Here’s a look at some of the top games over the weekend (weather permitting).
Friday, Jan. 6
No. 1 (Private) Greenforest Christian vs. Roselle Catholic (NJ). The top-ranked Eagles (11-2) will participate in one of the most competitive national tournaments of the season, the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, WV. The other Georgia schools in the 16-team field are Westlake and Wheeler, No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in Class AAAAAAA. Greenforest’s first opponent is ranked No. 2 in New Jersey.
No. 4 (Public) Wilkinson County at No. 8 (Public) Twiggs County. The Warriors are the defending public champs but have lost two in a row, including their first Region 7 game of the season, 62-52, at unranked Tattnall Square (7-3) this week. They will try to get back on track in Jeffersonville against the Cobras, who lost their last game as well, 53-44, at unranked First Presbyterian (6-3). Twiggs is led by Zuri Brown (20 points per game), Cortavious Ates (20 ppg) and Jawon Brown (14 ppg), while WilCo will counter with Clarence Jackson (16 ppg, 11 rebounds per game), Tylan Grable (10 ppg, 5 rpg) and Aaron Geter III.
Saturday, Jan. 7
No. 3 (Private) St. Francis at No. 5 (Private) Whitefield Academy. This is the first match up of the season for the two Region 6 rivals, and once again both are in the hunt for the state championship. Both are paced by dynamic point guards — St. Francis has freshman Dwon Odom (19 ppg, 6 assists per game), Whitefield has senior Isaiah Hart (27 ppg, 3 assists per game, 4 steals per game).
No. 1 (Private) Greenforest Christian vs. IMG Academy (FL). The Eagles will take on IMG on Day Two of the Cancer Research Classic. The Ascenders (11-1) are ranked No. 2 in Florida and are in the top 10 in most national polls. Their only loss this season was to Montverde Academy (FL), 70-66, the No. 1 team in Florida, ranked in the top five in most national polls. IMG features a bevy of future Division I players, including senior Trevon Duval, considered by some to be the top point guard in the country. Greenforest will counter with senior Ikey Obiagu, considered among the top centers in the nation. The Florida State commit is averaging 8 points, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks per game.
Friday, Jan. 6
No. 6 (Private) Calvary Day at No. 3 (Public) Wheeler County. The winner of this public-private showdown will establish supremacy in Region 3, where four teams are ranked in the top 10. Calvary Day (9-3) is led by seniors Nyjah Parker (11 ppg, 7 rpg) and Quira Porter (15 ppg, 7 rpg). Wheeler County has improved every year under Angelia Wright, now in her fourth season at the helm. The year before she arrived in Alamo, about an hour southeast of Macon, the Bulldogs were 5-22. Last season they finished 21-7 and advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Turner County. This season Wheeler County is 12-1 and undefeated (7-0) thus far in region play. The team is led by Mercer signee Lakaitlin Wright (10 ppg, 10 rpg), the coach’s daughter, and junior Brianna Hinton (10 ppg, 4 apg).
Saturday, Jan. 7
No. 2 (Private) St. Francis at No. 2 (Class AAAAAAA) Collins Hill. In one of the best games of the weekend, without regard to classification or gender, two of the top teams in the state will square off. St. Francis (9-4) is led by Stanford signee Maya Dodson (16 ppg, 8 rpg) and Tennessee signee Kasiyanah Kushkituah (14 ppg, 10 rpg), while Collins Hill features Gardner-Webb signee Nia Lee.