Under head coach Geoffrey Pierce, Grayson has reached the semifinals twice.
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com

No. 1 Grayson continues to rise as a basketball power

Grayson is the highest-ranked Georgia high school boys basketball team in the national polls, but it came time last week to validate that status at home.

The Rams (14-1) did just that, defeating previously unbeaten Shiloh 72-60 Friday to hold onto their No. 1 Georgia Class AAAAAAA ranking in the first Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll of 2020.

Grayson continues to rise as a basketball power. The boys team never had won a state-playoff game until 2016, but in the past two years under coach Geoffrey Pierce it has reached the round of 16 four times, the quarterfinals three times and the semifinals twice.

This season’s team features point guard Deivon Smith (signed with Mississippi State) and shooting guard Caleb Murphy (South Florida), two of the state’s consensus top-10 senior prospects. But it was a junior, 6-foot-8 Ian Schieffelin, who stood out against Shiloh. He scored 20 points and had nine rebounds.

Grayson lost to a Georgia team, Newton, on Dec. 10 but routed defending Class AAAAAAA champion McEachern the next night, ending the Indians’ 39-game winning streak. Grayson has beaten five top-10 teams from its own class, plus Alabama’s No. 1-ranked team, once-beaten Mountain Brook of Birmingham, and Georgia Class AAAAA No. 1 Lithonia.

Grayson is No. 10 overall — and No. 1 among public schools — in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national poll.

Other No. 1 teams in the AJC rankings are defending state champions Tri-Cities (AAAAAA), Therrell (AA) and St. Francis (A Private). Also No. 1 are Lithonia (AAAAA), Woodward Academy (AAAA), Pace Academy (AAA) and Treutlen (A Public). Among those teams, only Pace has won a state title in boys basketball.

Class AAAAAAA

1. Grayson (14-1)
2. Norcross (15-2)
3. Shiloh (15-1)
4. Milton (12-3)
5. McEachern (10-4)
6. Wheeler (11-5)
7. Newton (13-3)
8. Pebblebrook (9-7)
9. Cherokee (16-1)
10. Archer (12-5)

Class AAAAAA

1. Tri-Cities (14-1)
2. South Cobb (15-1)
3. Tucker (13-2)
4. Evans (11-2)
5. Alexander (10-5)
6. Sequoyah (12-4)
7. Valdosta (13-1)
8. North Atlanta (10-3)
9. Chattahoochee (11-6)
10. New Manchester (11-5)

Class AAAAA

1. Lithonia (17-1)
2. Eagle’s Landing (13-1)
3. Dutchtown (15-2)
4. Cedar Shoals (15-1)
5. Walnut Grove (14-1)
6. Kell (12-4)
7. Warner Robins (12-1)
8. Veterans (14-1)
9. Buford (12-4)
10. Statesboro (11-5)

Class AAAA

1. Woodward Academy (14-1)
2. Americus-Sumter (13-0)
3. Eastside (14-2)
4. Sandy Creek (10-3)
5. Cross Creek (12-4)
6. Denmark (12-4)
7. St. Pius (11-4)
8. LaGrange (15-0)
9. Chapel Hill (9-5)
10. Baldwin (9-4)

Class AAA

1. Pace Academy (12-4)
2. Hart County (15-0)
3. Johnson-Savannah (13-3)
4. Dawson County (15-2)
5. Windsor Forest (11-4)
6. Franklin County (13-3)
7. Westminster (11-5)
8. Lovett (11-4)
9. Greater Atlanta Christian (10-5)
10. Monroe (9-4)

Class AA

1. Therrell (12-5)
2. Swainsboro (14-2)
3. Glenn Hills (11-5)
4. Jeff Davis (10-4)
5. Laney (7-4)
6. Banks County (12-2)
7. Butler (9-4)
8. Spencer (11-3)
9. Douglass (13-4)
10. Thomasville (12-3)

Class A Private

1. St. Francis (14-3)
2. Christian Heritage (13-0)
3. Walker (14-1)
4. Galloway (14-1)
5. Greenforest Christian (6-8)
6. Mount Pisgah Christian (13-3)
7. Trinity Christian (11-6)
8. Wesleyan (7-5)
9. W.D. Mohammed (10-3)
10. Providence Christian (16-0)

Class A Public

1. Treutlen (15-0)
2. Wilcox County (11-0)
3. Terrell County (10-0)
4. Lanier County (13-2)
5. Calhoun County (11-2)
6. Hancock Central (11-2)
7. Wilkinson County (7-6)
8. Drew Charter (9-6)
9. Turner County (11-2)
10. Warren County (8-1)

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