Week 7 Rankings


  1. Westlake (7-2)
  2. Shiloh (9-2)
  3. Norcross (12-2)
  4. Wheeler (8-5)
  5. Tift County (13-1)
  6. McEachern (10-2)
  7. Collins Hill (13-1)
  8. Newton (10-2)
  9. Dacula (10-2)
  10. Pebblebrook (9-6)


  1. Miller Grove (12-2)
  2. Allatoona (12-0)
  3. McIntosh (11-2)
  4. Gainesville (6-1)
  5. Cedar Shoals (14-2)
  6. Heritage-Conyers (13-1)
  7. Camden County (12-0)
  8. South Paulding (11-2)
  9. Riverwood (14-1)
  10. Warner Robins (8-2)

Class AAAA

  1. Jonesboro (10-3)
  2. Grady (12-1)
  3. Lithonia (10-4)
  4. St. Pius (11-2)
  5. Liberty County (9-1)
  6. Walnut Grove (13-1)
  7. Sandy Creek (9-4)
  8. Eagle’s Landing (12-1)
  9. Thomson (10-2)
  10. Upson-Lee (11-3)

Class AAA

  1. Laney (12-0)
  2. Jenkins (10-2)
  3. Morgan County (10-3)
  4. South Atlanta (10-2)
  5. Calhoun (10-0)
  6. Central-Macon (10-2)
  7. Westminster (11-2)
  8. Callaway (5-2)
  9. Southwest-Macon (10-3)
  10. Westside-Augusta (5-2)

Class AA

  1. Thomasville (14-0)
  2. Crawford County (10-1)
  3. Seminole County (9-3)
  4. Holy Innocents’ (10-3)
  5. Vidalia (11-2)
  6. Early County (8-2)
  7. GAC (8-6)
  8. Macon County (9-3)
  9. Wesleyan (8-3)
  10. Chattooga (14-1)

Class A-Private

  1. Greenforest (13-1)
  2. St. Francis (8-5)
  3. North Cobb Christian (9-3)
  4. SWAC (7-7)
  5. St. Anne-Pacelli (8-4)
  6. Landmark Christian (8-3)
  7. Lakeview Academy (8-3)
  8. Whitefield Academy (7-7)
  9. Tattnall Square Academy (10-2)
  10. Our Lady of Mercy (7-3)

Class A-Public

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

The Lake City Classic at Allatoona High School separated some pretenders from contenders as of now in Class AAAAAA. McEachern entered ranked No. 10 but after a strong showing in the tournament and a second-place finish, the Indians move up to No. 6. They thrashed last week’s No. 6 Lambert (13-2) 73-37 causing the Longhorns to fall out of the poll. Lambert quickly rebounded however with a blowout of last week’s No. 8 Milton (9-5) by a final of 93-67. The final result was eye opening after the Eagles had lost to 5ANo. 3 McIntosh 74-68. Milton completed its 0-3 week at the tournament by dropping a 70-59 decision to 1A-Private No. 3 North Cobb Christian, 70-59 and in the process tumbled out of the top ten. McEachern not only routed Lambert, but scored an impressive overtime victory over McIntosh 75-68 in the semifinals before falling to Allatoona 64-61. Freshman Isaac Okoro finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and three blocks while Darius Jones poured in 20 points to lead the Indians over McIntosh.

No. 3 Norcross and No. 4 Wheeler both fell to out-of-state opponents while No. 5 Tift County suffered its first loss of the season in the Arby’s Classic championship in Bristol, Tennessee to Wayne (OH) without second leading scorer Preston Horne who injured his knee earlier in the tournament. No. 8 Newton won the Yuletide Classic championship behind the play of Dre Butler (All-Tournament Team) and JD Notae (Tournament MVP).  A flock of Falcons, No. 9 Dacula and No. 10 Pebblebrook, both re-emerge in the top ten. Dacula finished 3-1 at the Kingdom of the Sun tournament in Florida. In their next game they clash with 12-1 Grayson in a crucial Region 8 meeting. Pebblebrook has played a heavy national schedule including seven of their 15 games coming against out-of-state competition. The Falcons return to Region 3 play battle-tested and already 5-0. Auburn signee Jared Harper and Collin Sexton have transformed into the most potent backcourt in the state, both averaging well over 20 points a night for Coach George Washington.

No. 1 Miller Grove continued its steady dominance this year in Class AAAAA by capturing the Chick-Fil-A Invitational championship at Tucker High School. En route to raising the trophy, the Wolverines clawed away 4ANo. 3 Lithonia 60-47 and beat Tucker in the championship on their home floor, 80-61. No. 2 Allatoona remained perfect by winning the Lake City Classic on their home court. Wins over North Cobb Christian, Berkmar and McEachern have the Buccaneers as hot as anybody in the state. Coach Markus Hood’s matchup zone and the stifling defense of Trey Doomes and Ephraim Tshimanga have the Bucs looking like a good bet to make another deep run in state. No. 5 Cedar Shoals continued to make a statement as well and built to its already impressive resume. The Jaguars won the Sweet South Classic and picked up wins over 1A-Private No. 4 SWAC, 48-44 and 3ANo. 3 Morgan County 61-59 along the way. In the championship victory over the Bulldogs, Phlan Fleming hit a basket with one second left to capture the crown. Fleming finished with 27 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals and was named tournament MVP. No. 10 Warner Robins is back in the rankings after LaGrange dropped to new 4ANo. 10 Upson-Lee, 77-65.

A familiar face takes over No. 1 in AAAA. Two-time defending state champion Jonesboro reaches the top of the poll for the first time this season after a third-place showing in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic. MJ Walker pumped in 38 points in the third-place game victory over Bishop Gorman (NV), 65-64. No. 2 Grady relents its hold on the top spot after a narrow loss to Jefferson Davis (AL), 67-61. No. 4 St. Pius quietly continues its ascension up the polls after losing to Grady and No. 3 Lithonia. The Golden Lions swept their way to winning the St. Pius X Christmas Classic and drilled Blessed Trinity in the finals, 67-38. Henry County (9-4), who peaked at No. 4 in the state, has dropped out of the top ten following their third straight loss. Stockbridge (6-5) won at Henry County 86-71 on Saturday. Virgil Fields finished with 29 points, six assists and 13 rebounds while Jadon Davis added 37 points and six assists to drop the Warhawks.

In AAA, No. 2 Jenkins moves up one spot after a tough No. 3 Morgan County loss in the Sweet South Classic championship. No. 4 South Atlanta blasted Sequoyah at the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic in Spartanburg, South Carolina 82-54. Artavious Banks led the way with 25 points. No. 5 Calhoun impressed many on its way to winning the SmileGeneration.com bracket at the Lake City Classic. On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets had to deal with an up-and-coming contender in Region 6, Coahulla Creek (12-3). Down 39-35 entering the fourth, Calhoun outscored the Colts 25-13 on the road to secure a 60-52 win. Jireh Wilson and Kaelan Riley, both football signees, were huge as Wilson finished with 31 points and six rebounds while Riley posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. No. 7 Westminster debuts in the poll after a huge 65-43 win over 1A-Private No. 4 SWAC and an 11-2 start behind Will Benson, Philip Jones and Mikael Sampson. No. 10 Westside-Augusta also debuts in the top ten following a Banks County (12-2) 42-40 loss to a shorthanded 6ANo. 7 Collins Hill in the Commerce Christmas Tournament championship. The Patriots get the slight nod over the Leopards. Westside’s only two losses have come to No. 1 Laney by a combined seven points. Speaking of Laney, the Wildcats held on to beat 4ANo. 9 Thomson, 62-58 at home behind Christian Keeling’s 23 points and Zep Jasper’s 20.

No. 1 Thomasville has emerged as the class of AA after sweeping through the Thomasville Hoopfest to win the title.  Elsewhere in the classification, there have been road bumps. No. 2 Crawford County lost its first game to Manchester 63-61. No. 3 Seminole County is riding a two-game losing skid after falling to Boyd Anderson (FL) and Valdosta at the Thomasville Hoopfest, two teams Thomasville defeated. No. 5 Vidalia lost its first two games of the season as well to Richmond Academy and Brunswick. One team that is trending upwards is No. 4 Holy Innocents’. They jump up two spots following a perfect 3-0 championship run at the Pensacola Catholic Crusader Christmas Tournament. The Golden Bears return home to host Pace Academy. The Knights have played a national schedule and have paid dearly, dropping from No. 2 to unranked at 2-8 overall. No. 10 Chattooga at 14-1 makes an entry into the state picture.

Class 1A-Private and Public are still trying to sort themselves out. Outside of No. 1 Greenforest, 1A-Private looks like anyone’s ball game. No. 4 SWAC has dropped three straight with losses to Cedar Shoals, Stone Mountain and Westminster. No. 7 Lakeview has fallen to East Hall and North Hall back-to-back while No. 8 Whitefield Academy limped to 1-2 at the Lake City Classic with losses to Kell and Hillgrove in the SmileGeneration.com bracket.

1A-Public has seen No. 2 Wilkinson County start to make a move. They continue to rise following a 57-54 win over Stratford Academy (8-3) on Saturday. No. 9 Hancock Central held off a furious comeback from No. 7 Lincoln County to win 69-64 after leading by 22 at the half. In the loss rapidly rising ’17 prospect, 6-foot-7 Ahmad Rand, posted another triple-double with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 11 blocks.

Where are they now? (January Update)

A monthly check up on how some of last season’s top GHSA players are faring as freshmen at their respective D-1 schools:


Jaylen Brown (Wheeler to Cal)
14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 44.1 FG%

Shembari Phillips (Wheeler to Tennessee)
2.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg

Derek Ogbeide (Pebblebrook to UGA)
2.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Ty Hudson (Pebblebrook to Clemson)
2.6 ppg

Trhae Mitchell (Pebblebrook to South Alabama)

Bryce Brown (Tucker to Auburn)
9.1 ppg, 41.6 FG%

Devontae Cacok (Alpharetta to UNC-Wilmington)
6.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 68.9 FG%

Marcus Sheffield (Chattahoochee to Stanford)
4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Ricky Madison (Norcross to High Point)
4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg


Lamont West (Miller Grove to West Virginia)

Class AAAA

Tracy Hector (Jonesboro to Kennesaw State)
2.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 apg

Austin Donaldson (Jonesboro to Georgia State)
6 minutes

Malik Benlevi (Jenkins to Georgia State)
2.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Montae Glenn (Carrollton to Georgia Southern)
5.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 63.4% FG

Ty Cockfield (Johnson-Gainesville to Stetson)
7.1 ppg, 0.9 apg, 1.9 rpg

Class AAA

Tookie Brown (Morgan County to Georgia Southern)
17.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.1 spg

Austin Venable (Banks County to Presbyterian)
4.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 48.9% FG

Antwan Maxwell (Johnson-Savannah to Charleston Southern)

Class AA

Reggie Reid (Harlem to FGCU)
4.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 31.3% FG

Trevon Scott (McIntosh County Academy to Cincinnati)

Eric Jamison (GAC to Gardner-Webb)

Class A

Malik Beasley (St. Francis to FSU)
16.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.2 spg, 49.3 FG%, 39.2 3PT%

Kaiser Gates (St. Francis to Xavier)
2.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Josh Coleman (St. Francis to Coastal Carolina)
1.0 rpg

‘Turtle’ Jackson (Athens Christian to UGA)
2.0 ppg,1.1 rpg, 1.0 apg

Justin Ravenel (Greenforest to Florida A&M)
8.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg

Courtney Alexander (Whitefield Academy to Tennessee Tech)
2.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 54.5 FG%

Trey Kalina (North Cobb Christian to UTC)

Sour Shooting Sinks No. 7 East Hall at 56th annual Lanierland

Flowery Branch 62, No. 7 East Hall 56

Following a 72-49  defeat suffered by the girls team on their home floor to No. 2 Flowery Branch, the No. 7 East Hall boys had their sights set on capturing their first Lanierland title since 2010. It didn’t happen. The Vikings slipped to 9-4 on the season in Valhalla to a red-hot Flowery Branch team, 62-56. The Falcons advanced to 9-5 and now are winners of seven straight, but more importantly, owners of their first-ever Lanierland trophy.

The Vikings held a 15-11 lead after one behind two Triston Cooper threes. But once the second quarter rolled around, the basket got tighter and tighter for the host team. The senior would not score again in the game as East Hall managed to shoot just 15-of-58 from the field, 25 percent. While the Vikings hit rough waters, the Falcons began to take flight. Senior forward Gabe Holston scored seven points in the second quarter and finished tied for a game-high with 15 points. The 6-foot-3 forward’s rebounding was a difference in the game as he pounded the glass for 17 rebounds and was named tournament MVP following the game.

John Mills, one of the Falcons’ most lethal scorers, was saddled with foul trouble in the first half and scored just six points in the opening 16 minutes while running mate Brannon Clark chipped in seven to lead Flowery Branch to a 29-24 lead at the break.

At the 5:21 mark of the third quarter Flowery Branch extended its lead to a game-high 10 points at 36-26. Markese Jackson and Tylor Brown wouldn’t let the game get out of hand for the proud program. Both Jackson and Brown scored 15 apiece with the two combining for 22 points in the second half. The Vikings trailed 42-34 heading into the championship deciding final quarter.

Down eight, East Hall finally made its move and cut the lead to 52-47 with 2:14 remaining after Andy Lara drove and found Luke Cooper for a three from the top of the key. From that point on the Vikings were inclined to start fouling and it worked.

Trey Bailey and Holston combined to go 0-of-3 from the line as East Hall inched closer at 54-51 with 1:15 to play. With a minute left, Lara drove to the rim down four, but was whistled for a travel. The Vikings would have to foul Mills who sank both and made it 57-51 before the Falcons closed the game out at the line. Mills scored eight of his 14 points in the second half while Clark netted seven of his 14 in the last two periods.

There's nothing like Lanierland
There’s nothing like Lanierland

Top Performers

Flowery Branch
Gabe Holston – 15 points, 17 rebounds
Brannon Clark – 14 points, 5 rebounds
John Mills – 14 points
Trey Bailey – 8 points, 4 rebounds

East Hall
Tylor Brown – 15 points, 7 rebounds
Markese Jackson – 15 points, 3 rebounds
Luke Cooper – 11 points

Third Place Game

North Hall 73, West Hall 61


Top Performers

North Hall
Carson Heinen  – 21 points (15 in 2H), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
Evan Easton – 25 points
Sam Jackson – 10 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal

West Hall
Dylan Curry – 28 points (22 in 1H), 2 steals
Xzavier Reid – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks
Esteban Ulloa – 8 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Tyquan Statham – 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block

No. 1 Laney spoils No. 10 Thomson in clash of area’s best

As always, the incomparable Chad Cook (@AugBball) was on-hand to witness 3A No. 1 Laney (12-0) and 4A No. 10 Thomson (9-2) in a meeting of two of the Augusta area’s best teams. The Wildcats held on 62-58 at home.  Below is the Augusta Guru’s analysis. Be sure to visit his site for more coverage on this game and everything Augusta.


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