Class AAAAA blog: Region-by-region playoff assessment
Only 10 days remain in the regular season. Then the region tournaments begin and teams get down to serious business, the goal being the state championship games in Macon.
Here’s a look at each region in Class AAAAA as teams head down the stretch.
Region 1: Boys – Defending state champion Warner Robins (17-5, 4-1) leads the league and has won four straight. Harris County (14-7, 4-2) trails by half a game and has split two games with Warner Robins. Veterans (14-8, 3-2) is currently in third place and hosts Warner Robins on Saturday. Girls – Veterans (20-2, 5-0) has won eight straight games and will likely play at Harris County (16-5, 5-1) for the region championship on Tuesday.
In Region 2:Boys — New Hampstead (13-7, 5-1) hosts Wayne County (16-5, 5-1) in a game between the two clubs tied for first place. New Hampstead won the first meeting by four points on Jan. 12 and has won five in a row. Girls – Statesboro (21-2) lost its first region game on Tuesday, falling to Wayne County. That leaves Wayne (17-3) a half-game out of first place, with the Yellow Jackets finishing the region schedule on Tuesday against New Hampstead.
Region 3: Boys – Fayette County (19-4, 9-1) and Jonesboro (14-8, 8-1) are virtually tied for first place and have already split their two meetings. Fayette County has games remaining at Starr’s Mill and Whitewater. Jonesboro still has games against Whitewater and at Griffin and McIntosh. Girls – Starr’s Mill (15-6, 8-1) leads Griffin (14-6, 7-2) by a half game. The two clubs meet on Feb. 1 in the season finale; Starr’s Mill won the first game by five.
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Region 4: Boys – There’s still a lot of business for both teams to take care of, but first place could be decided on Monday when Eagle’s Landing (16-3, 11-0) travels to Woodland (18-3, 8-1). Girls – Eagle’s Landing (15-5, 11-1) leads Jones County (18-4, 9-2) going into the final 10 days. Eagle’s Landing won both meetings between the two clubs and would win a tiebreaker. Woodland (16-6, 8-3) and Locust Grove (17-5, 7-4) should make for a good region tournament.
Region 5: Boys – Southwest DeKalb (17-6, 9-1) and Lithonia (14-8, 8-2) are running one-two and have split their two meetings. Columbia (11-7, 5-4) and finishes the season on Feb. 1 against Southwest. Girls – Southwest DeKalb (17-6, 10-0) are one game ahead of Arabia County (16-3, 9-1) and the two clubs meet on Tuesday. Southwest won the first meeting. Columbia (14-5, 9-3) plays Southwest in the season finale.
Region 6: Boys – There should be a wild finish here, with Jackson (14-7, 9-2), Lithia Springs (15-7, 8-3) and Riverwood (14-8, 8-3) still in the running. Jackson split with Riverwood and beat Lithia in their first meeting; Jackson and Riverwood play again on Feb. 1. Lithia has already beaten Riverwood twice. Girls – Jackson (16-4, 11-0) has first place wrapped up. The second spot will come down between Lithia Springs (12-10, 8-3) and Riverwood (11-10, 8-3), who split during the regular season. Lithia finishes against Grady, North Springs and Decatur. Lithia finishes with Banneker, Decatur and Jackson.
Region 7: Boys – Kell (18-4, 13-0) is sitting pretty with a three-game lead, but finishes the season against Carrollton, Rome and Paulding County. Carrollton (13-8, 10-3) and Paulding County (19-3, 10-3) are tied for second place and Carrollton has swept their season series. Carrollton is coming off a tough 104-100 overtime loss to Rome. Girls – Villa Rica (21-0, 13-0) is closing in on an undefeated season and has already swept second-place Carrollton (16-6, 11-2). Cass (18-4, 10-4) is trying to hold off Rome for the third seed in the region tournament.
Region 8: Boys – Buford (18-2, 6-1) faces a big game Friday at Cedar Shoals (10-11, 4-2). The Jaguars are tied for second place with Clarke Central (11-8, 4-2), with the two Athens schools playing each other on Saturday. Cedar Shoals won the first meeting between the two rivals. Clarke also has a game remaining with Buford. Girls – Buford (18-2, 7-0) leads Clarke Central (8-8, 5-1), meaning their contest on Feb. 1 could determine the top seed. But the Jaguars must first get past third-place Loganville (11-10, 4-3) on Friday and Cedar Shoals on Saturday to set up a showdown.