Mount Bethel Christian is the new No. 1 team in the Class A private-school rankings this week after defeating previous No. 1 St. Francis 76-71 on Saturday night. Mount Bethel joined the GHSA this year after winning two straight championships in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association. The school opened a high school in 2014 and graduated its first class in 2018.
Photo: Mount Bethel Christian Academy/Twitter
Photo: Mount Bethel Christian Academy/Twitter

Boys basketball rankings: New to GHSA, Mount Bethel is No. 1

Mount Bethel Christian graduated its first senior class last May. Now the Marietta private school has achieved another significant first – a No. 1 ranking in boys basketball in the Georgia High School Association.

Mount Bethel isn’t new to basketball success, though. The boys team won state titles in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association the past two seasons. But this academic year, the Marietta school joined the GHSA, putting it on a much bigger stage athletically.

On Saturday night, Mount Bethel defeated Class A state-power St. Francis 76-71 in overtime on the road for the Eagles’ ninth straight victory. St. Francis had been ranked No. 1 in the Class A private-school division, the place that Mount Bethel (15-4) newly occupies. Only one of Mount Bethel’s four losses - to St. Francis by two points on Dec. 15 – was against a GHSA opponent. 

St. Francis is the best measuring stick for any aspiring Class A program. The Knights (16-4) have reached the Class A private semifinals each of the past six seasons and were the the 2018 runners-up and 2014 and 2015 champions.

Mount Bethel is coached by Cal Boyd, who has a 478-183 career record with stops at Walker, Westminster, Pace Academy and Greater Atlanta Christian. He is the brother of David Boyd, who won state titles at Milton and Berkmar.

Mount Bethel isn’t the only new No. 1 team this week in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution rankings. Buford, which fell from the top after an upset loss to Region 8 rival Loganville on Jan. 11, is back on top of Class AAAAA after a one-week absence. The Wolves benefited from previous No. 1 Fayette County’s 62-52 loss to No. 7 Jonesboro on Saturday.

Though they didn’t move up in the rankings, the most impressive Georgia boys teams last week were probably No. 1 McEachern and No. 3 East Coweta of Class AAAAAAA.

McEachern went 3-0 to win the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo., and defeated Sunrise Christian Academy of Bel Aire, Kan., 50-46 in the final on Saturday. Sunrise, the No. 15 team in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25, was one of five nationally ranked teams in the tournament.

McEachern (18-0) is ranked No. 1 by Blue Star Media and No. 2 by four other national media outlets. The Indians are back on the road on Monday to Springfield, Mass., to play Rancho Christian of Temecula, Calif., the No. 18 team in the Xcellent 25. The 1 p.m. game will be televised by ESPNU.

East Coweta’s Indians also were big winners. They defeated No. 5 Pebblebrook on Tuesday and No. 6 Wheeler on Saturday, both in overtime. East Coweta hasn’t won a state-playoff game since 1964 but stands 21-1 overall this season, 7-1 and first place in Region 2. 

Class AAAAAAA

McEachern  (18-0)

Meadowcreek  (16-4)

East Coweta  (21-1)

Grayson  (19-2)

Pebblebrook  (14-7)

Wheeler  (15-7)

Norcross  (15-7)

Newton  (15-5)

Discovery  (18-3)

10 Shiloh  (14-6)

Class AAAAAA

Lakeside-Evans (18-2)

Coffee  (18-2)

Chattahoochee  (19-3)

Sprayberry  (17-3)

Tri-Cities  (16-5)

Douglas County  (15-5)

Alexander  (16-7)

South Cobb  (14-5)

North Atlanta  (16-5)

10 Evans  (18-2)

Class AAAAA

Buford  (17-2)

Fayette County  (18-3)

Southwest DeKalb  (16-6)

Eagle's Landing  (15-3)

Woodland-Stockbridge (16-3)

Lithonia  (14-7)

Jonesboro  (13-8)

Kell  (17-4)

Paulding County  (18-3)

10 Warner Robins  (15-5)

Class AAAA

Upson-Lee  (19-1)

Sandy Creek  (16-3)

St. Pius (18-2)

Henry County  (21-1)

Carver-Columbus (16-3)

Americus-Sumter  (14-3)

Woodward Academy  (12-8)

Baldwin  (13-7)

Druid Hills  (14-6)

10 Salem  (12-6)

Class AAA

Morgan County  (19-1)

Greater Atlanta Christian  (15-4)

Dawson County  (17-4)

Cedar Grove  (11-7)

Pace Academy  (14-6)

Hart County  (15-5)

Johnson-Savannah (14-6)

Windsor Forest  (18-4)

Monroe  (14-5)

10 Central-Macon (15-5)

Class AA

Woodville-Tompkins  (21-0)

Therrell  (16-5)

South Atlanta  (16-4)

Vidalia  (18-3)

Glenn Hills  (18-3)

Butler  (14-3)

Elbert County  (18-2)

Northeast  (17-3)

Washington County  (14-5)

10 Swainsboro  (12-8)

Class A (private)

Mount Bethel Christian (15-4)

St. Francis  (16-4)

Eagle's Landing Christian (13-6)

Greenforest Christian (14-4)

Holy Innocents' (11-9)

Walker  (14-5)

Lakeview Academy  (15-5)

Wesleyan  (15-5)

Trinity Christian  (9-10)

10 Mount Pisgah Christian  (11-9)

Class A (public)

Calhoun County  (20-0)

Hancock Central  (16-3)

Treutlen  (19-1)

Terrell County  (17-2)

Wilkinson County  (11-9)

Irwin County  (14-2)

Greene County  (15-5)

Pelham  (13-4)

Wilcox County  (17-2)

10 Montgomery County  (12-6)

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