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Rankings rundown: Week 6

Every Sunday, the AJC releases its top 10 polls for both boys and girls. Here’s a rundown of those teams and where they’re at at this point in the season.

Boys

1. South Atlanta (12-1)
Region record: 
4-0 in Region 6 (first place)
Notes: 
As previously discussed in this blog space, the Hornets recently won one of the state’s toughest holiday tournaments in the Peach State Classic, with forward Tyler Thornton taking home MVP honors, including a 61-47 win over AAAA’s No. 2 Eagle’s Landing in the title game. They return to action on Friday when they host B.E.S.T., the first of four consecutive region games.

2. Josey (12-2)
Region record:
2-1 in Region 4 (tied for second)
Notes:
 
The Eagles use a balanced scoring attack led by seniors Jonathan Butler (12.9 points a game), Domonique Hurst and John Williams. They’re also tough defensively, with six players averaging at least one steal per game. They opened the season with a 74-67 loss to Lakeside-Evans (No. 10 in AAAAAA) and were edged 57-56 by region foe Screven County on Dec. 16. They’re coming off a Round Ball Classic title, which included a 46-43 win over No. 9 Laney on the final. They play at Westside on Tuesday in region play.

3. Thomasville (6-5)
Region record:
1-0 in Region 1 (second place)
Notes: The Bulldogs are in second place in Region 1 only for lack of region games played, leaving Early County in first with a 3-0 record. They’re tied with Monticello for the most losses of teams ranked, but three of those losses have come to schools from Florida. They’re challenging themselves with tough competition — they play at AAAAAAA’s No. 8 Tift County on Tuesday — which puts a strong-looking regular season record in jeopardy, but they should win Region 1. And they have arguably the best player in AA in junior Reggie Perry, so they’re built for a deep playoff run.

4. Therrell (9-5)
Region record:
3-2 in Region 6 (fourth place)
Notes: The Panthers head into the thick of region play on a three-game slide and have lost four of their last five, the one win a 57-54 overtime game against unranked Morrow of AAAAA. They have six games remaining on the regular season schedule, all against region opponents, starting at KIPP on Friday. They’re led by Anthony Edwards, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore averaging 25.2 points.

5. Dublin (8-4)
Region record:
1-0 in Region 3 (second place)
Notes: The Fighting Irish trail Bleckley County (3-0 region record) due to a lack of region games played. They have some quality wins over A-Public schools, including then-ranked Twiggs County, No. 10 Montgomery County and No. 4 Wilkinson County. They also hung tough with AAAA’s No. 10 Americus-Sumter, losing to them 58-55 at Americus in a holiday tournament. Kameron Pauldo leads the team with 27.7 points a game. They host Class A-Public’s Johnson County on Tuesday.

6. Monticello (8-5)
Region record:
1-1 in Region 8 (third place)
Notes: The Hurricanes are coming off an 82-72 loss to AAAA’s No. 6 Henry County in the Chuck Miller Holiday Classic and two other losses came to South Carolina schools. They’ve yet to beat a ranked team and dropped a region game to Banks County, 57-52 on Dec. 9. They’re led by senior guard CJ Adams, who averages 15.1 points, 4.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals. They’ll resume region play on Tuesday at Oglethorpe County, trailing Putnam County (2-0) and Banks County (1-0) in league standings.

7. Callaway (3-3)
Region record:
Region 5 has yet to begin league play
Notes: The Cavaliers have played the fewest games of any ranked team, passing competing in tournaments during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. They’re playing .500 ball, with two losses to Class AAAA’s No. 4 LaGrange and a 69-66 loss to Villa Rica in their last game, played on Dec. 30. They open region play by hosting Heard County on Tuesday. They’re led by two-sport standout Braylon Sanders, a 6-foot-2 senior guard.

8. Putnam County (10-3)
Region record:
2-0 in Region 8 (first place)
Notes: The Eagles have a quality win in defeating then-ranked Twiggs County of Class A-Public by a score of 70-65 in a holiday tournament, and two of their three losses came to ranked teams from higher classifications (AAA’s No. 6 Morgan County; AAAA’s No. 7 Perry). Senior guard Carl Johnson, standing at 5-foot-7, leads the Eagles with 27.8 points. They’ll resume play on Tuesday at Elbert County in a region contest.

9. Laney (9-3)
Region record:
1-1 in Region 4 (fifth place)
Notes: Record-wise, the Wildcats have a lot of work to do to climb the region standings though they’ve yet to play many league games. Talent-wise, they can do just that, even with No. 2 Josey in their region. In fact, the Wildcats nearly beat Josey on Dec. 21 in the Round Ball Classic holiday tournament, led by senior guard Natahj Tanksley’s 11 points. The resume league play on Friday at Harlem.

10. Chattooga (11-1)
Region record:
4-0 in Region 7 (first place)
Notes: The Indians are off to a hot start with the only blemish on their record being a 62-47 defeat at the hands of AAA’s No. 7 Calhoun on Dec. 10. They recently went 3-0 at the Cherokee Invitational in Gaylesville, Alabama, including a 90-26 win over host Gaylesville. The Indians’ strength of schedule is lacking, and their remaining games are all against Region 7 teams except for one (at Trion). It’s possible the Indians, led by guard Isaiah Foster, could run the tables and have a shiny record heading into the playoffs, though questions will remain about how far they can advance.

Girls

1. Laney (12-1)
Region record:
3-0 in Region 4 (tied for first place)
Notes:
The Lady Wildcats’ only loss was 62-56 to North Augusta, the No. 2 team in South Carolina regardless of classification. And that was on Nov. 22 in their second game of the season. They’ve been on a tear ever since, including an 85-66 win over AAAAAA’s No. 5 Mays on Dec. 17. It was that signature win that has them ranked ahead of Model, but they’ve also dominated their recent competition in winning their last six games by a 31.6 average. De’Sha Benjamin leads the team with 19.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks, followed by Aubriana Bonner (16.5 points, 2.6 steals) and Jhessyka Williams (13.8 points; 2.8 steals). They kick off the new year on Tuesday at region foe Jefferson County.

2. Model (9-4)
Region record:
5-0 in Region 7 (first place)
Notes: After reaching the quarterfinals with a 28-0 record as a relatively young squad last season, the Lady Blue Devils are challenging themselves early and often, with all four of their losses coming to top competition. In their season opener, they lost 68-61 to Holy Innocents’, the No. 2 team in Class A-Private and also last year’s AA champs. Christian Heritage, A-Private’s No. 9 team, edged them 63-52 and they most recently dropped two of three in a national tournament in Orlando, Fla. Led by junior forward-center Victaria Saxton, the Lady Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday at Armuchee in region action.

3. Dodge County (10-1)
Region record:
2-0 in Region 3 (first place)
Notes: The Lady Indians’ only loss is to Class A-Public’s No. 4 Telfair County, which came in their second game of the season. Quality wins include Wayne County (twice) and A-Public’s No. 10 Wilcox County (twice). They also seem built for the postseason, with plenty of experience already with winning tight games — they’re 4-1 in games decided by 6 points or less, including an overtime win. They have three scorers averaging double digits in sophomore Destanee Wright (14.7) and seniors Tierra Hamilton (12.5) and Jurnee Powell (11.8), and sophomore Europe Brown averages 9.9 points. Their next game is Tuesday at Northeast (Macon) in league play.

4. Rabun County (13-1)
Region record:
2-0 in Region 8 (first place)
Notes: The Lady Wildcats are off to a hot start, though are lacking in the strength-of-schedule department. Perhaps their toughest wins came against a Franklin (North Carolina) team they beat twice. And while most all of their wins have been of the blowout variety, they lost to the only ranked team they played, 67-60 to A-Private’s No. 4 Lakeview Academy. They’re led by senior guard Savanna Scott and resume play on Tuesday at Stephens County in a non-region contest. All games after that will be in region play.

5. Vidalia (9-3)
Region record:
3-1 in Region 2 (tied for second place)
Notes: The Lady Indians are off to the type of start that the Vidalia community has become accustomed to from longtime coach Chunk Reid’s teams. They’ve averaged 19 wins a season since he took over the 1970-71 season and on Dec. 13, the Lady Indians beat Jeff Davis to give Reid 863 career wins. That makes him Georgia’s all-time winningest basketball coach. They dropped two of three games they hosted in the Vidalia Christmas Tournament, including 68-56 to Wheeler County, the No. 2 team in A-Public. They host Tattnall County on Tuesday in non-region action.

6. Fitzgerald (7-0)
Region record: 
0-0 in Region 1
Notes: The Lady Purple Hurricane are the only undefeated team on this blog post, but they’ve also played fewer games than any other team. They’ve yet to play a ranked team and are coming off a 101-23 win over Irwin County on Dec. 30. Junior guard Kirstin Crook leads the team with averages of 17 points and an eye-opening 4.3 steals. Senior guard T’Kayshza King also averages 4.3 steals to go with 11 points. They play at Coffee on Tuesday — they edged them 56-53 at home on Dec. 20 — in a non-region contest.

7. Heard County (10-4)
Region record: 
Region 5 has yet to begin league play
Notes: The Lady Braves are off to a strong start that includes a seven-game win streak. Wins in that span include a pair of blowouts (54-12, 67-14) over Alabama’s Randolph County. They lost 53-36 to the only ranked opponent they played, which was AAA’s No. 10 Haralson County. They’ll open region play on Tuesday at Callaway.

8. Dade County (10-4)
Region record:
3-1 in Region 7 (third place)
Notes: The Lady Wolverines have proven they are a postseason contender after beating AAAA’s No. 6 Northwest Whitfield 53-50 on the road during a Thanksgiving Holiday tournament at Northwest. They also beat traditional northwest Georgia power Dalton, 60-57 on Dec. 17. They are led by junior guard Tori Reed. They play at region rival Rockmart on Tuesday.

9. Hapeville Charter (9-4)
Region record:
2-1 in Region 6 (second place)
Notes: The Lady Hornets hung tough with Sandy Creek, losing 49-46 at a Thanksgiving event and have proven to be a serious contender ever since. Junior guard Shekinah Howard is averaging 17.8 points to g with 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks to lead the way, and senior forward Gayla Bostic averages 9.6 points. 7.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks. They play at Douglass on Friday in league action.

10. Dublin (8-3)
Region record:
1-0 in Region 3 (second place)
Notes: The Lady Fighting Irish are a resilient bunch, beating two of the teams they lost to in rematches (Truetlen and Wilkinson County twice). Their big win was 45-43 over Taylor County, the No. 8 team in A-Public. Junior guard Alexus Carr leads them in scoring with 15.5 points a game, and senior forward Jessica Hollis averages 11.2 points, 8.5 revounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.9 steals. They host Johnson County on Tuesday in a non-region contest.

All stats and records are sourced from MaxPreps. Follow the AJC’s Class AA coverage on Twitter.

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