Girls basketball races: First place still up for grabs in 7 of 8 regions

March 10, 2022 Macon - Woodward Academy's head coach Kim Lawrence shouts instructions during the 2022 GHSA State Basketball Class AAAAA Girls Championship game at the Macon Centreplex in Macon on Thursday, March 10, 2022. Woodward Academy won 72-44 over Forest Park. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

March 10, 2022 Macon - Woodward Academy's head coach Kim Lawrence shouts instructions during the 2022 GHSA State Basketball Class AAAAA Girls Championship game at the Macon Centreplex in Macon on Thursday, March 10, 2022. Woodward Academy won 72-44 over Forest Park. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

First place is still up for grabs in seven of the eight Class 6A girls basketball regions heading into the final 12 days of the regular season.

Only Woodward Academy of Region 3 has clinched a No 1 seed for the upcoming region tournaments. Those tournaments determine the four teams from each region that will advance to the state playoffs, which begin Feb. 20. The Class 6A girls championship game will be played at 5:30 p.m. on March 8 at the Macon Coliseum.

Here are the girls region standings going into this week’s games (with region records, followed by overall records). Note that the records are taken from MaxPreps, the official record-keeper for the Georgia High School Association, and that some of those records may not have been fully updated.

Region 1

Sixth-ranked Tift County and No. 8 Veterans are separated by one game at the top of the standings, with the difference being Tift County’s 57-46 over the Warhawks on Jan. 5. They play again Tuesday at Veterans, and either Tift County will emerge with a two-game lead or the teams will be tied for first. No other team has fewer than three region losses. Veterans defeated Tift County in the region tournament championship game last year, when Veterans entered as the No. 1 seed and Tift was the No. 2.

Tift County – 6-0 / 18-3

Veterans – 5-1 / 16-5

Thomas County Central – 3-3 / 16-4

Houston County – 3-3 / 8-9

Northside-Warner Robins – 1-6 / 8-13

Lee County – 1-6 / 5-15

Region 2

Glynn Academy holds a half-game lead over Brunswick and a two-game lead over Lakeside-Evans and swept the season series against both teams, so the Red Terrors would need to lose at least two of their final three games to give anyone else a shot at the top seed. Brunswick, which split two regular-season matchups with Lakeside, will finish no worse than second place with victories in their remaining region games against Effingham County and Grovetown (the Pirates beat Effingham by 42 points and Grovetown by nine in their earlier meetings).

Glynn Academy – 8-1 / 13-9

Brunswick – 8-2 / 14-8

Lakeside-Evans – 6-3 / 17-5

Grovetown – 5-4 / 8-12

South Effingham – 4-5 / 7-15

Evans – 1-9 / 4-19

Effingham County – 0-8 / 4-15

Region 3

Seventh-ranked Woodward Academy has an insurmountable two-game lead over Rockdale County with two games remaining. The War Eagles won both games against the Bulldogs, 49-41 in Conyers and 80-41 at Woodward, and would hold the advantage in the event of a tie. Rockdale County can clinch second place with a victory in any of its three remaining region games. Morrow spent much of the season in second place, but the Mustangs had to forfeit six region victories after the GHSA ruled that they used an ineligible player.

Woodward Academy – 12-0 / 18-5

Rockdale County – 9-2 / 15-6

Alcovy – 7-4 / 13-7

Jonesboro – 6-6 / 10-9

Mundy’s Mill – 5-5 / 14-7

Lovejoy – 3-8 / 4-12

Forest Park – 1-9 / 1-14

Morrow – 0-9 / 8-9

Region 4

Third-ranked Marist has dominated its region, winning its first eight league games by an average of 45.5 points. The War Eagles are almost certain to be the No. 1 seed in the region tournament. The real battle is between Lakeside-DeKalb and St. Pius for the No. 2 spot. Lakeside holds a half-game lead over St. Pius despite losing to the Golden Lions 59-46 on Jan. 5. They meet again Tuesday night at St. Pius, with the winner emerging in possession of second place. Both teams have a game remaining against Marist.

Marist – 8-0 / 19-1

Lakeside-DeKalb – 7-2 / 15-5

St. Pius – 6-2 / 11-10

North Atlanta – 4-4 / 9-11

Riverwood – 4-5 / 10-10

South Cobb – 1-8 / 4-11

Dunwoody – 0-9 / 0-22

Region 5

Fourth-ranked Hughes and No. 5 New Manchester are almost certain to finish as the top two teams in the region tournament, but the order likely won’t be decided until they meet in the regular-season finale on Feb. 7 in Fairburn. Hughes won the first meeting 58-50 at New Manchester in early December. No other team has fewer than four region losses. Alexander and Paulding County are currently in third and fourth place, sitting just ahead of Douglas County and South Paulding, both of which are 4-6 in region play.

Hughes – 10-0 / 16-4

New Manchester – 9-1 / 15-4

Alexander – 6-4 / 11-9

Paulding County – 5-5 / 11-10

Douglas County – 4-6 / 10-10

South Paulding – 4-6 / 7-14

Newnan – 2-9 / 5-14

East Paulding – 1-10 / 3-19

Region 6

Top-ranked River Ridge can clinch first place outright with victories in their next two games, against Etowah (Tuesday) and Woodstock (Feb. 2), or with a win against ninth-ranked Rome in the regular-season finale on Feb. 6. River Ridge beat Rome 57-29 in the first meeting at Rome on Jan. 12. Only one of River Ridge’s region games, a 50-40 victory over Creekview, has been closer than 23 points. Rome has a one-game lead over Sequoyah for second place despite losing to the Chiefs 50-41 on Jan. 5. They meet again Tuesday night.

River Ridge – 9-0 / 18-4

Rome – 7-2 / 17-5

Sequoyah – 6-3 / 15-7

Etowah – 4-5 / 12-9

Creekview – 4-6 / 13-10

Woodstock – 3-7 / 8-15

Allatoona – 0-10 / 0-15

Region 7

This is the closest race of any Class 6A region. Tenth-ranked Lassiter holds a half-game lead over Pope after beating the Greyhounds last week for the second time this season and a one-game lead over Sprayberry, which handed the Trojans their only region loss, 45-32 on Jan. 9. Lassiter and Sprayberry meet again Feb. 2, and a victory by the Trojans likely secures the top seed. Another win by Sprayberry creates the real possibility of a three-way tie for first place, with each team being 2-2 against the other two.

Lassiter – 8-1 / 16-6

Pope – 8-2 / 16-7

Sprayberry – 7-2 / 13-9

Blessed Trinity – 5-5 / 10-13

Roswell – 3-7 / 8-15

Alpharetta 2-7 / 5-17

Johns Creek – 0-9 / 2-20

Region 8

Second-ranked North Forsyth is the only remaining unbeaten team in Class 6A and one of only three undefeated teams in the state (Grayson of Class 7A and Montgomery County of Class A Division II are the others). The Raiders beat second-place Lanier in both meetings this season and can wrap up the No. 1 seed in the region tournament with one more victory – Tuesday night against Gainesville, Feb. 2 at Habersham Central or Feb. 6 against Apalachee. Lanier holds a one-game lead over Habersham Central for the No. 2 seed.

North Forsyth – 9-0 / 22-0

Lanier – 6-2 / 11-10

Habersham Central – 5-3 / 8-11

Shiloh – 3-6 / 6-16

Gainesville – 2-5 / 4-14

Apalachee – 2-6 / 8-13

Jackson County – 2-7 / 5-16

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