Rare loss by Sandy Creek’s boys sets stage for Cedar Grove rivalry

Sandy Creek players celebrate their victory over Cedar Grove during 2023 GHSA Basketball Class 3A Boy’s State Championship game at the Macon Centreplex, Friday, March 10, 2023, in Macon, GA. Sandy Creek won 66-38 over Cedar Grove. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Sandy Creek players celebrate their victory over Cedar Grove during 2023 GHSA Basketball Class 3A Boy’s State Championship game at the Macon Centreplex, Friday, March 10, 2023, in Macon, GA. Sandy Creek won 66-38 over Cedar Grove. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

It was a rare loss for top-ranked Sandy Creek’s boys, but a loss, nonetheless.

A buzzer-beating game-winning shot from Etowah’s Aiden Weaver sunk the Patriots. But Sandy Creek remained atop the Class 3A standings after the program’s third loss this season.

The Patriots were led by Amari Brown, who scored 16 points in Saturday’s 50-49 loss to Etowah, ranked No. 3 in Class 6A. Sandy Creek travels to Caver-Atlanta (3-14, 0-3) Tuesday and No. 2 Cedar Grove (16-6, 3-1) Friday to close out the pre-region tournament season. Sandy Creek defeated Cedar Grove 65-49 on Jan. 23.

Cedar Grove’s Saints have won two consecutive games since losing to Region 5 rival Sandy Creek. The Saints beat Creekside Christian 66-54 on Jan. 27 and Carver 77-21 last week. Sophomore Emmanuel Green leads the team with 18 points per game, and sophomore Norval Rhodes is scoring 15 points a game.

On the girls side of the class, No. 2 Wesleyan (18-3, 10-0) will play at home Tuesday against No. 5 Pickens (21-2, 8-2) in a key Region 7 game. Wesleyan leads the region standings at 10-0, with Pickens (8-2), Dawson County (7-3) and White County (5-5) chasing.

The Wolves are riding a two-game winning streak since losing to Class 7A No. 3 Buford on Jan. 27. Pickens enters the game with a chance to avenge the Jan. 12 matchup, which Wesleyan won 62-54. The Dragons have won two consecutive games since losing to No. 6 Dawson County (15-8, 7-3) 53-46 on Jan. 26. Pickens defeated Dawson County 68-41 on Dec. 12.

Class 3A boys top-10

1. Sandy Creek (20-3)

2. Cedar Grove (16-6)

3. Monroe (17-5)

4. Hebron Christian (20-2)

5. Dougherty (16-7)

6. Carver-Columbus (19-2)

7. Douglass (12-10)

8. Cross Creek (15-9)

9. Monroe Area (17-6)

10. Salem (15-9)

Class 3A girls top-10

1. Hebron Christian (21-2)

2. Wesleyan (18-3)

3. Carver-Columbus (16-6)

4. Cross Creek (19-4)

5. Pickens (21-2)

6. Dawson County (15-8)

7. White County (17-6)

8. Mary Persons (20-4)

9. Monroe (16-7)

10. Oconee County (14-9)

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