No. 1 McEachern, No. 2 Norcross and No. 9 Wheeler of Class AAAAAAA are playing Saturday in the Peachtree Corners Invitational at Norcross High.
The boys basketball showcase also will feature Region 5-AAAAAAA leader Lambert, No. 8 Jonesboro of AAAAA and No. 2 St. Pius of AAAA.
McEachern (15-2) – ranked No. 9 by USA Today and No. 12 by MaxPreps - will play Village Christian (11-7) of Fayetteville, N.C. In the meantime, McEachern has a significant Region 3 game on Friday against second-place North Cobb (11-7, 3-1). McEachern is coming off wins over Trotwood-Madison and Pickerton Central of Ohio in the Flyin’ to the Hoops showcase in Dayton last week.
The toughest assignment at the Peachtree Corners Invitational went to Wheeler (12-6), which faces Christ School, the No. 13 overall team in North Carolina, according to MaxPreps. Christ School defeated Norcross 67-63 in Greenville, S.C., on Monday and features combo guard Jalen Lecque, a five-star recruit rated the No. 1 junior in the country. Wheeler counters with a five-star recruit of its own, forward E.J. Montgomery, the No. 6 player nationally among seniors.
Host school Norcross (16-3) will play Riverdale Baptist (15-6) of Maryland.
10:30 a.m. – Clayton Heat vs. Clayton Eagles*
12:30 p.m. - Lambert vs Cardinal Newman (S.C.)
2:15 p.m. - St. Pius vs Pinson Valley (Ala.)
4:00 p.m. - Jonesboro vs Ben Smith (N.C.)
5:45 p.m. - Norcross vs Riverdale Baptist (Md.)
7:30 p.m. - McEachern vs Village Christian (N.C.)
9:15 p.m. - Wheeler vs Christ School (N.C.)
*GHSA/AAASP wheelchair basketball
In other news involving AAAAAAA boys teams …
7A’s top 10 goes 2-1 against No. 1-ranked teams
No. 5 Meadowcreek, No. 6 Newton and No. 7 Grayson played No. 1-ranked teams from lower classifications on Monday. The big schools went 2-1.
Grayson, which trailed by as many as 20 points, defeated defending AAAAAA champion Hughes 65-64 at Peachtree Ridge. Nick Edwards scored on a layup with one second left and finished with 21 points, 11 in the fourth quarter.
Newton beat Warner Robins of AAAAA 80-65 at Morehouse. Ashton Hagans had a triple-double of 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Dre Butler scored 19.
Note that Grayson (14-3, 4-1) plays No. 6 Newton (15-3, 4-1) on Tuesday for first place in Region 8. Grayson defeated Newton 74-73 at Newton on Dec. 12.
Meadowcreek lost to Morgan County, the top team in AAA, 51-44 in overtime at Morehouse after they played to a 43-43 tie in regulation.
Best region game this week: Mountain View-Duluth
Region 6 is shaping up to be AAAAAAA’s toughest. There is a big game Friday, when fourth-ranked Mountain View (16-2, 6-1) plays Duluth (14-6, 5-2). Mountain View won the first meeting 54-46. Duluth stayed in contention with a 59-51 win over No. 8 Peachtree Ridge (15-3, 5-1). Peachtree Ridge bounced back with a 54-49 win over No. 10 Collins Hill (17-2, 5-2).