Westlake replaces Milton atop AAAAA boys rankings

There are four new No. 1-ranked teams this week in what represents the biggest shakeup at the top this season.

New at the top are Westlake (AAAAA boys), Wilkinson County (A boys), Rome (AAAA girls) and Vidalia (AA girls).

Class AAAAA boys is really getting fun. There’s no right way to separate the top five teams. No. 5 could easily be No. 1. In fact, when the GaSports and AP polls come out, I wouldn’t be surprise if our No. 5 is their No. 1.

Here are some of the pros and cons of each …

No. 1 – Westlake (21-2). The Lions would be a slam dunk for No. 1 if they hadn’t lost to Morrow last month. But it was a controversial one-point loss that will have no effect in Westlake’s Region 4-AAAAA standing. Westlake beat Morrow by 40 points the other time they played, so that mitigates things a bit. Meanwhile, Westlake has beaten Centennial, our No. 2 team, and Rice of New York, a team ranked in the top 50 of at least two national rankings. Westlake’s other loss is 60-54 to Ridgeway of Tennessee, a team ranked in the top 10 of MaxPreps and USA Today. Despite that national exposure, Westlake has not played the week-in, week-out tough schedule of the other contenders in our top five. That and the Morrow loss are the weak links in the Westlake argument.

No. 2 – Centennial (16-7). Looking at the full body of work, Centennial is a dubious No. 2. There are seven losses, four to out-of-state teams (and not all of those teams were that outstanding). The Knights also lost to No. 1 Westlake, Class AA No. 1 GAC and No. 3 Milton. But Milton is 3-1 vs. the five teams in this debate and stand alone at the top in 6-AAAAA, the state’s toughest region, the one that produced the champion and runner-up in 2009.

No. 3 – Milton (19-4). No Georgia team has beaten more good teams than Milton, which has victories over No. 2 Centennial, No. 5 Norcross, No. 7 McEachern, Westminster of California (No. 21 in USA Today) and a couple of top-200 national programs in Christ the King (N.Y.) and St. Frances (Md.) Keeping the Eagles at No. 1 is tempting, but it’s just bad time given the 22-point loss to Centennial and a likely second-place finish in the subregion. Are we looking at Milton vs. Walton for a berth to state in a couple of weeks? Wow.

No. 4 – Wheeler (18-4). Here’s a defending champ with a victory over Milton on a winning streak.

No. 5 – Norcross (20-2). The other two polls might have Norcross at No. 1. I don’t have to make that argument for the Blue Devils. I’m sure some Devils fans will do that for me. Norcross has a couple of wins over top-200 national-type teams. One of them, Scott County, beat Wheeler. But Wheeler also beat Milton, which beat Norcross. All five of these teams deserve to be ranked higher than No. 5.

BOYS

Class AAAAA

1. Westlake (21-2)
2. Centennial (16-7)
3. Milton (19-4)
4. Wheeler (18-4)
5. Norcross (20-2)
6. Meadowcreek (20-3)
7. McEachern (19-4)
8. Central Gwinnett (21-2)
9. Groves (21-1)
10. Newton (22-1)

Class AAAA

1. Rockdale County (23-1)
2. Miller Grove (18-6)
3. Richmond Academy (21-1)
4. Fayette County (19-4)
5. Chamblee (17-6)
6. Bainbridge (20-4)
7. North Clayton (22-2)
8. Glynn Academy (19-3)
9. Hillgrove (19-4)
10. Lithia Springs (19-4)

Class AAA

1. Columbia (17-5)
2. LaGrange (23-0)
3. Monroe (20-1)
4. Elbert County (21-2)
5. South Atlanta (21-2)
6. Liberty County (23-1)
7. Dunwoody (17-4)
8. Westover (20-3)
9. Washington County (19-4)
10. Hart County (19-4)

Class AA

1. Greater Atlanta Christian (22-1)
2. Northeast-Macon (21-1)
3. Laney (23-2)
4. Decatur (18-3)
5. Blessed Trinity (16-7)
6. Dade County (21-2)
7. Thomasville (20-3)
8. Dublin (17-5)
9. Jefferson (17-6)
10. McIntosh County Academy (17-6)

Class A

1. Wilkinson County (24-0)
2. Whitefield Academy (18-3)
3. Wesleyan (18-4)
4. Wilcox County (19-2)
5. Lanier County (20-3)
6. Terrell County (18-5)
7. Claxton (21-2)
8. Greenville (17-5)
9. Gordon Lee (17-5)
10. Paideia (17-6)

GIRLS

Class AAAAA

1. Redan (22-0)
2. Parkview (23-0)
3. Norcross (19-3)
4. Mill Creek (19-4)
5. Westlake (16-3)
6. Bradwell Institute (22-1)
7. North Cobb (20-3)
8. McEachern (19-4)
9. Campbell (17-5)
10. Stephenson (17-5)

Class AAAA

1. Rome (24-0)
2. Southwest DeKalb (18-4)
3. Northwest Whitfield (21-2)
4. Mays (16-4)
5. Fayette County (20-4)
6. Bainbridge (21-2)
7. Statesboro (20-2)
8. Forest Park (20-3)
9. Douglas County (19-4)
10. Clarke Central (16-4)

Class AAA

1. Kendrick (23-0)
2. Columbia (16-3)
3. Carver-Atlanta (18-4)
4. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (18-5)
5. Washington County (20-2)
6. Westover (20-3)
7. Chestatee (18-4)
8. East Hall (17-5)
9. Pickens (19-5)
10. Jackson-Atlanta (16-6)

Class AA

1. Vidalia (23-0)
2. Greater Atlanta Christian (18-4)
3. Buford (20-2)
4. Northeast-Macon (20-2)
5. Laney (21-2)
6. Fannin County (17-3)
7. Dodge County (20-3)
8. Thomasville (20-3)
9. North Oconee (19-3)
10. Rabun County (19-1)

Class A

1. Wesleyan (19-4)
2. Randolph-Clay (21-3)
3. Calvary Day (22-1)
4. Taylor County (22-1)
5. Paideia (21-2)
6. Gordon Lee (21-1)
7. Southwest Atlanta Christian (14-5)
8. Emanuel County Institute (18-0)
9. Warren County (20-4)
10. Holy Innocents’ (21-3)

123 comments Add your comment

Nolesfan

February 7th, 2010
7:38 pm

Girl’s AAAA—-#10 will beat #1! Believe it.

MaryKate

February 7th, 2010
8:13 pm

Stop ranking McEachern. Groves hasn’t played a team worth mentioning besides their only loss. Newton Co. hasn’t played anyone all season either. Westlake is the best team in GA.

Devil Lover

February 7th, 2010
8:15 pm

TODD, I AM DISAPPOINTED AGAIN THIS WEEK WITH YOUR RANKING. NO TEAM IS PLAYING BETTER THAN NORCROSS IN 5A. 20-2 RECORD WITH A 17 GAME WINNING STREAK AND THEY HAVE BEATEN THEIR LAST THREE OPPONENTS BY AN AVG OF 35 PTS.

BY THE WAY, SCOTT COUNTY, KY WHO BEAT WHEELER BUT NORCROSS BEAT THEM BY ELEVEN PTS ON THE ROAD, WHO YOU SAID WAS A TOP 200 TYPE NATIONAL TEAM WAS ACTUALLY RANKED 107 WHEN NORCROSS BEAT THEM.

SO, I GUESS I SHOULD JUST GIVE UP BECAUSE NORCROSS IS NOT IN EITHER COBB OR NORTH FULTON BUT DOES PLAY GOOD BASKETBALL. HOWEVER I HAVE TO BE HONEST, TO ME THIS IS DEZA-VU ALL OVER AGAIN LIKE IN 2006, 2007 AND 2008. NOBODY THOUGHT THEN EITHER.

Lumpy

February 7th, 2010
8:16 pm

NW whitfield is best 4a girls team. No doubt. They play tome
tuesday. Next week we will be ranked number one wait and see!!

Devil Lover

February 7th, 2010
8:35 pm

todd you meantioned that the other two polls might rank norcross no 1. other than gasports, which other poll were you speaking of?

Todd Holcomb

February 7th, 2010
8:55 pm

Devil Lover: I think the AP (Georgia Sports Writers Association) is still doing its poll, which usually appears closer to Thursday. It’s not always easy to find. … The point you make about Norcross playing the best basketball at the moment is a good one because the other team playing that well is Wheeler, yet they’re #4-5. In rankings, it’s tough to decide how to weigh earlier games against the more recent ones. How much should we consider Westlake vs. Centennial or Norcross vs. Milton when those games took place in December (or some time like that)?

Todd Holcomb

February 7th, 2010
8:55 pm

By the way, Chip and I added the W-L records this week at the request of a poster last week or the week before. We assume there are a few errors, as it’s tough keeping track of every game played. Lot hard than football, fwiw.

gemini103

February 7th, 2010
9:30 pm

In AAA boys, How do you have Lagrange which is 23-0 behind Columbia thats 17-5. Anyone else thinks this is odd.

Dylan

February 7th, 2010
10:10 pm

#3 Northwest Whitfield vs #1 Rome on Tuesday night in Tunnel Hill. Going to be one heck of a game. Gym should be packed with fans from all over the region. Who do you have in this game, Todd?

Albert Forthe

February 7th, 2010
10:31 pm

Why doesn’t either Valdosta or Tift County (or both) get a nod in the AAAAA rankings? Are all of the North Georgia AAAAA so good that no South Georgia team deserves any consideration? Just askin’.

Bob

February 7th, 2010
10:45 pm

Centennial is actually 17-6. The TC Williams loss ended up being a forfeit due to TC Williams using ineligible 5th year players. I think the top 5 in AAAAA is interesting. Norcross and Westlake do not have the brutal region schedule like Milton, Wheeler and Centennial but they are still very good and deserving of top 5 rankings. It should be an interesting AAAAA state playoffs.

WheelerFan

February 7th, 2010
10:59 pm

devil lover why do you always cry about rankings? this isnt the BCS in college football, teams actually have to go out and win tournament games to win a state title, so I never understand why every year on this blog you whine and moan about where norcross is ranked…who cares where your teams ranked in february, it means nothing…and all you seem to every want to do is compare the score of one team to another teams, who cares if norcross beat scott county who beat wheeler who beat milton etc etc etc….you must be 12 years old with your incessant whining and type of logic

Todd Holcomb

February 7th, 2010
11:19 pm

“Why doesn’t either Valdosta or Tift County (or both) get a nod in the AAAAA rankings? Are all of the North Georgia AAAAA so good that no South Georgia team deserves any consideration? Just askin’.”

Groves is ranked. That’s South Georgia. But as for 1-AAAAA, I certainly believe they deserve consideration, but those teams don’t have the recent playoff history or schedule strength to make them sure-fire Top 10 teams. Not saying they can’t prove people wrong in the playoffs, but until then, they won’t get much respect beyond low-end Top 10 at best.

“Centennial is actually 17-6. The TC Williams loss ended up being a forfeit due to TC Williams using ineligible 5th year players.”

I didn’t know that, Bob. Thanks.

“In AAA boys, How do you have Lagrange which is 23-0 behind Columbia thats 17-5. Anyone else thinks this is odd.”

Columbia also is unbeaten in Georgia. They’ve played a national schedule of teams that include Oak Hill of Virginia. I need to let the Columbia fans defend me on this one after they so effectively grilled me when I had South Atlanta at No. 1 ahead of Columbia a couple of weeks back.

[...] More:  Westlake replaces Milton atop AAAAA boys rankings | Prep Zone: AJC … [...]

W/E

February 8th, 2010
12:17 am

Walton wiped the floor with Meadowcreek earlier this year and having seen Campbell play multiple times and seen McEachern some I’d bet Campbell would beat McEachern by 15 or so. Yes Region 6 is that strong. The top 5 is to be organized anyway you feel because no one is absolutely dominating in-state. That region tourney matchup of Milton vs. the 3-seed of Wheeler/ Walton/ Campbell just for a state berth will be well worth the price of admission. Wheeler holds a 1-game lead on both Walton and Campbell, but still faces both this week so subregion 6 in Region 6AAAAA will go down to the wire this week.

The Colonel

February 8th, 2010
12:31 am

Centennial totally ambushed Milton Saturday night. They’ll be tough in the playoffs. Alan Whitehart has a great program going. The Dawgs need to form a relationship with him.

Todd Holcomb

February 8th, 2010
12:44 am

W/E: Good assessment. It’s not beyond reason that Region 6 has five of the best 8-9 teams in Class AAAAA. But I also think M’creek has improved more since December than Walton, perhaps partly due to Harrow getting his legs back under him. It’s hard to rate teams like McEachern and Newton and others outside the top five and outside 6-AAAAA due to schedule issues.

S. Thomas Coleman

February 8th, 2010
2:05 am

Hoop Fans,

Send any interesting facts, stats or anecdotes to me at sthomascoleman2010@yahoo.com, for possible publication (space permitting) in the “Etc. Notes” on the Friday High School page.

See you in the region and state playoffs! Once again, it should be a fun ride!

S. Thomas Coleman

Cobb Hoops

February 8th, 2010
2:22 am

W/E-I thought the top 4 teams in each region went to state? That’s the way GHSA has the bracket ranked. Centennial, Walton, Wheeler, and Milton all got to state last year. Has it changed this year?

WheelerFan

February 8th, 2010
2:53 am

no 4 teams should still go pretty sure, i think campbell is region 6 so thats 5 teams that are playoff teams with only 4 spots though

Tim Shaw

February 8th, 2010
6:35 am

I know GAC is AA, but you should go there this week (home Tuesday & Friday) and you might see the best boys team in GA and probably one of the best if not the best basketball gyms in all of GA

michael

February 8th, 2010
6:40 am

Thanks for showing the Jackson-Atlanta girls some love. If they stay healthy, they will make a deep playoff run this year.

nobody

February 8th, 2010
6:53 am

how long have the starting five for GAC played together?

NoLion

February 8th, 2010
7:09 am

None of this matters until march 10th.

Devil Lover

February 8th, 2010
7:47 am

Todd, since norcross lost its post player to injury and none of these players were in the starting rotation last year plus two players are transfers, I think using the second half results will be a much better perdictor of Norcross’ future capabilities than was december 09.

allcrimson

February 8th, 2010
7:50 am

Northside girls are overlooked in AAAA and just like we want it.

ac

Devil Lover

February 8th, 2010
7:51 am

HEY WHEELERFAN….I CARE.

GetCarter

February 8th, 2010
8:03 am

Norcross didn’t lose their post player “due to injury”.

jw

February 8th, 2010
8:49 am

How do you have Hillgrove ahead of Lithia Springs when they went to Hillgrove and beat them?

HSHoopsFan

February 8th, 2010
9:13 am

#1 team in Georgia… GAC. They beat Centennial and their only loss is to Melrose Memphis (a top 20 US team). 4 of the 5 starters played last year with the 1 addition being Malcom Brogdan who many believe is one of the top juniors in the state.

Decatur 4 Life

February 8th, 2010
9:13 am

gemini103

No it’s not that odd, Columbia plays a national schedule. If we only had GA opponents we’d be undefeated as well.

Wildcat00

February 8th, 2010
9:18 am

I have one thing to say about the Class A boys. The State better watch for Lanier County. They have a group of boys that have played together for many years and have gelled. They should be heavy contenders for the State Championship this year.

Decatur 4 Life

February 8th, 2010
9:20 am

And yes thanks Tood for letting me grill “gemini103″ on that one, you know we can break it down for him with no problem. Winning and being highly ranked in the state is nothing new to us, u better do your research.

jethomps

February 8th, 2010
9:20 am

The team with most wins and no loses is Trinity Christain School’s lady Cruaders from Dublin GA at 28-0. They are one of smallest schools in GISA’s AAA.

Eagle2

February 8th, 2010
9:20 am

“In AAA boys, How do you have Lagrange which is 23-0 behind Columbia thats 17-5. Anyone else thinks this is odd.”

Todd Holcomb don’t worry I got your back on this one

gemini103,
Columbia has played 11 teams that has been either nationally or regionally ranked and the 5 games they lost came to teams that at some point were ranked by numerous polls in the top ten in the country and they were all loses by no more than 5 pts with the exception of yates and whitney young. I’m not one for moral victories but they were in the game until the end in all of those losses. with that said and from looking at Lagrange’s schedule I’m not saying they are not good but I dont think they would have stood a chance with the schedule Columbia has played. So the record means nothing. Check the strength of schedule. outside of region play Columbia has arguably the toughest schedule in the state and thats why they are number one.

Eagle1 where you at?

Region 6

February 8th, 2010
9:32 am

Congratulations to Centennial on back to back very solid performances vs Milton. I saw both games and either team could’ve won that first meeting on Tuesday. That’s one of the best hs games I’ve seen this year between 2 great teams. The final margin of 7 was not at all indicitive of the game.
Saturday night at Milton it looked as though the Eagles were going to run Centennial out of the building after the first quarter leading 21-12. The Knights controlled everything from that point forward tying the game and the half and dominating the 2nd half.
Wheeler wins big in California and is on a roll. Campbell knocks off Walton and the 6A is now wide open for the taking depending on this week.
Are they really going to allow Campbell to host the best region tournament in the courntry so 1,000 people can see it? What are they thinking????????

Truth4Westlake

February 8th, 2010
9:38 am

Very interesting the top 5, even though im a true Westlake fan I know that the top 5 teams are only seperated by a small margin. Im interseted in the state playoffs and very interested to see how Milton bounces back now that no one is intimitated by them!!!

Truth4Westlake

February 8th, 2010
9:42 am

Columbia tread softly, that first lost South Atlanta took in three years really reenergized the whole spirit of the team. South Atlanta coming for those decatur boys!!!!!!

Todd Holcomb

February 8th, 2010
9:47 am

“I know GAC is AA, but you should go there this week (home Tuesday & Friday) and you might see the best boys team in GA and probably one of the best if not the best basketball gyms in all of GA.’’

Probably one of the best gyms in Georgia? I’d like to see one better! ..

Here’s a story I did on GAC last week:
http://www.ajc.com/sports/high-school/martin-picks-up-where-291350.html

“How do you have Hillgrove ahead of Lithia Springs when they went to Hillgrove and beat them?”

jw: That’s a good question. Head-to-head isn’t everything, and Lithia Springs has lost a couple of games to AAA opponents. But having said that, I think I should review that call because Lithia Springs has lost some close ones, and I probably punished them too much for losing to AAAAA South Cobb. I think I expected so much of Hillgrove this season that I might not be looking at their results objectively. (Yes, once or twice a year, I struggle with objectivity just like everybody else.) Good point.

“Saturday night at Milton it looked as though the Eagles were going to run Centennial out of the building after the first quarter leading 21-12.”

I didn’t realize Milton was up 9 in that game. Interesting. I wonder if it’s partly the fatigue of playing in that region and that schedule overall. It’s hard for Milton or Centennial or any of those schools to be at the top of their game every night. That’s why the region tournament will be interesting – especially the potential Milton-Walton game in the quarterfinals. Or what if it’s Campbell-Milton in the QF in Campbell’s gym? Good stuff.

Todd Holcomb

February 8th, 2010
9:48 am

Also, Seth Coleman writes a good notebook on Georgia high school football on Fridays. So help him out if you’ve got a good story that’s not getting any press.

Meanwhile, the AJC has stories coming this week on Redan’s girls for Wednesday, Rockdale County’s boys on Friday and Columbia’s boys/girls (both are major state contenders) for Saturday.

Eagle2

February 8th, 2010
9:49 am

Truth4Westlake….lol….unless they caught the hoy spirit when they got reenergized spiritually i dont think they would want you selling wolf tickets for them. Last year was definitely their year and they siezed the moment. Congrats to them but they dont stand a chance either…as for westlake…good job this season i hope history doesnt repeat itself and yall fizzle out as in years past…as a fan im sure you remember what happened when yall ran into us a couple of years ago when yall were undefeated and ranked #1.

justthefacts

February 8th, 2010
10:36 am

I agree that any one of those top five teams, in 5A, can stake a claim to the top spot. However, your analysis is a little flawed. Westlake recently lost to a weak Morrow team. Whether it was a controversial loss or not the number 1 team shouldn’t have put themselves in that situation.
Two weeks ago Centennial lost to a TC Williams team that lost to Thomas Jefferson the night before. Norcross beat Thomas Jefferson.
Milton probably has had the toughest schedule but is 1-3 in the last four games against quality teams.
Wheeler lost to a Scott County team that Norcross beat. Right now Wheeler is playing better then the teams in front of them
Norcross is 17-0 since losing to Milton by 4. They are 16-0 since Adrian Hubbard left the team. They are playing better without him because their remaing pieces fit together better.
Since the start of the holiday break;
Norcross is 16-0 and has a +25 point differential.
Wheeler is 11-2 with a +19 point differential.
Westlake is 14-2 with a +18 point differential.
Milton is 12-4 with a +13 point differential.
Centennial is 13-5 with a +3 point differential.
Right now that is how I would have them rated but there isn’t one of them I would rule out as the posssible state champion.

W/E

February 8th, 2010
11:08 am

Here’s how region 6 works cobb hoops:
Here’s how the region tournament works
Here’s how the region is split:

(6B) that has Milton, Centennial, Alpharetta, Kell, and Roswell. The other side (6A) is Campbell, Wheeler, Walton, Pope, and Lassiter.

The tournament shapes like this. For the sake of less confusion I’m numbering some of the games.
Play-in round
6A 5 seed vs. 6B 4 seed (Game 1)
6B 5 seed vs. 6A 4 seed (Game 2)

1st round

6A 1 seed vs winner of Game 1 (Game 3)
6A 2 seed vs 6B 3 seed (Game 4)
6B 1 seed vs winner of Game 2 (Game 5)
6B 2 seed vs. 6A 3 seed (Game 6)

Semis (teams in state tourney)

Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 6
Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5

You can figure the seeding from there.

So the result would be the 3rd team of Wheeler/Walton/Campbell playing either Centennial or Milton in Fulton county in a game to knock one out of the state playoffs

THS

February 8th, 2010
12:00 pm

Way to go Thomasville! Ranked in the top ten for boys & girls basketball!

Truth4Westlake

February 8th, 2010
12:40 pm

Eagle2 i hope we dont fizzle out this year to. Yea everytime I see that kid Leslie on ESPN i remember being in Gwinnett. You had a great team then i thought the 2nd best in the state at that time. LOL. The funny thing is South Atlanta has some new pieces who are very good. That no one knows about. But when it comes to 5AAAAA basketball its going to take preparation hard work, and dedication to win in this classfication. Columbia better be ready for SOuth Atlanta, dont forget Monroe either!!!!

Eagle2

February 8th, 2010
12:50 pm

Yeah T4W it is gonna be tough for you all up in AAAAA and i wish you all well. Your guys are good and I would like to see them win it all (the trash talk is fun and games). hopefully all of them region six teams beat up on each other too bad and cancel each other out. You better believe columbia is not overlooking Monroe, SA, Elbert, or Westover. all of them are good teams but what i can say is, i seriously doubt they are any tougher than any of the teams we have faced on a national level this year.

Hoops Fan

February 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

Does anyone know what happens if both Campbell and Walton end up 8-5 in region 6A, Who gets the 2 seed. They split the series.

Jon Koncak

February 8th, 2010
1:12 pm

No respect for the ECI Lady Dawgs…only undefeated A team in rankings and they are #8? No one has even played them close this year.

W/E

February 8th, 2010
1:29 pm

the next tiebreaker is subregion record then overall record I think.

Al Beeski

February 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

Nice job doing these rankings Todd, as I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen most teams South of Macon. First, everyone needs to take a chill pill because you will soon find out how good your region/team is against the rest of the state. And one tidbit of info, you might find helpful concerning 1-AAA, is that Westover has not lost a game with their top player (Onochie Ochie) as he missed about 1 month after a serious fall in the opening minutes against Monroe during their first meeting. All three of Westover’s losses were without the services of Ochie.As we all know injuries are part of the game, but don’t overlook Westover if completely healthy. But I can’t wait for the playoffs to start as it should be exciting.