Class 6A blog: Westlake boys carry heaviest workload in busy week for top-10 teams

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It will be a busy week for many of the top 10 girls and boys basketball teams in Class 6A over the next six days, but no team will have more work to do than the Westlake boys.

The fourth-ranked Lions will play five games in six days, a stretch that began Monday with a 47-35 victory against South Cobb. Westlake will follow that up with Region 4-6A games against Tucker, Morrow and North Atlanta over the next four days before concluding the week at home against Banneker on Saturday.

The most important game of the bunch will come Tuesday night at home against 10th-ranked Tucker. Westlake (11-4, 5-0) holds a one-game lead over the Tigers (12-3, 4-1) and won 52-49 at Tucker when the teams met in early December, so another victory by the Lions in the rematch would give them plenty of breathing room in first place. However, a Tucker win in the rematch would create a tie for first place.

Westlake has won five consecutive games since a 73-56 loss to Jonesboro on Dec. 14.

Osborne’s boys will be busy as well, with four games scheduled for the week. The third-ranked Cardinals improved to 15-0 with a 66-64 victory over Galloway on Monday and will play Region 6 games against Pope (Tuesday), at Kell (Friday) and against South Cobb (Saturday) to finish up the week. Osborne (7-0 in the region) is tied with top-ranked Wheeler for first place in the region, just ahead of Kell (9-7, 6-2) and Pope (12-5, 5-3).

Two top-10 girls teams also have four games this week.

No. 5 Carrollton (16-2) knocked off Alexander 65-29 Monday and has Region 5 games scheduled against Rome (Tuesday) and Paulding County (Friday) before ending the week Saturday against Class 7A Archer. The game against Rome will help break up the logjam at the top of the region standings, where Carrollton, No. 9 Rome and No. 10 Dalton have one loss each in region play.

No. 7 Hughes (12-4) defeated Class A Private No. 5 Galloway 63-42 on Monday and has games at Lakeside-DeKalb (Tuesday) and at home against Lovejoy (Friday) and Campbell (Saturday). Hughes is a half-game behind No. 2 Lovejoy in Region 4 and needs a win to keep the Wildcats from taking control of the region. Lovejoy won convincingly in the teams’ first meeting, 77-41 on Dec. 7.

Here are some of the other top games involving Class 6A teams this week.

Boys

*Buford at Shiloh (Tuesday): Fifth-ranked Buford (14-3, 5-0) and No. 2 Shiloh (15-0, 5-0) have a two-game lead on the field in Region 8, and the winner will take sole possession of first place. The teams will meet again in the regular-season finale at Buford on Feb. 11. Both teams lost in the second round of the playoffs last season, Buford to Chattahoochee (76-72) and Shiloh to Kell (63-55).

*Effingham County at Statesboro (Tuesday): Sixth-ranked Statesboro (15-1, 6-0) is pulling away from the pack in Region 2, and a victory against second-place Effingham County (10-7, 4-2) would give the Blue Devils a three-game lead with five region games remaining in the regular season. Statesboro beat Effingham County 64-54 when the teams met in Springfield on Dec. 7.

*Grovetown at Evans (Friday): Grovetown (16-3, 4-0) and Evans (13-6, 4-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in Region 3, so the winner will emerge with sole possession of first place. Grovetown is ranked No. 10 by the AJC and No. 6 by MaxPreps, and Evans is No. 12 in the MaxPreps rankings. Evans has won seven consecutive games since a 6-6 start, while Grovetown has won five straight.

Girls

*Sequoyah at River Ridge (Friday): Top-ranked River Ridge (16-1, 7-0) sits at the top of the Region 7 standings, one game ahead of No. 8 Sequoyah (13-5, 6-1). River Ridge won the teams’ previous meeting 68-53 at Sequoyah on Dec. 7, so another victory in the rematch would give the Knights a firm grasp on first place. River Ridge’s only loss came against 7A No. 3 North Forsyth on Dec. 11.

*Wesleyan at Buford (Saturday): Buford meets Region 8 rivals Shiloh and Lanier this week before stepping outside of region play to take on the No. 7 team in A Private. Wesleyan is 9-4 this season against a brutal schedule, with the losses coming against 7A No. 3 North Forsyth (52-49), 7A No. 1 Brookwood (63-57), 6A No. 6 Brunswick (78-76) and 7A No. 6 West Forsyth (62-54). Wesleyan began the week with a 59-57 victory Monday over traditional 7A power McEachern.