Final rankings: Why did metro Atlanta win all 10?

For the first time in history, metro Atlanta teams have won every state championship in basketball.

Before asking why, let’s look at how times have changed. In the 1990s, metro teams won only 28 percent of the state basketball titles. In the last five years, metro teams have won 76 percent of the titles. In the 1980s, there were four years where metro Atlanta won ZERO state titles (1981, 1985, 1988). Metro boys teams failed to win a state title in 1991, 1993 and 1998.

Here are some things that have happened to change that (in no particular order):

1. The state’s highest classification is more than 80 percent metro Atlanta, and the Savannah schools (which still play great basketball) insist on playing in Class AAAAA with AAAA-AA enrollment. The only non-metro schools in AAAAA are either too few students or too much football.

2. Private schools are putting an emphasis on basketball and attracting top talent, both in players and coaches (Wesleyan, GAC, SWAC, Whitefield Academy).

3. Elite players in metro Atlanta are moving to schools that give them the most exposure and the best chance at a state championship. The schools that play national schedules (Milton, Wheeler, Miller Grove, Columbia, Norcross and others) are only getting richer.

4. AAU teams are making players better and more experienced, and those AAU teams are more prevalent in Atlanta than the rest of the state.

5. There are more metro Atlanta schools than ever, and they are spread throughout the classifications, giving the metro area a competitive shot to win any class.

Don’t forget to check out the rankings and grill me on them. At least I got the No. 1 teams right this week.



1. Milton (29-4)
2. Westlake (30-3)
3. Norcross (27-3)
4. Central Gwinnett (29-3)
5. Wheeler (23-6)
6. McEachern (25-5)
7. Campbell (22-8)
8. Centennial (20-9)
9. Meadowcreek (22-7)
10. Newton (30-2)

Class AAAA

1. Miller Grove (27-6)
2. Richmond Academy (30-2)
3. Mays (22-5)
4. Bainbridge (27-5)
5. Lithia Springs (24-6)
6. North Clayton (26-4)
7. Hillgrove (24-6)
8. Rockdale County (28-2)
9. Glynn Academy (23-4)
10. Glenn Hills (23-8)

Class AAA

1. Columbia (28-5)
2. LaGrange (31-1)
3. Westover (24-5)
4. South Atlanta (28-3)
5. Elbert County (27-3)
6. Monroe (24-3)
7. North Hall (27-4)
8. Riverwood (19-13)
9. Dougherty (14-13)
10. Liberty County (27-2)

Class AA

1. Greater Atlanta Christian (32-1)
2. Thomasville (24-5)
3. Laney (29-3)
4. Jefferson (25-7)
5. Northeast-Macon (25-3)
6. McIntosh County Academy (22-8)
7. Henry County (15-14)
8. Callaway (20-8)
9. Decatur (22-6)
10. Spencer (19-11)

Class A

1. Wesleyan (26-6)
2. Whitefield Academy (28-4)
3. Terrell County (24-6)
4. Wilkinson County (29-1)
5. Wilcox County (26-3)
6. Providence Christian (23-7)
7. Paideia (20-8)
8. Greenville (20-7)
9. Lanier County (25-5)
10. Gordon Lee (21-6)



1. Norcross (28-4)
2. Redan (31-1)
3. Westlake (24-4)
4. Milton (23-6)
5. Mill Creek (26-5)
6. Campbell (24-7)
7. Bradwell Institute (29-2)
8. Stephenson (22-8)
9. McEachern (24-6)
10. Parkview (28-1)

Class AAAA

1. Southwest DeKalb (28-4)
2. Northwest Whitfield (29-4)
3. Dutchtown (27-3)
4. Forest Park (24-6)
5. Mays (22-5)
6. Fayette County (24-6)
7. Madison County (24-7)
8. Loganville (19-11)
9. Rome (29-2)
10. Statesboro (26-4)

Class AAA

1. Columbia (27-3)
2. Carver-Atlanta (27-6)
3. Kendrick (30-1)
4. LaGrange (21-10)
5. Franklin County (18-11)
6. Northside-Columbus (21-7)
7. Westover (24-4)
8. East Hall (23-7)
9. Spalding (22-7)
10. Washington County (25-3)

Class AA

1. Buford (29-4)
2. Vidalia (31-1)
3. Greater Atlanta Christian (26-5)
4. Laney (26-4)
5. Henry County (21-6)
6. Rabun County (27-2)
7. Thomasville (24-4)
8. Dodge County (24-5)
9. Northeast-Macon (25-4)
10. Mitchell County (19-8)

Class A

1. Wesleyan (28-4)
2. Savannah Christian (21-7)
3. Taylor County (29-2)
4. Emanuel County Institute (23-1)
5. Calvary Day (28-3)
6. Southwest Atlanta Christian (22-6)
7. Randolph-Clay (25-4)
8. Paideia (25-4)
9. St. Francis (18-12)
10. Warren County (24-5)

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94 comments Add your comment


March 14th, 2010
5:53 pm

Mays girls should be third. They could easily destroy Dutchtown and Forest Park.


March 14th, 2010
6:23 pm

BUFORD is “metro Atlanta”?! That’s a big stretch!

Crazy Hoops

March 14th, 2010
6:25 pm

Dylan: I would agree. I probably wouldn’t use the word destroy, but I think Mays is better than F. Park and Dutchtown. Saw each of the teams play multiple times, and thought Mays experience and size would overtake both. In a look at common opponent, Mays only lost to Northwest Whitfield, by four points were both Forest Park and Dutchtown were double digits.
Forest Park is the team of the future with only one senior on the entire roster. Their time is the 2010-11 season.


March 14th, 2010
6:34 pm

Yeah as soon as I wrote that I knew I should’ve. Just used “beat” instead of “destroy” bbecause any team can beat anybody on any given day.

HS Hoops Follower

March 14th, 2010
6:40 pm

Great Points especially on the AAU effect and playing out of state opponents. Just wish the coverage for basketball was equal to football because the talent is.

Norcross girls for example loss 4 games (twice to Mill Creek) and the other 2 to #1 St Marys (CA) and #8 Boilingbrook (Ill). 4 of Miller Groves 6 losses were to out of state foes and the 2 in state losses were to Milton and Tucker. All of Columbia’s losses were to out of state foes and you have to respect that they held #2 Yates (TX) to under 100 points as Yates scored 100pts or more in their final 14 games. 2 of Milton’s 4 losses were to out of state teams with one to #15 Winter Park (FL).
1 of Westlake’s 3 losses was to an out of state team and will another was to Milton. 2 of Wheelers losses were out of state. GAC’s lone loss was out of state and bested Centennial by 10.

I could go on for days but I think that supports your article enough. Great talemt and hoops play in the metro and Georgia for that matter. People will acknowledge it but will not get behind it like football, such a shame.

Resign or Resign?

March 14th, 2010
7:02 pm


My thoughts exactly! I know “metro Atlanta” is normally defined as the 5 county (Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett & Clayton); but I wonder what percentage of all state high schools are located in a 60 mile radius of downtown. If it were like 60-70% then the wonder would be that any school OUTSIDE “metro Atlanta” ever wins! Pretty soon they will be claiming Redan, Henry County, East Hall and Fayette as “metro Atlanta” schools.


March 14th, 2010
7:03 pm

catlady – “BUFORD is “metro Atlanta”?! That’s a big stretch!” I hate to tell you that BUFORD is metro Atlanta…have you ever been there?” I live in Suwanee and still consider Suwanee & Buford in metro-Atlanta. Gwinnett is metro Atlanta….and Hall County is starting to be in that mix also.


March 14th, 2010
7:04 pm

I take Mays boys at 3, I talk to Coach Mack before the season and, his exact words” We will be decent, but you know Fayette favor to win it all. We just want get to playoffs see what happen from there.” This was all while watching one his top player.

Resign or Resign?

March 14th, 2010
7:06 pm

Also, the rules have been very relaxed allowing students to essentially choose which high school they attend. Many rural students transfer to metro schools for no other reason than to gain the additional exposure you mention; this should NOT be a permissable reason to allow a student to transfer, But the rules are too liberal and now seldom enforced anyway.


March 14th, 2010
7:17 pm

I agree with HOOPS FOLLOWER, 2 times during the season and twice during the playoffs I sent an email to the AJC about score updates or even a taste of what was going on during the regionals. All I was told was that the paper sports pages listed the scores the next day. Now this is during basketball season and football was still dominating the website and newspaper. I understand the importance of football and the emphasis on recruiting, and believe these kids should enjoy the limelight. But where is the limelight for the growing number of b-ball players now being produced in Georgia. These kids deserve as much ink as those playing football, it is their time to shine during basketball season. I am originally from NYC, and have seen great players come out of the city, but at the moment GA. is second to none in producing great players. I don’t know why the reason, but the AJC has to re-evaluate how it covers it’s HS sports and not show favoritism. What does it say to the kids playing this great game when there is no mention of accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy football season just as much, but basketball is getting the short stick.

Equal rights for all the KIDS.


March 14th, 2010
7:23 pm

I agree Timmy……….It takes just as long to get from Buford to Midtown Atlanta as it does from Marriett, in Cobb or Alpharetta in North Fulton. And that is all part of Metro Area.

Mr, Wisdom

March 14th, 2010
7:26 pm

North Hall should be #3 in boys AAA. They lost to the top two teams this year by a total of 2 points.


March 14th, 2010
7:40 pm

Its ok to have AAU players but to recruit them doing the summer, have them live with the AAU coach and GHSA says nothing is not right. GHSA will not touch certain schools like NORCROSS, WHEELER OR ANY OF THE OTHER schools that be in the wrong. If a family move there kids to a school and it is not done a certain time of the year they need to miss a year. There is nothing to stop a school that have MONEY and POWER.

The Real Eagle 1

March 14th, 2010
7:40 pm

JerShon Cobb Jershon Cobb Jershon Cobb Jershon Cobb of Columbia high school Mr.Georgia Basketball!!!!
2 State Championships, 4 Final Four( State runner-up)

128-13 4yr record* Never lost a home game in 4yrs!!!!!!
2010 Feinberg Academic AllAmerican
2 time 5AAA player of the year
08-09 AAA 1st team all state
09-10 McDonalds Nominee
21ppg avg. 2010 State Tourney

Joker Joe

March 14th, 2010
7:49 pm

These private schools are only hurting the futures of these kids, buying all these championships. It’s really sickening that winning is all there is. If you do it with what you got that’s great, but all this recruiting just to win it all is getting out of hand.

Frank Smith

March 14th, 2010
7:53 pm

What this shows is that a lot of these coaches are good recruiters. Would be nice to see if some of these people in Gwinnett county like formerly at Norcross and now at GAC can really develop some players instead of stealing the work of other coaches!

Todd Holcomb

March 14th, 2010
8:29 pm

”North Hall should be #3 in boys AAA. They lost to the top two teams this year by a total of 2 points.”

Are you sure LaGrange didn’t beat North Hall 60-49? I do think North Hall could fall anywhere from 3-7 in AAA. That group is tough to rank.

Some Sense

March 14th, 2010
8:39 pm

Everybody who plays the R, not Race…Recruiting, card needs to wake up. Good people go to good people. Who wouldn’t want to play for Eddie Martin, David/Cal(?) Boyd, etc.? Let’s face it…today, there’s high school basketball and there’s high school basketball.

As far as the private school thing goes, folks have been whining about this one for years. Private schools are all about character…not tats, hats, and pants on the ground…heard that one?

hind tit

March 14th, 2010
9:06 pm

there needs to be an investagation of ghsa and an independent one at that. some wrong doing is going on and if people can’t see that then there blind. it’s time for some rules on players changing teams like it was underwear. they need to set out a year if they change schools unless they fall under some very strict rules. this is not fair to teams,kids,schools and counties to have to go up against teams that cheat and use daddys money to buy championships for their kids. it’s time to call your state rep and put some heat on him them. they even had the nerve to make comercials about good sportsmanship on the telecasts of the games. this is not right.

just saying

March 14th, 2010
9:19 pm

Bainbridge lost in final 4 two yrs. Both times in metro atl. which is home court for metro teams. How about rotating site to south ga… Albany, Macon, or Columbus would be more neutral.

Devil Nation

March 14th, 2010
9:33 pm

All this talk about 5A region 6 and Atl metro. But about the city of Norcross.

5A-Norcross 3rd and Meadowcreek 9th

Devil Nation

March 14th, 2010
9:40 pm

All this talk about 5A region 6 and Atl metro. But about the city of Norcross.

5A-Norcross 3rd and Meadowcreek 9th
2A-GAC 1st
1A-Wesleyan 1st

5A-Norcross 1st
2A-GAC 3rd
1A-Wesleyan 1st


March 14th, 2010
9:40 pm

I agree with the rankings for single A boys. These rankings show that Region 7A was by far the toughest region with Wesleyan winning state, Providence winning the Region and Paideia spliting with state runner-up Whitefield.


March 14th, 2010
9:43 pm

SingleAfan – totally agree. And don’t forget the state champ Wesleyan finished fourth in our region cause we beat them! and we lose to Providence who beat us two times in regular season and in the region championship.


March 14th, 2010
9:54 pm

A metro boys team did win a state title in 1990. Southside High won the AAAA title and was led by James Forrest who went on to star at Ga Tech.

Legend of Len Barker

March 14th, 2010
9:57 pm

If the GHSA is still like it was a few years ago, it won’t pay for any investigation. Schools making the complains do and I’m not sure if anything will be done if evidence is presented to the organization. The GHSA is all about making money, not promoting sportsmanship or academics. This is apparent by their scheduling of tournament games at individual home gyms instead of having one high school per two regions host the opening round like it did from 1999-2002 (instead of a maximum four games for $7, the GHSA will give you at the maximum two games for $7 in the first two rounds).

To combat the recruiting insanity, I propose that the GHSA institute a plan similar to the NCAA. If you transfer schools, you must sit out of athletic competition for one year. If there is a hardship case, you/your school can argue it before a committee. Any schools participating in GHSA athletics are subject to this rule, thus eliminating private school loopholes.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to fix disparity. Vidalia cannot compete with Buford. Their enrollments are similar, but nothing else is. Gwinnett and Toombs counties are two complete different worlds. Vidalia is limited to the kids in their attendance zone, which is pretty small. Lyons city and Toombs County students are all part of the county school system. I’m frankly not sure what Buford considers its attendance zone to be. Gwinnett County has 760,000 more people than Toombs County. Nor are there any reasons for anyone to settle in Toombs County (I’m sorry, Toombs, but there aren’t; the Legend is a fellow Class AA south Georgian).

TXDawg (from Decatur to Mansfield, TX)

March 14th, 2010
10:01 pm

Resign or Resign?…..isn’t Redan in DeKalb County….duh??

Mays Raider for life

March 14th, 2010
10:04 pm

@Dylan… Thanks for the Mays vote

Todd Holcomb

March 14th, 2010
10:12 pm

ATL Born: You’re right, Southside won in ‘90. James Forrest, right? I’ll fix that.

hind tit

March 14th, 2010
10:16 pm

can someone tell me why buford girls played the 3rd, off the 4th while raburn played the 4th and played buford the 5th. i had a chance to see both teams play this season and raburn can play with anyone. raburn has one highschool and they worked very hard to get to the finals just to get beat because they had rubber legs and buford was fresh. i live alot closer to buford than i do raburn so i don’t have a dog in this fight. but it’s just not fair to these girls to have to start at the bottom of the hill and buford start halfway up. rights right and wrongs wrong. just because a hearts broken doesn’t mean it stops beating. just saying.


March 14th, 2010
10:26 pm

Todd, You said it all– When you said The Elite Players Move To The Best School that will give them the Most Rxposure, and best chance to Win A Championship. HERE lies the state-wide problem. The level playing field fir the rest if the state does not exist. You may have a non-metro winner , but not cobsistently-year after year. It simply is not fair to the rest of Georgia; because we are not as large as Atlanta Metro; therefore; we do not have the Talent pool to Cherry Pick from….It’s the same old story -year after year, and the great GHSA Will Not Do anything to change this horrible situation…..No point in bumping my gums or for that matter no point for anyone else to say anything; because it is futile.Georgia highschool basketball will never be like it should be….Why even continue to play….Talent wins chanpionships….!!!!

Todd Holcomb

March 14th, 2010
10:29 pm

If the GHSA were to force transfers to sit out a year, lawsuits would follow. If there are two things the GHSA avoids with passion, it’s lawsuits and the legislature. The GHSA’s W-L record against those two things is not good, and the courts can be expensive.

Regarding alleged illegal transfers, here’s the dilemma as I see it: If the GHSA took a more active role in investigating, that might require hiring a full-time investigator whose job would be to chase down every complaint and rumor. That’s a lot of money to pay in tough economic times for somebody who often would be on a wild goose chase. Therefore, the GHSA sets a minimum criteria for what it will investigate, putting much of the burden of proof on member schools. (Remember that the GHSA is an association of schools and their principals, not an association of teams and their coaches and fans.) My experience is that schools (principals, superintendents) don’t care enough about illegal transfers to do anything about it. They rarely register a complaint. They might not like what they think another school is doing, but they’ve got more important (academic) things to worry about than whether another school is following the rules as it applies to athletics. The only thing that would move the GHSA on this issue, IMO, is superintendents and the legislature. I don’t foresee change.

hind tit

March 14th, 2010
10:38 pm

legend: i agree 100% and as for buford, it’s a city school and players transfer their just like they do everywhere else. i know a girl that’s tranfering there next year. she’s head and shoulders above evertbody else so she’ll standout. by the way, she’s coming from another county to but they get around that by renting a house there and receiving their mail there. this has been going on for years. you don’t win back to back championships in one sport and more than that in another without something going on.


March 14th, 2010
10:40 pm

I agree with the thread about the miserable job the AJC does covering HS basketball compared to the year long stories on football. This is nothing new but this year was extremely bad and the scores were impossible to find 80% of the time. AJC at least give us scores.


March 14th, 2010
10:51 pm

Mays Raider,
The lady raiders are easily in the top three. I mean we beat FP by 16 and Dutchtown by 19 and we only beat Mays by 4 so Mays deserves to be in front of FP and DTown. I’m guessing the only reason Todd put them third and fourth is because they got into the final four on very weak schedules.


March 14th, 2010
10:54 pm

“These private schools are only hurting the futures of these kids” ???????? Are you kidding? What the #&@! are government schools doing? 99% of these kids will never go beyond college athletics and you are saying private schools are hurting their futures! Oh boy…..

hind tit

March 14th, 2010
11:03 pm

the ajc could report on alot of what’s going on in highschool sports a for as what’s underhanded or not as for as players moving around. do a little investagative reporting on some of this activity,stur up a little stink,ask a few questions,lookat a few records,checkout some addresses. surly you have a coffee boy around there that has some spare time that would just love to have a shot a big story.


March 14th, 2010
11:43 pm

It’s also a well know but little talked about fact that certain public high schools actively recruit players for their schools. Its very unfair..but nothing will ever be done about it.


March 14th, 2010
11:48 pm

Albany schools has no complaints we have 3 schools in the AAA boys rankings Westover Monroe and Dougherty They just have to develop more of a perimeter game they have the heart just got to make there shots


March 14th, 2010
11:51 pm

Atl albany is going to get a championship pretty soon in AAA

[...] Original post: Final rankings: Why did metro Atlanta win all 10? | Prep Zone: AJC … [...]


March 15th, 2010
12:21 am



March 15th, 2010
12:26 am


hind tit

March 15th, 2010
12:57 am

like i said i don’t have a dog in this fight but when but when certain schools hoard up all the good players because their rich daddy buys or rents a house in that district is the same thing as stealing. you see the prodaddys are multipling and it’s getting worse every year. what it amounts to is the best teams money can buy. it can’t be denied everybody sees who sits in the stands.


March 15th, 2010
1:08 am

The only objection I would have against recruiting is if a school was paying a family to send their child to their school. Other than that I have no complaint if a parent feel that their child has a better chance of getting a scholarship and a better chance of furthering their athletic career at a certain school that is their choice. So you guys want to penalize a child because yall are a bunch of sore losers. Come on get a life.

Legend of Len Barker

March 15th, 2010
1:21 am

So, the playing field is going to remain unlevel for a long, long time. Everyone else is essentially wasting their money by even entering state tournaments. The travel costs are quite high – Evans had to travel to Bainbridge for a second round game – and there is zero chance of a trophy at the end, unless it’s the runner-up trophy. And because of legal fears, the GHSA will never do anything to counteract the real controlling force in the state, the AAU.

I don’t see any threat to the tournaments, though, as several of the traditional football powerhouses in the southern half of the state believe they are still competitive. And as they are traditionally the athletic directors, nothing will change.

Don’t know about anyone else, but it’s killing my passion for postseason basketball.

hind tit

March 15th, 2010
1:29 am

what about the kids that are penalized that live in that district and don’t make the team because that school loads up with all the good players. like i said it’s the same thing as stealing but their stealing from the kids. what it amounts to is their kids making it to the pros no matter who they step on to get there. it’s all about all the kids not just a select few. if your a good ball player you’ll be seen anywhere you play. we don’t live in the dark ages anymore.


March 15th, 2010
3:12 am

Love the points given Holcomb. I’m a former resident of Thomasville, and let’s face it. Who would choose a small town where there isn’t much exposure in basketball over Atlanta? I gurantee if some of those players from THS had the chance to play for teams that are consistently winning championships, getting great exposure, and sending players to D-1 schools, they would. It’s just the nature of the beast. Money talks. And with the hard economic times we are currently going through, money is yelling. But what I love the most is when a homegrown coach can take homegrown talent and make a winning product.

And for SKILLS ALL DAY. This is a blog where opinions are welcomed, even yours.


March 15th, 2010
9:46 am

The Rabun County girls issue is big – they play one night at their house in Clayton, the next day have to drive to Dalton to play Buford – that’s about 3 tough hours on the bus for a follow up game – Buford got the day break and had maybe a little over an hour to get there – I know “them’s the breaks” but it seems GHSA could have done a better job of scheduling a AA quarters setting somewhere else – Northwest Georgia has very few AA teams – most everyone is AAA or above – kind of a senseless thing to put those schools at such a disadvantage – no fans, no nothing – takes the fun out of seeing the local teams get a fair shot in the tourney when it’s held in a place that has no AA team representation.


March 15th, 2010
9:55 am

Folks the transfer issue is very old. In the 80’s and 90’s it was an issue with a different set of schools (i.e. Douglas). As I understand it, a parent can provide a a sworn statement listing an address within the district as their residence. Nothing can be done from there…it’s going to continue.