Class AA girls basketball preview

Region 1

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

Teams to watch: Brooks County, Thomasville

Players to watch: Carrie Griffin (Brooks), Alicia Gertman (Brooks) Khabriya Brown (Thomasville)

Strength of region: 3

Last season: Brooks reached the semifinals, and Pelham reached the Class A quarterfinals.

The skinny: Brooks is coming off its second region title in school history and looks to reach state play a fifth straight time.

Teams that could win state: Brooks, Pelham

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: Vidalia, Bryan, Jeff Davis, McIntosh

Players to watch: Shakedra Robinson (Jeff Davis), Chassidy Byrd (Vidalia), Makhala Jackson (McIntosh), Trinity Hamm (Vidalia)

Strength of region: 3

Last season: Jeff Davis, Vidalia and Bryan went to the first round.

The skinny: Jeff Davis is coming off a hot 25-3 record last season, and Vidalia brings experience of six consecutive playoff appearances. Similarly, Bryan County is looking for a fourth consecutive state appearance.

Teams that could win state: None.

Region 3

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

Teams to watch: Laney, Westside-Augusta

Players to watch: Azia Gibson (Westside), Simmone Smith (Laney), Jahmia Bradley (Westside)

Strength of region: 4

Last season: Laney reached the semifinals in AA, as did Westside Augusta in AAA.

The skinny: Laney likely is a team to beat, coming off a 12th consecutive postseason appearance under decades-long coach Otis Smart and having won 26 straight at one point last season. Westside undoubtedly wants to avenge losing in the semifinals.

Teams that could win state: Laney, Westside

Region 4

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

Teams to watch: Taylor, Crawford

Players to watch: Ivey Slaughter (Crawford), Mykia Harris (Macon County)

Strength of region: 3

Last season: Taylor reached the semifinals in A and Putnam the quarterfinals in AA.

The skinny: Taylor County knows how to get it done with 10 state championships. Putnam has only two, but the experience of seven consecutive state tournament appearances.

Teams that could win state: Taylor, Putnam

Region 5

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

Teams to watch: Heard, Bremen

Players to watch: Jemeka Parks (Heard), Kalia Johnson (Bremen), Jordan Hill (Bremen)

Strength of region: 2

Last season: Heard County reached the quarterfinals against Buford, and Bremen made the second round in Class A against Wesleyan.

The skinny: Bremen and Heard both come wanting revenge, having been eliminated rather early in the playoffs by teams that have won 12 state championships in the last 11 seasons.

Teams that could win state: None

Region 6

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

Teams to watch: Lovett, Wesleyan, GAC

Players to watch: Jazmine Lester (Westminster), Brianna Cummings (GAC), Sydni Means (GAC), Sydney Umeri (Lovett), Taylor Blackmon (Wesleyan), Brittany Stevens (Wesleyan)

Strength of region: 5

Last season: Lovett beat Buford to win AA; Wesleyan turned back Southwest Atlanta Christian for a fourth straight Class A title.

The skinny: GAC returns four starters and five of its top six players from last year’s team that finished 21-8. Lovett returns three, and Wesleyan already has three committed to play in college.

Teams that could win state: Wesleyan, GAC, Lovett

Region 7

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

Teams to watch: Calhoun, Dade, Model

Players to watch: Taylor Palmer (Calhoun), Ansley Chilton (Dade), Timia Reynolds (Model)

Strength of region: 3

Last season: Model lost to eventual state champion Lovett in the quarterfinals, and Calhoun made the second round.

The skinny: Calhoun’s likely the team to beat, but look out for Model and Dade also.

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, Union County

Teams to watch: Washington-Wilkes, Union, Rabun

Players to watch: Savannah Reeves (Rabun County), Lauren Chafin (Washington-Wilkes)

Strength of region: 2

Last season: Rabun and Union got to the first round, as did Washington-Wilkes in Class A.

The skinny: Rabun is on a good run, having reached state the last four years straight. Union will make things competitive, too, having reached the postseason four of the last five seasons.

Teams that could win state: None.

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November 12th, 2012
11:30 am