The final stretch of the 2016-2017 girls basketball season is approaching, and for at least one night, the eyes of Class AAA are on Savannah.
Call it Johnson-Beach, Round 3.
Both teams have stayed at the top of the rankings for most of the season. They have traded blows twice, and the stage is set for an electric third game Friday night.
Top-ranked Johnson struck first on Dec. 13 with a 45-42 victory at No. 2 Beach. The game was tied at 21 at the half before Johnson took advantage in the final quarter, outscoring Beach 16-12. Sy'Marieona Willams, a 5-foot-1 junior guard, and 5-8 senior Olivia Owens both scored 15 points.
On Dec. 19, Beach got its chance for revenge in the Savannah Holiday Classic at Johnson High School. The Lady Bulldogs were behind by six points entering the fourth quarter, but put together a 21-15 run to send the game into overtime. Beach held Johnson to six points in overtime and won 62-56.
It's safe to say Friday's game will have a championship feel. Both teams are fighting for the Region 3 top spot. Johnson is 11-0 in region play, and Beach is 10-1. Each team has beaten the other away from home, so this matchup should be another toss-up.
It also begs an important question for the rest of the classification: Can anyone hang with the two Region 3 powerhouse programs?
Here are some of the other top girls games:
-- No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian (14-6, 9-1) vs. Lumpkin County (6-15,1-7)
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lumpkin County High School
-- No. 7 Ringgold (16-5, 7-1) vs. Lakeview-Fort Oglethrope (14-8, 7-3)
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Ringgold High School
Top 10 girls teams in Class AAA
3. Greater Atlanta Christian
4. Franklin County
5. Hart County
8. Peach County
9. Haralson County
Here are some of the top boys games:
-- No. 1 Westside-Macon (16-3, 8-1) vs. Southwest-Macon (11-8, 3-6)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Southwest High School
Notable: On Jan. 3, Westside defeated Southwest 71-63. On Jan 7, Southwest recovered and upset a ranked Central-Macon program, 55-43.
-- No. 3 Pace Academy (11-8, 9-1) vs. Lovett (15-7, 7-4)
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lovett High School
Notable: Pace defeated Lovett 52-41 Jan. 21.
-- No. 5 Liberty County (13-5, 6-1) vs. Brantley County (7-11, 2-5)
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Location: Liberty County High School
Notable: Liberty County defeated Brantley County 63-41 Dec. 16.
Top 10 boys teams in Class AAA
2. Morgan County
3. Pace Academy
5. Liberty County
6. Greater Atlanta Christian
7. Cedar Grove