Basketball rankings: Lakeside-Evans, Fayette County ascend to No. 1

Lakeside-Evans and Fayette County are new No. 1 teams in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s boys basketball rankings.

Lakeside beat crosstown rival Evans, the previous No. 1 team, 67-56 on the road Friday night in Region 3-AAAAAA. Kalen Williams had 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the Columbia County showdown.

Neither Lakeside nor Evans has much tradition in basketball. Lakeside won its first state-playoff game last year and made the quarterfinals, and Evans hasn’t advanced a round since 2010. But it’s a volatile year in AAAAAA as 2018 finalists Hughes and Gainesville are unranked.

Lakeside (16-2) has lost to out-of-state opponents North Augusta of South Carolina and Camel Christian of North Carolina. Evans (17-1) had been undefeated. 

In AAAAA, previous No. 1 Buford (15-2) suffered a stunning upset to unranked Loganville, which entered just 8-8 overall and 1-3 in Region 8. Buford had lost previously only to Camel Christian, the No. 2 overall team in North Carolina according to MaxPreps. Loganville’s Jamar Moore had 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots in the 59-54 victory in Buford’s gym.

Fayette County (16-2) moves into the No. 1 spot. The Tigers’ only losses are No. 3 East Coweta and No. 10 Westlake, both from the highest classification.

East Coweta was a big mover in Class AAAAAAA after defeating previous No. 3 Wheeler 81-78 on Thursday. East Coweta is the new No. 3, which is probably the school’s highest ranking in decades as the Indians haven’t won a state-playoff game since 1971. East Coweta guard Fernandez Jones didn’t miss a shot in the Wheeler game as he was 4-of-4 on 3-pointers and 14-of-14 on free throws for 26 points.

Also newsworthy in the highest class was victory No. 300 for Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen. His No. 7 Rams beat Eastside 74-65 on Saturday night, giving him 300 wins against 90 losses 14 seasons in Covington.

With only three weeks remaining before region tournaments, only McEachern (AAAAAAA), Woodville-Tompkins of Savannah (AA) and Calhoun County (A public) remain perfect. McEachern (14-0) is ranked No. 2 nationally in the MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25. Aside from Evans, previously undefeated Christian Heritage of Dalton lost twice last week and fell out of the Class A private-school rankings.

The state tournament begins Feb. 15.

Class AAAAAAA 

McEachern  (14-0)

Meadowcreek  (15-4)

East Coweta  (18-1)

Grayson  (16-2)

Pebblebrook  (13-6)

Wheeler  (14-6)

Newton  (14-3)

Norcross  (12-7)

Discovery  (17-3)

10 Westlake  (11-7)

Class AAAAAA 

Lakeside-Evans (16-2)

Coffee  (15-2)

Chattahoochee  (16-3)

Evans  (17-1)

Sprayberry  (15-3)

Tri-Cities  (13-4)

Douglas County  (13-5)

North Atlanta  (14-4)

Brunswick  (11-6)

10 South Cobb  (12-5)

Class AAAAA 

Fayette County  (16-2)

Buford  (15-2)

Southwest DeKalb  (15-5)

Eagle's Landing  (13-3)

Woodland-Stockbridge (14-3)

Lithonia  (12-7)

Kell  (15-4)

Jonesboro  (10-8)

Warner Robins  (12-4)

10 Carrollton  (11-7)

Class AAAA 

Upson-Lee  (16-1)

Sandy Creek  (14-3)

St. Pius (16-2)

Henry County  (18-1)

Carver-Columbus (12-3)

Americus-Sumter  (13-2)

Woodward Academy  (11-7)

Baldwin  (11-5)

Salem  (11-5)

10 Druid Hills  (10-5)

Class AAA 

Morgan County  (16-1)

Greater Atlanta Christian  (13-4)

Dawson County  (16-3)

Cedar Grove  (11-5)

Pace Academy  (12-6)

Hart County  (14-4)

Johnson-Savannah (13-6)

Monroe  (12-5)

Windsor Forest  (16-4)

10 Central-Macon (14-3)

Class AA 

Woodville-Tompkins  (19-0)

Therrell  (14-5)

South Atlanta  (14-4)

Vidalia  (17-2)

Glenn Hills  (17-3)

Butler  (12-3)

Elbert County  (16-2)

Northeast  (14-3)

Thomasville  (15-2)

10 Washington County  (11-5)

Class A (private) 

St. Francis  (14-3)

Mount Bethel Christian (13-4)

Eagle's Landing Christian (11-6)

Greenforest Christian (12-4)

Walker  (12-4)

Lakeview Academy  (13-5)

Wesleyan  (14-4)

Holy Innocents' (8-9)

Trinity Christian  (8-9)

10 Mount Pisgah Christian  (10-8)

Class A (public) 

Calhoun County  (18-0)

Hancock Central  (13-3)

Treutlen  (12-16)

Terrell County  (14-2)

Wilcox County  (16-1)

Georgia Military College  (11-3)

Greene County  (13-4)

Macon County  (11-3)

Irwin County  (12-2)

10 Wilkinson County  (6-9)

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