Now in its 3rd year, the Lemon Street Classic at Marietta High School has quickly become one of the better holiday events in Georgia. There’s a unique mixture of teams & matchups that makes for some very interesting action. This year was no different as programs from all over Georgia competed along with some out-of-state teams. I stopped by for the slate of games on the 17th; here are some thoughts.


5’11” Trent Hinkle (2023/Louisville Western)
Louisville Western made their trip to Georgia worth it by winning their bracket and it might not have happened without the contributions of Hinkle. Their run at the event was very impressive as they beat Etowah, Alexander, and Walnut Grove. The 1st round matchup was with Walnut Grove and it came down to the wire with runs made by both teams. Hinkle was involved in the action throughout and stepped up on offense in the 2nd half particularly. He brings energy & intensity on both sides of the ball. He helped to set the tone on defense with his active approach and was good getting into the lane offensively. You could tell that he’s a leader and wanted to take on big moments. He eventually hit the game-deciding pull-up jumper and led Western with 16 points in the victory. 


6’8” Matthew Hinton (2024/Dutchtown)
Dutchtown improved to 10-4 on the season with their win over Calhoun that I took in at Lemon Street. The Bulldogs have a collection of seniors who are leading them but I’ve also been encouraged with what I’ve seen from Hinton during the month of December. He is a big, powerful 6’8” at a listed 225 pounds. Hinton gets off the floor very well for a guy of his build and he looks to tear the rim down any chance he gets. He plays with a lot of force around the basket and does not hesitate even when in traffic. Foul trouble limited him at times against Calhoun but still finished with 14 points & 6 rebounds, which included some big dunks. He is raw but the motor & physical traits are there, and that has resulted in good things during his junior season. I will be keeping an eye on his development over the next year.


6’5” Deston Christian (2024/Walnut Grove)
After going to a Walnut Grove workout in the fall, there was no doubt in my mind that Christian would be a breakout guy for the Warriors.  That has been the case so far this season, scoring in a variety of ways with his combination of size, touch, and perimeter shooting. Walnut Grove was right there with Louisville Western and that was due in large part to Christian’s 21 points in the game. He has a soft shot that is effective from both 15 feet & behind the line. His touch is evident inside the paint as well; Christian can use his wide frame to create angles & positioning for interior finishes. I thought he gave good effort as a rebounder in this game as well. As his game continues to matures and he keeps making strides with his body & conditioning, college programs will take note.


6’1” Luke Flynn (2024/Walton)
It was another warrior-like effort by Flynn against Alexander, which seems to be almost an every-game thing from him now. Although Alexander prevailed by a score of 60-57, Flynn made sure that it was a battle as he went for 28 points on 7 3’s. He showed off his deep range with some impressive 3’s that you won’t see from many other guys. Off the dribble, on the move, he’s comfortable hitting in any fashion. He also had some physical takes and slung laser passes to teammates with both hands. Flynn has had to deal with injuries this year but no matter the setting, he seems to produce and he did that each time a play was needed against Alexander. The offensive skill itself is exceptional but he’s an even better prospect when you mix in his competitiveness and willingness to sacrifice his body. Flynn already has a good collection of MM offers at the moment and it should expand during the upcoming travel season.