Boys basketball rankings: Five teams still unbeaten

 

Five boys teams are undefeated one week into the new year, and four of them are ranked No. 1 in the first ajc.com high school basketball poll of the season. 

McEachern (Class AAAAAAA), Evans (AAAAAA), Woodville-Tompkins (AA) and Calhoun County (A public) are No. 1, but only Calhoun County among those has a state title to its credit. The fifth unbeaten is Christian Heritage (A private), ranked No. 5 in Class A private and also seeking its first state title.

McEachern, nationally recognized as the state’s best overall team, is 11-0 and the clear No. 1 in the highest classification.

The Indians also are No. 1 nationally in the MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25. McEachern defeated Nevada power Findlay Prep 60-53 in Wheeling, W.Va., on Friday night. (See highlights here.) The Indians also have beaten MaxPreps’ No. 10 team, Imhotep Charter of Philadelphia, and No. 24 Mountain Brook of Birmingham. McEachern lost in the quarterfinals in 2018 and 2016 and the semifinals in 2017. 

Defending AAAAAAA champion Meadowcreek (14-4) is ranked No. 2. 

In AAAAAA, Evans is 16-0 and No. 1, though some remain skeptical of a team that hasn’t advanced in the state playoffs since 2010 and never made a serious run at a title. But Evans’ Region 3 was underestimated last season when it sent Heritage-Conyers to the semifinals Lakeside-Evams to the quarterfinals.

Coffee (12-2) is No. 2. The Trojans have never won a state title, either. But it shows how wide open the class has become. Neither of last season’s finalists – champion Hughes or runner-up Gainesville – is ranked. Hughes is 5-10 in the absence of Landers Nolley, the AJC’s all-classification player of the year, now a freshman at Virginia Tech. Gainesville is 10-7 after a 4-7 start. Both have played tough schedules and can’t be counted out 

In AAAAA, Buford (14-1) is on top. The Wolves’ only loss is to Carmel Christian, the No. 1 overall team in North Carolina. Buford won AAAAA in 2017 and reached the second round last season.

Upson-Lee (13-1), a two-time defending champion, is No. 1 in AAAA, although the Knights’ 75-game winning streak ended in December against Discovery, the No. 10 team in AAAAAAA. Upson-Lee will have a tougher road this season without Tye Fagan, who is now at Georgia. But Travon Walker, an all-state basketball and football player, is back for his senior season. 

The No. 1 AAA team, Morgan County (14-1), has lost only to Wenonah of Birmingham, the No. 1 team in Alabama’s Class 5A. Morgan County has made the state semifinals each of the past five season and won AAA titles in 2014 and 2016. 

Woodville-Tompkins of Savannah is 16-0 and No. 1 in AA. The Savannah school opened in 2011 and got to the state semifinals in Class A in 2017. 

No. 1 in Class A are St. Francis (private) and Calhoun County (public). Both are traditional powers.

St. Francis, the private-school champion in 2014 and 2015, was the 2018 runner-up to Aquinas, which is 6-9 and unranked. Christian Heritage (13-0) is the lone unbeaten Class A private team and is ranked No. 5. The Lions made the quarterfinals last year.

Calhoun County has made the semifinals four of the past five seasons and won Class A public in 2015. 

Note: Each team’s schedule and results can be found by clicking a team name below. 

Class AAAAAAA

McEachern  (11-0)

Meadowcreek  (14-4)

Wheeler  (14-4)

Pebblebrook  (12-5)

Grayson  (14-2)

East Coweta  (15-1)

Newton  (11-3)

Norcross  (10-7)

Shiloh  (11-5)

10 Discovery  (14-3)

Class AAAAAA

Evans  (16-0)

Coffee  (12-2)

Lakeside-Evans (14-2)

Sprayberry  (14-2)

Alexander  (13-5)

Tri-Cities  (11-3)

Chattahoochee  (14-3)

Douglas County  (11-5)

North Atlanta  (12-4)

10 Pope  (12-4)

Class AAAAA

Buford  (14-1)

Fayette County  (14-2)

Southwest DeKalb  (13-5)

Eagle's Landing  (12-3)

Lithonia  (11-6)

Woodland-Stockbridge (13-3)

Kell  (12-4)

Paulding County  (13-2)

Jonesboro  (8-8)

10 Warner Robins  (11-4)

Class AAAA

Upson-Lee  (13-1)

Sandy Creek  (11-3)

St. Pius (14-2)

Americus-Sumter  (12-1)

Henry County  (16-1)

Carver-Columbus (10-3)

Salem  (10-3)

Woodward Academy  (9-7)

Thomson  (12-2)

10 Baldwin  (9-5)

Class AAA

Morgan County  (14-1)

Greater Atlanta Christian  (11-4)

Dawson County  (14-3)

Cedar Grove  (10-3)

Pace Academy  (11-5)

Hart County  (12-4)

Johnson-Savannah (10-6)

Jefferson  (11-5)

Monroe  (9-5)

10 Windsor Forest  (13-4)

Class AA

Woodville-Tompkins  (16-0)

Therrell  (12-5)

South Atlanta  (11-4)

Vidalia  (15-2)

Thomasville  (13-1)

Butler  (10-2)

Elbert County  (13-2)

Glenn Hills  (14-3)

Northeast  (12-2)

10 Washington County  (10-5)

Class A (private)

St. Francis  (12-3)

Mount Bethel Christian (10-4)

Eagle's Landing Christian (8-6)

Greenforest Christian (10-4)

Christian Heritage  (13-0)

Walker  (11-3)

Lakeview Academy  (10-5)

Mount Pisgah Christian  (9-6)

Wesleyan  (11-4)

10 Holy Innocents' (6-9)

Class A (public)

Calhoun County  (15-0)

Hancock Central  (10-3)

Terrell County  (11-2)

Treutlen  (12-1)

Wilcox County  (13-1)

Georgia Military College  (7-2)

Pelham  (9-3)

Greene County  (11-4)

Montgomery County  (8-5)

10 Wilkinson County  (5-9)

 

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