Girls basketball rankings: Despite close calls, all eight No. 1 teams win region titles

All eight No. 1 teams held on to the top spots in this week’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution high school girls basketball rankings after winning region championships in the past six days. 

However, in a trend that might indicate that the state tournaments will be wide open, five of the eight top-ranked teams survived tough challenges from their biggest rivals in the region finals, winning by eight points or less to secure No. 1 seeds in the state playoffs, which begin this weekend. 

Kell, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA, had the toughest test, beating No. 8 Carrollton 44-43 to win Region 7. The Longhorns have beaten Carrollton three times this season by a total of 10 points. 

Lovejoy of Class AAAAAA beat No. 3 Forest Park 47-39 in overtime in the Region 4 final. The teams split their regular-season meetings. Defending Class AAAA champion Carver-Columbus beat No. 2 Americus-Sumter 60-56, also in overtime, to win Region 1. Those teams also split their previous two meetings. 

In Class AAA, two-time defending champion Johnson-Savannah beat No. 3 Beach 46-40 in the Region 3 final. It was Johnson’s fourth victory this season against the Bulldogs. And Class AA Laney beat No. 7 Josey 44-39 to win Region 4, its third victory against Josey this season. 

The three other No. 1-ranked teams – Westlake (Class AAAAAAA), St. Francis (A Private) and Central-Talbotton (A Public) – had much easier weeks. They won by an average of 24 points in the region finals despite playing ranked opponents. 

The most turnover in the top 10s occurred in Class AAAAAAA, where Tift County, Pebblebrook and North Cobb moved in. All three had been ranked earlier this season. The took the places of previous No. 6 Colquitt County, No. 8 Grayson and No. 10 West Forsyth. 

Four other new teams moved into the top 10s. Grovetown replaced Bradwell Institute in Class AAAAAA; Arabia Mountain replaced Jones County in AAAAA; Lakeview Academy replaced Galloway in Class A Private; and Wilcox County replaced Turner County in A Public. All seven teams that fell out of the rankings finished in third place or worse in their region tournaments. 

These are the final rankings until after the state finals, which will be held March 4-7 in Macon. 

Class AAAAAAA 

1. Westlake (25-2) 

2. Collins Hill (27-0) 

3. Cherokee (25-2) 

4. North Forsyth (25-2) 

5. McEachern (17-9) 

6. Campbell (20-7) 

7. Tift County (20-6) 

8. Woodstock (23-4) 

9. Pebblebrook (21-8) 

10. North Cobb (19-8) 

Class AAAAAA 

1. Lovejoy (24-4) 

2. Valdosta (25-2) 

3. Forest Park (22-6) 

4. Dacula (24-3) 

5. Glynn Academy (22-4) 

6. Hughes (21-5) 

7. Harrison (22-5) 

8. Lanier (17-10) 

9. Alexander (23-5) 

10. Grovetown (18-6) 

Class AAAAA 

1. Kell (28-0) 

2. Buford (26-1) 

3. Statesboro (22-5) 

4. Southwest DeKalb (21-6) 

5. Starr's Mill (23-3) 

6. Wayne County (23-2) 

7. Veterans (24-3) 

8. Carrollton (18-10) 

9. Eagle's Landing (19-8) 

10. Arabia Mountain (22-5) 

Class AAAA 

1. Carver-Columbus (22-4) 

2. Americus-Sumter (24-2) 

3. Spalding (21-4) 

4. Luella (22-5) 

5. Troup (23-1) 

6. Marist (25-1) 

7. Woodward Academy (25-3) 

8. Cross Creek (18-6) 

9. Central-Carrollton (21-6) 

10. Stephens County (21-6) 

Class AAA 

1. Johnson-Savannah (22-1) 

2. Jefferson (23-4) 

3. Beach (18-9) 

4. Cedar Grove (18-5) 

5. Sonoraville (21-6) 

6. Greater Atlanta Christian (15-12) 

7. North Hall (20-8) 

8. Westminster (20-7) 

9. Ringgold (18-8) 

10. Pierce County (22-5) 

Class AA 

1. Laney (25-2) 

2. Early County (23-4) 

3. Douglass (21-5) 

4. Vidalia (22-4) 

5. Southwest-Macon (21-3) 

6. Washington County (21-4) 

7. Josey (22-5) 

8. Putnam County (22-4) 

9. Bryan County (22-5) 

10. Rabun County (23-3) 

Class A (Private) 

1. St. Francis (25-3) 

2. Hebron Christian (28-0) 

3. Holy Innocents' (22-5) 

4. Wesleyan (20-5) 

5. Mount Paran Christian (20-5) 

6. Greenforest (21-5) 

7. Darlington (22-4) 

8. Calvary Day (22-6) 

9. Trinity Christian (18-6) 

10. Lakeview Academy (20-8) 

Class A (Public) 

1. Central-Talbotton (24-1) 

2. Wheeler County (27-1) 

3. Calhoun County (23-4) 

4. Clinch County (22-2) 

5. Greenville (21-7) 

6. Bowdon (21-6) 

7. Pelham (22-3) 

8. Macon County (16-6) 

9. Wilcox County (18-9) 

10. Emanuel Co. Institute (15-8)

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