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Boys basketball rankings: Tri-Cities enters state tournament No. 1

The Class AAAAAA boys basketball champion has come from Region 5 the past two seasons, each in the name of Langston Hughes of Fairburn.

Now, another south Fulton school, Tri-Cities of East Point, aims to pick up where Hughes left off. The Bulldogs will enter the state tournament ranked No. 1 after winning Region 5 last week with victories over No. 9 Hughes, 79-70, in the semifinals and No. 2 Alexander, 57-56, in the championship. All those Region 5 teams advanced to the state tournament.

Tri-Cities moved up from No. 3 in the rankings as previous No. 1 Coffee and No. 2 Sprayberry lost in their region finals.

GHSA 2018-19 Boys State Basketball Brackets

Tri-Cities was ranked No. 1 through the first five weeks of the season, then watched three other teams (Coffee, Evans and Lakeside-Evans) come and go before getting another chance at the top. Tri-Cities has reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament the past two seasons but never made a state semifinal.

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There also is a new No. 1 team in Class AAA. Morgan County took over for defending state champion Greater Atlanta Christian, which was beaten by No. 3 Dawson County 86-76 in the 7-AAA final. GAC had won 25 straight region games and beaten Dawson County twice this season. The Spartans remained one place ahead of No. 3 Dawson County in the rankings.

The GAC-Dawson County final was one of a several games last week between highly ranked teams from the same region.

Meadowcreek beat Norcross, 46-44, on a layup at the buzzer in overtime in the Region 7-AAAAAAA final that was a rematch of the 2018 state final. Norcross had beaten Meadowcreek the week prior. Meadowcreek enters the state tournament at No. 2; Norcross is No. 4.

No. 4 Cedar Grove beat No. 5 Pace Academy 48-46 in overtime of the Region 5-AAA final. In AA, No. 2 South Atlanta beat No. 3 Therrell for the second time in two weeks to win Region 6. 

Among Class A private schools, No. 1 St. Francis defeated No. 4 Mount Bethel Christian 64-58 in the Region 6 final while No. 3 Eagle’s Landing Christian beat No. 2 Greenforest Christian 73-57 in the Region 5 final. ELCA and Greenforest swapped places in the rankings.

One of the bigger surprises of last week’s tournaments was Westlake, which won Region 2-AAAAAAA with victories over previous No. 6 Pebblebrook and No. 8 Wheeler. Westlake, previously unranked, is now No. 7. Previous No. 2 East Coweta, which entered 24-1, dropped to No. 5 after losing to Wheeler and Pebblebrook. Region 2 now has four ranked teams in the highest classification.

The only team ranked last week that didn’t make the state playoffs was Paulding County, which finished 21-5 after losing to sixth-place Villa Rica in the Region 7-AAAAA tournament.

First-round games in the state tournament will be Friday and Saturday at the home courts of the higher-seeded teams.

Class AAAAAAA 

McEachern  (27-0)

Meadowcreek  (21-5)

Grayson  (24-3)

Norcross  (19-8)

East Coweta  (24-3)

Pebblebrook  (18-9)

Westlake  (18-10)

Wheeler  (17-11)

Newton  (21-7)

10 Discovery  (22-5)

Class AAAAAA  

Tri-Cities  (21-6)

Alexander  (20-8)

South Cobb  (19-6)

Sprayberry  (23-4)

Coffee  (23-4)

Tucker  (24-4)

Cambridge  (19-8)

Chattahoochee  (22-6)

Langston Hughes  (16-12)

10 Douglas County  (19-9)

Class AAAAA 

Buford  (24-2)

Southwest DeKalb  (21-6)

Eagle's Landing  (22-4)

Jonesboro  (20-8)

Fayette County  (22-5)

Woodland-Stockbridge (23-5)

Lithonia  (18-9)

Kell  (23-5)

Warner Robins  (21-6)

10 Wayne County  (22-5)

Class AAAA 

Upson-Lee  (24-1)

Sandy Creek  (24-3)

St. Pius (24-3)

Woodward Academy  (19-8)

Carver-Columbus (20-5)

Americus-Sumter  (22-3)

Henry County  (25-3)

Druid Hills  (19-8)

Dougherty  (20-8)

10 Thomson  (19-5)

Class AAA  

Morgan County  (25-2)

Greater Atlanta Christian  (22-5)

Dawson County  (24-4)

Cedar Grove  (18-7)

Pace Academy  (20-8)

Windsor Forest  (22-5)

Central-Macon (22-5)

Hart County  (20-7)

Johnson-Savannah (19-7)

10 Westside-Macon (22-6)

Class AA 

Woodville-Tompkins  (27-0)

South Atlanta  (23-4)

Vidalia  (22-4)

Therrell  (21-7)

Elbert County  (25-3)

Northeast  (21-5)

Washington County  (19-7)

Laney  (20-8)

Butler  (19-5)

10 Early County  (22-5)

Class A (private)  

St. Francis  (24-4)

Eagle's Landing Christian (19-8)

Greenforest Christian (20-6)

Mount Bethel Christian (22-7)

Holy Innocents' (16-11)

Walker  (19-8)

Lakeview Academy  (20-8)

Wesleyan  (18-7)

Mount Pisgah Christian  (16-12)

10 Riverside Military (20-5)

Class A (public) 

Calhoun County  (28-0)

Treutlen  (27-1)

Wilkinson County  (19-9)

Hancock Central  (21-6)

Terrell County  (21-5)

Greene County  (20-6)

Pelham  (22-5)

Irwin County  (22-4)

Wilcox County  (21-3)

10 Montgomery County  (18-8)

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