Girls basketball rankings: Four defending champs start new year at No. 1

Four defending state champions are No. 1 in their classifications in the first AJC girls basketball rankings of 2020. 

One of those teams – three-time defending Class AAAAA champion Buford – is perfect through the first two months of the season. The Wolves are 14-0 overall (2-0 in Region 8-AAAAA) and have five victories against ranked opponents and four wins against teams from the highest classification. 

Another No. 1 team – two-time defending Class AAAAAAA champ Westlake – is undefeated against Georgia teams. The Lions’ only loss came on Dec. 7 against Paul VI, the top-rated team in Maryland and a top-15 team nationally, according to MaxPreps. 

The other No. 1-ranked defending champions are Carver-Columbus (AAAA) and Johnson-Savannah (AAA). Carver is 11-3 with losses to Westlake, St. Francis and McEachern. Johnson is 10-1, its only loss coming against Glynn Academy 52-44 on Nov. 25. 

The No. 1 teams in the other four classifications are Lovejoy (AAAAAA), Rabun County (AA), St. Francis (A Private) and Central-Talbotton (A Public). Rabun County, at 15-0, is the only undefeated No. 1 team besides Buford. Lovejoy’s only loss came against Westlake, 55-52 on Dec. 14. 

Three of the other four defending state champions remain in the top 10. Class AA Douglass is ranked No. 7 and has a 10-5 record against a schedule made up almost entirely of region opponents and higher-classification teams. Holy Innocents’ is No. 4 in Class A Private with a 10-5 record against a rugged schedule. Marion County is No. 8 in Class A Public sporting a 4-3 record as it prepares to enter the bulk of its schedule. 

Class AAAAAA Lanier is the only unranked defending champion. The Longhorns started the season 3-6 but have since won four of six games and have a chance to move into first place in Region 8-AAAAAA with a victory against Dacula this week. 

Class AAAAAAA 

1. Westlake (14-1) 

2. Collins Hill (17-0) 

3. Cherokee (14-2) 

4. West Forsyth (14-1) 

5. Campbell (14-3) 

6. North Forsyth (14-2) 

7. Pebblebrook (13-3) 

8. Woodstock (15-2) 

9. North Paulding (13-3) 

10. Tift County (10-4) 

Class AAAAAA 

1. Lovejoy (14-1) 

2. Valdosta (13-2) 

3. Dacula (14-2) 

4. Harrison (14-3) 

5. Forest Park (12-5) 

6. Glynn Academy (13-4) 

7. Stephenson (13-4) 

8. Alexander (13-2) 

9. Brunswick (10-5) 

10. Northside-Warner Robins (9-3) 

Class AAAAA 

1. Buford (14-0) 

2. Kell (16-0) 

3. Villa Rica (15-2) 

4. Wayne County (13-0) 

5. Statesboro (12-3) 

6. Veterans (13-2) 

7. Rome (13-3) 

8. Arabia Mountain (14-1) 

9. Jones County (14-3) 

10. Southwest DeKalb (11-6) 

Class AAAA 

1. Carver Columbus (11-3) 

2. Americus-Sumter (12-0) 

3. Woodward Academy (14-1) 

4. Marist (14-0) 

5. Spalding (11-4) 

6. Luella (12-4) 

7. Troup (11-0) 

8. St. Pius (12-2) 

9. West Laurens (10-4) 

10. Central-Carrollton (13-2) 

Class AAA 

1. Johnson-Savannah (11-1) 

2. Jefferson (14-3) 

3. Beach (11-5) 

4. Fannin County (12-3) 

5. Cedar Grove (8-3) 

6. Greater Atlanta Christian (7-9) 

7. Dawson County (10-6) 

8. Sonoraville (11-5) 

9. Coahulla Creek (13-2) 

10. Pierce County (11-2) 

Class AA 

1. Rabun County (15-0) 

2. Early County (9-4) 

3. Laney (12-2) 

4. Southwest-Macon (12-1) 

5. Washington County (12-2) 

6. Union County (11-3) 

7. Douglass (10-5) 

8. Josey (11-3) 

9. Vidalia (12-3) 

10. Rockmart (10-5) 

Class A (Private) 

1. St. Francis (11-3) 

2. Hebron Christian (17-0) 

3. Wesleyan (11-2) 

4. Holy Innocents' (10-5) 

5. Mount Paran Christian (12-2) 

6. Greenforest (10-4) 

7. Calvary Day (12-3) 

8. Galloway (12-3) 

9. Stratford Academy (11-2) 

10. Trinity Christian (12-4) 

Class A (Public) 

1. Central-Talbotton (12-1) 

2. Wheeler County (15-1) 

3. Greenville (11-3) 

4. Clinch County (8-1) 

5. Calhoun County (9-4) 

6. Pelham (8-1) 

7. Macon County (9-3) 

8. Marion County (4-3) 

9. Bowdon (9-4) 

10. Turner County (8-5)

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