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Raiders Prove to be the Elite Squad of the Region Heather Miller/Staff

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Playing stretch-4, senior Jaylon Gamble, who stands at 6-foot-7, can play the inside post and has a clean three point shot that can perplex post-defenders. Despite his length, Gamble is more comfortable playing outside and controlling the ball. “I’m more of a guard, but I’m just taller. We are usu-

ally longer than most teams, so we have to use that to our advantage,” Gamble, #11, said. At guard, Coach Frederick Hurt will call upon young freshman Alex Jones to play point until Mark Eze returns from football activities. Jones’ athleticism and pass-first play will add a spark to this up-tempo offense. His nine assists in the West Forsyth game disproved the doubters of his potential.

not a terrible region,” Cacok said. Alpharetta’s squad do have a couple issue that could hurt them. A lack of back-to-basket players and rebounders will not translate well against big and tall teams like Norcross and Lambert. New teammates will need time to gel with teammates before

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getting a rhythm. In addition six straight games on the road will test the players mentally. After watching and talking to players in pre-season, I predict the Alpharetta Raiders will achieve the a 3-peat in their region, a mark of great consistency. A 17-1 region record, with a loss to Lambert, in the calm 6AAAAAA class should give them an automatic entrance into the playoffs. By spreading the floor and sharing the ball, the team should be able to score buckets. The high intelligence of the team, evident by the success over the past few years, will be a huge factor in this year’s games. This team has the right players to go to the third round before getting knocked out by high school powerhouses like Wheeler, who feature the #2 ranked player in the country, Jaylon Brown. “I feel confident about our team. It seems like we rise to the challenges of the big teams and the hype,” Gamble said. Heather Miller/Staff

Daniel Grotch

“[Jones] has a great upside and he is going to have a great career here at Alpharetta. He just has to get over some freshman humps,” Coach Hurt said. In addition to Jones, senior Roy Winston will be a primary ball handler in this motion, pass-and-cut offense. Motion offenses involve timely movement between wing and post players, as well as quick, sharp passes from the point guard. Winston, a solid catch-and-shoot player, will have to adjust to the facilitator role at the start of the season. Luckily, Winston has 6-foot2 senior Afam Maduka on the wing he can assist to. As Maduka is a seasoned vet on this young varsity team, he brings valuable experience and must have IQ to thwart tough Georgia defenses. “We lost two starters since last season, but the core seniors we have this this year all have pretty good chemistry,” Maduka, #10, said. Other notable players include sophomore shooter Greg James and junior post player Elem Nwuke who have dynamic styles of play that can bring plenty of energy off the bench. Greg James will make plenty three’s this season and by senior year could possibly be scouted by Division I colleges. For the past two years, Alpharetta has won the Region 6 title handedly. However, the 6AAAAAA region features two new teams this year, Northview and Habersham Central. None of these teams, are particularly great units, although they could pose barriers to the Raider offense. “It’s not the best region, but it’s

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