1. Therrell (12-5)
Region record: 7-0 in Region 6 (first place)
Notes: The Bulldogs are coming off a 55-44 win over AAAAAAA’s Westlake, which is having a down year as demonstrated by its 4-13 start. The win served as a rebound from a rough 1-3 stretch over the holidays that included losses to a Huntsville (Ala.) team ranked No. 7 in AAAAAAA by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, AAAA’s No. 4 Sandy Creek and AAAAAAA’s unranked North Gwinnett. They enter the thick of region play Friday when they host McNair (1-11, 0-7), a team they beat 76-47 on Nov. 19. That will be their only game this week. The remainder of their schedule comes against Region 6 save one opponent, AAAAAA’s Lanier (4-8), in the J-4 Sports MLK Holiday Basketball Classic at Douglas County on Jan. 20.
2. Swainsboro (15-2)
Region record: 5-1 in Region 2 (first place)
Notes: The Tigers are coming off a 62-58 road loss to AAAAA’s No. 10 Statesboro, which ended a nine-game win streak that included a win over A-Public’s No. 7 Wilkinson County. On Nov. 30, they beat Statesboro by the same score. Their only other loss was in Hazlehurst to No. 4 Jeff Davis, 71-68, on Dec. 13. This week they play Metter (9-4, 2-3) on Tuesday and Toombs County (4-10, 1-4) on Friday.
3. Glenn Hills (11-6)
Region record: 7-1 in Region 4 (first place)
Notes: The Spartans take the court for the first time in 2020 on Tuesday at home against No. 7 Butler (9-4, 5-2), a team they edged 62-61 on the road on Nov. 19. They also play region bottom feeders Harlem (6-7, 0-6) on Friday and Screven County (2-13, 0-7) on Saturday. The Spartans closed 2019 on a two-game skid with double-digit losses to Hephzibah (73-56) and Laney (68-55) at the RCSS Round Ball Classic at Paine College. The Spartans are led by seniors Emmanuel Jones (17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals) and John Whitehead III (16.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals).
4. Jeff Davis (10-5)
Region record: 4-1 in Region 2 (tied for second place)
Notes: The Yellow Jackets are coming off an 82-66 loss on Saturday to Carmel Christian (N.C.) in the Low Country Showcase in Charleston, S.C. Carmel Christian is the No. 10 overall team in the state according to the MaxPreps computer rankings. They play three home games this week: Tuesday vs. Bacon County (5-4, 2-3), Friday vs. Woodville-Tompkins (9-7, 4-1) and Saturday vs. AAA’s Appling County (3-8).
5. Laney (10-4)
Region record: 5-2 in Region 4 (tied for second)
Notes: The Wildcats play three road games against region opponents this week, starting with Jefferson County (9-5, 5-2) on Tuesday, No. 7 Butler (9-4, 5-2) on Friday and Josey (3-12, 0-6) on Saturday. This week should help to break the three-way tie for second between Laney, Butler and Jefferson County. The Wildcats have won two in a row, last beating Harlem 66-36 on Jan. 3. They’re led by seniors Jonathan Taylor (12.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 steals) and Dykese King (10.7 points, 2.8 assists, 2.4 steals).
6. Banks County (14-2)
Region record: 5-0 in Region 8 (tied for first place)
Notes: The Leopards play a pair of region games this week, first at home on Tuesday against Union County (7-7, 2-2), then on Friday at Social Circle (12-4, 5-0), the team they’re tied atop the standings with. Since losing 61-43 to AAAAA’s No. 5 Buford on Dec. 30 in the Marlin Christmas Classic at Arnold (Fla.), they’ve won two in a row in blowouts of Elbert County (71-31) and Oglethorpe County (86-56).
7. Butler (9-4)
Region record: 5-2 in Region 4 (tied for second place)
Notes: The Bulldogs’ only two games this week are against region teams that are ranked. They play at No. 3 Glenn Hills (11-6, 7-1) on Tuesday, and No. 5 Laney (10-4, 5-2) on Friday. They enter the week on a three-game win streak , going 2-1 at the Chuck Miller Classic at McDonough, where they beat Jackson and Mundy’s Mill. They last played Jan. 3 when they edged Hephzibah 55-52. They have three double-digit scorers, none of whom are seniors: juniors Ronnie Striggles (13.4 points, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals) and Richard Visitacion (13.1 points, 2.2 steals) and sophomore Kedar Bodie (10.4 points, 1.3 steals).
8. Spencer (11-3)
Region record: 3-0 in Region 5 (first place)
Notes: The Green Wave Owls play three league games this week starting with Jordan (8-6, 2-1) on Tuesday, then Bremen (1-13, 1-3) on Friday and Lamar County (2-11, 1-2) on Saturday. They’re on a two-game win streak including going 1-1 in the Muscogee County Showcase at Columbus, where they beat Central (Phenix City, Ala.) 61-33. They last played on Saturday, edging Callaway 68-67.
9. Douglass (13-4)
Region record: 5-2
Notes: The Astros begin the new year on Friday after what will be nearly a two-week layoff, having last played on Dec. 30, when they beat Coosa to leave the Big Blue Classic at Rome with a 2-0 record, also beating Model. On Dec. 21 they lost to AAAAA’s No. 2 Eagle’s Landing by a respectable score of 67-57. On Friday they play B.E.S.T. Academy (4-9, 2-5) and AAAAAA’s Mays (6-9).
10. Thomasville (12-3)
Region record: 1-0 in Region 1 (tied for first)
Notes: Playing in AA’s smallest region of five teams, the Bulldogs have to fill their schedule with non-league opponents and have played just one league game thus far, beating Brooks County 66-49 on Jan. 3. They closed 2019 hosting the Holiday Hoopfest, going 2-1 with the loss coming 66-50 to Valdosta, the No. 7 team in AAAAAA. They play three games this week beginning Monday at AAAA’s Cairo (1-12). On Friday they play at Early County (0-11, 0-0), and on Saturday they host Berrien (4-9, 0-0). They Bulldogs are led by juniors Clifford Davis (15 points, 1.6 steals) and Jeremiah Tillman (11 points).
1. Rabun County (15-0)
Region record: 5-0 in Region 8 (first place)
Notes: The Lady Wildcats are the only undefeated team in AA, regardless of gender. On Jan. 3, they beat region rival and No. 6 Union County 50-46 on the road in the only game they’ve played against a top 10 opponent. In consecutive home-and-way games on Dec. 21 and 28, they twice beat a solid Franklin (N.C.) team ranked No. 13 in AA according to the MaxPreps computer rankings. Aside from a Union County rematch on Jan. 24 at Tiger, there’s perhaps only one team standing in the way of a Lady Wildcats undefeated regular season, and that’s Putnam County. Their remaining games all come against league opponents, starting with two this week: Tuesday at home against Social Circle (4-10, 1-4) and Friday on the road against aforementioned Putnam County (11-2, 3-1).
2. Early County (9-4)
Region record: 0-0 in Region 1
Notes: The Lady Bobcats play their first league games this week, starting Tuesday at Brooks County (5-9, 0-2). On Friday they host Thomasville (7-7, 2-0) and Saturday they play at Fitzgerald (4-9, 1-0). With a sweep of those games they will claim sole possession of first place and likely hold on for the remainder of the season. Their 72-36 win over Randolph-Clay on Saturday halted a two-game skid that included losses at A-Public’s No. 5 Calhoun County (46-45) and AAAAAAA’s Lowndes (52-44 in overtime) at the Colquitt County Christmas Shootout. Junior Makayla Timpson leads the team with 21 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 3.5 steals and 2.8 blocks.
3. Laney (12-2)
Region record: 7-0 in Region 4 (first place)
Notes: The Lady Wildcats rang in the new year with a 86-44 drubbing of league rival Harlem to rebound from a 45-44 loss to AAAAA’s No. 9 Jones County in the Jones County Holiday Classic on Dec. 30. They play three region games on the road this week starting Tuesday with Jefferson County (6-8, 5-2), followed by Butler (10-4, 6-1) on Friday and No. 8 Josey (12-3, 6-1) on Saturday. They’ve already beaten Butler and Josey earlier in the season. They’re led by seniors Rocquana Drayton (13 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 4.1 steals) and Whitney Anderson (12.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, three steals, 0.9 blocks).
4. Southwest-Macon (12-2)
Region record: 4-1 in Region 3 (tied for first)
Notes: The Lady Patriots are coming off a region loss to unranked East Laurens, 69-55 on Saturday. Their only other loss was to AAAA’s Baldwin on Dec. 20. They play two region games this week, both at home, with Bleckley County (6-9, 2-3) on Tuesday and Dodge County (4-11, 1-5) on Saturday. They have four scorers in double digits, three of whom are seniors: Ja’Khyla Johnson (15.1 points, 5.5 steals, 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists), Avrie Grayer (14.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 1.6 steals) and Shygeria Williams (11.3 points, 3.2 steals). Junior Stangious Alford is averaging 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 0.9 blocks.
5. Washington County (12-2)
Region record: 4-1 in Region 3 (tied for first)
Notes: The Lady Golden Hawks are in a three-way tie for first with Southwest (12-2, 4-1) and East Laurens (8-6, 4-1). They beat East Laurens but lost to Southwest. They’re coming of a 49-44 win on Saturday over Northeast, bouncing back from a 54-48 loss to Southwest the day before. They play once this week — a region game at home against Dublin (5-7, 0-5). Junior Miracle Parker leads the team with 20.2 points to go with 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 steals, 2.4 assists and one block. Senior Destinee Ellison (14.3 points, 3.9 assists, 3.7 steals) and sophomore Ashley Gray (10.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 steals) are the teams other double-digit scorers.
6. Union County (11-3)
Region record: 3-1 in Region 8 (tied for second)
Notes: The Lady Panthers are coming off a narrow 50-46 loss to No. 1 Rabun County on Friday, their second defeat in three games. The other was 63-39 to Murphy (N.C.) — ranked No. 11 overall in the state according to the MaxPreps computer rankings — in the Battle of the States event at Towns County. They’ll look to get back on track this week with three games, two against league opponents. They play at Banks County (7-9, 3-2) on Tuesday, then host Oglethorpe County (2-10, 0-5) on Friday. The play AAA’s No. 4 Fannin County (12-3) at home the next day. They are led by sophomore Ava Hunter, who averages 17.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks.
7. Douglass (10-5)
Region record: 7-0 in Region 6 (first place)
Notes: The Lady Astros are coming off a 40-36 win over Woodbridge (Va.) in the She Got Game Classic in Atlanta on Jan. 4. They play twice this week, starting with Corretta Scott King YWLA (1-11, 0-7) on Friday. On Saturday they play A-Private’s No. 3 Wesleyan (11-2) in the Hudl Classic.
8. Josey (12-3)
Region record: 6-1 in Region 4 (tied for second)
Notes: The Lady Eagles opened the new year with blowout wins over region opponents Screven County (68-12) and Jefferson County (57-25). They play two more league games this week, starting Tuesday with Westside (2-9, 2-5). They play No. 3 Laney (12-2, 7-0) on Saturday for a chance to avenge their 55-44 loss to them on Dec. 3. Senior Amani Jones leads the team with averages of 13.5 points and four steals.
9. Vidalia (12-3)
Region record: 6-1 in Region 2 (tied for first)
Notes: The Lady Indians are in a three-way tie atop the region with Woodville-Tompkins (9-7, 6-1) and Bryan County (12-3, 6-1), having lost to Woodville-Tompkins and beating Bryan County. Their first game of 2020 was a 61-45 road win against league opponent Swainsboro on Friday, which pushed their win streak to four. They play two league games this week — at home Tuesday against Toombs County (4-10, 1-6) and at Metter (6-7, 2-4) on Friday.
10. Rockmart (10-5)
Region record: 5-1 in Region 7 (tied for first)
Notes: The Lady Yellow Jackets are in a three-way tie atop the region with Gordon Central (11-3, 5-1) and Chattooga (11-4, 5-1). They beat Gordon Central but lost to Chattooga. They’ve won two in a row to start the new year with double-digit wins region wins over Armuchee (51-38) and Dade County (48-32). They play three times this week starting with two league opponents. They play Coosa (1-9, 0-6) on Tuesday and then get their chance at revenge at Chattooga on Friday. On Saturday they host Bremen (6-10). Junior Keyarah Berry is averaging a whopping 31.5 points a game to go with 8.9 rebounds, 4.7 steals and 1.1 blocks.
Follow the AJC’s Class AA coverage on Twitter.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.