Friday’s edition of 10@10 … Looks like it was closer to 10 at 11, but read on -
1. The computer Maxwell Ratings for girls were published late Thursday, and North Gwinnett is at the top of AAAAAA and all classes. Here’s the top 10 for the highest class. Maxwell views North Gwinnett as a full 22 points better than No. 10 Mill Creek and 14 better than No. 4 Alpharetta. In other words, there are only three teams that Maxwell feels has a decent chance of winning state – North, Norcross and Parkview.
1. North Gwinnett (20-1) SOS: 76.13 Rating: 100.92
2. Norcross (18-4) SOS: 78.92 Rating: 96.9
3. Parkview (22-0) SOS: 59.74 Rating: 93.44
4. Alpharetta (18-4) SOS: 72.18 Rating: 86.77
5. North Cobb (19-3) SOS: 65.02 Rating: 84.93
6. Duluth (15-7) SOS: 73.37 Rating: 83.46
7. Woodstock (16-5) SOS: 66.65 Rating: 81.15
8. Cherokee (20-1) SOS: 60.89 Rating: 80.28
9. North Forsyth (19-3) SOS: 61.25 Rating: 79.11
10. Mill Creek (14-11) SOS: 76.26 Rating: 78.91
2. Langston Hughes’ girls can clinch the No. 1 seed in 3-AAAAAA with a victory at home tonight (Friday) against Douglas County. The AJC’s Chip Saye will cover that game. Hughes, a four-year-old school, was 8-16 last season and lost 14 of its last 16 games. This season, Hughes was won 12 straight. No player on the team averages more than Tia Jones’ 9.5 points. Si’taraia Nelloms averages 9.4. Kennya Simms, a freshman, averages 8.9. There are 11 players who have scored at least 30 points. Hughes’ coach is Borato Broughton.
3. The Hughes-Douglas County game is one of two this weekend that could clinch a No. 1 seed. Saturday, fourth-ranked Cherokee (19-1, 9-0) plays at sixth-ranked Woodstock (14-5, 8-1) in Region 5. The Maxwell Ratings suggest that should be about a one-point game.
4. Fourth-ranked Peachtree Ridge (15-7) plays at fifth-ranked Norcross (16-7) on Friday in a boys game that figures to decide the No. 1 seed for the Region 7-AAAAAA tournament, which starts Feb. 11. Both are 11-2 in region play. Peachtree Ridge hopes to have its coach back on the sidelines. Keith Arrington was unable to coach Tuesday against sixth-ranked North Gwinnett, a 54-49 road loss, because of the flu. Assistant Matt Stratemeyer, a former Peachtree Ridge player, found out about 3:30 p.m. that he would be calling the plays.
5. This is news a couple of weeks old, but worth noting. Hillgrove this month named its main gymnasium in honor of Sheryl Fowler, the coach who led the girls team to the Class AAAAA final last season before retirning. A Cobb native, Fowler coached at Campbell and McEachern before joining Hillgrove upon its opening in 2006.
6. Not enough teams report statistics, but the leading boys scorer in Class AAAAAA is probably Walton’s Rico Overall, at 26.5 points per game. Tift’s Brannen Greene, a Kansas signee, is averaging 23.9 points per game and 2.6 3-pointers. The top girls scorer on record in the highest class is junior Andreona Keys of Roswell at 24.8.
7. Speading of Tift, the Blue Devils (17-4, 7-1) can take a big step toward clinching the No. 1 seed in Region 1 with a victory Saturday against Valdosta (15-6, 7-2). Valdosta has lost its last two region games to Lowndes (64-60) and Coffee (55-47). That came soon after Valdosta made a brief appearance in the Top 10. Coffee appears to be the bigger threat to Tift.
8. Milton plays at Wheeler in a boys game tonight. It won’t be the same without David Boyd at courtside for Milton, but it’s still Milton-Wheeler.
9. The Region 8 boys race got crazy on Tuesday when Parkview – which had lost eight straight games, 14 in region play – stunned first-place (now second-place) Archer (18-5, 11-3) 62-50. Archer plays at Shiloh (16-5, 10-2) on Feb. 8, so that might decide it. Shiloh is playing Parkview tonight (Friday).
10. The Class AAAAAA championship games will be played Saturday, March 9, at the Macon Centreplex, the girls at 7 p.m., the boys at 8:45 p.m. The semifinals will be played March 2 at Georgia Tech. This will be the first time that the highest classification title games are held somewhere other than the Gwinnett Arena since 2003, when Wheeler beat Jonesboro (boys) and Parkview beat Stephenson (girls) at Tech.