Big games highlight Class AAA weekend
The top-ranked Morgan County boys basketball team has had little trouble protecting its 16-game winning streak after moving past Heritage-Conyers (64-49) and East Jackson (68-47) last week.
The Bulldogs, who won state titles in 2014 and 2016, are 7-0 at home, 3-0 on the road and 6-0 at neutral sites and lead the Region 8 standings over Monroe Area (10-4, 1-1).
And that sets up a showdown between the two teams at Monroe Area on Friday.
To stay undefeated, Morgan County will have to contain the Monroe Area scoring duo of junior Isaiah Glasper and senior Elijah Goodman. The two combine for 30-plus points per game, with Glasper averaging 15.9 points and Goodman adding 14.5. Junior Michael Gray contributes 8.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Here are some of the other top boys games this weekend:
— Second-ranked Jenkins will face a struggling Southeast Bulloch program Friday and should have little trouble adding another victory.
— Third-ranked Johnson-Savannah will face an out-of-state school, Heritage Academy of South Carolina, on Thursday night as it tries to protect its three-game winning streak. Johnson is led by junior Shamar Jones, who’s averaging 20.1 points through 13 games. UGA commitment Amanze Ngumezi is averaging 15.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.5 assists.
— In a Region 5 matchup, fourth-ranked Cedar Grove (11-5, 6-0) will face Lovett team that has won four games. The Saints, who have won four consecutive games since falling to St. Francis in the Lake City Classic, should have little trouble capturing another region victory.
— After falling to McEachern in the Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic, No. 5 Westside-Macon has rebounded with four consecutive victories – Southwest-Macon (60-53), Jackson (87-60), Baldwin (81-74) and Rutland (78-38). The Seminoles will travel to Newton on Saturday, looking for their fifth victory in a row. Senior Khavon Moore leads with 22.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Newton features UGA commit Ashton Hagans, a 6-foot-4 junior point guard who’s rated as the top player in the state by 247Sports.com. This will mark one of the more exciting games of the weekend.
— Top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian (11-3, 4-0) will travel to North Hall on Friday while adjusting to the loss of team leader Robyn Benton (ACL). Since Benton’s injury in the Naples Holiday Shootout, the Lady Spartans, who might have one of the deepest benches in the class, have not been challenged. Benton’s 17.1 points per game might be hard to replace, but Taylor Sutton (15.3 points), Caria Reynolds (11.7 points), Mary Martha Turner (10.2 points) and Kennedi Williams (8.8 points), have kept the team on the tracks.
— Second-ranked Beach will face a Windsor Forest team that has been struggling since the beginning of region play. The Lady Knights (4-12, 2-4) will have to play a near perfect game to upset the Lady Bulldogs. The duo of Jabreika Bass (10.5 points) and Tatiannya Morris (9.5 points) lead the Lady Bulldogs in scoring. Beach has only dropped one game this season, a 48-43 loss to cross-town rival Johnson. Since then, the Lady Bulldogs have won three in a row, including an 82-21 victory against Islands on Jan. 9.
— No. 3 Franklin County (17-0, 3-0) will travel to No. 8 Hart County (12-4, 3-0) with hopes of protecting its flawless record. Since losing to South Gwinnett (70-45) in the 10th Annual McDonald’s Shootout, Hart has moved past East Jackson (58-37), Morgan County (56-53 OT), Elbert County (57-42) and Jackson County (68-43). Franklin County has not lost a game this season and is coming off victories against Jackson County (67-25), Stephens County (67-23) and Monroe Area (61-19) last week.