Region basketball tournaments to begin: Here are 10 best

Jackson's British McKinney attempts to block a shot during at the GHSA AAAAA girls Kell vs Jackson basketball semifinals playoff game at West Georgia College on March 3, 2023. Jamie Spaar for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Jamie Spaar

Credit: Jamie Spaar

Jackson's British McKinney attempts to block a shot during at the GHSA AAAAA girls Kell vs Jackson basketball semifinals playoff game at West Georgia College on March 3, 2023. Jamie Spaar for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Region basketball tournaments will run through next week, with some starting this weekend, in the march toward the state tournament continues.

Each of the GHSA’s 64 region tournaments qualify and seed four teams for the state tournament, which begins Feb. 21.

Here are 10 of the best region tournaments.

BOYS

Region 2-5A: No. 2 Dutchtown and No. 3 Eagle’s Landing, a pair of Henry County schools about four miles apart, are the marquee teams here, but Warner Robins (17-6), Jones County (1807) and Union Grove (15-11) are good, too. Update: Eagle’s Landing won the title with a 47-43 victory over Dutchtown on Friday.

Region 5-4A: No. 1 Pace Academy and No. 2 McDonough are likely headed for a showdown in this tournament at Mount Zion in Jonesboro. They’ve split their two games this season, each winning on the other’s home floor. The championship game is Feb. 16. Pace is the defending state champion.

Region 1-3A: This region features No. 3 Monroe, No. 5 Dougherty and No. 6 Carver-Columbus. Carver’s city rival Columbus (16-8), is another good team. The region’s No. 1 seed will be the host, and that will be decided in Friday night’s regular-season game between Dougherty and Monroe, both from Albany.

Region 4-2A: This Augusta-area region features No. 1 Westside (20-4), No. 2 Thomson (20-1) and No. 3 Butler (18-5). Westside lost to Butler 53-49 this week, and Thomson is at Bulter on Friday night as these elite teams continue to sort out the tournament seeds. Putnam County (15-9) also is strong in this region. The tournament is at Josey in Augusta.

Region 6-A Division I: Five ranked teams play here, all Atlanta-area private schools. They are No. 1 Mount Vernon (15-9), No. 5 Mount Bethel Christian (15-6), No. 6 St. Francis (11-10), No. 7 Paideia (11-11) and No. 9 King’s Ridge Christian (16-7). King’s Ridge, the defending state champion, plays at St. Francis on Tuesday, and the loser won’t make the state tournament. The championship and third-place games are Saturday at Whitefield Academy.

GIRLS

Region 1-5A: Statesboro (20-3), defending region champion Ware County (18-6) and Bradwell Institute (20-4) have been in and out of the top 10 all seasons, and no team got through the regular season without at least two region losses. The semifinals and final will be at Statesboro.

Region 5-5A: Three of Class 5A’s top seven teams play here. They are No. 2 Maynard Jackson (21-1), No. 3 Midtown (21-3) and No. 7 Creekside (16-7). Tri-Cities, is a strong No. 4 seed with a 10-5 region record. The tournament begins next week at Jackson and finishes at Tri-Cities.

Region 8-4A: No. 7 Chestatee (20-5) and No. 9 Cherokee Bluff (21-4) are ranked, and Walnut Grove, North Oconee and North Hall are contenders. Lots of upset possibilities with lower teams as well. Chestatee won it last year. The semifinals and final will be next Thursday and Friday at North Oconee.

Region 7-3A: This is the only region with four top-10 teams. They are No. 2 Wesleyan (20-3), No. 5 Pickens (21-3), No. 6 Dawson County (16-8) and No. 7 White County (17-7). Wesleyan, a 13-time former state champion, hasn’t lost to any of them yet. The semifinals are next Thursday and Saturday at Lumpkin County.

Region 4-2A: No. 2 Josey (20-3), No. 3 Thomson (20-3) and No. 6 Butler (16-8) along with Putnam County (17-6) make this one of the state’s toughest regions. Thomson won it last year and reached the state quarterfinals. Josey, a 2021 state champion, made the semifinals. The tournament is at Josey.

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