So it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at each Class AAA region to see where things stand as we head into the final week of the regular season. Region tournaments begin next week, where teams will compete for the top four seeds to earn berths in the state tournament that begins Feb. 14-15.
Here's the breakdown:Region 1
Boys: Monroe has been flawless on the season with a 6-0 region record. The eighth-ranked Golden Tornadoes lead Crisp County (5-2), Worth County (2-4) and Cook (0-8).
Girls: Worth (5-1) holds the lead in the region ahead of Monroe (4-2),Crisp (4-3) and Cook (0-7). Worth County will host Monroe on Tuesday and travel to Pelham on Friday.
Boys: Long County (7-1) leads in the region standings and Pierce County and Liberty Countyare tied at 5-3. Tattnall County (3-5) is chasing. Long County will travel to Tattnall County on Tuesday before a road trip to Liberty County on Friday, which could shake up the top of the standings.
Girls: Fourth-ranked Pierce County (8-0) is the leader with Tattnall County and Brantley County tied at 6-2 and chasing. Pierce will host Brantley County on Tuesday and travel to Tattnall County on Friday. Liberty County (2-6), Appling County (1-7) and Long County (1-7) are at the bottom of the standings.
Region 3Boys: A showdown is set for Tuesday night when No. 2 Johnson-Savannah (13-1) will travel to No. 5 Windsor Forest (12-2) for a game to determine who will have momentum entering the region tournament. Beach (10-5) and Jenkins (7-8) make up the top four programs entering the tournament, with Southeast Bulloch and Benedictine tied at 6-8.
Girls: Top-ranked Johnson-Savannah (12-0) leads region rival Beach (12-2) and will have what should be two easy game this week -- at Windsor Forest on Tuesday and home against Islands on Friday.
Boys: The two favorites, Westside-Macon and Central-Macon, are at the top. Westside (9-1) has beaten Central (10-2) twice this season. Peach County (6-4) and Rutland (4-6) are chasing, but expect a Westside or Central to claim the region championship.
Girls: Jackson (8-3) leads, but narrowly. Rutland (7-3), Pike County (6-4) and Kendrick (5-5) are chasing. Jackson will close its regular season Tuesday at Westside-Macon.
Boys: Top-ranked Pace Academy is the clear favorite. The Knights are 10-0 in the region and No. 6 Westminster and No. 7 Lovett are tied at 7-3. Towers (5-7) is chasing the top three. Pace will travel to Redan on Tuesday before playing at home against Lovett on Friday.
Girls: No. 5 Cedar Grove and No. 10 Westminster are tied at the top with 9-1 records. Cedar Grove will host Lovett on Tuesday before a showdown against Westminster on Friday to determine the region leader. Westminster travels to Towers on Tuesday.
Boys: Tenth-ranked North Murray has a commanding 15-0 lead in the region and is a favorite entering the region tournament. The closest team, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, is 11-3 in the league, and Murray County and Calhoun are tied at 9-5.
Girls: No. 8 Ringgold and No. 9 Sonoraville are atop the standings, and Ringgold (13-2) has the edge over Sonoraville (12-2). The Tigers defeated Sonoraville twice this season -- 66-30 on Dec. 6 and 56-49 on Jan. 10. Coahulla Creek (10-4) is third in the standings, ahead of North Murray (10-5) and Calhoun (8-6).
Boys: No. 4 Dawson County and No. 9 Greater Atlanta Christian are the leaders, and Dawson has the edge with a 10-0 region record. Dawson has beaten GAC twice this season – 72-40 on Dec. 5 and 57-39 on Jan. 14. GAC is 7-3 and tied with an unranked Cherokee Bluff program. North Hall (6-4) and Lumpkin County (4-7) are chasing.
Girls: Sixth-ranked GAC leads with an 8-2 region recrod and is narrowly ahead of 7-3 North Hall. The Spartans will host East Hall on Tuesday before closing the regular season at Fannin County on Friday. Dawson County is 6-4 and Fannin County is 6-5.
Boys: No. 3 Hart County leads the league with a 9-1 record, and Jefferson is chasing at 7-3. That makes Hart's road trip to Jefferson on Tuesday very important -- not so much for the standings, but for momentum heading into the region tournament. Hart beat Jefferson 48-45 on Jan. 3 and then it carried the momentum into a 67-38 victory against the Dragons a week later. Franklin County (7-4) and Monroe Area (5-5) are the third and fourth teams in the region standings, respectively.
Girls: No. 2 Jefferson leads the league at 10-0 with Hart County (7-3) and Morgan County (7-4) chasing. The Dragons will play at home against Hart County on Tuesday and Jackson County on Friday to close the regular season. Jefferson defeated Hart 69-35 on Jan. 3.
Boys AAA rankings and schedules
1. Pace Academy: Travels to Redan on Tuesday before playing at home against No. 7 Lovett on Friday.
2. Johnson-Savannah: Travels to No. 5 Windsor Forest (12-2 in 3-AAA) Tuesday and needs a victory to stay on top of the 3-AAA standings at 13-1.
3. Hart County: Travels to Jefferson on Tuesday and Franklin County on Friday.
4. Dawson County: Travels to Cherokee Bluff on Tuesday and East Hall on Friday.
5. Windsor Forest: Plays at home against 3-AAA leader Johnson-Savannah on Tuesday and Groves on Friday.
6. Westminster: Travels to Towers on Tuesday and plays at home against Cedar Grove on Friday.
7. Lovett: Closes the regular season on the road against Cedar Grove on Tuesday and top-ranked Pace Academy on Friday.
8. Monroe: Travels to Worth County on Tuesday and plays at home against Crisp County on Friday.
9. Greater Atlanta Christian: Plays at home against East Hall on Tuesday and travels to Fannin County on Friday.
10. North Murray: Closes the regular season at Sonoraville on Friday.
Girls AAA rankings and schedules
1. Johnson-Savannah: Travels to Windsor Forest on Tuesday before hosting Islands on Friday.
2. Jefferson: Plays at home against Hart County on Tuesday and Jackson County on Friday.
3. Beach: Closes the regular season Saturday against Class AAAAAA No. 5 Glynn Academy.
4. Pierce County: Travels to Tattnall County on Friday.
5. Cedar Grove: Plays at home against Lovett on Tuesday and travels to No. 10 Westminster on Friday.
6. Greater Atlanta Christian: Plays at home against East Hall on Tuesday and travels to Fannin County on Friday.
7. North Hall: Travels to Lumpkin County on Tuesday and plays at home against Cherokee Bluff on Friday.
8. Ringgold: Travels to Murray County on Tuesday and plays at home against Heritage-Catoosa on Friday.
9. Sonoraville: Plays at home against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe on Tuesday and North Murray on Friday.
10. Westminster: Travels to Towers on Tuesday and plays at home against No. 5 Cedar Grove on Friday.