Let’s take a look at some of the top Class AA boys and girls games taking place this weekend. We’ll start on the girls’ side, where there are a handful of primetime matchups.
In the Hudl Classic at Archer, the No. 7 Douglass Lady Astros (10-5) take on A-Private’s No. 3 team, the Wesleyan Lady Wolves (12-2) on Saturday. The Lady Astros will be coming off a region home game with Coretta Scott King YWLA (2-12) on Friday, and will most assuredly enter Saturday’s matchup on a three-game win streak. On Nov. 19, the Lady Astros smothered King with a 72-10 win. The Lady Wolves are on a seven-game win streak, last beating region opponent WD Mohammed 70-19 on Tuesday. Their only losses are 50-49 to AAAAA’s No. 1 Buford (14-0) on Nov. 26, and to AAAAAA’s No. 1 Lovejoy. Their wins include A-Private’s No. 6 Greenforest, AAAAAA’s No. 3 Dacula, AAA’s No. 6 GAC and Braden River (Fla.) — ranked No. 18 overall in the Sunshine State according to the MaxPreps computer rankings. The Lady Astros lost to the only ranked team they played, AAAAA’s No. 10 Southwest DeKalb, 61-38 on Nov. 30.
In another matchup of top 10 teams from different classifications, the Fannin County Lady Rebels — AAA’s No. 4 team — will travel to the No. 6 Banks County Lady Leopards (12-3) on Friday. The Lady Leopards are led by sophomore Ava Hunter, who is averaging 16.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks. It will be their second challenging matchup in a row after losing 50-46 to top-ranked Rabun County on Friday. With a week’s rest, they’ll be fresh for this game. The Lady Rebels (12-4) are coming off a 66-49 loss at No. 6 GAC in 7-AAA competition, which snapped a four-game win streak.
In 4-AA, the No. 8 Josey Lady Eagles (13-3, 7-1) can pull into a tie for first place with the No. 3 Laney Lady Wildcats (13-2, 8-0) on Saturday with a home win. There’s just one problem for the Lady Eagles: they’re 0-30 against their crosstown rivals dating back to the 2006-07 season, which is as far back as MaxPreps’ records go. It’s possible that losing streak is even longer. On Dec. 3, the Lady Wildcats beat them 55-44. With the schools less than two miles apart, there may not be a home court advantage for the Lady Eagles, so if they win it will be epic.
In 8-AA on Friday, the Putnam County Lady War Eagles (12-2, 4-1) travel to play the No. 1 Rabun County Lady Wildcats (16-0, 6-0), hoping to put a dent in the Rabun County’s undefeated record. The Lady War Eagles are currently tied for second place with Union County, and their lone region loss came to Banks County — a team the Lady Wildcats beat 63-41 on Dec. 14. The Lady War Eagles are led by senior Jashanti Simmons, who is averaging 20.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and four steals.
On the boys’ side, in 2-AA, the Woodville-Tompkins Wolverines (10-7, 5-1) play on the road against the No. 4 Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets (11-5, 5-1), with the winner earning a share of first place with No. 2 Swainsboro (16-2, 6-1). Swainsboro’s lone region loss was to Jeff Davis, 71-68 on Dec. 13. Jeff Davis’ region loss came 51-47 to Vidalia on Dec. 10, and the Wolverines’ region loss came to Swainsboro, 73-55 on Dec. 3. The Wolverines are coming off an 84-12 win over Bryan County in which freshman Alfonzo Ross outscored their opponent by himself with 20 points. They’re on a three-game win streak. Jeff Davis is coming off a back-and-forth 78-76 win over Bacon County.
In 4-AA, the No. 5 Laney Wildcats (10-4, 6-2) travel to play against the No. 7 Butler Bulldogs (9-5, 5-3), with the teams jockeying for position in the league’s crowded standings led by Glenn Hills (8-1), Laney, Westside (6-3), Jefferson County (5-3), Butler and Hephzibah (5-4). Butler soundly defeated Laney 71-47 on Nov. 22, though it should be noted that was Laney’s season opener and Butler’s fourth game. Juniors Ronnie Striggles and Richard Visitacion led the Bulldogs with 18 points apiece, while seniors Dykese King and Jonathan Taylor and junior James Nipper led the Wildcats with 10 points each.
Finally in 8-AA, first place is up for grabs when the No. 6 Banks County Leopards (15-2, 6-0) travel to play against the Social Circle Redskins (13-4, 6-0). A win for the Redskins could propel them into the rankings. They’ve won six in a row. The Leopards are on a four-game win streak since losing 61-43 to AAAAA’s No. 9 Buford on Dec. 30 in the Marlin Christmas Classic in Panama City Beach, Fla.
Also of note: Bryan County’s Olanna Rawls and Rockmart’s Keyarah Berry could reach the 2,000-point plateau for their careers this weekend. Berry, who is averaging 32 points, needs just 16 to reach the milestone. The Lady Yellow Jackets play at Chattooga on Friday and at home against Bremen the next day. Rawls, who averages 23.9 points, is 32 away with home games against Bacon County on Friday and Claxton on Saturday.
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