Class 3A Basketball blog: Beach, Johnson boys face another important rematch

It’s another region rematch for the ages, or at least it seems like that each year when perennially ranked Savannah boys programs Beach and Johnson-Savannah fight for supremacy by the seashore.

Johnson is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A; and Beach ranked No. 4. Beach, 19-2, 10-0 in Region 3, won the first matchup 64-57 on Jan. 6. Johnson, 17-4, 8-2, has not lost to an in-class opponent since the Beach loss.

Beach is on an eight-game winning streak and coming off a 43-36 victory against Liberty County on Tuesday. Johnson has won four consecutive games since losing to Lithonia 53-47 on Jan. 14 and is coming off a 70-42 victory against Calvary Day on Friday.

Beach senior Shamarrie Hugie , a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is averaging 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. In a 73-70 victory against Windsor Forest on Dec. 15, Hugie scored a season-high 29 points. Senior James Leach is scoring 10 points, with 11 rebounds and two blocks per game.

Johnson senior Antonio Baker is scoring 21 points, with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals per game. Junior Joshua Quarterman adds 15 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists per game. Sophomore Favion Kirkwood adds 10 points with four rebounds per game. Senior Malachi Robinson is averaging nine points and nine rebounds.

Both programs will have three games remaining in the regular season before entering region tournament play – and a likely third matchup. Johnson will be at home against Long County on Saturday before traveling to Liberty County on Tuesday and Groves on Feb. 10. Beach will host Groves on Saturday before traveling to Long County on Tuesday and Savannah Country Day on Feb. 10.

Class 3A Boys Top-10

1. Sandy Creek (16-5)

2. Johnson-Savannah (17-4)

3. Monroe Area (18-3)

4. Beach (17-2)

5. Cedar Grove (14-6)

6. Monroe (16-5)

7. Cross Creek (12-10)

8. Wesleyan (15-6)

9. Hart County (12-9)

10. Dougherty (10-10)

Class 3A Girls Top-10

1. Hebron Christian (21-0)

2. Lumpkin County (18-3)

3. Wesleyan (17-3)

4. White County (16-5)

5. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (20-1)

6. Cross Creek (17-4)

7. Carver-Columbus (12-9)

8. Monroe (16-5)

9. Calvary Day (16-5)

10. Pickens (17-4)