Some of the best teams in the state remained active after the holiday break, and others are preparing for the stretch run toward the playoffs.
Let’s play catch-up:
-- Morgan County took over the No. 1 spot in the polls, and the Bulldogs have played one game since the Sweet South Classic, beating Monroe Area 79-53 Friday.
-- Greater Atlanta Christian, which held the No. 1 spot last week, dropped to No. 2, and since its performance in the Tournament of Champions at Wheeler High School, GAC moved past East Hall on Friday after taking a 21-13 lead after the first quarter. GAC pushed the lead to 41-26 at the break before outscoring East Hall 24-12 in the third quarter to blow open the game.
-- Since losing 69-67 to Metrolina Christian Academy from North Carolina on Dec. 29, No. 3 Dawson County has victories against Pickens, 84-69, on Thursday and Cherokee Bluff, 81-57, on Friday. Dawson, which plays in Region 7 with GAC, will travel to East Hall on Tuesday.
-- Fourth-ranked Cedar Grove travels to No. 5 Pace Academy on Tuesday and hopes to get back on track following two losses – 68-50 against Warner Robins on Dec. 29 and 53-46 against Lithonia on Friday.
-- Fifth-ranked Pace defeated Holy Innocents’ 65-60 on Dec. 29 in the Tournament of Champions at Wheeler. During the holiday break, Pace competed in the Atlanta Hawks Naismith Classic and defeated Woodward Academy 58-51. Pace then lost 53-43 to Miramar, Fla., in Woodward's War Eagle Classic before beating Hewitt-Trussville 60-58 and Miller Grove 59-43. Pace then lost to Berkmar 56-50.
Class AAA boys rankings
1. Morgan County (14-1)
2. Greater Atlanta Christian (11-4)
3. Dawson County (14-3)
4. Cedar Grove (10-3)
5. Pace Academy (11-5)
6. Hart County (12-4)
7. Johnson-Savannah (10-6)
8. Jefferson (11-5)
9. Monroe (9-5)
10. Windsor Forest (13-4)
-- Top-ranked Beach will face its local rival Tuesday when it takes on No. 5 Johnson-Savannah. Beach has three losses, all since Dec. 22. Beach lost to Glynn Academy, 49-46, Westlake, 60-46, and St. Francis, 57-45, but retained its No. 1 spot in the polls.
-- No. 2 Morgan County hasn’t lost since Dec. 21 to Collins Hill, 54-48, in the War Lodge Classic at Woodward. Morgan then built a head of steam with victories against Cambridge, 78-30, Apalachee, 64-35, Lambert, 70-32, Veterans, 70-32, and Monroe Area, 76-31.
-- No. 3 Jefferson lost to Morgan County on Dec. 14 for its first loss of the year. Its only other loss came on Dec. 29 against Boyd County, Ky., 74-33. Other than those blemishes, the Lady Dragons have been perfect.
-- Fourth-ranked Hart County has lost two consecutive games -- to Jefferson, 66-61, Thursday and Madison County, 93-68, Friday. Hart will face Jackson County on Tuesday.
-- No. 5 Johnson-Savannah is 9-6 on the season and struggling to find any bit of a rhythm heading into its Tuesday night game against local rival Beach. The Lady Atom Smashers won against Dutchtown in the first game of the season before losing four straight, including a 55-53 overtime thriller at Beach on Nov. 27.
Class AAA girls rankings
1. Beach (14-3)
2. Morgan County (11-3)
3. Jefferson (14-2)
4. Hart County (12-4)
5. Johnson-Savannah (9-6)
6. North Hall (12-4)
7. Greater Atlanta Christian (8-8)
8. Tattnall County (11-5)
9. Dawson County (11-6)
10. Lumpkin County (13-4)
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