While none of their teams would be considered prime candidates to win the Class AAA championship, the Region 6-AAA boys race continues to be the most intriguiging and competitive in the state. There are five pretty good teams, meaning one is going to be left behind when the playoffs begin.
Blessed Trinity, Cedar Grove, St. Pius, Woodward Academy and Decatur are all very solid. Woodward is the defending region champion, Decatur as the best basketball pedigree and the other three are ranked or have been ranked during the season.
“But there’s going to be a good team that doesn’t get to state,” said St. Pius athletics director Mark Kelly, whose school hosts the region tournament.
Right now Decatur appears to be the fifth-place team entering the region playoffs. That means the Bulldogs will have to defeat a good team if it wants to advance to state.
“You figure the No. 4 and No. 5 game is the toughest in the first round,” said Decatur athletic director Carter Wilson. “If we’re the No. 5 team, you ask youself, ‘Who do you want to play.’ I’m not sure we know the answer.”
That’s because each team has its strengths and its flaws. And they’ve all taken turns beating each other.
- Cedar Grove has games remaining against Decatur and Woodward Academy. The Saints are 2-0 against St. Pius, 1-0 against Woodward and Decatur and 0-2 against Blessed Trinity.
- Woodward split against St. Pius and Decatur, is 2-0 against Blessed Trinity and 0-1 against Cedar Grove. The War Eagles host Cedar Grove on Friday.
- Blessed Trinity swept Cedar Grove and Decatur, lost both games against Woodward and is 1-0 against St. Pius. The Titans finish the season at St. Pius on Friday.
- St. Pius swept Decatur, split with Woodward, was 0-2 against Cedar Grove and lost its first meeting with Blessed Trinity.
- Decatur split with Woodward, but lost both meetings to Blessed Trinity, St. Pius and Cedar Grove.
Last season Woodward, St. Pius, Cedar Grove and Decatur reached the state tournament. Cedar Grove and Decatur were eliminated in the first round, while Woodward and St. Pius reached the quarterfinal round.
Buford squares things with Morgan County
In a game that matched two state-ranked teams, the Buford boys and girls swept Morgan County on Saturday.
The No. 5 Buford boys won 69-58 over No. 6 Morgan, while the No. 3 Buford girls beat No. 7 Morgan 57-49. Morgan had won both games to open the season.
The Buford boys, who reached the state semifinals a year ago, have won 11 straight games. The Wolves (17-5) got 29 points and 12 rebounds from D’Marcus Simonds and 18 points and 11 rebounds from Rakim Lubin.
The Buford girls (20-2) got 17 points from Camille Anderson, 15 from Tara Dambach and 12 from Bree Horrocks. The Wolves trailed by 10 points at the half.