Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AAAA high school basketball: Battle of top-5 teams highlights Friday slate

Heading into their toughest test of Region 6-AAAA play, Columbia’s top-ranked boys team is playing its best basketball. No. 4 South Atlanta hosts Columbia on Friday.

The Hornets beat Columbia twice last season, but are coming off an upset loss to an up-and-down Marist squad on Tuesday. South Atlanta is led by the senior backcourt of point guard Derrick Byrd and combo-guard Costa Anderson.

Columbia coach Kerry Sandifer said he’s seen improvement out of his team, which has bounced back from its only loss of the season with seven straight wins. “I finally feel like we’re beginning to come together,” said Sandifer. “Early on, we just had some problems playing as a team on both ends.”

Getting more opportunities for versatile forward Maurice Rivers has been a part of that improvement,  Sandifer said. Rivers, a 6-6 forward who is committed to Rice, has increased his scoring, rebounding and assists significantly during the Eagles’ current win streak.

--The top-ranked Redan girls are making a run at an undefeated season.  The Raiders completed a sweep over defending-champion and Region 6-AAAA rival Columbia last week. According to the Georgia Basketball Project, 36 girls teams have posted unbeaten seasons since 1970. Redan did it in AAAAA in 2009. The Raiders are at Grady on Friday, before returning home to host Marist on Saturday.

--A wild ending led to a major upset in Region 1-AAAA on Tuesday. After a controversial foul call, Americus-Sumter’s James Price hit a free throw with seconds left, to help the Panthers come from behind and upend No. 10 Westover, 59-58.

The Albany Herald's Adam Alexander has good details about the controversial foul call that helped Americus-Sumter moved out of last place in the region. Westover fell out of first place.

Worth County heads into Friday’s game at Americus-Sumter in first place in the region.

--List of past undefeated seasons in Georgia High School Basketball (Since 1970)


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