Here are some of the stories of note in Class AAAAA basketball this week:
- The Southwest DeKalb and Miller Grove girls teams will meet in a rematch of last year’s state championship game when they play on Friday at Southwest DeKalb. It will be the first of at least two meetings between the Region 6-AAAAA rivals, who faced each other five times last season (twice in the regular season, once in a holiday tournament, once in the region tournament, and in the state final). They are scheduled to play again at Miller Grove on Jan. 28. Southwest DeKalb is 4-0 heading into Tuesday’s game against Arabia Mountain. Miller Grove went 1-1 against Tennessee teams at the Ridgeway Classic in Memphis over the weekend. Junior center Sarai Blissett averaged 15.5 in the two games to lead Miller Grove, which hosts M.L. King on Tuesday.
- Miller Grove’s boys team, the classification’s five-time defending state champion, opens its region schedule against M.L. King on Tuesday. The Wolverines are 3-0 after beating Buford (73-49) and Peachtree Ridge (69-58) in the Jared Cook Classic at North Gwinnett and Luella (66-55) in the On the Radar Showcase at St. Francis. The Wolverines will play another region game at Southwest DeKalb on Friday before traveling to Class AAAAAA power Wheeler on Saturday for the Nike Explosion event. Miller Grove is led by guard Keith Pinckney, a Tulane signee who averaged 14.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds last season.
- Another boys team off to a hot start this season is Heritage of Conyers, which is 5-0 going into Tuesday night’s Region 8-AAAAA game at Clarke Central. Included in the victories is a win against Cedar Shoals, which beat Heritage twice last season as the Patriots went 3-13 in region play. Junior guard Rashad Jones leads the Patriots in scoring with 12.8 per game and had 21 in the victory over Cedar Shoals. Junior guard Andre Harris is the second-leading scorer (9.8 points) and had 14 in a 75-62 victory over Clarkston on Saturday. Heritage won five of its first 10 games last season and was 9-6 at one point but lost its final 12 games to finish 9-18.