Here are some of the top stories in Class AAAA basketball this week:
*Another hot start for Fayette’s boys: The Fayette County boys team, which reached the state semifinals before losing to runner-up Rockdale County last season, is 4-0 after a 73-38 victory over Class AAAAA Stephenson on Saturday. The Tigers opened the season by beating Morrow 82-66, Clarke Central 62-53 and Jonesboro 43-41. Ekene Anachebe, a 6-foot-9 center who has signed with Old Dominion, scored 25 points in the season-opener and is averaging 15.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 7.3 blocks through four games. Anachebe will be joined at Old Dominion by Keenan Palmore, who averaged 20.8 points and 10.3 rebounds for Paideia last season.
*Back to its winning ways: The Salem girls team averaged 23 victories per season and reached the state tournament five times from the 2004-05 season through 2009-10, so last year’s 5-19 record was a big step back. The Seminoles appear to be on the right track this season, opening with five consecutive victories that included lopsided wins against Henry County (57-24), Lanier (55-26) and Woodland-Stockbridge (43-28). A big part of the resurgence is the arrival of Ayanna Mitchell, a 6-foot-2 freshman center. Mitchell had an impressive debut, scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Henry County. She also led the team in scoring with 14 points against Lanier and 15 against Woodland. Salem has a first-year coach in Rochone Dilligard.
*Making way for football: Tucker’s games at Lakeside-DeKalb, originally scheduled for Friday night, have been moved to Saturday because of Tucker’s football game at Northside-Warner Robins in the Class AAAA semifinals on Friday. The boys game will be at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls at 7. Tucker also is scheduled to play a girls/boys doubleheader against Marist at home on Dec. 9 as part of the DeKalb Elite Hardwood Classic, but the Tucker-Marist games will be rescheduled if they conflict with a Tucker appearance in the football state championship game, which will be held at 8 that night at the Georgia Dome. Tucker’s boys and girls will play Miller Grove on Dec. 10 in the Hardwood Classic.