Here’s my 10@10 for Tuesday. Just some random observations and information about basketball in the highest classification.
1. As reported this morning, Morrow has forfeited two games in what Creswell Foy calls an in-house, self-imposed decision. One of the forfeits was to Region 2 rival Newton. That eliminates Morrow (16-8) from getting the No. 1 seed for the region tournament. The Region 2 boys race is the best one going in Class AAAAAA. It probably will come down to the Rockdale County-Lovejoy game Saturday. That game originally was scheduled for December but was moved to accommodate Lovejoy’s run to the football state finals.
2. Region tournaments begin next week statewide. In Class AAAAAA, they will be held at Valdosta (Region 1), Luella (2), East Coweta (3), Marietta (4), Roswell (5), Alpharetta (6), Mill Creek (7) and South Gwinnett (8). AJC.com is planning to post schedules and scores in all 48 regions next week, so stay tuned. That’s 96 boys and girls region tournaments.
3. Are region tournaments more important than ever this season? The GHSA has eliminated the neutral third-round sites that have existed for years in the state tournament. That means third-round games will be played at the home court of the higher-seeded teams. The difference between finishing first and second, or second and third, is more significant than ever. Also note that if two teams that are seeded the same play each other in the quarterfinals, the home team is predetermined on the GHSA’s draw sheet. One example in the boys draw: No. 1-ranked Tift County and No. 2-ranked North Cobb are expected to be in the same quarter of the draw (upper right if you click on the link). If they meet in the quarters, Tift is the home team. No coin flip. Just pack the bus. It’s a 3.5-hour drive.
4. Westlake and North Cobb have clinched berths in the boys state tournament. Westlake’s Region 3 has only six teams, and the top two get byes into the region tournament semifinals. Hughes and Douglas County are tied for second place and hope to get the other bye. North Cobb, which has clinched Region 4, gets a bye into the semifinals. Region 4 has nine teams but elected not to put its regular-season champions at risk of not making the state playoffs.
5. Wheeler and Tift County are close to clinching state-playoff berths. Wheeler would clinch the No. 1 seed tonight (Tuesday) with a victory at Cherokee (15-8, 8-4). The Region 5 regular-season winner gets a first-round bye next week because Region 5 has only seven eligible teams in its tournament. Milton is banned from the post-season. Tift’s boys will be the No. 1 seed in Region 1 with a victory over Colquitt County on Friday or Valdosta on Saturday. Tift has beaten both both 20 points or more. Region 1 has seven teams, so the No. 1 seed gets a bye.
6. In a story in the Journal-Constitution’s print edition this week, we indicated that Langston Hughes’ girls had won a Region 3 championship. It’s really just a regular-season title, meaning the 4-year-old Hughes would be seeded No. 1 in the Region 3 tournament. Hughes coach Borato Broughton was perhaps concerned that his players would be celebrating a championship when the real title is decided next week. Good point.
7. Tift County’s girls can clinch the No. 1 seed and an automatic state-playoff berth with a victory over Colquitt County on Friday. That could make Saturday’s Tift-Valdosta match fairlyl meaninless. Valdosta won the first meeting between the two on Saturday 48-36, ending Tift’s 15-game winning streak.
8. Girls teams that have clinched No. 1 seeds and berths in the state playoffs are Alcovy (2), Luella (3) and North Cobb (4). Also clinching No. 1 seeds, but needing to win a round in the region tournament to make the state playoffs, are Cherokee (5), Alpharetta (6) and Parkview (8). North Gwinnett and Norcross are tied in Region 7. It’s not that significant since the state-playoff seeds are determined in the region tournament.
9. Speaking of Cherokee’s girls, they clinched on Saturday in a showdown with second-place Woodstock, winning 61-58. It was Cherokee’s 16th straight victory.
10. Check back this afternoon for the computer Maxwell Ratings. We’ll post Loren Maxwell’s mathematical rankings of all 800+ boys and girls teams in the state.