Harrison girls look to bounce back; Alpharetta boys seek revenge

High School BasketballThe Harrison girls basketball team, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA, will try to bounce back from its first loss of the new calendar year when it hosts River Ridge in a Region 6-AAAAAA game Friday.

Harrison (15-3 overall, 9-0 in region play) fell 49-43 in overtime to Class AAAAA No. 1 Buford on Saturday but retained the No. 1 ranking. The Hoyas’ other losses came against Manasquan (the top-ranked team in New Jersey) in late December and Class AAAAAAA No. 1 Norcross in the season-opener.

River Ridge (12-8, 6-4) is in fourth place in 6-AAAAAA behind Harrison, 10th-ranked Sequoyah and No. 8 Creekview. Harrison won 75-34 when the teams met on Dec. 13 at River Ridge. The Knights have won five of their past seven games against Georgia teams.

Here are some of the top games involving Class AAAAAA basketball teams this weekend:

*Centennial at Alpharetta, Friday (boys): Alpharetta will try to avenge its only loss of the season when it hosts Centennial in a rematch of the Knights’ stunning 50-49 victory on Dec. 9. Alpharetta (19-1, 10-1) has won 11 consecutive games since then, including a 61-55 victory over No. 10 Pope on Tuesday that put the Raiders in first place in 7-AAAAAA. Centennial is 4-16 and 3-8.

*Dacula at Gainesville, Friday (boys): Gainesville took its first loss of the season on Saturday (63-60 to Class AAAAA No. 2 Cedar Shoals) and fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in the rankings. Gainesville (17-1, 4-0) rebounded with a 79-53 victory over Apalachee on Tuesday but faces a big test this weekend from No. 9 Dacula (14-5, 4-0). The winner will move into first place in the region.

*Lovejoy at Jonesboro, Friday (girls): Fourth-ranked Lovejoy (16-2, 10-0) took sole possession of first place in 4-AAAAAA when it beat No. 6 Stephenson (13-6, 9-1) 40-37 on Wednesday. Now the Wildcats will try to protect that lead when they face a Jonesboro team (10-9, 6-4) that is battling Forest Park (14-5, 6-3) for fourth place in the regular season. Lovejoy beat Jonesboro 33-31 on Dec. 9.

*South Paulding at Douglas County, Friday (girls): South Paulding (12-5, 8-2) has won seven consecutive games since a 5-5 start and moved into third place in Region 5-AAAAAA behind No. 2 Douglas County (17-3, 11-0) and Mays (9-7, 8-1). Douglas County, which had a 14-game winning streak stopped by Columbia on Monday, beat the Spartans 62-48 on the road on Dec. 9.


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