No. 2 McIntosh Dunks No. 8 Milton at Lake City Classic

5A No. 2 McIntosh 74, 6A No. 8 Milton 68

 The 4:00 P.M. slot of Lake City Classic at Allatoona High School was one of the most intriguing games of the day. Powerhouse No. 2 McIntosh playing against the No. 8 ranked team in the state’s highest classification, Milton.

As they do against so many teams, the Chiefs used a devastatingly balanced attack to hang on against a shorthanded Eagles team, 74-68. Milton was once again without Harvard commit, 6-foot-8 Chris Lewis who suffered a severe bone bruise two games ago after being undercut. With Lewis out, Coach Matt Kramer turned to Kyrin Galloway to play a bigger role inside. The skilled 6-foot-8 big was unafraid to show his feathery touch from outside and scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half to keep the Eagles in it.

Rewinding back to the first quarter, it was Will Washington who stole the first eight minutes. He scored McIntosh’s first nine points of the game and scored 12 points in the opening frame while Jordan Lyons was being face-guarded for a majority of the period. McIntosh stretched the lead to 19-13 after Dishon Lowery cleaned up a miss and hammered back a dunk, but the Eagles managed to stay in striking distance and entered the second quarter down 23-19.

With Auburn University Head Coach Bruce Pearl sitting courtside, the hotly recruited baby faced assassin Alex O’Connell went to work. The sweet-stroking junior guard buried two threes (three on the night) and scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to pull the Eagles into a deadlock at 26 all.

But as quickly as the microwave shooter got hot, McIntosh answered right back with a flamethrower of their own. The Chiefs ripped off a 9-0 run to regain control at 35-26 with 3:05 left behind a personal 7-0 spurt from the Furman signee Lyons.

The final points of the half for McIntosh were more than just two points.

Will Washington threw down the dunk of the year with a vicious facial to give the Chiefs a 37-32 advantage heading into the half. The slithery quick playmaker glided to the basket and exploded for a left-handed stuff that resulted in two Eagles hitting the deck.

In the third quarter Milton started to chip away at the lead behind eight Galloway points. The Eagles hung around within three points but were unable to get over the hump as Lowery, Lyons and Chase Walter began to tear into the Eagle defense while Washington remained scoreless in the third. Lowery (Wofford) broke free for some easy dunks along with Walter. The two bigs cleaned up the glass as well with Lowery posting an 18-point 15-rebound double-double and Walter chipping in 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

Trailing 51-46 heading into the fourth, Milton had one last push in them. The Eagles cut the lead to 56-54 but from that point on, Washington turned on the afterburners. He scored seven points and helped ignite a 12-5 run by hitting Lyons for a three with 5:47 left to eventually gain a comfortable 68-59 advantage with 2:55 to play. Milton hung around, but McIntosh went 8-of-9 from the line during the game to advance on to the second round where they meet No. 10 McEachern, who comes off an impressive 73-37 rout of No. 6 Lambert, the Longhorns’ first loss of the season.

My Take: McIntosh is extremely difficult to beat, but if they were at all vulnerable, it would start at point guard. They say the key to killing a snake is taking its head off. The head of McIntosh’s snake is Will Washington. The unsigned guard dazzled again. Milton opened up face-guarding Jordan Lyons, but I would have to argue that it is Washington that needs the ball taken out of his hands to slow down the Chiefs. Washington gets everyone involved and makes his teammates better. Dishon Lowery continues to be possibly the best rebounder in the state as he grabbed another 15 boards. The inside-out combination of Washington/Jordan Lyons and Lowery/Chase Walter is hard to match and might not be paralleled in the state in terms of true balance.

Milton showed a lot of promise without Chris Lewis. Kyrin Galloway took too many outside shots for my taste in the first half, but once he got closer to the basket he showed an ability to finish inside and clean up misses with dunks. Galloway looks like a nice stretch big in college who could improve once he continues to get stronger. Coach Matt Kramer runs a fun offense. It might not be as flashy as McIntosh’s, but someone with a basketball mind can appreciate the intricate screens, cuts and constant movement the Eagles use to get their shooters open, primarily Alex O’Connell, who moved exceptionally well without the ball to find creases in the defense. He along with Galloway, is another guy who could take his game to a whole other atmosphere once he starts to grow into his body. Justin Brown and Kendrick Summerour did nice jobs of moving the ball on offense and didn’t force anything. They are both capable scorers but understand their role of needing to move the ball around. Once Lewis is back healthy, they should have some fun matchups with No. 4 Wheeler later down the road in Region 5-AAAAAA.

Top Performers

Will Washington – 23 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists
Jordan Lyons – 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Dishon Lowery – 18 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Chase Walter – 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks

Alex O’Connell – 25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Kyrin Galloway – 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Kendrick Summerour – 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Justin Brown – 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals

Week 6 Rankings


  1. Westlake (7-2)
  2. Shiloh (6-2)
  3. Norcross (10-1)
  4. Wheeler (6-3)
  5. Tift County (10-0)
  6. Lambert (11-0)
  7. Collins Hill (10-1)
  8. Milton (9-2)
  9. Newton (7-2)
  10. McEachern (8-1)


  1. Miller Grove (9-2)
  2. McIntosh (9-1)
  3. Allatoona (9-0)
  4. Gainesville (6-1)
  5. Heritage (10-1)
  6. Cedar Shoals (11-2)
  7. Riverwood (13-0)
  8. Camden County (12-0)
  9. LaGrange (9-1)
  10. South Paulding (8-1)

Class AAAA

  1. Grady (11-0)
  2. Jonesboro (8-2)
  3. Lithonia (8-3)
  4. Liberty County (6-1)
  5. St. Pius (8-2)
  6. Walnut Grove (10-1)
  7. Sandy Creek (7-3)
  8. Eagle’s Landing (12-1)
  9. Henry County (9-3)
  10. Thomson (9-1)

Class AAA

  1. Laney (11-0)
  2. Morgan County (8-2)
  3. Jenkins (7-2)
  4. South Atlanta (9-1)
  5. Calhoun (6-0)
  6. Central Macon (8-2)
  7. East Hall (7-3)
  8. Callaway (4-2)
  9. Southwest Macon (9-3)
  10. Banks County (10-1)

Class AA

  1. Thomasville (10-0)
  2. Crawford County (8-0)
  3. Seminole County (8-1)
  4. Vidalia (10-0)
  5. Early County (6-1)
  6. Holy Innocents’ (7-3)
  7. GAC (6-4)
  8. Long County (8-2)
  9. Macon County (7-2)
  10. Wesleyan (7-2)

Class A-Private

  1. Greenforest (11-1)
  2. SWAC (6-4)
  3. St. Francis (9-3)
  4. Lakeview Academy (8-1)
  5. North Cobb Christian (8-1)
  6. St. Anne-Pacelli (7-3)
  7. Whitefield Academy (6-5)
  8. Landmark Christian (8-3)
  9. Our Lady of Mercy (7-3)
  10. Tattnall Square Academy (7-2)

Class A-Public

  1. Treutlen (7-0)
  2. Randolph-Clay (10-2)
  3. Wilkinson County (6-2)
  4. Taylor County (8-2)
  5. Lincoln County (5-1)
  6. Hawkinsville (7-3)
  7. Atkinson County (7-2)
  8. Terrell County (5-5)
  9. Wilcox County (7-4)
  10. Hancock Central (5-4)

Class AAAAAA sees no movement, but that will be sure to change after a week full of monster matchups. Lake City Classic at Allatoona High School will be hosting top programs from across the state, highlighted by nine ranked teams of which three are in 6A. No. 8 Milton squares off against 5A No. 2 McIntosh Monday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. while No. 6 Lambert and No. 10 McEachern meet afterwards at 5:30 P.M. with a chance to vastly improve their stock.

No. 3 Allatoona moves up one spot in AAAAA after winning the Rumble at the Ridge in Kentucky, where the Bucs knocked off some of the best programs in the state, scoring wins of 65-64 over Hopkinsville (No. 5 in all of Kentucky) after trailing by 10 with 1:28 left, 65-60 against Polaski Southwestern (No. 14) and 54-43 in the championship over host Pleasure Ridge Park. The play of Trey Doomes and Ephraim Tshimanga continue to dismantle opposing offenses with their pressure defense up front. LaGrange slips one spot following a loss to 3A No. 4 South Atlanta, 65-50 at the War Eagle Classic. Southwest DeKalb is replaced by No. 10 South Paulding, who debuts in the top ten. The Panthers dropped 72-70 to Morrow at the Peach State Classic which set up the Spartans to join the picture. Coach Gil Davis has the Spartans playing tough defense and finding easy baskets on offense. Junior guard Kane Williams is the straw that stirs the drink. He finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals in a 54-49 win over Blessed Trinity at the SEBA Hoopfest on Dec. 19, their last game. He along with 6-foot-7 junior Ja’Cori Wilson and lunch pail and hard hat big man Anthony Brown, make South Paulding a dangerous team.

Henry County tumbles from No. 4 in AAAA to No. 9 after consecutive losses to Whitewater 68-55 and Fayette County 63-50. St. Pius cracks the top five thanks to an impressive win over 2A No. 7 GAC, 46-45 without leading scorer Kerney Lane and brother Everett. Christian Merrill came up big in their absence and scored 14 points including the game-winning floater. Jakob Spitzer played big inside and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.

Entering the season Region 6 put four teams in the top ten; three remain, but it looks as if a new region is beginning to flex its muscle as one of the best. Region 4 places four teams in the ranking with one on the precipice of making it five. No. 2 Jonesboro, No. 6 Walnut Grove, No. 8 Eagle’s Landing and No. 9 Henry County are all dangerous teams, but don’t forget about Eastside who is now 12-2 and riding an 11-game winning streak including, winning the Washington County Christmas tournament with a 72-69 win over a tough Effingham County team. Eagle’s Landing has stayed hot themselves winners of 7-straight featuring a 66-52 win over Whitewater to win the Chuck Miller Holiday Classic at Henry County.

In Class AAA, No. 4 South Atlanta jumps over No. 5 Calhoun after an impressive 65-50 win over LaGrange. Banks County falls from No. 6 to No. 10 after being upset by North Hall, 67-66. No. 7 East Hall is hitting its stride at 7-3 and meets 1A-Private No. 4 Lakeview Academy in a rematch in the first round of Lanierland. The Lions handed the Vikings their worst loss of the season in game number two of the year, 87-69 to win the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic. No. 1 Laney continues to find ways to win after trailing nearly every game deep into the second half. The Cardiac Cats rallied to beat Cross Creek 84-76, Westside 62-60 and Richmond Academy 55-51, stunning the Musketeers for the second time this year by outscoring them 25-12 in the final period. On Tuesday the Wildcats host 4A No. 10 Thomson, led by RJ Johnson and San Antonio Brinson. It will be the biggest test of the season for both programs.

The fall from grace for Pace Academy has been completed as the Knights drop out of the AA top ten at 2-5. This serves as a wakeup call, much like what current 3A No. 2 Morgan County received following a bad loss to Cherokee. Pace has played a national schedule which has hurt them. The talent is there but the results haven’t been yet. Expect the Knights to make hay once they settle into region play and resurface in the top ten sooner rather than later behind Wendell Carter Jr. While the Knights fall out, they are replaced by a surprise team in Region 6, the Wesleyan Wolves. After finishing 11-14 last year, the Wolves are off to a hot 7-2 start and just scored their biggest win of the season, a 60-56 victory over 1A-Private No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy. Wesleyan has now won 7-straight after a 0-2 start.

The seemingly unbeatable 1A-Private No. 1 Greenforest Eagles met their match in the Chick-fil-A Classic championship, losing to Hammond (SC), 70-58. Ikey Obiagu was unavailable to play after hurting his hand. The Eagles fell into an early second half hole and could not climb out of it, struggling to contain UNC-commit Seventh Woods. No. 2 SWAC also fell at the CFA Classic, losing to Gray Collegiate Academy (SC), 79-73. No. 4 Lakeview Academy has won 8-straight following a season opening loss to GAC. With a favorable schedule ahead, look for the Lions to rack up the wins and win Region 8 if they can hold off Hebron Christian (8-2), who looks like the prime competition right now.

Not much change occurs in 1A-Public aside from Terrell County dropping two spots to No. 8 and both No. 6 Hawkinsville and No. 7 Atkinson County rising.

Diagnosing GHSA Basketball

We are officially a month into high school basketball season. There is one prevailing aspect of this year’s play that I have seen so far and it is that there is parity amongst the classifications. Outside of your top three or four teams in a handful of classes, the field is wide open for sleepers, surprisers and spoilers to all play a big role in the outcome of this season’s final results.

Class AAAAAA is one of the hardest to rank early in the year. Once we get deep into region play, hopefully the picture will begin to clear. The likes of Westlake, Shiloh, Norcross and Wheeler all seem like good bets to make deep runs, but you can never be 100 percent sure.

Teams like Pebblebrook may be unranked right now, but have more than enough fire power to get hot and take a trip to Macon in March. By the way, who would have predicted that the last three teams to be undefeated in 6A would be No. 6 Lambert (11-0), Johns Creek (10-0) and No. 5 Tift County (9-0)? If you guessed the Longhorns and Blue Devils, I’d believe you. The Gladiators? Not so much, especially coming off a 14-15 season.

Lambert's Connor Mannion is a Navy signee | Ty Freeman
Lambert’s Connor Mannion is a Navy signee | Ty Freeman

In AAAAA, how about Shaw’s hot start? The Raiders are 7-1 after an 8-16 year. Dakeen Diaz (12.9 points, 7.5 rebounds), Kourtney Shakespeare (11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Cam Paulding (10.3 points, 5.4 rebounds) have all played well for Coach Terry White.

No. 1 Miller Grove and No. 2 McIntosh supply possibly the best basketball in the entire state to watch, but No. 3 Gainesville, No. 5 Heritage-Conyers and No. 6 Cedar Shoals have an arms race going on in Region 8. Don’t sleep on No. 5 Allatoona. The Bucs made it to the state title game last year but were outsized by Brunswick. With a few strong pieces at forward and off guard graduated, Allatoona finds itself at 7-0 behind Ephraim Tshimanga and sophomore Trey Doomes’ play up front.

Two of the state's best point guards: Ephraim Tshimanga & Will Washington | Ty Freeman
Two of the state’s best point guards: Ephraim Tshimanga & Will Washington | Ty Freeman

Want bang for your buck in 5A? Check out Jones County’s Devin Wooten, a senior guard pouring in over 25 a night. East Paulding’s “System” might not be for everybody, but you will see as many shots as possible watching them play. Coach Joby Boydstone is back in Georgia and the result with the Raiders (4-7) is either very pretty or very ugly. In wins they average 98.7 points per game, but in losses they allow 93.4. East Paulding’s four wins have come by an average of 23.5 points per game, but their losses are blowouts, losing by 26.7.

So who is leading Class AAAA in scoring? Avi Toomer (25.7)? MJ Walker (22.6)? Elias Harden (22.3)? Nope. It of course is none other than Ty Pendley of Southeast Whitfield, pouring in over 26 a night. The fearless 5-foot-10 guard lives at the foul line and also isn’t afraid to pull up from beyond the arc. He has improved upon his 21.3 point per game average from 2014-15 and is currently among the top scorers in the entire state.

Ty Pendley was the nation's No. 1 free throw shooter in 2014-15 at 93% | Matt Hamilton/The Daily Citizen
Ty Pendley was the nation’s No. 1 free throw shooter in 2014-15 at 93% | Matt Hamilton/The Daily Citizen

Class AAA’s main storyline is that there has been a profusion of unexpected turnarounds. Coahulla Creek (11-2), Douglass (10-2), Lumpkin County (9-2) and Islands (9-2) have all seen their fortunes spin in a positive direction. Coahulla Creek finished 14-11, Douglass 5-18, Lumpkin County 9-20 and Islands 11-16 in 2014-15. The one team who’s accelerated growth may not be much of a surprise has been that of the Lumpkin County Indians. After a 77-12 run over three years at Johnson-Gainesville, highlighted by last year’s 29-1 campaign, Head Coach Jeff Steele decided to bring over his Midas Touch to Lumpkin and has successfully turned them into a winner, already cracking the top ten once this year.

Jeff Steele is one of the state's best coaches
Jeff Steele is one of the state’s best coaches

What has stood out the most in Class AA is the disappointment that Pace Academy has been. At 2-4 with the best junior in the country, the Knights are barely clinging onto the No. 10 spot with no room for error remaining. They have played a tough schedule, but losing to a banged up No. 4 GAC and a 3-8 Lower Richland (SC) are not good results coming off of a 27-3 season.

One player and team that has lived up to their billing has been No. 3 Seminole County and sensation Jordan Harris. The UGA signee was the best player I saw all of last year and is hands down the best player in the state in my opinion. Through seven games the ultra-athletic swingman has averaged a cool 37.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 3.4 steals and 1.8 blocks. Do not be surprised if he makes some noise at the next level.

Jordan Harris can sky | Ty Freeman
Jordan Harris can sky | Ty Freeman

If Harris isn’t your flavor, how about the man he beat in the state championship? No. 2 Crawford County’s William Jarrell. The 6-foot-5 forward’s eye-popping statline reads: 26.3 points, 12.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 5.7 steals and 4.3 blocks. Jarrell may be an unknown to most people in the state, but he is a special player.

In 1A-Private, it looks as if everyone is just playing for second place with No.1 Greenforest the clear cut favorite to win it all. If the Eagles can avoid mental pitfalls, there is no reason why they can’t go undefeated this year. The only way I could see Greenforest falling in-state, would take a herculean effort from some of the state’s best. No. 3 St. Francis’ Kobi Simmons (27.4 points), No. 2 SWAC’s De’Andre Ballard (24.7 points, 9.2 rebounds) or Walker’s Robert Baker (27.8 points, 14.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals, 2.3 blocks) all have the talent to take over games, but it’s unlikely that Coach Larry Thompson would let one player cut down his Greenforest.

Right now, Greenforest is too big and too good | Ty Freeman
Right now, Greenforest is too big and too good | Ty Freeman

1A-Public has seen Ahmad Rand of No. 5 Lincoln County emerge as possibly the best college prospect in the classification. The 6-foot-7 junior already has compiled a streak of three straight triple-doubles.

Week 5 Rankings


  1. Westlake (7-2)
  2. Shiloh (6-2) 
  3. Norcross (8-1)
  4. Wheeler (6-1)
  5. Tift County (8-0)
  6. Lambert (11-0)
  7. Collins Hill (7-1)
  8. Milton (9-2)
  9. Newton (6-2)
  10. McEachern (8-1)


  1. Miller Grove (8-2)
  2. McIntosh (9-1)
  3. Gainesville (6-1)
  4. Allatoona (6-0)
  5. Heritage (10-1)
  6. Cedar Shoals (11-2)
  7. Riverwood (12-0)
  8. LaGrange (8-0)
  9. Camden County (11-0)
  10. Southwest DeKalb (9-2)

Class AAAA

  1. Grady (11-0) 
  2. Jonesboro (7-2) 
  3. Lithonia (7-3)
  4. Henry County (9-1)
  5. Liberty County (5-1)
  6. St. Pius (7-2)
  7. Walnut Grove (9-1)
  8. Sandy Creek (7-3)
  9. Thomson (7-0)
  10. Eagle’s Landing (10-1)

Class AAA

  1. Laney (7-0)
  2. Morgan County (8-2)
  3. Jenkins (5-2)
  4. Calhoun (5-0)
  5. South Atlanta (7-2)
  6. Banks County (10-0) 
  7. Central Macon (7-1)
  8. Callaway (4-2)
  9. Southwest Macon (8-1)
  10. East Hall (5-3)

Class AA

  1. Thomasville (10-0)
  2. Crawford County (7-0)
  3. Seminole County (7-1)
  4. GAC (6-3)
  5. Vidalia (10-0)
  6. Early County (6-1)
  7. Holy Innocents’ (5-3)
  8. Macon County (5-1)
  9. Long County (8-2)
  10. Pace Academy (1-4)

Class A-Private

  1. Greenforest (10-0)
  2. SWAC (6-3)
  3. St. Francis (7-3)
  4. Whitefield Academy (6-4)
  5. Lakeview Academy (8-1)
  6. North Cobb Christian (8-1)
  7. Tattnall Square Academy (7-1)
  8. St. Anne-Pacelli (7-3)
  9. Landmark Christian (8-3)
  10. Our Lady of Mercy (6-3)

Class A-Public

  1. Treutlen (6-0)
  2. Randolph-Clay (10-1)
  3. Wilkinson County (5-2)
  4. Taylor County (8-2)
  5. Lincoln County (5-0)
  6. Terrell County (5-4)
  7. Hawkinsville (7-3)
  8. Atkinson County (7-2)
  9. Wilcox County (7-4)
  10. Hancock Central (5-4)

The top six in Class AAAAAA remain unchanged, but the final four spots saw some shuffling. No. 7 Collins Hill moves up two spots after Newton and Dacula lost. No. 8 belongs to Milton after seven straight wins. The Eagles have won their past three games by an average of 39 points. Without Harvard signee Chris Lewis against Alpharetta, Milton won 93-54 and received 27 points from Alex O’Connell. Kendrick Summerour added 21, Justin Brown 18 and Kyrin Galloway 10 in the rout. No. 9 Newton continues to cling onto a top ten spot. Just when you think they will fall out after a 57-56 loss to Tucker in which the Rams missed 11 free throws, Coach Rick Rasmussen’s team rebounded with a huge 56-53 win over 5ANo. 6 Cedar Shoals at the Classic City Shootout at Clarke Central thanks to Jaquan Simms’ game-high 16 points. The No. 10 slot goes to McEachern, who edged out Dacula 84-76 in double overtime at the SEBA Hoopfest and in the process knocked them from the top ten. AJ Jones finished with 25 points, four rebounds and five assists while Darius Jones added 17 in the win. Freshman forward Isaac Okoro made his presence felt with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Dacula was powered by Derek St. Hilaire’s 30 points and Wofford signee Kevon Tucker’s 18. Douglas County drops from the poll after a 96-80 loss to Pebblebrook. The Falcons are now 8-4 and 5-0 in Region 3 and are knocking on the door to re-emerge in the top ten.

Fayette County was home to a colossal showdown between top ten teams in 4ANo. 8 Sandy Creek and AAAAA’s No. 2 McIntosh. In the end, it was the Chiefs blowing away host Sandy Creek, 69-51, and moving back up to No. 2 in the state. Unsigned point guard Will Washington was masterful with 25 points, five rebounds and eight assists. Wofford signee Dishon Lowery finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and four blocks and Furman signee Jordan Lyons captured the McIntosh all-time scoring record on the boys side with a three-pointer on the first play of the game. Lyons finished with 13 points and now has 1,930 over his career, surpassing Jeff Sheppard’s record of 1,919. Elias Harden of Sandy Creek scored 25 points, but Gardner-Webb signee Christian Turner was held to 11 points and seven rebounds from his point guard position. No. 8 LaGrange defeated 3ANo. 8 Callaway for the second time in a three-day span, 63-60. Southwest DeKalb clings on to No. 10 after hard fought losses to No. 1 Miller Grove 76-69 and 1A-Private No. 4 Whitefield Academy, 53-52. Former No. 9 Warner Robins was blown out by 3ANo. 7 Central-Macon 81-64 Monday afternoon at the Washington County Christmas Tournament. Replacing the Demons is No. 9 Camden County. The Wildcats are 11-0 and coming off a 74-69 win over 1A-Public No. 2 Randolph-Clay, the Red Devils’ only loss of the season.

The bottom of Class AAAA saw a shakeup with two new teams debuting. Perry lost 47-42 to Choctawhatchee (FL) and 64-56 against Bleckley County while Monroe fell to South Cobb 72-55, thus dropping the two teams from No. 9 and No. 10 respectively. In steps No. 9 Thomson and No. 10 Eagle’s Landing.  The undefeated Thomson Bulldogs are winning by a margin of 32 points per game. In their latest rout, a 99-51 win over Jefferson County, Radaren Johnson finished with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and six steals while San Antonio Brinson, a transfer from Aquinas, added 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks. No. 10 Eagle’s Landing has received big contributions from underclassmen, but senior leader Jordan Lewis has been the heart and soul of the team. He is averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game and 3.5 steals. In the Eagles’ only loss of the season, a 75-61 defeat to No. 2 Jonesboro, Lewis scored 21 points.

Some teams from Macon in Region 2-AAA are trying to make a case for the top ten. Central-Macon goes from being unranked to No. 7 after drilling Warner Robins 81-64. No. 9 Southwest-Macon has two of the most explosive scorers in Middle Georgia. Justin Slocum is averaging 23.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Nick Hargrove Jr. is pouring in 21.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. One unranked Macon squad is Westside-Macon at 9-3. The Seminoles are led by possibly the best sophomore in the entire country, 6-foot-8 forward Khavon Moore. He is averaging 21.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.5 blocks a night. They meet Houston County for the third time this season at the Bear Brawl on Monday night. The two teams have split their first two meetings. Elsewhere in AAA, No. 10 East Hall returns to the rankings after knocking off Lumpkin County 73-63.

A new No. 1 takes over Class AA, in Thomasville. The Bulldogs have an impressive resume and are undefeated after taking down Tyree Crump and Bainbridge, 85-70.  Seminole County slips to No. 3 following an 84-81 loss to No. 6 Early County. It will be a mad dash to win Region 1 with Seminole County, Early County and Thomasville all having to play each other twice this year. No. 8 Macon County enters the poll thanks to an impressive 75-70 win over 1A-Public No. 4 Taylor County. No. 9 Long County debuts in the top ten after an 8-2 start, coming off a 6-22 record in 2014-15.

Lovett falls out of the rankings after a bad loss to Woodstock, 67-55. Soon to follow them might be another Region 6 team. No. 10 Pace Academy has not played well this year. Early close losses to 6A No. 1 Westlake and 1A-Private No. 1 Greenforest looked like promising results, but a loss to rival No. 4 GAC and to Lower Richland (SC) on Saturday has the Knights lucky to stay in top ten contention. Pace lost 66-55 to Lower Richland, who is now just 3-7 on the season. The 1-4 Knights rode Wendell Carter Jr., the top ranked junior in the nation to a big game, but it wasn’t enough as the Diamond Hornets, whose tallest player stands just 6-foot-4 to Carter’s 6-foot-11, were able to earn the victory at the Chick-fil-A Classic.

In Class A-Private, No. 2 SWAC took down No. 3 St. Francis, 74-68. De’Andre Ballard went off for 42 points to outduel Kobi Simmons’ 28. No. 4 Whitefield Academy moves up three spots after edging North Clayton 87-80 in 2OT and 5ANo. 10 Southwest DeKalb, 53-52.  No. 6 North Cobb Christian slips three spots after blowing a 16-point halftime lead against Sprayberry at the SEBA Hoopfest. Starting point guard Nick Fleming has been out with a fractured elbow. No. 8 St. Anne-Pacelli remains in the top ten after a statement victory over No. 9 Landmark Christian. The Vikings used 35 points from Tre Sudberry to get past the War Eagles.

Class A-Public’s hottest team besides No. 1 Treutlen is No. 5 Lincoln County. Ahmad Rand posted three straight triple-doubles before seeing his streak broken in the Lincoln County Christmas Tournament championship. The Red Devils captured the crown with a 55-50 win over North Oconee. Zach Crite led the way with 15 points while Rand was named Tournament MVP and finished with 12 points and seven blocks in the title game.

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