Region races taking shape in the final three weeks
With just three weeks left until the region tournaments begin, the Class AAA races across the state are taking shape. Going into the Tuesday games, here’s a look at each region to see which teams are leading and which could make a run:
Region 1: Boys — Monroe is 3-0 in region play and leads Crisp County (1-1). Ulysses Williams is leading the Monroe Tornadoes in scoring with 21 points per game. The Tornadoes are coming off a 75-54 loss at Lee County and will face Crisp County on Jan. 17. Girls — The Monroe County girls (3-0) also are leading their region with Dougherty (2-1) a close second. The Lady Tornadoes are on a five-game winning streak since their 67-45 loss to Colquitt County on Dec. 29.
Region 2: Boys — There is a close race at the top of the standings as the defending Class AAA champion Liberty County Panthers and the Long County Blue Tide are both 4-1 in region play. Sixth-ranked Liberty County is paced by Will Richardson, who is averaging 30-plus points per game. Auburn commitment Davion Mitchell has fully recovered from a early season injury and is averaging 23 points per game. Girls — Tattnall County is 5-0 in region play. Pierce County (3-1) is a close second and will face Tattnall on Jan. 17 for the second time this season. Tattnall defeated Pierce 51-41 Dec. 9.
Region 3: Boys — No. 4 Islands (13-5) is in the lead and undefeated with an 8-0 region record. The Sharks are paced by Trae Broadnax, who is averaging 20.7 points, and Justin Cave, who is averaging 19.4. The Sharks are coming off a 68-59 loss at Southeast Bulloch. Jenkins (12-7) is a close second with a 7-1 region. Girls — Region 2 is arguably the toughest region in Class AAA with two of the best teams in the classification. Top-ranked Johnson-Savannah is leading the region with a 7-0 record. The Atomsmashers’ senior guard Alexis Pierce is averaging 17.5 points. The No. 2 Beach Lady Bulldogs are a close second with a 7-1 region record. On Jan 13, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Windsor Forest 102-31 and have not lost a game since Dec. 13 against Johnson.
Region 4: Boys — This region is arguably the toughest region in Class AAA with No. 5 Central-Macon on top of the standings at 7-0 and No. 2 Westside-Macon a close second at 5-1. The Chargers will face No. 2 Westside-Macon on Jan. 17, which will be the second time the teams have played this season. Central won the first matchup, 79-74, Dec. 9. Girls — No. 10 Peach County is leading the region race at 7-0. The Lady Trojans are led by Daishai Almond, who is averaging 17.2 points. Central-Macon is second in the region standings at 5-2.
Region 5: Boys — No. 8 Cedar Grove is leading the standings at 7-0. The Saints’ last loss came Dec. 20 against Buford in the Woodward Classic. Pace Academy is a close second at 5-1. The No. 9-ranked Knights will face Cedar Grove on Jan. 20 after losing the first matchup, 55-42, Dec. 6. Girls — No. 9 Redan (12-3) is atop the standings at 6-0. Westminster (4-1), Cedar Grove, Lovett and Pace Academy (each 4-2) are close behind. Redan will face Lovett on Jan. 17 after defeating the Lions 50-37 Dec. 2.
Region 6 South: Boys — Calhoun (7-0) and Sonoraville (8-0) are on top of the standings and will face each other Jan 17. Calhoun’s 6-foot-5 senior Chapin Reirson is leading the Yellow Jackets iwith 15 points per game. Girls — No. 5 Calhoun (15-3) leads the region standings with a 6-1 record and will face Sonoraville on Jan 17. Haralson is close behind at 5-2.
Region 6 North: Boys — Coahulla Creek (12-6) is leading the standings with a 5-2 region mark. North Murray is second at 3-4. Girls — Ringgold and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe are tied at the top with 6-1 records.
Region 7: Boys — No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian (13-4) is leading the region with a 6-0 record. East Hall (5-1) and North Hall (4-3) are just behind the Spartans. GAC’s last loss came against Berkmar (62-56) on Dec. 29 in the Roundball Classic in Charleston. The Spartans will face Dawson County (2-4 in region) Jan. 17. Girls — East Hall is on top of the region standings at 6-0. Third-ranked GAC is a close second at 5-1. East Hall will face North Hall on Jan. 17 and will face GAC on Jan. 24.
Region 8: Boys — Top-ranked Morgan County (12-3) is leading the region at 4-0. The Bulldogs have won four consecutive games since their 57-48 loss to Cedar Shoals in the Sweet South Classic. Morgan County will face Jackson County on Jan. 17. Hart County is a close second in the region standings with a record of 3-1. Girls — No. 4 Franklin County leads the region at 3-0. Franklin with face East Jackson on Jan. 17. No. 6 Hart County is second with a 3-1 record and will face Monroe Area on Jan. 17.
Class AAA boys rankings
1. Morgan County (12-3)
2. Westside-Macon (13-3)
3. Greater Atlanta Christian (13-4)
4. Islands (13-5)
5. Central-Macon (13-3)
6. Liberty County (11-5)
7. Jenkins (12-6)
8. Cedar Grove (8-4)
9. Pace Academy (7-7)
10. Johnson-Savannah (11-7)
Class AAA girls rankings
1. Johnson-Savannah (15-1)
2. Beach (16-1)
3. Greater Atlanta Christian (11-4)
4. Franklin County (14-4)
5. Calhoun (15-3)
6. Hart County (15-3)
7. Monroe (14-3)
8. Ringgold (13-5)
9. Redan (12-3)
10. Peach County (13-3)