What’s up with Wheeler as Milton game looms?

There’s no shame in losing to Campbell, which won at Wheeler last week in Region 6-AAAAA. But there’s little doubt that Wheeler’s boys – the defending champion in Class AAAAA – are vulnerable heading into their showdown Friday against No. 1 Milton.

In fact, this might be the first time Wheeler has been an underdog in its gym since McEachern had Josh Smith and Morris Almond.

Wheeler also has lost to Centennial, ranked No. 3 in AAAAA. Yes, Wheeler lost to Centennial last season and later to Walton and still won state, so there’s no reason to panic on Holt Road.

The real concern is Milton. Yes, Milton lost a game last week too, but that was the championship of a national tournament in Missouri. Milton is unbeaten in Georgia.

Milton actually had a 15-2 lead against White Station of Memphis on Saturday but couldn’t hold on. Story here. Milton had wins over Chaminade (defending Class 5A champion in Missouri) and Christ of the King (No. 1-ranked team in New York, according to MaxPreps) earlier in the week. Julian Royal and Evan Nolte made the all-tourament team.

Wheeler, meanwhile, is still trying to figure out how to replace Richard Howell (N.C. State) and Ari Stewart (Wake Forest). Jelan Kendrick, who has signed with Memphis, is Wheeler’s new top gun, a transfer from Westlake. Phil Taylor, Karl Cochran and Joey Jerome started much of last season. Chemistry takes time.

Meanwhile, Westlake – the team that Kendrick left – is ranked No. 2. One would’ve thought Wheeler would be there, if not No. 1.

I’m not picking Wheeler on Friday night. But I’ll point this out: Josh Smith and Morris Almond didn’t win that game at Wheeler in 2002 or the state title during that 2002-03 season. Wheeler did.

Here are the rankings for this week:



1. Milton
2. Westlake
3. Centennial
4. Norcross
5. Walton
6. Central Gwinnett
7. Wheeler
8. McEachern
9. Mill Creek
10. Newton

Class AAAA

1. Rockdale County
2. Chamblee
3. Miller Grove
4. Tucker
5. Richmond Academy
6. Cass
7. Fayette County
8. Hillgrove
9. Bainbridge
10. North Clayton

Class AAA

1. South Atlanta
2. Columbia
3. Liberty County
4. Monroe
5. LaGrange
6. Elbert County
7. Dunwoody
8. Westover
9. Franklin County
10. North Hall

Class AA

1. Greater Atlanta Christian
2. Northeast-Macon
3. Decatur
4. Dublin
5. Laney
6. Southwest-Macon
7. Dade County
8. Thomasville
9. Putnam County
10. Jefferson

Class A

1. Whitefield Academy
2. Wilkinson County
3. Wesleyan
4. Lanier County
5. Claxton
6. Wilcox County
7. Terrell County
8. Bowdon
9. Pace Academy
10. Greenville



1. Redan
2. Parkview
3. Norcross
4. Mill Creek
5. Stephenson
6. Campbell
7. McEachern
8. Westlake
9. Bradwell Institute
10. Douglass

Class AAAA

1. Fayette County
2. Rome
3. Southwest DeKalb
4. Northwest Whitfield
5. Douglas County
6. Madison County
7. Bainbridge
8. Statesboro
9. Forest Park
10. Osborne

Class AAA

1. Kendrick
2. Washington County
3. Carver-Atlanta
4. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
5. Columbia
6. Pickens
7. Rutland
8. Chestatee
9. Stephens County
10. Franklin County

Class AA

1. Buford
2. Laney
3. Rabun County
4. Vidalia
5. Northeast-Macon
6. Greater Atlanta Christian
7. Fannin County
8. Lovett
9. Henry County
10. Dodge County

Class A

1. Wesleyan
2. Taylor County
3. Randolph-Clay
4. Calvary Day
5. Paideia
6. Gordon Lee
7. Southwest Atlanta Christian
8. Holy Innocents’
9. Savannah Christian
10. Bryan County

63 comments Add your comment

Bball fan

January 17th, 2010
6:22 pm

Glad to see Southside teams North Clayton (boys), Forest Park (girls) and Henry County (girls) in the rankings.


January 17th, 2010
7:08 pm

Is it possible to take warrant out on the basketball coaches/RECRUITER from Region 6 for
the hostile take over of SW ATLANTA. I guess if these kid want to get up 5am in morning
so be it.


January 17th, 2010
8:10 pm

Enter your comments here


January 17th, 2010
8:10 pm

Walton Raiders lost to centennial only by 6 without Ryan Harrow and Michi Rice. Just wait till they get healthy and ready. Wheelers goin down next week!


January 17th, 2010
9:06 pm

Wilkinson County would beat any team in single A by 20 or more points. You AJC clowns rank a 1 loss team over an undefeated team that is winning by a 22 point average margin of victory per game. You will find out later in the season!!!!

Full court press

January 17th, 2010
11:05 pm

Westlake is unbeaten in Georgia. Westlake also has defeated 5 of 6 out of state opponents including a victory over then nationally ranked number 18 Rice High School for the Chick Fil A Classic championship. There are very good teams in Region 6-AAAAA but recognize the next closest threat to take the state championship is the 15-1 Westlake boys from Region 4-AAAAA.

Todd Holcomb

January 17th, 2010
11:16 pm

“Wilkinson County would beat any team in single A by 20 or more points. You AJC clowns rank a 1 loss team over an undefeated team that is winning by a 22 point average margin of victory per game. You will find out later in the season!!!!”

The rankings aren’t designed to predict the state playoffs. They are designed to reflect the past. Whitefield Academy has beaten all of its Georgia opponents just as Wilkinson County has.

Todd Holcomb

January 17th, 2010
11:16 pm

And Whitefield Academy is the defending champion. Forgot to mention that key point. : )


January 18th, 2010
12:48 am

methinks it was a case of looking ahead; regardless, the Blue and Gold will step it up.


Laney Wildcat Fanatic

January 18th, 2010
6:17 am

Laney boys are better than Dublin…. I know you base rankings at the beginning of the season off of last year but this more than halfway…. check the games that these two have played this year so far…. hopefully we will make the official statement when Dublin comes to town this Saturday….


January 18th, 2010
8:32 am

Y is Fayette still rank last time i check Sandy creek beat them

Truth be told

January 18th, 2010
9:17 am

Full Court Press Westlake doesn’t get respect for winning, even if it wins the state title. For whatever reason the AJC don’t think the program is sexy enough to warrant coverage. We know the boys and girls are the top teams around year in and out without any superstars. For what it worth they still haven’t recognized the final four finish last year without the “great” Jalen Kendrick, who didn’t play but half the season.

Todd Holcomb

January 18th, 2010
9:58 am

“Full Court Press Westlake doesn’t get respect for winning, even if it wins the state title. For whatever reason the AJC don’t think the program is sexy enough to warrant coverage.”

Got a story on Westlake coming on Friday.

“Y is Fayette still rank last time i check Sandy creek beat them.”

Everybody in Class AAAA has lost, so we can’t keep teams out of the rankings because they lost a game. It’s hard to separate teams in that classification. Fayette has some good wins vs. Lithia Springs, Hillgrove and also against Sandy Creek earlier in the year.

Eagle 1

January 18th, 2010
1:17 pm

Todd why is South Atlanta ranked higher than Columbia?

Todd Holcomb

January 18th, 2010
1:36 pm

Eagle: South Atlanta is the defending champion and is unbeaten in Georgia. We understand how good Columbia is and that South Atlanta will have a tough time defending its title without Favors and Malone, so our rankings are not predictions but ‘reflections,’ as I noted above to a Wilkinson County fan. It’s interesting to note that the coaches’ poll on GaSports has Liberty County at No. 1 (because Liberty is undefeated, I assume), and Columbia is only No. 7. South Atlanta is No. 2. I believe Columbia is playing Oak Hill this weekend. Will be curious to see how that goes.


January 18th, 2010
3:20 pm

AAAA basketball is a mess this year. I really don’t see any dominant teams. When you have to rank Cass in the top 10, you know it’s a down year.


January 18th, 2010
5:19 pm

Don’t sleep on the girls from Bradwell. They areeen’t something to be reckoned with!


January 18th, 2010
6:15 pm

ECI girls roll, stay undefeated – getting no respect

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January 16, 2010
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It was another rough night for the Portal girls.

Emmanuel County Institute continued its unbeaten streak to start the season, easily cruising past Portal by a score of 72-12 Saturday evening in Twin City.

Nalese McAllister led the Lady Bulldogs (14-0, 6-0 in Region 3-A) with 20 points. Angelica Lundy wasn’t far behind with 15 points of her own as four different Lady Bulldogs recorded double-digit point totals on the night.

It was never a contest as ECI breezed to a 24-5 advantage after the first quarter and led 42-10 at the half. With the mercy clock running and the Lady Bulldog bench emptying, the second half was no different as ECI stormed out of the locker room to score the first 28 points of the second half and hold Portal scoreless throughout the third quarter.

Symone Spells provided the little offense that Portal was able to manage, leading the Lady Panthers with five points.


January 18th, 2010
6:22 pm

turner county girl’s should be rank class A


January 18th, 2010
7:33 pm

Northwest Whitfield still undefeated in region play and has now won 12 straight games. We play arch rival Dalton on Friday, then Lakeview- Fort Ogelthorpe (#4 in AAA) on Saturday. Then #10 Osborne and #2 Rome at the beginning of February. 7-AAAA is going to get crazy here in the next week or two!



January 18th, 2010
7:36 pm

And I don’t understand how you could leave Emanuel County out of the class A rankings. They’re undefeated and beating teams by an average of 30 points. Why are they not ranked?


January 18th, 2010
8:38 pm

Marietta girl’s are much better than Bradwell Institute!!!

Eagle 1

January 18th, 2010
9:35 pm

Thanks Todd for explaining!! Well as far as Oak Hill they just dont wanna get blew out too bad.Lol

Taylor Wooten

January 19th, 2010
9:38 am

Don’t rank any Region 1 teams. There is no basketball being played down here.

Decatur 4 Life

January 19th, 2010
11:24 am

Todd- Columbia’s undefeated in GA as well and had majority of their team returning (Including 3 of the starting 5)from a final four loss to South Atlanta last season. Their losses this season include Whitney Young (Chicago), Yates (Houston), Montrose Christian (Maryland), Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) all nationally ranked teams. I know S. Atlanta won state last season but have they done enough this year to keep that top ranking, I don’t think so Todd.


January 19th, 2010
12:16 pm

Taylor Wooten: You are absolutely right, and that’s why no team is ranked. By the time March gets here, they would have all packed their uniforms up until the 2010-11 season.

Sandra D.

January 19th, 2010
1:43 pm

Carver-Atlanta girls have put Southwest Atlanta back on the map. Not since the days of the Lady Bears of Sylvan Hill high school have I been so proud. GGGOOOOOOO Lady Pathers…Nacori, Quentoria, Britney, Aliyah, Alashia, Carter, Ty, Brandi, Bria, Anikee, Manesha, Coach King, and Coach Moton. Congrats………..


January 19th, 2010
2:26 pm

It will be refreshing to see an article on Westlake this Friday. Its funny no one wants to mention how Jelan Kendrick is tearing Wheeler apart. Dont be afraid to say the obvious if Wheeler wants to have a shot at the state you will do what Westlake did last year and kick him off the team. I want to send a congratulations to the Westlake program for being recognized as #24 in the nation by Prepnation.com. Go Lions!!!!!!! Also check us out on Comcast On Demand!!!!!


January 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

Rome girls and Cass boys are wayyyyyyyyyyyy over rated.

tiger fan

January 19th, 2010
8:12 pm

so todd chamblee beats tucker and they move up to number 2? but tucker beat millergrove so why would we fall under millergrove?


January 20th, 2010
7:03 am

South Atlanta ranked number one over Columbia is the biggest joke of the year. Columbia would beat South Atlanta by 30. I honestly believe that the AJC just fills in slots for the last three spots in every poll. They never look to see that a team like Newton County has played NOBODY and is average at best. South Atlanta goes out and plays a pathetic schedule because their coach didn’t think he had a great team……but ask South Atlanta what Norcross did to them this summer. 40 point win?!

Taylor Wooten

January 20th, 2010
8:18 am

North Georgia basketball sucks. Recruiting, transfers, move-ins, primadonnas…….gotta love it. Right?

Taylor Wooten

January 20th, 2010
8:20 am

Let Lowndes, Tift, Coffee or Valdosta…..carefully “select” its 5-10 best players from a 50 mile radius….and they would clean the clock of the overhyped, overexposed North Georgia teams. They have basterdized HS basketball. What a joke!


January 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Um and Lowndes doesn’t carefully select its football team? South Georgia basketball needs to form its own Classification, or just stick with football because basketball isn’t played below Macon.


January 20th, 2010
11:13 am

You guys do kow that there is a girls basketball team in Riverdale, Ga. They just knocked off the Westlake girls to give them their first home lost in about three years. What do they need to do to get some coverage?


January 20th, 2010
11:41 am

Sorry Westlake. HAHA! Bring tha NOISE, bring tha FUNK. HAHA

Morrow? Really?

Decatur 4 Life

January 20th, 2010
12:16 pm

Taylor Wooten

Man please, those are all excuses. Do North Georgians blame other reasons for you guys winning in football. No way, just face it only basketball being played worth mentioning in South GA is in Savannah and Albany and to be honest with you they can’t compete with the metro Atlanta teams like they used to. Is it our fault everyone wants to move to Atlanta? Do we not have to build schools to accomodate those families? Try again, because those excuses makes you sound sore and a little desperate.


January 20th, 2010
1:14 pm

Taylor Wooten: Even if those schools you mentioned selected their 5-10 best players, they still couldn’t cut it. The majority of the big name scholarship players still live in the Atlanta area. Sorry, bud. I know its depressing when basketball season rolls around and South Georgia is shutout. Other than football, South Georgia just can’t compete in any other sports. What’s even worst is that North Georgia typically holds its own in football. Again, sorry bud. It would probably be best if you just came back on the blogs in the fall.

CVStamp Jr.

January 20th, 2010
1:23 pm

Every year there is the north vs. south argument, and pretty much every year my alma mater(Westover High School) is always there, and as much as it pains me so to say, Monroe will also be there. An for whats its worth Westover also defeated South Atlanta during the summer. Westover set the standard for Ga basketball which everyone else is trying to catch up to. Before we started our run in the 90’s we were also runner-up in the late 80’s as a AAAA school to Griffin when there were only 4 classifications. Like Jay-Z says ” men lie, women lie, numberes don’t!”

CVStamp Jr.

January 20th, 2010
1:27 pm

Also I live in Houston, Tx now. Believe me there is no shame in losing to Yates. They are destroying everyone in there path.

Taylor Wooten

January 20th, 2010
2:05 pm

Other than football? LOL You Atlanta guys are pathetic. However, enjoy your new title as “Gay Capital of the Nation”. Something to be proud of….


January 20th, 2010
8:33 pm

Will someone please tell Roswell Basketball Coach TY Phillips that he is only as good as his 3 year record…..stop complaining and blaming everyone else for all the continued losses.


January 20th, 2010
10:28 pm

You gotta see Milton play. relentless defense, gangbuster offense. 3 juniors and a soph are lock major D1 players. 4 players play over the rim, all good passers, all unselfish. this doesn’t come along very often. see them if you can (of course they will be together again next year – scary)


January 20th, 2010
11:02 pm

Todd you and your staff need to wakeup. Tucker will be there in the end. As like last year Chamblee will fade and it will come down betwee Tucker and Miller Grove. I like Tucker’s big man inside and if there guards hold up I think they have enough to get back to the championship game.


January 21st, 2010
2:18 am

where my salem boys at?

high fan

January 21st, 2010
5:50 am

i think we should just stop with the ranking until the state playoff is over with, and as far as the summer goes nobody win a state title in the summer so stop with all the nonsense with who beat who in the summer program cause the good players play in AAU balls in the summer and north georgia teams will whip up on south georgia teams all day long.


January 21st, 2010
8:15 am

I wonder, how many Wilkinson County basketball players are really from Wilkinson County.


January 21st, 2010
9:57 am

High Fan: I’m with you on all this who beat who in the summer. It was a meaningless summer game that both teams probably don’t have all their players because they are either at some camp, football workouts or AAU tournament. Hey, the Dallas Cowboys beat Minnesota in the last preseason game.

Here is a good read on the follow-up to Morrow’s win over top-ranked Westlake


January 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

Where my Salem Girls at? Can’t forget about 6′3″ Scariel Wynter. She is fantastic!!!

South Ga

January 21st, 2010
1:12 pm

There are a few teams in south Ga that I think alot of people are sleeping on and are going to make a run in the playoff. Just a few Coffie, Tift, Valdosta, Lanier, and Turner. Yes, they have lost a game or two but everyone has a bad game. One that really sticks out is Lanier, after falling short last season in the playoff the coaches in his team are really making a turn for the better. Only loses comming from Valdosta and Lowdnes in which Lanier gave away at the end of both games. Ga keep an ear open for South Ga.