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Final basketball rankings: Hughes, Buford, Upson-Lee, Columbus finish No. 1 for first time

Four Georgia basketball teams are ranked No. 1 in the final high school basketball poll for the first time, the final reward for their first-ever state championships.

Langston Hughes, a 7-year-old school in Fairburn, won the Class AAAAAA boys title. Hughes was only the No. 3 seed from its Region 5 but was ranked No. 4 statewide entering the state tournament. No. 1 South Paulding, the Region 5 champion, went out in the quarterfinals while Hughes defeated four straight region champions – Lee County, Gainesville, Allatoona and Brunswick – to claim the championship.

It was the first state championship in any sport for Hughes.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Hughes coach Rory Welsh said after the 73-52 win over Brunswick in Athens. “This isn’t just for the basketball program. This is for every program at the school. We’re a family. This is for everybody in the school and everybody in South Fulton County.”

Buford won the AAAAA boys title, breaking an 0-5 drought in finals. Buford was ranked No. 1 and beat No. 2 Cedar Shoals, its Region 8 rival, 75-61. Cedar Shoals, which had never won a state title either, suffered four of its five losses to Buford.

Upson-Lee’s boys, the only undefeated team in Georgia, won AAAA. Upson-Lee had won only two state-playoff games in its history, dating to 1992, until this season.

Columbus’s girls had been a runner-up twice but never a champion. Columbus, ranked No. 6, beat cross-town rival Carver in the AAAAA final.

Only four teams besides Buford and Upson-Lee that entered the tournament No. 1 and finished there. They are South Atlanta’s boys (AA), Greenforest Christian’s boys (A private), Laney’s girls (AA) and Pelham’s girls (A public).

Boys champions not ranked No. 1 entering the tournament, aside from Hughes, were Tift County’s boys (previously No. 7), Pace Academy (No. 2), Wilkinson County (No. 3). Girls champions besides Columbus that weren’t No. 1 were McEachern (No. 2), Mays (unranked), Buford (No. 2), Columbus (No. 6), Beach (No. 2) and Wesleyan (No. 3).

BOYS

Class AAAAAAA
1. Tift County (29-2)
2. Norcross (26-6)
3. McEachern (29-1)
4. Newton (28-2)
5. Pebblebrook (21-8)
6. Westlake (18-11)
7. Wheeler (21-9)
8. Berkmar (21-8)
9. Grayson (21-10)
10. Collins Hill (19-9)

Class AAAAAA
1. Hughes (19-8)
2. Gainesville (28-2)
3. Brunswick (23-9)
4. Allatoona (25-4)
5. South Cobb (23-8)
6. South Paulding (28-2)
7. Jonesboro (23-6)
8. Dacula (20-90
9. Tri-Cities (18-14)
10. Alpharetta (25-4)

Class AAAAA
1. Buford (29-2)
2. Cedar Shoals (27-5)
3. Warner Robins (26-4)
4. Miller Grove (21-9)
5. Fayette County (23-8)
6. Columbia (21-9)
7. New Hampstead (18-9)
8. Southwest DeKalb (17-13)
9. Riverwood (23-6)
10. Statesboro (19-10)

Class AAAA
1. Upson-Lee (32-0)
2. St. Pius (24-8)
3. Henry County (24-6)
4. LaGrange (26-4)
5. Sandy Creek (23-8)
6. Carver-Columbus (21-7)
7. Richmond Academy (23-6)
8. Perry (22-9)
9. Thomson (16-12)
10. Americus-Sumter (21-7)

Class AAA
1. Pace Academy (26-8)
2. Westside-Macon (25-4)
3. Morgan County (25-6)
4. Liberty County (22-6)
5. Calhoun (23-5)
6. Jenkins (22-8)
7. Islands (19-10)
8. Johnson-Savannah (19-10)
9. East Hall (21-8)
10. Cedar Grove (17-7)

Class AA
1. South Atlanta (29-1)
2. Swainsboro (21-11)
3. Dublin (23-5)
4. Laney (25-6)
5. Josey (23-8)
6. Butler (18-9)
7. Early County (23-8)
8. Chattooga (26-2)
9. Washington County (15-10)
10. Banks County (23-5)

Class A (Private)
1. Greenforest Christian (27-5)
2. Southwest Atlanta Christian (23-9)
3. North Cobb Christian (26-4)
4. St. Francis (25-6)
5. Lakeview Academy (25-6)
6. Aquinas (26-2)
7. Whitefield Academy (20-9)
8. Holy Innocents (19-9)
9. Athens Christian (22-7)
10. First Presbyterian Day (16-8)

Class A (Public)
1. Wilkinson County (25-7)
2. Calhoun County (28-2)
3. Clinch County (26-4)
4. Macon County (20-9)
5. Treutlen (27-1)
6. Turner County (19-9)
7. Taylor County (19-6)
8. Quitman County (23-8)
9. Manchester (16-12)
10. Montgomery County (20-10)

GIRLS

Class AAAAAAA
1. McEachern (26-6)
2. Norcross (29-3)
3. Collins Hill (25-5)
4. Archer (25-5)
5. Lambert (26-3)
6. Mill Creek (25-5)
7. Colquitt County (23-5)
8. Westlake (22-8)
9. Brookwood (21-7)
10. Marietta (22-7)

Class AAAAAA
1. Mays (22-9)
2. Harrison (26-6)
3. Northview (28-4)
4. Lovejoy (26-5)
5. Douglas County (26-4)
6. Winder-Barrow (24-6)
7. Tucker (22-7)
8. Chattahoochee (22-7)
9. Creekview (21-8)
10. Stephenson (20-11)

Class AAAAA
1. Buford (29-2)
2. Southwest DeKalb (27-5)
3. Griffin (28-2)
4. Flowery Branch (24-7)
5. Warner Robins (27-2)
6. Carrollton (29-2)
7. Jackson-Atlanta (24-3)
8. Eagle’s Landing (26-4)
9. Fayette County (21-9)
10. McIntosh (20-9)

Class AAAA
1. Columbus (25-5)
2. Carver-Columbus (26-5)
3. Cross Creek (26-5)
4. West Hall (23-6)
5. Sandy Creek (24-7)
6. Jefferson (24-6)
7. Spalding (22-7)
8. Henry County (21-8)
9. Northwest Whitfield (22-6)
10. North Oconee (22-6)

Class AAA
1. Beach (29-2)
2. Johnson-Savannah (27-3)
3. Greater Atlanta Christian (23-8)
4. Peach County (23-4)
5. Haralson County (26-5)
6. Central-Macon (20-6)
7. Hart County (23-6)
8. Morgan County (18-13)
9. Ringgold (22-7)
10. Franklin County (20-7)

Class AA
1. Laney (31-1)
2. Rabun County (29-3)
3. Model (25-6)
4. Fitzgerald (22-3)
5. Bryan County (24-5)
6. Dodge County (25-4)
7. Vidalia (23-6)
8. Bleckley County (20-12)
9. Heard County (22-7)
10. Hapeville Charter (21-7)

Class A (Private)
1. Wesleyan (28-4)
2. Holy Innocents’ (29-3)
3. St. Francis (26-5)
4. Lakeview Academy (26-5)
5. Stratford Academy (20-6)
6. Pinecrest Academy (21-7)
7. Darlington (23-7)
8. Calvary Day (22-5)
9. Landmark Christian (22-5)
10. Prince Avenue Christian (21-8)

Class A (Public)
1. Pelham (30-1)
2. Telfair County (27-3)
3. Wheeler County (25-4)
4. Woodville-Tompkins (24-6)
5. Marion County (23-6)
6. Treutlen (19-8)
7. Greenville (23-5)
8. Wilcox County (21-7)
9. Hancock Central (22-6)
10. Macon County (18-8)


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