Class AA boys basketball preview

Region 1

The lineup: Division A — Brooks County, Early County, Pelham, Thomasville, Berrien, Cook, Fitzgerald

Teams to watch: Thomasville, Early, Brooks, Cook

Players to watch: Malkom Parrish (Brooks), Tim Rose (Brooks)

Strength of region: 2

Last season: Early and Thomasville reached the second round.

The skinny: Early and Thomasville lost several players to graduation, and Cook always is disciplined under coach Tommy Blackshear.

Teams that could win state: None.

Region 2

The lineup: Division A — Atkinson County, Bacon County, Jeff Davis, Toombs County, Vidalia; Division B — Benedictine, Bryan County, Long County, McIntosh County Academy, Metter, St. Vincents

Teams to watch: McIntosh, Long County, Vidalia

Players to watch: Trevon Scott (McIntosh), Ramel Thompkins (Vidalia), Tomond Hampton (Toombs County)

Strength of region: 3

Last season: Vidalia made the semifinals against Manchester.

The skinny: Vidalia graduated four, but return 11 in a region that’s rebuilding with five new teams.

Teams that could win state: Vidalia

Region 3

The lineup: Division A — Dublin, East Laurens, Josey; Division B — Harlem, Laney, Screven County, Westside-Augusta

Teams to watch: Laney, Josey, Westside-Augusta

Players to watch: Frank Booker (Westside-Augusta), Kyle Doyle (Josey), Rashad Hughley (Screven County)

Strength of region: 4

Last season: Laney won AA by beating Manchester.

The skinny: Laney has a habit of knocking on the door with appearances in the Final Four and finally barged in with its first title last season. Screven could be a dark horse, despite having a lot of sophomores and juniors.

Teams that could win state: Screven, Laney

Region 4

The lineup: Division A — Bleckley County, Crawford County, Macon County, Taylor County, Lamar County, Monticello, Northeast, Putnam County

Teams to watch: Taylor County, Northeast, Bleckley

Players to watch: DaMario Beck (Bleckley), Rydelalous Taylor (Bleckley)

Strength of region: 2

Last season: Taylor reached the quarterfinals, and Bleckley the second round.

The skinny: Crawford, Taylor and Lamar are familiar with one another, but Bleckley is barging in from the outside, seeking respect.

Teams that could win state: Taylor

Region 5

The lineup: Division A — Chattahoochee County, Jordan, Kendrick, Manchester, Spencer; Division B — Bowdon, Bremen, Heard County, Temple

Teams to watch: Manchester, Spencer

Players to watch: Quin Prather (Manchester), Deandre Hubbard (Spencer)

Strength of region: 4

Last season: Manchester lost to Laney in the final, and Jordan made the semifinals.

The skinny: This region should be rich in talent, particularly with Jordan coming off a semifinal appearance and Manchester having reached the postseason 10 straight times.

Teams that could win state: Jordan, Manchester

Region 6

The lineup: Greater Atlanta Christian, Hapeville Charter, Lovett, Wesleyan, Westminster

Teams to watch: GAC, Hapeville Charter

Players to watch: Delano Spencer (GAC), Joe Bridges (Westminster), Isaiah Wilkins (GAC)

Strength of region: 4

Last season: Wesleyan reached the second round in Class A and GAC the third, where they it lost by two to Manchester.

The skinny: GAC, state winners two of the last three seasons, has three starters back and returns four of its top six, but graduated are Robert Armstrong, now at Georgia College, and Cole Hobbs, now at Kennesaw State. GAC’s Jaye Stackhouse transferred to North Gwinnett, and Lovett lost Noah Dickerson, who went to North Atlanta. Wesleyan is under new leadership with first-year coach Ryan Hodges.

Teams that could win state: GAC

Region 7

The lineup: Division A — Calhoun, Dade County, Murray County, Armuchee, Chattooga, Coosa, Model, Pepperell

Teams to watch: Dade, Calhoun, Coosa

Players to watch: Cole Birchfield (Dade), Davy Fisher (Model), Darrius Feugh (Pepperell)

Strength of region: 3

Last season: Coosa reached the second round against Jordan.

The skinny: The region is rebuilding with young players and new coaches. Model coach Jacob Travis came from Adairsville, and Pepperell coach Skip Matherly came from Wesleyan.

Teams that could win state: None

Region 8

The lineup: Division A — Greene County, Oglethorpe County, Social Circle, Washington-Wilkes; Division B — Jefferson, Rabun County, Riverside Military, Union County

Teams to watch: Jefferson, Rabun

Players to watch: Bryant Sherriffs (Jefferson), Clint Scott (Rabun)

Strength of region: 2

Last season: Jefferson got to the second round and Rabun County the first round.

The skinny: Consensus is this region should be highly competitive, yet rather balanced with no team running away from the field.

Teams that could win state: None

2 comments Add your comment

lndian man

November 7th, 2012
11:58 pm

vidalia was rank 1# a lot last year in the regular season and made it the semifinals against a smaller but quicker manchester team l think last year journey to the final four in macon will come over to this year team by not just getting to macon but winning the championship this year vidalia returns alot of talent back to seal the deal this time out !!!!!!!!!! go lndians!!!!!!!!!!

Augustabred

November 8th, 2012
8:39 am

In reference to Josey in region 3; Kyle Doyle transferred to Buford. Go figure!