The eight region basketball tournaments in Class AAA are in the books, and the four seeds from each region are preparing for the state tournament. Before we look at first-round pairings, let’s recap which boys and girls teams advanced to the playoffs and their seedings:
Boys – No. 1 Cook, No. 2 Monroe, No. 3 Dougherty, No. 4 Crisp County
Girls -- No. 1 Monroe, No. 2 Cook, No. 3 Dougherty, No. 4 Worth County
Notable: On the boys side, top-seeded Cook closed its season with a 12-game winning streak to finish 18-9. The 14-12 Monroe girls team closed its regular season with two crucial victories against Worth County (73-42) and Cook (65-46) to earn the No. 1 seed.
Boys – No. 1 Tattnall County, No. 2 Long County, No. 3 Liberty County, No. 4 Pierce County
Girls -- No. 1 Tattnall County, No. 2 Pierce County, No. 3 Long County, No. 4 Liberty County
Notable: Tattnall County has control of the region on both sides of the classification. The boys team, which compiled a 14-13 record this year, showed resilience after dropping a Feb. 2 game against Liberty County (79-71) by beating Liberty six days later, 72-59, and then winning an overtime thriller against Long County (79-74) to earn the No. 1 seed. The girls, who have have been dominant all season, lost only five games and earned the No. 1 seed with a 53-45 victory against Pierce County last weekend.
Boys – No. 1 Johnson-Savannah, No. 2 Jenkins, No. 3 Islands, No. 4 Beach
Girls -- No. 1 Beach, No. 2 Johnson-Savannah, No. 3 Jenkins, No. 4 Islands
Notable: It has been 16 games since the No. 1-seeded Johnson-Savannah boys lost, to second-seeded Jenkins on Dec. 18 (88-52). Since then, the Atom Smashers beat the Warriors two more times – Jan. 23 (67-60) and in the region championship last weekend (72-59). On the girls side, the top-seeded and defending-champion Lady Bulldogs have lost two games this season and are a near shoe-in for the semifinals.
Boys – No. 1 Central-Macon, No. 2 Westside-Macon, No. 3 Jackson, No. 4 Kendrick
Girls -- No. 1 Peach County, No. 2 Central-Macon, No. 3 Rutland, No. 4 Pike County
Notable: In a region loaded with talent, Central-Macon (20-5) came out on top in a closely contested 59-56 region championship game against Westside-Macon last weekend. For the girls, the 20-7 Peach County Lady Trojans took the No. 1 seed after closing the season with an eight-game winning streak. Peach earned the No. 1 seed after defeating Central-Macon 37-36 in the region championship game
Boys – No. 1 Cedar Grove, No. 2 Pace Academy, No. 3 Towers, No. 4 Redan
Girls -- No. 1 Lovett, No. 2 Pace Academy, No. 3 Cedar Grove, No. 4 Stone Mountain
Notable: Cedar Grove knocked off defending champion Pace Academy, 45-44, in the region championship to earn the No. 1 seed. The Saints closed the season with 10 consecutive victories after a loss to Lovett (47-45) on Jan. 12. On the girls side, top-seeded Lovett went flawless through 14 region games and has not lost in 13 games. It defeated Pace Academy 44-20 in the region championship game.
Boys – No. 1 Calhoun, No. 2 Bremen, No. 3 Sonoraville, No. 4 Ringgold
Girls -- No. 1 Haralson County, No. 2 Sonoraville, No. 3 Coahulla Creek, No. 4 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
Notable: After losing a game to the No. 3 seed Sonoraville Phoenix on Feb. 2 (76-73), top-seeded Calhoun won four in a row, including a rematch against the Phoenix last weekend (70-55) to earn the No. 1 seed. The Haralson County girls (25-2) closed the regular season with 13 victories, including a 65-55 decision against Sonoraville in the region championship game.
Boys – No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian, No. 2 Dawson County, No. 3 East Hall, No. 4 North Hall
Girls -- No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian, No. 2 East Hall, No. 3 North Hall, No. 4 Dawson County
Notable: GAC has a hold on Region 7 on both sides of the class. The 23-3 boys team has not lost in 16 games and has outscored opponents 226-118 in the past three games, highlighted by an 80-17 blowout of Fannin County on Jan. 30. The 21-4 girls team is just as impressive, and despite losing to Class A-Private No. 2 St. Francis (24-4) on Feb. 3, the Lady Spartans defeated Dawson County (58-32) and East Hall (46-28) in the next two games to earn the top seed.
Boys – No. 1 Morgan County, No. 2 Hart County, No. 3 Monroe Area, No. 4 East Jackson
Girls – No. 1 Franklin County, No. 2 Morgan County, No. 3 Hart County, No. 4 Monroe Area
Notable: The story-line on the boys side of the classification: Can Morgan County return to the state championship for the fifth season in a row? The Bulldogs are two-for-four and won state titles in 2013-14 (defeated Buford 69-45) and 2015-16 (defeated Jenkins 66-56). Entering the tournament, Morgan is lucky to be the No. 1 seed after going two overtimes against Hart County (71-68) in the region championship game. On the girls side, an equally interesting story-line is brewing -- the Lady Lions of Franklin County put together a flawless 27-0 season and went 11-0 through region play. Last year, however, Franklin fell to Ringgold (53-52) in the first round. This year, the Lady Lions should piece together a solid run in the tournament.
First Round Schedules
R6#3 Sonoraville at R5#2 Pace Academy
R8#4 East Jackson at R7#1 Greater Atlanta Christian
R2#3 Liberty County at R1#2 Monroe
R4#4 Kendrick at R3#1 Johnson-Savannah
R5#3 Towers at R6#2 Bremen
R7#4 North Hall at R8#1 Morgan County
R1#3 Dougherty at R2#2 Long County
R3#4 Beach at R4#1 Central-Macon
R8#3 Monroe Area at R7#2 Dawson County
R6#4 Ringgold at R5#1 Cedar Grove
R4#3 Jackson at R3#2 Jenkins
R2#4 Pierce County at R1#1 Cook
R7#3 East Hall at R8#2 Hart County
R5#4 Redan at R6#1 Calhoun
R3#3 Islands at R4#2 Westside-Macon
R1#4 Crisp County at R2#1 Tattnall County
R6#3 Coahulla Creek at R5#2 Pace Academy
R8#4 Monroe Area at R7#1 Greater Atlanta Christian
R2#3 Long County at R1#2 Cook
R4#4 Pike County at R3#1 Beach
R5#3 Cedar Grove at R6#2 Sonoraville
R7#4 Dawson County at R8#1 Franklin County
R1#3 Dougherty at R2#2 Pierce County
R3#4 Islands at R4#1 Peach County
R8#3 Hart County at R7#2 East Hall
R6#4 Lakeview-FO at R5#1 Lovett
R4#3 Rutland at R3#2 Johnson-Savannah
R2#4 Liberty County at R1#1 Monroe
R7#3 North Hall at R8#2 Morgan County
R5#4 Stone Mountain at R6#1 Haralson County
R3#3 Jenkins at R4#2 Central-Macon
R1#4 Worth County at R2#1 Tattnall County