Class 6A blog: Top-ranked Carrollton girls suffer first loss

Carrollton, the top-ranked girls basketball team in Class 6A, suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday night when it fell to Dalton 54-43 in a Region 5-6A game.

The victory moved Dalton (11-2, 6-1) into first place in the region, a half-game ahead of Carrollton (14-1, 5-1) and Rome (11-3, 5-1). The Catamounts have won nine consecutive games since a 74-41 loss to Rome on Dec. 11.

Dalton trailed 34-30 going into the fourth quarter but outscored the Trojans 24-9 in the final period to win the game. Grace Ridley, a 6-foot sophomore, led Dalton with 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Emma Hefner added 13 points.

Carrollton’s 43 points were the fewest in a game this season.

Another top-five girls team, Kell, had been unbeaten until losing twice last weekend. The Longhorns lost to Sprayberry 82-65 in a Region 6 game Friday and then fell to Class A Private No. 1 Holy Innocents’ 51-43 the next day.

In the loss to Sprayberry, Yellow Jackets guard Flau’jae Johnson scored 40 points and had seven rebounds to lead her team into first place in Region 6. Johnson, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, is a four-star recruit and was named one of 50 players on the 2022 Naismith High School Award Watchlist. She has signed with LSU.

The losses by Carrollton and Kell leave No. 6 Brunswick as the only remaining unbeaten girls team in Class 6A. The Pirates improved to 14-0 Tuesday night with a 62-42 victory over Richmond Hill. Brunswick will face its toughest task of the season Friday when it takes on No. 10 Statesboro in a battle for sole possession of first place in Region 2.

Two Class 6A boys teams remain undefeated, and both survived tough battles Tuesday night. Second-ranked Shiloh improved to 13-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 8 with a 65-61 victory over Habersham Central. Point guard DJ Leak tied his season high with 19 points and contributed seven assists. Trevon Payton added 19 points and eight rebounds. The Generals are tied with No. 3 Buford for first place.

The fourth-ranked Osborne boys reached 13-0 with a 52-51 victory over Lassiter in a Region 6 game. The victory helped Osborne remain in a first-place tie with No. 1 Wheeler.

Wheeler’s hold on first place in Region 6 will be tested Thursday when it hosts Kell in a rematch of last season’s state championship game, which Wheeler won 71-61 for its second consecutive state championship and eighth overall.

Kell is 8-6 overall this season after losing five-star recruit Scoot Henderson to the G League, but the Longhorns are 6-1 in Region 6 and just a half-game behind Wheeler and Osborne. Kell’s only region loss came at Osborne, 62-53 on Dec. 3.

Another girls game of note Tuesday night was third-ranked Lovejoy’s 88-44 victory over Westlake, a four-time defending state champion. Westlake is 6-6 overall this year after losing three all-state selections. Two-time state player of the year Raven Johnson and honorable mention selection Brianna Turnage have graduated, and first-team pick Ta’Niya Latson transferred to American Heritage of Florida. Latson came back to town and scored 38 points in a 77-63 victory over Sprayberry on Saturday.

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