Five unranked girls teams to watch in the postseason

Region tournaments begin this weekend for four of the Class AAAAA regions, and all will be under way by this time next week. Here are five unranked girls teams that could make some noise in the postseason:

*Forest Park: The Panthers were ranked for three weeks in January until they were knocked out by a 65-33 loss to Southwest DeKalb. Still, Forest Park went undefeated in region play and will be a No. 1 seed in the 4-AAAAA tournament. The Panthers have played in five consecutive state tournaments and reached at least the quarterfinals in the past three. Forest Park (18-7) is No. 13 in Class AAAAA in the MaxPreps rankings and No. 11 in the computer Maxwell Ratings.

*Pope: Fifth-ranked Kell, No. 6 Creekview and No. 8 Osborne will be favored to take three of the four state playoff berths from Region 7-AAAAA, leaving at least one spot open for the taking. Pope figures to be in that mix, along with Sprayberry, Northview and Sequoyah. The Greyhounds have eight losses, but all came against either ranked or higher-classification teams. Pope (17-8) is No. 11 in Class AAAAA in the MaxPreps rankings and No. 12 in the Maxwell Ratings.

*Lithia Springs: The Lions hit a rough stretch in the middle of the regular season, losing five of six games (four of which were by seven points or less). But they rebounded with 10 consecutive victories to close the regular season and earned the No. 1 seeds in 5-AAAAA Division B. Lithia Springs (17-7) is No. 15 in Class AAAAA in both the MaxPreps and the Maxwell rankings. Also watch for Paulding County, Villa Rica and Allatoona to be factors in what could be a wide-open 5-AAAAA tournament.

*Clarke Central: The Gladiators have lost six games in Region 8-AAAAA, but four of them have come against seventh-ranked Cedar Shoals and No. 10 Flowery Branch, and only one of the four was by more than nine points. Clarke Central is likely headed for the No. 3 seed in the region tournament and could be facing a rematch with Athens rival Cedar Shoals for a spot in the championship game. The Gladiators (14-8) are ranked No. 16 in Class AAAAA in the MaxPreps and Maxwell rankings.

*Mays: The four state playoff berths from Region 6-AAAAA figure to go to No. 1 Tucker, No. 2 Stephenson, No. 3 Miller Grove and No. 9 Southwest DeKalb. Mays appears the most likely candidate to pull off an upset and steal one of those bids, but it will have a steep hill to climb. The Raiders went 0-6 against the four ranked teams this season, losing by an average of 22 points. Mays (13-10) is No. 23 in Class AAAAA in the MaxPreps rankings and No. 22 in the Maxwell Ratings.

4 comments Add your comment

VChandler

February 7th, 2013
8:52 am

You guys are doing a great job covering girls basketball.

bballfan

February 7th, 2013
8:22 pm

I must echo the same. Girls basketball is starting to get the respect they deserve. I have been to many high school girls basketball games this year and the girls game have come a very long way. You have many girls out there that can straight up ball. I love watching two strong girls team go at it.

bballfan

February 7th, 2013
8:26 pm

Also, you have some of the nation’s best female players right here in the ATL. Diamond Deshields, Kaela Davis, Asia Durr, Te’a Cooper. I encourage everyone to get out and watch these female superstars.

gakat1

February 10th, 2013
10:10 pm

Won’t see Kaela Davis, she finally got shoved out the door and Buford will be twice as good without her attitude.