Barron & Hulsman help extinguish No. 8 Chattooga comeback

Alpharetta 54, No. 8 Chattooga 47

Playing one of the toughest schedules in Class AA and by far the most strenuous out of the North Georgia mountains instead of hiding and padding their record like so many other schools have in the past, No. 8 Chattooga (5-4) has made a concerted effort to test themselves, not for Region 7 play but for the big picture – the state tournament. The undersized Indians were back on the road Thursday afternoon making the 69-mile drive to the War Lodge Invitational at Sequoyah where they battled Alpharetta (8-4), a Class AAAAAA school starting to find its groove.

With 5-foot-6 Jundraius “Nuk” Adams benched to start the game, Alpharetta took advantage of the smaller offense-less Indians by jumping out to an 8-2 lead behind a Kalik Brooks And-1 and threes from North Carolina A&T-signee Brandon Barron and Machi Sibblies. 6-foot-5 junior Josh Spencer made his season debut after an ankle sprain and broken finger sidelined him for the first 11 games and quickly made an impact inside with his rebounding and defense.

At the end of one, Alpharetta led 14-4, but much like at the SportalShowcase against No. 1 Woodville-Tompkins, once Adams entered the game and hit his first shot, the wheels began to turn for the Indians. Back-to-back Adams hoops cut the score to 17-9 at the 6:46 mark before Jamarious Mosteller banked in a jumper to make it 22-14.

As the Indians inched closer and closer, the backcourt of Barron and Brooks held them at arm’s reach. Saddled with foul trouble in the first quarter, Brooks went 4-of-4 from the line while Barron nailed his second three and added a layup to combine for nine of the Raiders’ 14 second quarter points.

With 1:15 remaining in the half, Jayden Stephens cleaned up a Barron miss and made the score 26-17.

Alpharetta entered the half up 28-20 but Coach Jared Groce made adjustments to find more open looks for Chattooga as the Indians sparked a 5-0 run with Mosteller finishing inside to trim the lead to 28-25 at the 6:05 mark.

Adams scored to make it 33-27 with 1:57 remaining but the Raiders stole momentum heading into the fourth quarter closing on a 7-2 run ignited by a Barron assist to Kyle Hulsman in the corner for three and capped by a Barron layup before Clayton Johnson hit a late layup to send the game into the final frame with the Indians trailing 40-29.

The Raiders led 42-31 at the 6:38 mark following a Barron fast break dunk, bouncing the ball to himself and throwing it down with Johnson on his hip.

Johnson answered back with a hoop of his own, but Spencer wore down the smaller Indians on the offensive glass, garnering another rebound and put-back to edge the lead out to 44-36 with 4:40 to play.


Thirty-seven seconds later, not knowing he had four fouls, Johnson fouled out at half court leaving the Indians without one of their top scorers down the stretch, Johnson finishing his night with 12 points.

Trying to claw their way to a one possession game, Chattooga got burnt twice in a 36-second span by Hulsman who drilled back-to-back threes to give the Raiders a comfortable 52-42 lead with 2:23 remaining.

Tre Flowers gave Chattooga one last breath when he knocked down his second three of the night to bring the deficit to 52-45 with 1:47 to play, but Stephens scooped up a loose ball and laid it up to push the lead back out to nine to officially put the game out of reach.


My Take

Alpharetta has their best basketball coming over the next few months now that they are healthy. Josh Spencer was a major lift inside and once he gets his conditioning and feel back, he will be an important piece that can battle in the paint for Coach Eric Blair. Brandon Barron was steady throughout and played a great floor-game finishing with a game-high 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, leading the Raiders in all categories. His quickness and athleticism helped him slice into the lane at will and his two three-pointers helped stretch the defense. Speaking of stretching the defense, Kyle Hulsman looked like Robert Horry, nailing crushing threes in the second half. His nine points were the difference late in the game. Kalik Brooks sat for a majority of the first half with foul trouble but he was productive when on the floor and earned rave reviews from the Indians after the game. His length gave them fits on defense but it was his slithery ability to maneuver into the lane for layups which got him going.

Chattooga’s inability to score in the first quarter came back to haunt them. Nuk Adams is so important for their offensive flow, he is their engine. Without Adams buckets are hard to come by, but once he sees his first shot drop, it energizes the entire team. Having a streaky 5-foot-6 point guard as their best shot creator can be tough at times, but the Indians playing against teams with great length will prepare them for the state tournament where they won’t have to worry about too many lineups that can start four players over 6-foot-4. Clayton Johnson played a very nice game offensively with 12 points and hit two timely threes. Having his three-point shot calibrated helps the Indians space the floor and allow Adams to create shots for others. Lefty Tre Flowers stepped up with eight points and nailed two threes while Jamarious Mosteller impacted the game on both sides of the ball. The Indians needed more production from their forwards Malachi Mack and Devin Price who combined for three points. Mack rebounded the ball well in the first half and finished with three blocks, but Price could never find a niche to impact the game like he usually does. The Indians have proven they can compete with bigger and better teams and that they aren’t just another prototypical North Georgia team that feasts on cupcakes. They are a serious threat come February. Chattooga’s lack of true full-time basketball players may hurt them down the stretch, but their competitiveness and athleticism will keep them in every game, especially in Class 2A.

Top Performers

Brandon Barron – 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Kalik Brooks – 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Kyle Hulsman – 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Josh Spencer – 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 blocks
Jayden Stephens – 5 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal
Machi Sibblies – 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal

Nuk Adams – 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Clayton Johnson – 12 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jamarious Mosteller – 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Tre Flowers – 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Malachi Mack – 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 blocks

Paulding County collects 30 steals in blitz of East Paulding

Paulding County 90, East Paulding 77

In front of two vocal student sections that lacked a filter, Paulding County (12-1) put their nearly pristine record on the line against cross town Region 7-AAAAA rival East Paulding (6-5), who is already two wins away from their most victories in a season since 2012-13 under new Head Coach JW Cantrell. Even with the clear size, skill and athletic advantage it wasn’t until the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter that the Patriots were finally able to put away an upset-minded Raider group.

The Patriots entered Wednesday night without one of the state’s top scorers, Jervon Morris (24.9 ppg) who was suspended for disciplinary reasons. Even without Morris, Paulding County played their trademark up-tempo style and pressed the full length of the court.

East Paulding traded buckets with Paulding County as Azer Tidor, a 20+ point-per-game scorer got to the rack early for six points in the opening frame.

Tidor never got into a clean flow however as the Paulding County press harassed East Paulding and picked up eight of their 30 steals in the first quarter to set the tone while John Cook capitalized on the other end, the athletic 6-foot-5 forward scoring nine points to give the Patriots a 22-19 lead after one.

Missing star post Sean Rutledge, Coach Cantrell turned to Cole Brown who provided a spark in the second quarter scoring and rebounding the ball, but Paulding County continued to stretch the lead, going on a 10-4 run to make it 32-23 at the 4:32 mark, Cook scoring eight points during the stretch.

With the Patriots having the ability to bury opponents in a flash, the Raiders responded with a 7-0 run of their own, Silas Johnson Jr. knocking down a three and Ravon Melon finishing two And-1s, but missing both free throw attempts to make it 32-30 with 3:03 left in the first half.

As East Paulding tried to make a game of it, Paulding County punched back with their defensive pressure suffocating the Raiders. Keon Sedgwick capped a 7-2 run which pushed the lead out to 39-32.

At the half Paulding County led 44-39 playing at a Patriot pace. By the break, Cook had already dumped in 20 points and the free throw advantage for the aggressive Patriots started to balloon, going 11-of-20 from the line while East Paulding shot 1-of-6, both teams leaving crucial points at the line.

The Patriots popped East Paulding right out of the gate in the third, swarming for easy steals – Sedgwick, Corleone Thomas and Jamal McIver at the forefront of the pressure which made the score 50-41 after two Sedgwick pull-ups. But once again, East Paulding wouldn’t lay down, cutting the lead back to three before a Thomas layup in traffic made it 52-47 at the 4:48 mark.

The Raiders cut the lead to 58-54 but in the blink of an eye, a Trell Evans three and a McIver steal and layup grew the Patriot advantage to 63-54 with 1:13 remaining before settling with a 67-56 lead heading into the fourth quarter after closing the third on a 9-2 run, Evans netting 11 points in the period.

With East Paulding seemingly on the ropes, the Raiders struck a 9-1 run to trim the score to 68-65 at the 6:20 mark following a Johnson three and put-back.

The three-point deficit would be as close as the Raiders would get as Cook unleashed an onslaught in the final six minutes after failing to score in the third. The senior piled in 12 of his game-high 32 points in the deciding quarter as the Patriots ripped off a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach, making it 81-67 with 3:10 left to play.

In the fourth quarter the Patriots went 7-of-19 from the line, taking more attempts than the Raiders did the entire game going 9-for-18. Paulding County finished 20-of-42 from the line but the story was East Paulding’s inability to handle the press and Cook’s knockout fourth that closed the game 90-77 in favor of the visitors.

My Take

Paulding County was impressive with their overall length, athleticism and aggressiveness. They are the type of team that will overwhelm bad teams and feast on weaker competition which they have done so this year. They may run into trouble when they play disciplined teams with good guard play or teams that can control the tempo and play in the half court. Their lone loss came against Carrollton who had the competency to handle ball pressure and elected to run with them, winning 92-76. Either way, the Patriots are an exciting group to watch and they should be able to secure another state tournament berth and have a ton of natural talent. The details surrounding the suspension of Jervon Morris aren’t pretty if true, but if and when he’s allowed back on the court, it gives Coach Kevin Hammitt another potent scorer. John Cook was great for the Patriots tonight. After three years of chasing stability, he has found it and showed the type of talent he has finishing with 32 points (5 threes), 7 rebounds and 5 steals. He could be a good fit at the JUCO level. Sparkplug Trell Evans stepped up in a big way with his speed and tenacity. His third quarter helped Paulding County extend its lead with Cook going scoreless. The length of Corleone Thomas and Keon Sedgwick led to 13 combined steals. Sedgwick played the role of swiss army knife, collecting 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 steals and 2 blocks. He’s a wiry and lively player, always getting involved in plays. He had lightning quick hands that led to easy poke aways and showed a nice pull-up jumper.

The fact that East Paulding was able to hang around until the four-minute mark was quite impressive. Outmanned, the Raiders had to scrap all throughout the night and punished the Patriots on the glass, outrebounding the bigger and more athletic visitors 58 to 32. The Raiders were horrendous against the press and all but neutralized their large rebounding advantage however. A lack of a true point guard was apparent as the Patriots bullied them with their pressure leading to 30 Paulding County steals. 6-foot-2 senior Azer Tidor had a quiet 20 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block if that’s even possible. Tidor was steady throughout, scoring six points in the first, third and fourth quarters. The 6-foot-2 combo guard is a nice sleeper prospect that doesn’t play AAU. He’s got a good feel for the game and didn’t get too flustered with the aggressive Patriot defense. He liked to pull-up from the elbow but also showed the ability to finish at the basket. He could help out a small college looking for a reliable option on the wing. Silas Johnson Jr., a 6-foot-3 senior, hit three three-pointers en route to 15 points and 8 rebounds. The lefty isn’t much of a ball handler, but he’s long and can help stretch the floor and rebound. The Raiders will be adding one of the best players in the region this January as 6-foot-5 junior post Sean Rutledge will be eligible. He is a game-changing presence with his ability to score with his back to the basket and will give Coach JW Cantrell a very talented inside-out duo with Tidor on the perimeter. East Paulding’s best basketball is on the horizon as they look to shatter last year’s 8-win mark.

Top Performers

Paulding County
John Cook – 32 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals, 1 block
Trell Evans – 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Corleone Thomas – 17 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals
Keon Sedgwick – 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 steals, 2 block
Kevin Brown – 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Jamal McIver – 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 7 steals

East Paulding
Azer Tidor – 20 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Silas Johnson Jr. – 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Cole Brown – 9 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
Ravon Melon – 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal

Spielin’ & Dealin’ Ep. 61: SportalShowcase Recap + Week 5 Storylines


Kyle Sandy and Rameen Forghani bring you latest news and notes from Georgia High School Basketball.

SportalShowcase Recap
Mundy’s Mill vs. Franklin County [1:10]
Woodville-Tompkins vs. Chattooga [5:59]
ELCA vs. Grayson [10:21]
Coffee vs. Campbell [12:45]
Jeff Davis vs. South Paulding [15:55]

Week 5 Storylines
Class 7A [22:14]
Class 6A [24:21]
Class 4A [28:58]
Class 2A [33:19]
Class A-Public [37:23]

Short-handed No. 2 Therrell guts out nail-biter against No. 4 South Atlanta

No. 2 Therrell 54, No. 4 South Atlanta 52

After bursting onto the scene last year, sweeping the then defending state champion South Atlanta Hornets in three games by a total of 15 points, Therrell has returned to prove that last year’s Elite Eight finish was no fluke. Hit with the transfer bug, losing leading scorer to DeAndre Brown to Holy Spirit Prep, No. 2 Therrell (7-3) has proven they can push through adversity and did so again on Tuesday night, handing No. 4 South Atlanta (9-1) its first loss of the season in front of a spirited home crowd without the services of 6-foot-5 All-State power forward Robbie Armbrester.

Short-handed without their star post presence, the Panthers needed someone to step up especially once the Hornets came out of the gates hot, stinging Therrell with a quick 8-2 spurt paced by 6-foot-3 junior shooting guard Ja’Quavian Florence, who turned defense into offense with eight points and four steals in the opening eight minutes.

Therrell caught their breath and regrouped early behind Tyrese Ransom. The junior guard slithered to the hoop to trim the lead to two.

At the end of one, South Atlanta held a 14-11 advantage.

6-foot-5 junior swingman Ra’Sean Frederick scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the first half and knocked down a three to knot the game at 14 just over a minute into the second quarter.

Defense and physical play set the tone right away for both teams as neither could take ahold of the lead for good. South Atlanta’s 2-3 zone slowed down Therrell’s attack but Cameron Fortson muscled his way to six points in the quarter to become a factor while Florence continued to shine for the Hornets, knocking down a pair of triples as the Region 6 rivals went into the half tied at 26.

Points were hard to come by in the third quarter as after a Gary Davis layup at the 4:09 mark, the score remained Therrell 32 and South Atlanta 31 until 2:28 left to play.

The pace soon quickened as Florence struck again with his defense, pilfering and putting down a fast break jam to ignite the South Atlanta crowd and move the Hornets ahead 37-36 with 1:01 remaining.

The Panthers answered however behind Preseason All-State point guard Roman Son, who had been quiet up until the waning moments of the third. Son attacked the basket and finished a late layup that gave Therrell a 38-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Ransom extended the Panther lead to 43-39 at the 6:03 mark after converting an And-1. The Hornets responded by moving to a full court press to try and change the pace. The move worked as Florence sparked a 7-2 run to take a 48-45 lead with 3:17 remaining as he found Rohan Garner in the corner for a three-pointer then collected another steal and went coast-to-coast for an And-1, but missed his free throw attempt.

With Georgia State and Columbus State in attendance, the Lakers already offering, Son kicked it into high-gear and seemed to thrive in crunch time. Though he only scored seven points on the night, the true point guard made two of the biggest plays down the stretch, spoon-feeding Ransom for a layup and then Frederick to take a 49-48 lead before Florence answered with a layup and Frederick later was sent to the line to split a pair of free throws, leaving the game squared at 50 with 1:30 left.

South Atlanta had opportunities down the stretch but failed to capitalize.

6-foot-6 sophomore forward Julius Lymon raced down the floor and pulled up from 15-feet, missing the shot and going over the back to send Ransom to the line where he sank a pair of free throws to give Therrell a 52-50 lead with 43 seconds to play.

Now down two, the Hornets found the ball in the hands of freshman guard John Lawton who felt pressure in the corner and threw the ball away to Frederick before Corey Donaldson was fouled and sent to the line with 21.2 seconds remaining.

Donaldson left the door open by splitting a pair of free throws. Florence got a clean look at the other end and missed, but got his rebound and had the ball knocked away with 6.5 seconds.

On the ensuing inbound, the Hornets had to settle for a Demetrius Headspeth layup with 2.5 seconds left on the clock making it 53-52.

It looked like Therrell was able to run out the clock before being fouled but South Atlanta was gifted 1.8 seconds and saw Frederick head back to the line.

Frederick sank his first attempt but missed the second. Gary Davis rebounded and heaved the full length of the court but there was no South Atlanta miracle to be had, Therrell surviving 54-52.


My Take

It’s always a classic when these two premier Class AA schools meet. Therrell was up against it without double-double machine Robbie Armbrester available to play but as all good teams do, the Panthers had key role players step up. Tyrese Ransom netted 14 points while getting the start. The lefty found himself at the right place at the right time and scored half his points in the fourth quarter including going 3-for-3 from the line. Three-point shooting could be an achilles heel for the Panthers and South Atlanta made life tough for them by sitting in a 2-3 zone and with enough size inside to protect the rim and outrebound the Panthers 37 to 23. Therrell hit three deep balls on the night, getting two from Ra’Sean Frederick who has taken his game to the next level now that his role has increased after the loss of DeAndre Brown to Holy Spirit Prep. Frederick is a big 6-foot-5 southpaw that affects the game in many ways with his physicality. His three-point shot is a little flat but it goes in and his willingness to mix it up on the glass gives Coach Eddie Johnson another imposing force when crashing the boards. Roman Son had a quiet game offensively, but his spurt in the last two minutes helped the Panthers settle themselves and regain momentum. His quickness, toughness, ability to both find the open man and finish through contact will translate well to the next level, but to really solidify himself as one of the premier guards in a deep 2020 class, he will have to craft a three-point shot that will keep defenses honest and stretch them out to create even more lanes for scoring and assisting.

South Atlanta had opportunities all night to steal a massive Region 6 road win but could not seal the deal. There were silver linings in the loss however as Ja’Quavian Florence was outstanding, finishing with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals and 1 block after promising me before the game that he would put on a show – he did just that. If you follow Sandy’s Spiel year-round, you’d know that Florence was a name I tabbed back in June and its quite refreshing to see him rise to the occasion in a big spot. While his athleticism and scoring are easy to notice, it was his quick hands on defense that really separated him tonight. Florence is rounding into a nice prospect that could garner some D-II/LM D-I sniffs come his senior year. 6-foot-6 sophomore Julius Lymon had a wasted freshman campaign after breaking his wrist and enduring an essential redshirt season. He had some hype coming into last year but will have to work hard to remind people about his potential. He didn’t have a massive game and did have a poor decision down the stretch, but there’s a lot to like about his frame and mobility. He collected 10 rebounds and keeps the ball high on putbacks. He also swatted away four shots. Going from someone who had steam going into their freshman year to a player that no one has talked about, 5-foot-11 freshman point guard John Lawton has some promise. Much like Lymon, he showed his youth late in crunch time, but you can’t teach Lawton’s toughness and aggressive on-ball defense. While he can get a little too chippy on defense, if you’re being defended by Lawton you will know it. He did not back down from the challenge of checking Roman Son and got right in his chest, flustering Son into committing an offensive foul with a shoulder. Lawton has some bounce for a freshman and quickness to get into the paint where he dropped off a few nice passes. He will have some freshmen moments, but the good will outweigh the bad this season and Lawton could be a sneaky name to track for the next four years and could be next in the long line of quality guards that Coach Michael Reddick has helped produce.

Top Performers

Ra’Sean Frederick – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
Tyrese Ransom – 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Cameron Fortson – 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Roman Son – 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
Corey Donaldson – 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals

South Atlanta
Ja’Quavian Florence – 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals, 1 block
Demetrius Headspeth – 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Julius Lymon – 4 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks
Gary Davis – 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
John Lawton – 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Week 5 Girls Rankings


1. Collins Hill (9-1)
2. Westlake (7-0)
3. North Cobb (9-0)
4. Norcross (9-4)
5. Grayson (9-1)
6. North Forsyth (8-2)
7. Pebblebrook (7-1)
8. Mill Creek (10-2)
9. Marietta (8-3)
10. Cherokee (7-3)


1. Lovejoy (10-2)
2. Forest Park (11-1)
3. Stephenson (8-4)
4. Northview (9-1)
5. Douglas County (8-3)
6. Lanier (9-1)
7. Valdosta (8-1)
8. Dacula (9-2)
9. Glynn Academy (7-1)
10. New Manchester (9-1)


1. Villa Rica (9-0)
2. Buford (8-1)
3. Southwest DeKalb (8-1)
4. Eagle’s Landing (8-2)
5. Harris County (7-1)
6. Statesboro (11-0)
7. Carrollton (6-2)
8. Arabia Mountain (12-2)
9. Veterans (9-1)
10. Wayne County (8-1)

Class AAAA

1. Carver-Columbus (9-0)
2. Spalding (8-2)
3. Madison County (11-0)
4. Henry County (11-1)
5. Flowery Branch (7-1)
6. Luella (10-2)
7. Perry (6-2)
8. Westover (6-0)
9. West Laurens (7-2)
10. Burke County (4-2)

Class AAA

1. Beach (12-0)
2. Johnson-Savannah (5-5)
3. Morgan County (5-2)
4. Jefferson (8-1)
5. Hart County (7-1)
6. Peach County (4-1)
7. GAC (6-6)
8. Dawson County (6-3)
9. Ringgold (9-1)
10. North Hall (7-3)

Class AA

1. Douglass (9-4)
2. Dodge County (8-1)
3. Laney (9-1)
4. Bryan County (11-0)
5. Fitzgerald (10-0)
6. Rabun County (6-1)
7. Early County (7-0)
8. Putnam County (8-1)
9. Swainsboro (6-2)
10. Banks County (7-2)

Class A-Private

1. Wesleyan (10-0)
2. St. Francis (5-1)
3. Holy Innocents’ (5-4)
4. Paideia (8-0)
5. ELCA (5-2)
6. Lakeview Academy (6-2)
7. Calvary Day (7-1)
8. Darlington (5-0)
9. Mt. Paran (8-0)
10. Stratford Academy (6-1)

Class A-Public

1. Marion County (5-0)
2. Telfair County (7-2)
3. Wheeler County (7-2)
4. Georgia Military College (6-0)
5. Calhoun County (8-1)
6. Greenville (10-1)
7. Pelham (4-1)
8. Wilcox County (7-3)
9. Bowdon (7-2)
10. Central-Talbotton (5-2)

The top four in Class AAAAAAA has begun to stabilize as No. 3 North Cobb and No. 4 Norcross are indeed for real. The Lady Warriors knocked McEachern (2-3) from the Top 10 with a 50-40 victory while the Lady Blue are healthy and streaking, winning eight-straight highlighted by a 63-56 win over Class 5A No. 2 Buford at the Hawks-Naismith Holiday Classic, Myra Strickland pouring in 25 points while now healthy Yamani Paul scored 15 and Auburn-signee Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. No. 10 Cherokee is freefalling, sinking five spots after a 49-48 loss on Lemon Street against debutant No. 9 Marietta. 5-foot-2 Eva Knox snuck in for an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and scored the game-winning layup with seven seconds left to shock the Lady Warriors. Following Marietta into the poll for the first time is No. 8 Mill Creek who replaces Brookwood (6-5), the Lady Broncos’ inconsistent play plaguing them again in losses to Central Gwinnett 53-44 and Class A-Private No. 1 Wesleyan 58-40. Mill Creek polished off another perfect week, beating North Gwinnett 44-34, Discovery 58-45 and Lambert 64-34, Kayla Mulkey netting 16 points in the win.

Region 4-AAAAAA is the strongest region in the state regardless of classification. No. 1 Lovejoy survived No. 3 Stephenson 45-40, while No. 2 Forest Park did damage at the She Got Game Classic in Washington, D.C., beating St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) 47-38 and nationally ranked Long Island Lutheran (NY) 33-28. Outside of Region 4, No. 4 Northview dropped Pope (8-3) from the rankings with a 50-43 win, the Greyhounds also losing at Alpharetta 48-45. No. 5 Douglas County lost 60-53 to Class 7A No. 2 Westlake, but rebounded with a 47-43 win over newly ranked No. 10 New Manchester, the Jaguars’ first loss of the season.

Class AAAAA No. 2 Buford edged Class A-Private No. 3 Holy Innocents’ 48-45 before running out of gas against surging Class 7A No. 4 Norcross 63-56, Tate Walters netting 24 points in defeat. No. 8 Arabia Mountain sinks two spots after a tough loss to a red-hot Roswell team, 58-54. No. 7 Carrollton rises a spot thanks to a 60-48 Region 7 victory over Rome (5-2), who slides out. Griffin (6-2) also slips out of the Top 10 after a hard-fought 50-44 loss to Class 4A No. 2 Spalding. Debuting in the poll is No. 9 Veterans while No. 10 Wayne County reenters, both teams avenging their lone losses to ranked opponents. The Warhawks took down Class 4A No. 7 Perry on the road 58-46. Veterans is powered by 6-foot junior Stacie Jones (15.4 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 1.2 bpg), junior Tamia Luckey (12.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3 apg, 3.4 spg) and senior Madison Perez (12.4 ppg). The Yellowjackets toppled last week’s Class 2A No. 1 Dodge County 54-33.

Defending Class AAAA state champ No. 2 Spalding earned wins over Griffin 50-44 and Class 3A No. 7 GAC 47-45, star 6-foot junior Corriana Evans posting 20 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks. No. 3 Madison County saw Kayla McPherson return from her concussion and save the day to remain unbeaten, swooping in to score 31 points in the Red Raiders’ 64-62 nail-biter over Winder-Barrow. No. 10 Burke County falls a spot after losing to South Carolina powerhouse North Augusta 61-49 and to Josey 33-27.

The top of Class AAA sees major shifts as No. 3 Morgan County leaps five spots after upsetting No. 4 Jefferson 60-52, dropping the Lady Dragons two spots.  No. 2 Johnson-Savannah is nearing full strength as freshman Zoriah Mobley made her high school debut, finishing with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Region 7 has been a roller coaster with No. 8 Dawson County and No. 7 GAC going up and down all year. The Lady Tigers lost 58-55 to region foe and debutant No. 10 North Hall while the Lady Spartans beat North Hall 61-54 and Lumpkin County 48-42 but lost 47-45 to Class 4A No. 2 Spalding in a valiant comeback effort. Lovett (6-2) and Tattnall County (7-3) exit the Top 10. The Lions were smashed by Marist 64-17 while Tattnall County lost 74-54 to Bradwell Institute. Making their first appearance in the poll is legendary Head Coach Margaret Stockburger and No. 9 Ringgold. The Lady Tigers scored a 66-51 win at North Murray last week.

A 77-50 win over Class A-Public No. 8 Wilcox County wasn’t enough to save No. 2 Dodge County from falling out of the top spot in Class AA after losing 54-33 to Class 5A No. 10 Wayne County. Taking their place on the throne is No. 1 Douglass, the Lady Astros continuing to prove to be one of the premier small school teams in Georgia by winning at Class 5A 8-3 Maynard Jackson 53-51. No. 4 Bryan County springs up five spots after scoring dynamo Olonna Rawls erupted for 44 points and 10 rebounds in a 68-64 win over No. 9 Swainsboro, who tumbles five places. No. 5 Fitzgerald moves up two places after a 77-59 win over last week’s Class A-Public No. 1 Telfair County. No. 6 Rabun County turned the tables on No. 10 Banks County, rallying from down 14 at the half to shock the Lady Leopards at home 61-58 behind Laken Stiles’ 16 points and Brooke Henricks’ 15. While the LadyCats climb two spots, Banks County sinks five after the Lady Leopards were also knocked off at newly ranked No. 8 Putnam County 46-44. The War Eagles replace tough-luck Woodville-Tompkins (10-1) who recorded a flawless 3-0 week, illuminating just how deep Class 2A really is.

There are no changes to the poll this week as No. 1 Wesleyan continues to pile on wins in Class A-Private while No. 2 St. Francis waits and hopes that All-State guard Savannah Samuel, gets her eligibility cleared after attempting to play at her third school in three years. The Wolves dissected Brookwood 58-40 behind Callie Weaver’s 21 points and 7 rebounds. AC Carter tacked on 13 points and 9 rebounds while Izzy Larsen double-doubled with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks. No. 3 Holy Innocents’ suffered a 48-45 loss to Class 5A No. 2 Buford.

We have a new number one in Class A-Public as No. 1 Marion County rises two spots following a revenge 71-70 win at No. 6 Greenville in a state title rematch. No. 2 Telfair County lost hold on the classification after a 77-59 loss at Class 2A No. 5 Fitzgerald. No. 5 Calhoun County knocked Quitman County (6-2) out of the Top 10 with a 76-27 spanking. Debuting in the poll is No. 9 Bowdon. Coming off an Elite Eight season, new Head Coach Jan Fendley has the Red Devils at 7-2 coming off wins over Cleburne County (AL) and Gordon Lee.