Here are four sleeper teams to watch in Class AA basketball:
• The Crawford County Eagles are 16-4 and 10-1 in Region 4 after missing the state playoffs last season. They’ve beat three of the four teams that represented the region in last year’s state playoffs, including Bleckley County, Northeast Macon and Macon County. The Eagles have beaten each of those teams twice this season. They did lose to the Taylor County Vikings – the No. 1 seed in last year’s playoffs – by six points, but will have a chance to even the series when they host the Vikings on Tuesday.
• The McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers have an unassuming record at 12-8, but they’re 6-1 in Region 2 – good for first place – and are ranked No. 10. In last year’s playoffs, they advanced to the second round, where they lost by a point to Macon County. All but two of the Bucs’ losses this season were at the hands of teams from higher classifications, including Jenkins, ranked No. 4 in AAAAA.
• The Pepperell Lady Dragons missed the state playoffs last season but find themselves with a 17-2 record including 10-1 in Region 7. Their only losses were to Class A-ranked Darlington at a holiday tournament and region rival Armuchee, which holds a No. 7 ranking.
• If you look at last year’s AA girls bracket, you won’t find the Putnam County Lady Eagles. However, this year they’re 18-2 and 8-1 in Region 4. No. 9-ranked Bleckley County is currently Region 4’s first place team, but the Lady Eagles beat them by 10 in the second meeting – Bleckley County won the first meeting by five. Their only other loss was to private school First Presbyterian Day.
Send Adam Krohn an email at AdamKrohnAJC@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter.