Class 3A Basketball blog: Top-10 boys teams still have work left before region tourneys

What paths will the best Class 3A boys basketball teams in the state take between now and region play?

Let’s take a look at the top-10 rankings, upcoming schedules and see which matchups matter:

Top-ranked Sandy Creek (16-5, 3-0) lost its latest game to Gray Collegiate (S.C.) 59-58 Saturday and will look to get back on track against Douglass (8-11) Tuesday in a Region 5 game. The Patriots will play Etowah on Saturday, Carver-Atlanta on Feb. 7 and Cedar Grove on Feb. 10 to close out the regular season.

No. 2 Johnson-Savannah (17-4, 8-2) is riding a four-game winning streak and will be at home against No. 4 Beach on Friday. The Atomsmashers will play Long County Feb. 4, Liberty County Feb. 7 and Groves Feb. 10.

Beach (18-2, 9-0) has not lost in seven games and will play at home against Liberty County (4-12) Tuesday before its showdown with Johnson. Interestingly, Beach defeated Johnson on Jan. 6 (64-57), but still trails the Atomsmashers in the poll.

Monroe Area (18-3, 6-0), ranked No. 3 this week, is on a five-game winning streak. The Purple Hurricanes will travel to Franklin County (5-16) Tuesday before playing at home against Hebron Christian on Friday, traveling to Stephens County Feb. 7 and Oconee County Feb. 10.

Cedar Grove (14-6, 2-1) is ranked No. 5 and coming off a 64-54 victory against Lithonia on Saturday. The Saints will play host to Carver-Atlanta (0-19) Tuesday before traveling to Douglass on Feb. 7. The Saints will close out the regular season against top-ranked Sandy Creek at home on Feb. 10.

Sixth-ranked Monroe (16-5, 5-1) is on a five-game winning streak and will be at home against Crisp County (12-8) Tuesday and No. 10 Dougherty on Friday. The Golden Tornadoes will close out their regular season traveling to Carver-Columbus on Feb. 7, before hosting Columbus Feb. 10.

Cross Creek, ranked seventh, has not lost in six games and will play host to Salem (10-11) Tuesday. The Razorbacks (12-10, 7-0) will travel to Morgan County on Friday and be at home against Hephzibah on Feb. 7 to close the regular season.

Wesleyan (15-6, 6-2) is ranked No. 8 and will travel to West Hall 0n Tuesday and play host to Gilmer on Friday. The Wolves will end the regular season with road trips to Pickens on Feb. 7 and Dawson County on Feb. 10.

Hart County (12-9, 4-2) is coming off a 48-47 loss to No. 3 Monroe Area on Friday and will try to right the ship against Hebron Christian (8-13) Tuesday at home. The Bulldogs will host Stephens County on Friday, travel to Oconee County on Feb. 7 and be at home against Franklin County Feb. 10 before the region tournament.

Dougherty (10-10, 6-0) is ranked No. 10 and will play host to Columbus (11-10) Tuesday and travel to No. 6 Monroe on Friday. The Trojans will travel to Thomasville Feb. 7 and host Carver-Columbus Feb. 10 before the region tournament.

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)