Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Final basketball rankings: Hughes, Buford, Upson-Lee, Columbus finish No. 1 for first time


Four Georgia basketball teams are ranked No. 1 in the final high school basketball poll for the first time, the final reward for their first-ever state championships.

Langston Hughes, a 7-year-old school in Fairburn, won the Class AAAAAA boys title. Hughes was only the No. 3 seed from its Region 5 but was ranked No. 4 statewide entering the state tournament. No. 1 South Paulding, the Region 5 champion, went out in the quarterfinals while Hughes defeated four straight region champions – Lee County, Gainesville, Allatoona and Brunswick – to claim the championship.

It was the first state championship in any sport for Hughes.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Hughes coach Rory Welsh said after the 73-52 win over Brunswick in Athens. “This isn’t just for the basketball program. This is for every program at the school. We’re a family. This is for everybody in the school and everybody in South Fulton County.”

Buford won the AAAAA boys title, breaking an 0-5 drought in finals. Buford was ranked No. 1 and beat No. 2 Cedar Shoals, its Region 8 rival, 75-61. Cedar Shoals, which had never won a state title either, suffered four of its five losses to Buford.

Upson-Lee’s boys, the only undefeated team in Georgia, won AAAA. Upson-Lee had won only two state-playoff games in its history, dating to 1992, until this season.

Columbus’s girls had been a runner-up twice but never a champion. Columbus, ranked No. 6, beat cross-town rival Carver in the AAAAA final.

Only four teams besides Buford and Upson-Lee that entered the tournament No. 1 and finished there. They are South Atlanta’s boys (AA), Greenforest Christian’s boys (A private), Laney’s girls (AA) and Pelham’s girls (A public).

Boys champions not ranked No. 1 entering the tournament, aside from Hughes, were Tift County's boys (previously No. 7), Pace Academy (No. 2), Wilkinson County (No. 3). Girls champions besides Columbus that weren't No. 1 were McEachern (No. 2), Mays (unranked), Buford (No. 2), Columbus (No. 6), Beach (No. 2) and Wesleyan (No. 3).

BOYS

Class AAAAAAA

1. Tift County (29-2)

2. Norcross (26-6)

3. McEachern (29-1)

4. Newton (28-2)

5. Pebblebrook (21-8)

6. Westlake (18-11)

7. Wheeler (21-9)

8. Berkmar (21-8)

9. Grayson (21-10)

10. Collins Hill (19-9)

Class AAAAAA

1. Hughes (19-8)

2. Gainesville (28-2)

3. Brunswick (23-9)

4. Allatoona (25-4)

5. South Cobb (23-8)

6. South Paulding (28-2)

7. Jonesboro (23-6)

8. Dacula (20-90

9. Tri-Cities (18-14)

10. Alpharetta (25-4)

Class AAAAA

1. Buford (29-2)

2. Cedar Shoals (27-5)

3. Warner Robins (26-4)

4. Miller Grove (21-9)

5. Fayette County (23-8)

6. Columbia (21-9)

7. New Hampstead (18-9)

8. Southwest DeKalb (17-13)

9. Riverwood (23-6)

10. Statesboro (19-10)

Class AAAA

1. Upson-Lee (32-0)

2. St. Pius (24-8)

3. Henry County (24-6)

4. LaGrange (26-4)

5. Sandy Creek (23-8)

6. Carver-Columbus (21-7)

7. Richmond Academy (23-6)

8. Perry (22-9)

9. Thomson (16-12)

10. Americus-Sumter (21-7)

Class AAA

1. Pace Academy (26-8)

2. Westside-Macon (25-4)

3. Morgan County (25-6)

4. Liberty County (22-6)

5. Calhoun (23-5)

6. Jenkins (22-8)

7. Islands (19-10)

8. Johnson-Savannah (19-10)

9. East Hall (21-8)

10. Cedar Grove (17-7)

Class AA

1. South Atlanta (29-1)

2. Swainsboro (21-11)

3. Dublin (23-5)

4. Laney (25-6)

5. Josey (23-8)

6. Butler (18-9)

7. Early County (23-8)

8. Chattooga (26-2)

9. Washington County (15-10)

10. Banks County (23-5)

Class A (Private)

1. Greenforest Christian (27-5)

2. Southwest Atlanta Christian (23-9)

3. North Cobb Christian (26-4)

4. St. Francis (25-6)

5. Lakeview Academy (25-6)

6. Aquinas (26-2)

7. Whitefield Academy (20-9)

8. Holy Innocents (19-9)

9. Athens Christian (22-7)

10. First Presbyterian Day (16-8)

Class A (Public)

1. Wilkinson County (25-7)

2. Calhoun County (28-2)

3. Clinch County (26-4)

4. Macon County (20-9)

5. Treutlen (27-1)

6. Turner County (19-9)

7. Taylor County (19-6)

8. Quitman County (23-8)

9. Manchester (16-12)

10. Montgomery County (20-10)

GIRLS

Class AAAAAAA

1. McEachern (26-6)

2. Norcross (29-3)

3. Collins Hill (25-5)

4. Archer (25-5)

5. Lambert (26-3)

6. Mill Creek (25-5)

7. Colquitt County (23-5)

8. Westlake (22-8)

9. Brookwood (21-7)

10. Marietta (22-7)

Class AAAAAA

1. Mays (22-9)

2. Harrison (26-6)

3. Northview (28-4)

4. Lovejoy (26-5)

5. Douglas County (26-4)

6. Winder-Barrow (24-6)

7. Tucker (22-7)

8. Chattahoochee (22-7)

9. Creekview (21-8)

10. Stephenson (20-11)

Class AAAAA

1. Buford (29-2)

2. Southwest DeKalb (27-5)

3. Griffin (28-2)

4. Flowery Branch (24-7)

5. Warner Robins (27-2)

6. Carrollton (29-2)

7. Jackson-Atlanta (24-3)

8. Eagle's Landing (26-4)

9. Fayette County (21-9)

10. McIntosh (20-9)

Class AAAA

1. Columbus (25-5)

2. Carver-Columbus (26-5)

3. Cross Creek (26-5)

4. West Hall (23-6)

5. Sandy Creek (24-7)

6. Jefferson (24-6)

7. Spalding (22-7)

8. Henry County (21-8)

9. Northwest Whitfield (22-6)

10. North Oconee (22-6)

Class AAA

1. Beach (29-2)

2. Johnson-Savannah (27-3)

3. Greater Atlanta Christian (23-8)

4. Peach County (23-4)

5. Haralson County (26-5)

6. Central-Macon (20-6)

7. Hart County (23-6)

8. Morgan County (18-13)

9. Ringgold (22-7)

10. Franklin County (20-7)

Class AA

1. Laney (31-1)

2. Rabun County (29-3)

3. Model (25-6)

4. Fitzgerald (22-3)

5. Bryan County (24-5)

6. Dodge County (25-4)

7. Vidalia (23-6)

8. Bleckley County (20-12)

9. Heard County (22-7)

10. Hapeville Charter (21-7)

Class A (Private)

1. Wesleyan (28-4)

2. Holy Innocents' (29-3)

3. St. Francis (26-5)

4. Lakeview Academy (26-5)

5. Stratford Academy (20-6)

6. Pinecrest Academy (21-7)

7. Darlington (23-7)

8. Calvary Day (22-5)

9. Landmark Christian (22-5)

10. Prince Avenue Christian (21-8)

Class A (Public)

1. Pelham (30-1)

2. Telfair County (27-3)

3. Wheeler County (25-4)

4. Woodville-Tompkins (24-6)

5. Marion County (23-6)

6. Treutlen (19-8)

7. Greenville (23-5)

8. Wilcox County (21-7)

9. Hancock Central (22-6)

10. Macon County (18-8)


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