Boys basketball rankings: GAC new No. 1 in AA after Manchester loss

Greater Atlanta Christian is the new No. 1 team in Class A after Manchester lost its first game since Christmas on Tuesday to Spencer 92-88.

Really like Norcross in Class AAAAAA. The Blue Devils lost some early games while not at full strength that must be considered in the rankings but won’t mean a thing in the region and state tournaments. In other words, Norcross might be emerging as the team to beat in Class AAAAAA. What do you think?

Here the rankings entering the final week of the regular season:


1. Tift County (18-4)

2. North Cobb (20-4)

3. Shiloh (18-5)

4. Norcross (17-6)

5. North Gwinnett (18-5)

6. Hillgrove (20-3)

7. Wheeler (16-6)

8. Westlake (20-4)

9. Chattahoochee (18-5)

10. Peachtree Ridge (15-8)

Notes: No. 4 Norcross has won seven straight during which the Blue Devils have beaten No. 5 North Gwinnett twice, No. 10 Peachtree Ridge once and DeMatha (Md.) once. … Previous No. 4 (now No. 10) Peachtree Ridge lost road games to No. 4 Norcross and No. 5 North Gwinnett last week. … Previous No. 7 Archer is out of the rankings after losing to Parkview 62-50 on Tuesday in the upset of the week. Parkview (3-21) had lost 14 straight region games. Archer can force a tie for first in Region 8 with a victory over No. 3 Shiloh on Friday at Shiloh. … New No. 7 Wheeler survived in overtime Saturday against Berkmar, winning 66-63. … New to the Top 10 is No. 9 Chattahoochee, winners of 12 straight games and 11-0 since New Year’s Day. … Coffee (16-5) would’ve entered the Top 10 this week – but lost to Brunswick 84-65 on Saturday. Coffee had won six straight and avenged four of its first five losses, including one to No. 1 Tift County.


1. Miller Grove (21-3)

2. Allatoona (19-5)

3. Effingham County (19-4)

4. Mays (16-5)

5. Tucker (16-7)

6. Mount Zion-Jonesboro (18-5)

7. Northside-Columbus (19-4)

8. Lithia Springs (18-6)

9. Sequoyah (18-6)

10. Stephenson (12-10)

Notes: No. 1 Miller Grove beat previous No. 2 Mays 64-49 on Friday. … No. 7 Northside-Columbus beat previous No. 10 Bainbridge 52-44 on Friday and moved into the rankings. The Maxwell Ratings already had Northside at No. 5. … Bainbridge dropped out of the rankings after losing a second time last week, to Hardaway 63-52. … No. 6 Mount Zion plays at Drew on Tuesday for the Subregion A title of Region 4. … Rough week for previous No. 5 Lithia Springs, which lost to New Manchester 63-59 and Douglas County 115-105, but the Lions dropped only to No. 8. … Previous No. 7 Sequoyah lost to North Springs 63-62 on Friday but dropped only two spots because of the rash of upsets in this class last week. … Previous No. 8 McIntosh lost to Creekside 61-47 on Tuesday and Whitewater 63-60 on Friday and dropped out. … Ten-loss Stephenson got the 10th spot after beating North Atlanta in a game between strong Region 6’s No. 4 and No. 5 teams on Friday. No other classification has more trouble than this one in finding teams that can seize and maintain a Top 10 resume. The previous Top 10 suffered eight losses last week.

Class AAAA

1. Columbia (20-2)

2. Marist (18-2)

3. Eagle’s Landing (19-5)

4. Glenn Hills (22-1)

5. Jonesboro (19-4)

6. South Atlanta (18-4)

7. Statesboro (21-3)

8. Monroe (19-3)

9. Westover (16-5)

10. Grady (16-6)

Notes: No. 1 Columbia plays at No. 2 Marist on Tuesday. Columbia won the first meeting 46-56 on Jan. 12. … Previous No. 5 (now No. 8) Monroe (19-3) was upset by Class A Terrell County 48-47 in overtime on Friday. Monroe’s only losses had been to Luella (AAAAAA) and Oakland Park Northeast (Florida). Terrell County entered 8-10. … Previous No. 7 (now No. 10) Grady lost to Washington 47-46 on Tuesday.  Grady plays at No. 6 South Atlanta on Friday. Grady won the first meeting 72-70 on Jan. 15.  … On the brink of the Top 10 are Westside-Macon (18-5), leader of Region 2; and Shaw (15-6), leader of Region 5.

Class AAA

1. Cartersville (22-0)

2. Buford (17-5)

3. Johnson-Savannah (17-5)

4. Savannah (19-3)

5. Morgan County (18-5)

6. Washington County (19-4)

7. North Hall (21-2)

8. Woodward Academy (18-4)

9. Thomson (15-5)

10. Dawson County (20-3)

Notes: No. 1 Cartersville can become the only boys team in Georgia to complete a perfect regular season with victories this week at Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe, vs. Gordon Central and at North Murray. Cartersville has beaten each by 17 or more points. … No. 2 Buford beat No. 10 Dawson County 52-38 on Friday. … No. 7 North Hall plays both next week – Dawson on Tuesday, Buford on Friday, both on the road. … No. 6 Washington County beat previous No. 8 (now No. 9) Thomson 56-44 on Friday to take the lead in Region 3. … No. 8 Woodward Academy is back in the rankings after wins over previous No. 7 Cedar Grove 49-44 on Tuesday and former Top 10 team St. Pius 40-38 on Friday. Cedar Grove dropped out.

Class AA

1. Greater Atlanta Christian (21-3)

2. Vidalia (22-1)

3. Bleckley County (21-2)

4. Westside-Augusta (16-3)

5. Manchester (20-3)

6. Laney (15-6)

7. Dublin (17-6)

8. Jordan (13-5)

9. Pelham (16-7)

10. McIntosh County Academy (15-8)

Notes: Previous No. 1 Manchester lost its first game since Christmas on Tuesday to Spencer 92-88. … The new No. 1, Greater Atlanta Christian, has no losses to Georgia teams below Class AAAA. … No. 4 Bleckley County beat previous No. 9 Taylor County 66-59 on Tuesday to clinch a No. 1 seed in Region 4.  … No. 5 Westside beat previous No. 6 Laney 75-68 on Friday. Westside plays No. 10 Thomson of AAA on Friday. Laney plays No. 7 Dublin on Friday. … Dublin lost to No. 4 Wilkinson County of Class A 79-72 on Tuesday. … Previous No. 6 (now No. 8) Jordan lost to Kendrick 92-88 on Tuesday.  Taylor County dropped out. No. 10 McIntosh County Academy moved in.

Class A

1. North Cobb Christian (20-2)

2. Wilkinson County (21-1)

3. W.D. Mohammed (21-1)

4. Mitchell County (20-3)

5. Greenforest Christian (18-4)

6. Athens Christian (17-3)

7. Turner County (17-4)

8. Aquinas (17-6)

9. Wilcox County (18-3)

10. Excel Christian (23-1)

Notes: No. 2 Wilkinson County moved up two spots after beating No. 7 Dublin of AA 79-72 on Tuesday. Wilco then beat First Presbyterian Day 112-104 on Friday. … Previous No. 3 Athens Christian lost to Hebron Christian 52-40 on Tuesday in a startling upset. Hebron is 7-14. … No. 4 Mitchell County beat previous No. 7 Seminole County 67-41 on Friday and clinched the No. 1 seed in Region 1. Mitchell needed overtime to beat Seminole the first time they played. Seminole also lost to Early County last week and dropped from the rankings. … No. 10 Excel Christian joins the Top 10.

43 comments Add your comment

Marist Bball fan

February 3rd, 2013
11:15 am

Correction….Columbia only beat Marist by 1 point in their first meeting earlier this year. Marist lead the entire game until turnovers and a very good last second play gave Columbia the win. Should be a good game.

Hubert Green

February 3rd, 2013
11:49 am

Norcross and Tift are the two teams to beat in AAAAAA. GAC has performed remarkably well considering they lost their leading scorer at mid season due to grades. Miller Grove does not look like the same team that lost to McEachern in their first game; much improved. I would like to see less classifications, even only one. A state champion should be just that, a state champion. There are only 63 schools in AAAAAA. Out of that number, 15 only care about football, 15 are playing rec ball; 15 are just not very good, and 15 get more excited about hunting season than basketball. That leaves about an 18 team state tournament. I like what they do in Kentucky. Sweet 16 is a big deal.


February 3rd, 2013
12:02 pm


15 + 15 + 15 +15 + 18 = 63?


February 3rd, 2013
1:49 pm

Re-Norcross. Yeah, at the beginning of the season it much have been tough to get all their new recruits working together.


February 3rd, 2013
2:12 pm

Whether you win by 1 or 100, what’s the difference Marist.

Marietta fan

February 3rd, 2013
2:44 pm

Just an honest observation here seeing both teams twice this year. I think think North Cobb is overated and Hillgrove is underrated. North Cobb has had two close calls against Marietta this year and another last night against South Cobb. I think they are top 10 caliber, but not #2. I guess Hillgrove is a little lower since North Cobb beat them twice, but they’ve blown out most of their other opponents. We’ll see how it turns out come region tournament time. I just hope my team can make a run

Marist Bball Fan

February 3rd, 2013
4:07 pm

G-dub: only difference in the expecation for the next game. As I said it should be a good game….wouldn’t have that same expectation if Marist lost by 10…or 100.

Todd Holcomb

February 3rd, 2013
4:55 pm

Thanks for catch on the Marist score. Fixed. …

An all-class tournament is certainly viable given that #1 North Cobb Christian has beaten the #2 team in AAAAAA in a regular-season game.

The downside of an all-class tourney, or at least some might argue, is that it would accelerate the trend of high-profile transfers. You’d have 430 teams, and the only chance any would have of winning ‘the’ state title would be to attract multiple D-1 players that didn’t start there.

I wonder what would happen if the GHSA formed a separate division (open class) for the elite basketball programs. It could be voluntary, but peer pressure would force Miller Grove and Columbia and GAC and Whitefield Academy, etc., to join. It would be for programs that played national schedules.

That way, we have a true state champion, but there’s still a place for schools such as Vidalia to win a legit championship among comparable-size schools.

What do you think, HG?

Todd Holcomb

February 3rd, 2013
4:57 pm

re: North Cobb – Without Saxon Steele, it’s going to be a tough road for North Cobb. But they’re ranked on their results, not their potential from this point on. They’ve been pretty solid from the start.


February 3rd, 2013
5:23 pm

6A: Tift County and Norcross are the two heavy favorites. However, if they both win their region championships they will be on the same side of the bracket and could meet in the final four. Tift got a nice boost this offseason with the addition of 6′7 Brannen Green whos headed to Kansas next year. Not sure who else they got but I’ve heard they got a few. Norcross got a nice boost this offseason with the addition of 6′7 Terrence Odonahue whos headed to Charleston next year, 6′6 Lorenzo Carter, 6′5 Chris Hernden, 6′5 Thomas Cameron, 6′4 Andre Chatfield, Khalen Pinkett, and probably others. If these teams dont meet in the semis or the finals then it will be a huge flop for both of them. Wheelers regular season has already been a bust but they have the talent to do some damage in the tournament. They have loads of talent but have not lived up to expectations this year. North Cobb lost Saxon Steele to an injury recently and hes out for the year so they have no chance to win it without him. Shiloh has 7 footer Trayvon Reed but hes not a dominate force on offense. Nate Mason is a good player and they have some other pieces that can play but this team struggles often in a mediocre region. I think they will lose in the 2nd round to either North Gwinnett or Peachtree Ridge. Speaking of North and The Ridge…North has very good guard play and if they’re shooting well they are tough to beat. They have decent size but I think their lack of post play will be what beats them in the tournament. They also have 4 or 5 kids who live with Jerry Stackhouse. How is that legal??? Peachtree Ridge is a team that will be tough to beat. They are up and down but when they’re up they are pretty good. If they can knock down some outside shots they could make a run. They have good size and score well inside but it all depends on their shooting. They will likely have Shiloh or Wheeler in the 2nd round. Hillgrove isnt bad but they dont have much size. The best thing they have going for them is they are playing in the south bracket. I dont see them winning more than 1 or 2 games in the tournament. Westlake has Kejuan Johnson and Tony Bagtas and they make a good duo. They are a contender to make it to the final four but I cant see them making it past that. Again, the best thing they have going for them is that are in the south bracket and need to try and avoid Tift County. Chattahoochee has a nice team but they are in a horrible region that will be nothing like the talent they will have to play in the tournament. They have a good team and are well coached but I dont think they can make a deep run.


February 3rd, 2013
5:24 pm

Should they meet, Norcross will shut Tift down, hold them to 50 or less.


February 3rd, 2013
5:53 pm

Athens Christain lost without Will jackson who is averaging around 30 a game.


February 3rd, 2013
7:30 pm

Every game has the potential to be a good game until they throw the ball up.


February 4th, 2013
7:12 am

Tony, it sounds like you are a Norcross fan and I can respect that, but just like your recent impressive wins against ATL teams, Tift only has four losses and three of those losses came against Nationally tough teams. We did have one hickup against Coffee, but that was because they shot lights out that night, they would have beaten anybody that night and they only beat tift by five 88-83 in their gym. Now the only team in common we have played is Mill Creek which you lost to 63-55 and we beat 75-60, so holding tift to 50 when they average 70 a game will be a tough order. Tift is tough this year, if they meet Norcross it should be fun.


February 4th, 2013
7:59 am


Is ACS a one-man team? I’m asking for real. They beat Hebron by 30 the first time, and lost by 12 without this one kid? Quite a turnaround…

Proof read

February 4th, 2013
9:08 am

“Greater Atlanta Christian is the new No. 1 team in Class A after Manchester lost its first game since Christmas on Tuesday to Spencer 92-88.” GAC is in AA.

All Classification

February 4th, 2013
9:24 am

For the Record, any team can petition to move up in classification if they feel they are not getting the competition they deserve.

Decatur 4 Life

February 4th, 2013
9:30 am

Marist Bball fan

I agree with your evaluation of our first meeting with Marist, the only thing I want to add is that those turnovers you speak of were forced by terrific defensive pressure at the end of the game. The way you describe it kinda sounds like Marist just made unforced errors at the end we had a lil something to do with that, I still expect a heck of a game tomorrow night I know yall will be ready. Good luck to both teams

Decatur 4 Life

February 4th, 2013
9:39 am

Hubert Green

I don’t know if that will work for GA, Kentucky can’t have as many schools as we have in the state. I do agree they need to come with something that puts the championship winners against each other but that would start to get expensive for the GHSA when you think about travel, accomodations, etc.

Decatur 4 Life

February 4th, 2013
10:14 am

All Classification

True, but it has to be a mutual decision from all the coaches. A move in classification affects all the coaches in the building and sports. All it takes is enough coaches to say no regardless of who says yes


February 4th, 2013
10:20 am

Our kids are nicer/better and only lose when the other team employs thugs recruited from other areas and/or cheats in some other way and/or the referees are against us and/or our kids underperfomed. Next I will lay out my convoluted logic for why my team should be rated higher than it is and why we should be excused for every loss due to extenuating circumstances having nothing to do with a talent or gameplan execution differential. [Note to posters: please use some variation of the above formula for all of your posts so we can make this bolg even more devoid of thoughtful interesting posts.]


February 4th, 2013
10:25 am

@hsbball: ACS is not a one-man-team. That game against Hebron was 5 against 7. 5 for ACS and 7 for Hebron(counting the 2 gwinnett county refs). ACS second best player Demetrius McWhorter (Averaging 20 points and 12 rbs a game) got 3 fouls in the first 3 minutes of the game.


February 4th, 2013
10:33 am

Wow, thanks athensbball for using the suggested formula in the very first post on the blog after I posted it!

Mr. Wolverine

February 4th, 2013
10:39 am

MG is definitely a much improved team since game 1. In fact, I say the turning point came at the City of Palms Tournament after the lost to eventual tournament champion Westchester of Los Angeles.

Coach White is doing a great job of creating a consistent contender, this is definitely a great example of great coaching. This team, which only returned three reserves from last season’s state championship team, is playing at a high level.

With a team that has only two seniors, all I can say is that something special is on the horizon.

@GDub@Decatur4Life.. What’s going on fellas, hope all is well.
You guys should know from last season, that Marist is one of those teams that can beat you. I say they were the only team, outside of SWD, that gave MG fits last season.


February 4th, 2013
10:43 am

GA HS basketball (boys more than girls but not exclusive) is becoming an extension of the AAU season. It makes me sick. This is why college players have no clue about team defense or team offense when they hit campus. Probably 1 out of 10 top players have a clue. The jersey on their back means about 10% of what it used to mean. School pride? Forget it. Really is sickening to what HS sports should be about. I love basketball, have coached at different levels for 40 years, and I’m really sick of it. You guys who live the AAU circuit in the summer will disagree, but this is what has killed the game in my opinion.


February 4th, 2013
10:50 am

@gdub: In an article based on subjective rankings of teams from across the state with very few head to head matchups, I think it would be obvious that there is a HUGE difference between a point differential of 1 point (usually indicates a very even game that either team could have won at the end) and 100 points, especially when two highly ranked teams are involved. Don’t you think Notre Dame would get more credit if they had lost on a last-second field goal as opposed to being pummeled for the entire portion of the game during which the outcome was in any way in question? (I mean, of course, credit from those who don’t just automatically give the golden domers way more credit that they deserve otherwise.) On that topic, I heard that Manti Teo didn’t really miss all those tackles…when it looked like he was grabbing air as the Alabama backs blew by him, he was actually hugging his imaginary girlfriend!

Hubert Green

February 4th, 2013
11:37 am

My math skills have really deteriorated; but my main point is that the competition for a state championship with 7 divisions is weak as skim milk. As for setting up a separate division, yes indeed. I would love to be a part of that. It would be similar to what happens with DeMatha, Gonzaga Prep, et al in Washington DC and Montrose Christian. What I will say is that for public schools to be successful on a national level is remarkable.

Hubert Green

February 4th, 2013
11:39 am

@Mr. Wolverine, Miller Grove did not play in the City of Palms this year; they did last year and went 0-3.

Mr. Wolverine

February 4th, 2013
11:55 am

@Hubert Green
You are correct, they played in City of Palms Tournament in Florida. This season MG played in the Max Preps Holiday Tournament in Palm Springs, CA, where the team went 3-1 in a highly competitive tournament.

So you can see where the error came from (Palms).

As for the debate to have one champion in all classification probably cannot happen because the state has so many school.

Eagles Fans

February 4th, 2013
12:01 pm

I wish Ga would come up with a system like they have in Chicago, where they take the champions from all the classes and they meet to crown a true state champion, it would work in Ga because there is 6 classes now, and another thing to Marist fans this was suppose to be a down year for Columbia with Taj being the only person coming back and Coach leaving but you still gotta earn it because they won’t give it to you


February 4th, 2013
12:08 pm

In regards to Norcross losses at the beginning of the year, had NOTHING to do with “recruits” working together…Some of our players were busy winning a state championship in Football, once we secured another championship for Norcross those football/basketball players came on board and we are now on our way to another AAAAAA title


February 4th, 2013
12:36 pm

@Zephanie….right….so the fact that Norcross now has half of Whitefield’s 2012 state champ team starters is just a coincedence….


February 4th, 2013
12:37 pm

@hsball: ACS also kicked one of their starters off the team right before the Hebron game. So they were practically playing without 3 starters the whole game, and ACS only plays about 7 players.


February 4th, 2013
12:56 pm


I wish GHSA had a tournament of champions too. This year would be a great year for it, because I don’t see a huge gap between AAAAAA and A. NCCS beat North Cobb. Greenforrest played Norcross closoe. GAC is probably one of the better teams in the state along with Columbia. It would be a lot of fun to watch, anyway. Even in years past when the top teams were mostly in the larger classifications (see Miller Grove and Milton’s super teams of yesteryear) it would still generate a lot of excitement to see the best square off against the best. But it will never happen, not with the GHSA not even allowing one of its own classifications (A) to have a true state champion….


February 4th, 2013
1:05 pm

Thanks Athensbball,

Hope they figure it out before tourney time. I think there are teams out there more talented than Hebron waiting for them if they advance.

Decatur 4 Life

February 4th, 2013
1:30 pm

Mr. Wolverine

Whats up with ya, yeah I knew Marist would be hard to deal with this year but we’re going to keep on truckin trying to get our 4th in a row. I knew coming in this season would be our toughest by far to reach the championship especially with a guard heavy ball club with little post season experience outside of Shamsid -Deen and Crouch (Starting PG & SG) and not enough consistent post play. To me our biggest problems are on defense this season where we’re giving up way too many easy buckets during our opponents half-court sets as well as getting killed on the glass. We were always known for good solid defense and rebounding under Dr. Phil, that’s why we had success in the past. I think we’ll get it together for the region tourney, I hope so because its going to be a WAR at S. Atlanta for the region tournament.

South Georgia Coach

February 4th, 2013
5:45 pm

Can you offer any specifics to support your claim? Or are you just simply repeating what you’ve heard national journalist and commentators claim? According to your remarks, using inductive reasoning then that means no high school coach in the country is a good coach. Since AAU is the the reason no one in college can play team defense or team offense. I have to counter that and ask does that mean that high school coaches arent good enough to fix the bad habits that these players are supposedly picking up in AAU? Seriously?

the truth

February 5th, 2013
12:02 am

High school sports has changed folks. It is no longer about the high school, it is about what advantage can a kid get to get a scholarship to a school that will either give him a chance to get to the pro level and, for the intelligent families, will provide a kid with an education. I would not hesitate to move my son into a school district the will give him the best opportunity to showcase his talents, a school that is consistent getting kids scholarships to college. The total cost to go to college is about $45,000 a year and rising. I hope my son is smart enough to earn his way academically, but if he is not and he has the talent to excel in football or basketball you better believe I will do everything I can to put him in a position to be noticed.

Greg Mack

February 5th, 2013
9:06 am

Idea – Championship Series – 6 classifications with 2 wildcard voted in by the coaches of the 6 champions – then the 8 coaches submit their rankings of the 8 teams for a bracket – over a weekend play 4 games on Friday, 2 on Saturday and championship game on Sunday – team expenses are reimbursed from receipts of the 7 games.

Andre Elam

February 5th, 2013
10:27 am


If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Westlake play this season I would like to invite you to their final game on Friday against Langston Hughes. This team is loaded with Juniors and Sophomores who can flat out ball. The only seniors on the team is Tony Bagatas and Andre Elam. Westlake has a legit 9-10 man deep rotation. They are on a 10 game winning streak and they are winning by an average margin of 21 points a game. The are currently 20-4 and the 4 losses was by a total of 18 pts (2 pts to Morrow, 2 pts to Alcovy, 5 pts to Douglas County and 9 pts to Ridgeway HS, Tenn.). Westlake have some very quality wins along the way they have beaten Buford, Milton, Stephenson, North Clayton and Riverdale to name a few. Westlake played Tift County at GA Tech summer camp albeit without Brannen Greene and beat them with ease, but we didn’t have KeJuan Johnson on the team at that time. Westlake is playing like a well oiled machine right now, so it’s going to be a tough out for whoever gets the MIGHTY LIONS this year!!!!!!!!!


February 5th, 2013
10:57 am

Andre Elam – I said “Westlake has Kejuan Johnson and Tony Bagtas and they make a good duo. They are a contender to make it to the final four but I cant see them making it past that.” Thats not so bad is it? I didnt say they would get knocked out in the region tournament. I just feel like they would need to avoid Tift and Norcross to make it to the championship game. Since January 11th Westlake is on a 10 game win streak. But, 8 of those are region wins and nobody else in that region is a title contender. The 2 non region games are against teams with a combined 19-27 record. I cant give much credit to wins that happened in November either. Westlake is having a good year but I’m just not ready to say that they’re one of the teams with a good shot at winning at all.

Andre Elam

February 5th, 2013
12:08 pm

Mr. Will

That’s why they the game….remember that old saying. Lastly, we count WINS even the ones in November.


February 6th, 2013
2:35 pm

@ Will really? North Cobb doesn’t have a chance with out Saxon Steele? Well seeing how they’ve won every game except 1 and several blow outs since he got injured im not sure why they don’t have a chance with out him. They’ve beaten Peachtree Ridge with out Neff, they’ve beaten Hillgrove by 11 with out Steele. This team has 8 seniors that carried this team to the elite 8 last year. They have players stepping up and filling those spots. NC plays well disciplined basketball, a lot better than a lot of these high ranked teams with top recruits that just rely on talent. The only game North Cobb played where they didnt have a chance to win was NCCS. They weren’t ready and it showed. North Cobb will play Tift in the 3rd round of the state playoffs if everything goes right. The winner of that game will win state.