament loss to Riverwood.
It’s not so much the defeat that will linger, but the sight of Sheldon Arnold walking off the floor.
“It was sad to think that might have been his last competitive basketball game,” Grayson said.
Not only will the three-year starter not be back on the court for the Red Devils, he’ll likely not extend his hoops career to the college level since he’s expected to land a football scholarship.
But the Loganville swing man went out with a bang, scoring a career-best 39 points in his final game. That effort pushed him over the top in the final Walton County basketball statistics as he averaged 18.4 points a game, just ahead of Monroe Area’s LaKendric Lyles.
“He played so well in that game,” Grayson said. “He was just drenched in sweat and totally exhausted. He’s such a competitor and hates to lose. He’d could play college basketball somewhere if he wanted to.”
Monroe’s Area made it all the way to the Elite Eight of the Class AAA state tournament thanks to the inside-outside combo of Derrick Brown and Lyles.
Lyles led the Hurricanes in scoring with 18.1 points a game from his guard sport while Brown picked up most of his points in the paint, averaging 14.
Brown also led the county in rebounding with 9.6, just missing a double-double.
Tyrhell Branch carried the scoring load for Social Circle, averaging 15.3 points and helping the Redskins win 20 games and make it to the state tournament for the first time in nine years.
After leading the Loganville Christian football team to the second round of the state playoffs as a running back, Jordan Jackson carried the Lions basketball team to within a point of a GISA state title, averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds, both tops on the team.
A trio of Walnut Grove players finished among the top 10 in scoring, led by Cam Lee with 15, Ryan Landers with 12.4, and Quantez Rogers with 11.4.
Sheldon Arnold, LHS 18.4
LaKendric Lyles, MA 18.1
Tyrhell Branch, SC 15.3
Cam Lee, WG 15.0
Derrick Brown, MA 14.0
Jordan Jackson, LCA 13.0
Ryan Landers, WG 12.4
K.J. Reid, SC 12.3
Quantez Rogers, WG 11.4
Larry Kennedy, LCA 10.9
Derrick Brown, MA 9.6
Jordan Jackson, LCA 8.5
David Graham, LCA 6.0
Cameron Williams, LHS 5.9
A.J. Vinson, SC 5.7
Quantez Rogers, WG 5.6
K.J. Reid, SC 5.2
Cam Lee, WG 4.3
Ryan Landers, WG 4.0