Region 1: Veterans can clinch first place with a victory Tuesday against Tift County, but a win by Tift would leave the teams with one loss each in the region. Veterans won the first meeting 74-54 at home on Jan. 6. Veterans also has an advantage in that it will have just two region games remaining after Tuesday while Tift County has four.
Region 2: Brunswick clinched first place with a 51-43 victory over South Effingham last week. That’s the only region game this season for Brunswick that was decided by fewer than 22 points. South Effingham now has to hold off Grovetown and Lakeside-Evans for second place.
Region 3: Lovejoy, Woodward Academy and Forest Park enter the home stretch with two losses each in region play. Forest Park has the least difficult remaining schedule of the three, so the Panthers are likely to finish in a tie for first place with the winner of Friday’s Lovejoy-Woodward game. Forest Park went 1-1 against both teams. Lovejoy steps out of region play Tuesday night to face Class A Division I No. 1 St. Francis.
Region 4: This race is far from settled. Marist holds a half-game lead over Riverwood but has four region games remaining, including a showdown at home against Riverwood. The War Eagles also play at third-place St. Pius on Friday. However, Marist defeated both teams handily (Riverwood 59-25 and St. Pius 59-23) in the first meetings.
Region 5: Hughes can clinch first place with a victory Friday against second-place Douglas County. If Douglas County pulls off the upset (Hughes won the first meeting 61-46), Hughes can still clinch the No. 1 seed with victories in its other two remaining games, against East Paulding on Tuesday and Alexander on Feb. 7.
Region 6: River Ridge would need to lose at least two of its final three games to lose its grip on first place. And even though two of those games are against the Knights’ closest competitors – Woodstock (Friday) and Rome (Feb. 7), both on the road – that’s unlikely considering River Ridge is undefeated against Georgia teams this season.
Region 7: Pope had a chance to slam the door on the rest of the pack, but the Greyhounds lost to Lassiter 55-50 on Friday, leaving each with two region losses. Third-place Blessed Trinity could play the role of spoiler when it travels to Pope on Feb. 7, although Pope won the first meeting 80-54. Lassiter still has to deal with fourth-place Sprayberry, which lost to the Trojans 50-49 on Jan. 10.
Region 8: North Forsyth can lock down the No. 1 seed this week, but the Raiders have some work to do, facing the two teams tied for second place. North Forsyth will travel to Gainesville on Tuesday (North Forsyth won the first meeting 79-59) and host Habersham Central on Friday (Habersham handed North Forsyth its only region loss, 55-45 on Jan. 14). Lanier remains in the hunt for the No. 2 seed, with games against Gainesville and Habersham over the next week.