The AJC’s first rankings since preseason will come out Sunday as teams get into the heart of their regions schedules. Here’s a look at some contenders for top-five rankings, if not the No. 1 ranking, in Class AAAAAA.
Who else is playing like a Top 10 team? Let us know what we’re missing.
- Archer is 11-2 and leads Region 8 with a 6-0 record, but a loss last week to Valdosta, 91-75, was a setback. Archer has big games on Friday at Dacula (9-3) and on Tuesday at home against Shiloh (10-1)
- North Cobb is 11-2 and went 2-1 at the Nike/Upward Classic in Spartburg, S.C., with wins over Rock Hill and Peachtree Ridge and a loss to eventual champion Dorman. Rock Hill is ranked No. 8 overall in South Carolina by MaxPreps. Dorman is No. 4.
- North Gwinnett is 10-2 and had holiday wins over North Florida Educational Institute of Florida and Vance of North Carolina, which were ranked in the top 20 overall in their states by MaxPreps. North reached the final of the Upward Classic in Charlotte and lost to St. Patrick’s (No. 3 overall in New Jersey) 57-48. (Note: The Upward Classic is held in Charlotte and Spartanburg. North Gwinnett went to Charlotte. North Cobb went to Spartanburg).
- Norcross is only 9-5, its most recent loss to Columbia 71-67 last week, but leads Region 7 with a 4-0 record (ahead of North Gwinnett). Football player Lorenzo Carter is back on the hard wood. Terrance O’Donahue, the 6-7 forward who has signed with the College of Charleston, is about to return from knee surgery. But another two-sport star, Myles Autry, is having knee surgery.
- Tift County is unbeaten in Georgia, 8-2 overall, with losses to Long beach Poly of California and Callaway of Mississippi in City of Palms Classic. Tift recently beat 2012 Class AAAAA runner-up Savannah 65-55 and Mill Creek 62-51.
- Worth noting: -Shiloh, ranked No. 7 in preseason, is 9-2 after a surprising loss to Morgan County in the Hoops Overdrive Classic at Centennial. … Wheeler, still not at full strength waiting for players to get back from football and injury, is 7-4 after a 1-2 tournament at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Wheeler beat Spring Valley 71-50 but lost to Hudson Catholic of New Jersey and King of Wisconsin at the Beach Ball Classic of South Carolina. Earlier last month, Wheeler was third in the Chik-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C., with wins over Christ School of North Carolina and Richland Northeast of South Carolina and a semifinal loss to St. John Bosco of California. … Westlake is 8-2 and plays in the Peach State Classic locally beginning Thursday. … Hillgrove is 11-1, its only loss to North Cobb a month ago. Hillgrove won a tourmanet last week somewhere but hasn’t played the toughest schedule. … Campbell coach James Gwyn got his 400th victory last week in the Campbell Holiday Classic. It came in a 67-56 victory over Carver of Atlanta. Campbell is 10-5.
- Cherokee is 12-1 after beating Brock of Texas 39-35 for the championship of KSA Holiday tournament in Orlando.
- North Cobb is 13-1 after finishing third in the Upward Classic, where the Lady Warriors had wins over Spartanburg and Dorman and lost to Millbrook. North Cobb is 6-0 in Region 4, which has four quarterfinal schools from 2012.
- Norcross is 11-2 after losing in the final of the Nike Interstate Shootout in Oregon last weekend to Portland Central Catholic 68-61. Not a bad team, Portland Central has played signed with Tennessee and Stanford.
- North Gwinnett is 11-0 after winning the Naples (Fla.) Holiday Shootout with a 4-0 record. Maryland-committed guard Lexi Brown was named tournament MVP after North beat Hathaway Brown of Ohio 57-50 in the final. Brown scored 18. North trailed by 14 in the first half.
- Parkview is 13-0 coming off a tournament victory in the Shootout in Gainesville. Parkview’s closest game has been a 55-33 victory over Mill Creek (7-4).
Others: Hillgrove is 10-2 but was upset last week by Kell of AAAAA. Hillgrove, the 2012 AAAAA runner-up, also lost to North Cobb. … Alpharetta is 9-2 after losing to undefeated Carver of Montgomery 59-45 in the Dwight Madison tournament in Alabama. Alpharetta beat Blount, Alabama’s No. 13 overall team per MaxPreps, 71-64.