Preseason boys basketball rankings

Pace Academy's Matthew Cleveland (0) reacts during the Class 2A boys championship game Thursday, March 11, 2021, at the Macon Centreplex in Macon. Pace Academy defeated Columbia, 73-42. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
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Pace Academy's Matthew Cleveland (0) reacts during the Class 2A boys championship game Thursday, March 11, 2021, at the Macon Centreplex in Macon. Pace Academy defeated Columbia, 73-42. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Defending state champion Milton returns as No. 1 in Class 7A and has Pebblebrook transfer Kendall Campbell (6-foot-8) on the roster this season alongside Ohio State commit Bruce Thornton—the reigning Class 7A Player of the Year. Berkmar, Grayson, Pebblebrook and North Gwinnett round out the top 5.

Wheeler is back at No. 1 in Class 6A after taking the crown last season and leads No. 2 Kell, Westlake, Lanier and Buford in the top 5. Shiloh comes in at No. 10—giving Region 8 (Buford, Lanier) three teams in the top 10.

In Class 5A, defending state champion Eagle’s Landing is back at No. 1 after an incredible 23-1 run to the title last season. Tri-Cities, St. Pius, Jonesboro and Clarke Central also made the top 5 and the classification looks much deeper this season.

No. 1 Baldwin, Fayette County, Spencer, McDonough and Monroe lead the Class 4A poll and Sandy Creek debuts at No. 1 in Class 3A after falling just short of the state crown last season in the finals.

Class 2A is led by reigning state champion Pace Academy, with Columbia, Thomasville, Butler and Chattooga solidifying the top 5. In Class A-Private, Mt. Pisgah returns at No. 1, but the field looks wide open and Providence Christian, Greenforest Christian, Christian Heritage and Galloway round out the top 5. Finally, in Class A Public Drew Charter debuts at No. 1 ahead of Towns County, Hancock Central, Dublin and Chattahoochee County in the top 5.

Class 7A

1. Milton

2. Berkmar

3. Grayson

4. Pebblebrook

5. North Gwinnett

6. Norcross

7. North Gwinnett

8. Etowah

9. McEachern

10. Archer

Class 6A

1. Wheeler

2. Kell

3. Westlake

4. Lanier

5. Buford

6. Centennial

7. Evans

8. Effingham County

9. Statesboro

10. Shiloh

Class 5A

1. Eagle’s Landing

2. Tri-Cities

3. St. Pius

4. Jonesboro

5. Clarke Central

6. Calhoun

7. Lithonia

8. Veterans

9. Chapel Hill

10. New Manchester

Class 4A

1. Baldwin

2. Fayette County

3. Spencer

4. McDonough

5. Monroe

6. Miller Grove

7. Westover

8. Cedar Shoals

9. North Oconee

10. Luella

Class 3A

1. Sandy Creek

2. Windsor Forest

3. Hart County

4. Salem

5. LaFayette

6. Cross Creek

7. Thomson

8. Americus-Sumter

9. Monroe Area

10. Johnson-Savannah

Class 2A

1. Pace Academy

2. Columbia

3. Thomasville

4. Butler

5. Chattooga

6. Westside-Augusta

7. Washington County

8. Laney

9. Woodville-Thompkins

10. Swainsboro

Class A Private

1. Mt. Pisgah

2. Providence Christian

3. Greenforest Christian

4. Christian Heritage

5. Galloway

6. First Presbyterian Day

7. Darlington

8. King’s Ridge

9. Holy Innocents’

10. North Cobb Christian

Class A Public

1. Drew Charter

2. Towns County

3. Hancock Central

4. Dublin

5. Chattahoochee County

6. Portal

7. Social Circle

8. Warren County

9. Turner County

10. Irwin County