No. 4 Mill Creek (11-1)
Mill Creek has forced its way into the conversation as a dangerous team come state tournament time. It will be a two-team race in Region 6 between the Hawks and No. 2 Collins Hill. Though beating the Eagles will be a difficult task, Mill Creek can hang its hat on a handful of strong out-of-region victories highlighted by wins over Class AAAA No. 4 West Hall (43-35), South Forsyth (71-50) and No. 5 Archer (61-51). Seniors Morgan Simmons, Wynter Webb and Kim Forbes along with junior Bridget Mukasa and sophomore Kayla Mulkey compose a potent core for Coach Ashley Phillips. Simmons has more than doubled her scoring output this year, netting over 16 points per game.
The Longhorns have already matched last year’s win total with over half of the season remaining. Junior Jamyah Montissol has blossomed into a player to keep an eye on. She leads Lanier with 14.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2 steals per game. She is joined by junior Bailey Bassette who is averaging 11.6 points and 3.5 steals. Lanier is a young team with their top seven scorers all set to return next season. Only Angela Raez logs important minutes as a senior. Sophomores Kalen Surles (9.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 3.8 spg) and Mekala Fuller (8.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3 apg, 2.3 spg) are two pieces Coach Oji Perkins can build around for the long haul.
Ware County (8-0)
Ware County is a sneaky team in South Georgia with designs on earning a high seed out of Region 2. While Wayne County is the favorite to win the region, the Gators led by sophomore Mataea Boyd could cause some problems. She averages 13.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 steals to pace Ware County whose best win has come against Swainsboro, 49-44. Second in command is 6-foot junior Shondell Vickers who is posting 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.6 blocks per game.
No. 7 Sandy Creek (7-1)
Coach Janie Hodges has come in from Scotland, NC and has proceeded to turn the Lady Patriots around, leading them to a Top 10 ranking in Class AAAA. Sandy Creek’s only loss has come to Class AAAAA No. 7 Villa Rica at the SMI Classic, 67-65. Wins over Marietta (66-65), Hapeville Charter (49-46) and Greenville, SC (66-64) headline the Patriots’ resume and ability to win the close game. Seniors Shanquaylia Stanton, Kasey Toles and Morghan Currie lead the charge with freshman Daija Powell providing a massive lift. Stanton averages 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 4.6 steals while Toles pitches in 13.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals. Currie brings a rebounding presence to the table, averaging 9.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Powell has a good four years ahead of her. The rookie is posting 11.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks inside.
No. 10 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (10-3)
Wins at No. 8 Calhoun (60-50) and Haralson County (61-54) have cemented the Warriors as a threat in Region 6. Senior Jazzmyn Elston and sophomore Macey Gregg power the offense of a team which has already surpassed last year’s win total. Elston is averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.7 steals while Gregg goes for 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.8 steals. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe currently resides atop the region at 5-0 in one of Class AAA’s toughest groupings in the state.
Hapeville Charter (8-2)
6-foot guard Shekinah Howard has sparked Hapeville Charter in Region 6. Howard has received interest from High Major schools with North Carolina State the latest to check her out. She is averaging 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Seniors Gayla Bostic and Taylor Barnett flank her on the attack. Bostic posts 9.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks inside while Barnett chips in 7 points and 5.1 assists. The Hornets’ exceptional size has harassed opponents. 5-foot-11 senior Jada Neal is averaging 4.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.5 blocks while 6-foot-2 freshman Cristany Price is averaging 6.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. Freshman guard Simone Rowland has brought defense to the perimeter tallying 2.9 steals per game with her 6.1 points. They face a major test on Dec. 28 as the Hornets play Class AAAAAAA No. 4 Mill Creek at the Sweet South Classic.
Whitefield Academy (6-2)
The extreme quality might not be there yet, but the quantity of wins is as Whitefield Academy has already topped last season’s total. The Wolfpack face an uphill climb to make the state playoffs as No. 2 St. Francis, No. 6 Pinecrest Academy, No. 8 Darlington and No. 9 Fellowship Christian all reside in Region 6.
Johnson County (4-2)
The win-well could dry up at any moment, but for now the Trojans are off to a solid start. Junior Lexus Wright is averaging 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while sophomores Shonnetria Ervin (8 ppg) and Janaya Hawkins (6.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg) have helped the cause.