On deck are the girls region tournaments, which must be completed by Feb. 18, in advance of the state playoffs, which begin Feb. 21.
Here are some thing to keep an eye on in each region.
Though this region has no ranked teams, Dodge County (17-3, 10-1) and Sumter County (15-7, 9-1) appear to be competing for a No. 1 seed in the state tournament. They’ve split their regular season games, with Sumter County winning 56-51 on Jan. 14, and Dodge County winning 49-47 on Feb. 7. No other 1-2A team has a winning region record.
No. 9 Spencer (20-4, 13-0), which won 4A last season, is the region’s only ranked team. Only one of the Greenwave Owl’s region games was close, when they beat Southwest 66-59 on the road on Jan. 10. On Jan. 31 at home, they beat Southwest 73-40. Though Spencer is the class of 1-2A at the moment, there’s an intriguing logjam between five teams vying for the other three seeds, with Southwest at 8-5, and Central, Rutland, Kendrick and Northeast all 7-6.
No. 6 Windsor Forest (18-6, 10-1) headlines the region as the only ranked team, however not much separates the Knights from Tattnall County (14-10, 9-3) and Toombs County (17-7, 7-4). Toombs County just beat them 56-54 on Tuesday, after the Knights squeaked out a 61-57 win over the Bulldogs on Jan. 13. The scores in their wins over Tattnall County were 87-85 on Jan. 20 and 67-64 on Dec. 13. Vidalia (16-7, 6-5) also came within striking distance on Jan. 31, ultimately losing 68-63.
This is the undisputed heavyweight region of 2A, the only with four ranked teams — No. 2 Westside, No. 3 Thomson, No. 8 Butler and No. 10 Putman County. Westside, defending 2A champs, is the only 4-2A team that’s beaten every Region 4 school at least once. With eight basketball-playing schools, 4-2A is divided into sub-regions, with Putnam County (10-3) leading “A” ahead of Thomson (8-4), and Westside (11-2) sitting atop “B” ahead of Butler (10-3).
The top-ranked Columbia Eagles (24-1, 14-0) reside here, and they’re pretty much on an island. Outside of a 61-50 win over Redan on Dec. 6 in their region opener, the Eagles have won all league games by more than 30 points. Callaway (10-4), Redan (9-5) and Landmark Christian (7-6) are the other teams with winning region records.
No. 5 Drew Charter (20-5, 14-2), which won 1A Private last season, and No. 7 North Cobb Christian (19-5, 13-3) lead the region, with Washington (15-9, 12-4) and South Atlanta (17-8, 10-6) the others with winning league records. Drew Charter lost to North Cobb Christian 64-62, and took a forfeit loss to Washington on Dec. 2. Drew Charter beat Washington 72-64 on Jan. 13, and beat North Cobb Christian 85-59 on Feb. 7.
North Murray (21-2, 10-2) and Model (18-4, 10-2) are tied atop the standings, with Murray County (10-12, 8-4) and Rockmart (14-11, 7-5) the others with winning region records. North Murray, Model and Murray County split their head-to-head meetings against each other, so there’s plenty of parity despite the absence of ranked teams.
No. 4 Providence Christian (21-4, 8-2) ended its regular season with an 80-77 loss to Banks County, its second region loss in its last six games. On Jan. 20, the Storm lost 81-78 to Union County. Union County (17-8, 8-2) and Banks County (17-8, 7-3) are the others with winning region records.