To say that the Tattnall Square boys basketball team face a tall task when it battles Greenforest Christian in the GHSA Class A Private School Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday would be true in several different ways.
In fact, that just might understate the situation.
The Trojans' tallest player is junior Jimmy Marshall, who stands 6-foot-5.
Marshall would be the sixth-tallest player on the Greenforest Christian roster. The team has five players -- ranging from the 7-foot Ikey Obiagu to 6-foot-7 Precious Ayah -- who are taller than Marshall.
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Greenforest (27-2) also has guard Justin Forest, whose father starred at Georgia Tech. Forest averages 19 points a game, and he is joined in the backcourt by John Ogwuche, who has already signed with New Hampshire.
Tattnall's opponent at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday at the Kennesaw State Convocation Center has just one loss to an in-state opponent this year, South Atlanta, which takes on Central in the Class AAA quarterfinals on Thursday in Augusta.
That said, Tattnall head coach Jarvis Smith and his team seemed at practice on Monday as calm and loose as they could be and preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime.
"Oh wow, they are a dominant team and so long and athletic with two guards who are very good," said Smith, whose team beat Southwest Atlanta Christian 55-51 on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals. "But we are not scared to play them. We see this as a huge opportunity that we have never seen before, and if we can hit some shots and take care of the basketball, we can stay in the ballgame.
"Sure, it's kind of a David and Goliath situation, but basketball can be a very unpredictable game. This team has been through a lot of adversity this year, and in my 12 years of coaching, this is one of my favorite groups to work with. We will go at Greenforest with everything we have."
Tattnall has received solid play from Marshall, Calvin Slaughter, Ahmad Barron, and Sean Brown, but senior guard Aubrien Kemp has become the go-to player.
Kemp insists that Tattnall is ready to play with what he called the best team they will play this season.
"We know we have to play our best game of the season, but we are confident because of the difficult schedule we have played," said Kemp, who averages 17.5 points per game and has more than 1,000 points in his career.
"This is my last chance to help my team make a statement, and it is really a great opportunity for us. We thought that beating Southwest Atlanta Christian was a great step in the right direction, but we don't want it to end. We will play hard and fast and see what happens on Thursday."