The Whitefield Academy boys team, top-ranked in Class A, will look to get back on track toward repeating asClass A champion when it travels to No. 8 Pace Academy tonight. After starting the season 17-1, with the only loss coming in December to a highly ranked team from Alabama, the Wolfpack have lost two consecutive games, including a listless 46-40 decision on Tuesday to unranked Paideia (16-6). Whitefield is led by junior Kennard Backman, a possible player of the year candidate, and senior Chris Lovelace.
Newton could be the best unranked team in Georgia. The Rams are 20-1, 11-0 in Region 2-AAAA and lead the league by six games. Their only loss came in December to Richmond Academy, the No. 3-ranked team in Class AAAA. Newton is led by seniors Tevin Bradley and Brandon Carlton. ... Columbia could argue it is the best program in the state. The Eagles, No. 1 in Class AAA, have advanced to the Final Four every year since 2006, taking the state title in ‘06 and ‘08. No team in Georgia this season has come within 15 points of Columbia (15-5), which is led by senior guard Jershon Cobb, a Northwestern signee.
Stay tuned for round three of Carver-Atlanta vs. Columbia, probably in the Region 5-AAA tournament final in two weeks. Carver and Columbia, ranked No. 2 and 3 respectively, are in opposite subregions and have split with each other this season. Carver won the first game, 45-42, on Dec. 1. Columbia won the rematch, 53-47 in overtime, on Monday. ... Bainbridge (19-2), No. 5 in AAAA, will try to clinch the Region 1-AAAA regular-season title tonight when it travels to Thomas County Central (9-8). The Bearcats are led by Illinois commit Alexis Burke, a 5-foot-10 forward who is considered one of the top five players in Georgia. She has led Bainbridge to two region championships and to last year’s state finals. Bainbridge has won a total of 83 games during Burke’s career. ... Randolph-Clay’s Destiny Mitchell is no longer flying under the recruiting radar. The 5-10 senior guard/forward began the season with a number of scholarship offers from Division I mid-major programs. But after averaging nearly 30 points this season, including a career high 53 in an early loss to Bainbridge, Mitchell has garnered interest from Georgia and Rutgers. She has led Randolph-Clay, No. 2 in Class A, to the Final Four the past three seasons.
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