7A basketball: Five top-10 boys teams to play in TOC event at Wheeler

The Tournament of Champions will be played at Wheeler on Wednesday through Saturday.

Five of Class AAAAAAA’s Top 10 boys teams are playing this week in the Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic at Wheeler High in Marietta.

They are No. 1 McEachern, No. 2 Grayson, No. 6 Wheeler, No. 7 Pebblebrook and No. 10 Meadowcreek.

The tournament, played at Wheeler’s Lipscomb Gymnasium and Wildcat Arena, opens with 15 showcase games on Wednesday followed by four eight-team tournament brackets Thursday through Saturday. It will be 44 games in all.

Meadowcreek (9-2) and Wheeler (6-3) are in the same bracket as are Grayson (8-1) and Pebblebrook (7-2).

The toughest out-of-state teams in bracket play appear to be Oak Ridge of Orlando and Paul VI of Washington, D.C. Oak Ridge is the No. 5 overall team in Florida, according to MaxPreps. Paul VI is ranked No. 4 overall in Maryland. Both are in the Wheeler/Meadowcreek draw of eight.

McEachern (8-1) is playing only showcase games, squeezing a second one in Thursday at 9 p.m. against Miami Christian, the No. 12 team overall in Florida, according to MaxPreps. McEachern is No. 1 overall in Georgia. Miami Christian also will play Wheeler in a showcase game on Wednesday.

McEachern will play Westside of Macon in the Wednesday opening day. That game matches McEachern’s Isaac Okoro (the state’s No. 1 junior recruit) against Westside’s Khavon Moore (the No. 4 senior in Georgia).

McEachern, by the way, lost its first game of the season on Friday to University of Orlando 71-63 at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. It was a game between nationally ranked teams. University is No. 18 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, and McEachern is No. 9. McEachern had beaten Hudson Catholic 83-81 earlier in the tournament. Hudson is ranked No. 4 by MaxPreps, so McEachern’s top-25 national rankings should be safe assuming a representative showing at Wheeler.

More boys news …

Three other top-10 teams are plying Thursday through Saturday in the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic in Roebuck, S.C., home of South Carolina’s top team and host, Dorman High. The Georgia three are No. 7 Peachtree Ridge, No. 8 Norcross and No. 10 Newton. Dorman (11-0) is the state’s defending champion in Class AAAAA and potentially would face Peachtree Ridge in the semifinals and Newton in the final. Newton is coming off a 67-45 victory over defending Georgia 7A champion Tift County last week. …

Where are the other ranked boys teams? Fourth-ranked Collins Hill (11-1) has won six straight games. The Eagles will play in the Cleveland County Christmas Tournament in North Carolina beginning Thursday. Their only loss is to Peachtree Ridge, a Region 6 opponent. Fifth-ranked Mountain View (9-2) is playing Crestview, Fla., in the Go Southern Beach Blowout at NW Florida on Wednesday.

News on the girls front …

Here is what the top 10 girls teams are up to this week.

No. 1 Westlake (9-0) will have a challenge to remain unbeaten at the Naples Holiday Classic. Its first opponent, Miami Country Day, is ranked No. 7 overall in Florida. … No. 2 Collins Hill (11-1) is in the Raleigh area this week, along with the boys team, for the Cleveland County Christmas tournament. …

No. 3 North Forsyth (11-1) beat teams from Washington, Colorado and Oregon last week at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix. North Forsyth was 3-1 after losing its opener to Westview of Tennessee. … No. 4 Norcross (12-3) is off until next week. The Blue Devils are coming off a 2-2 finish at the Crescom Bank Holiday Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C. …

No. 5 McEachern (6-3) is playing in the Sandra Meadows Invitational in Duncanville, S.C. That’s a 32-team event that includes five reigning state champions, McEachern being one of them. McEachern could face Marion, Arkansas’ Class 6A champion, if the Indians win their opener Wednesday against Westside of Houston. … No. 6 Cherokee (11-1) is playing in the Deep South Classic at Brookwood this weekend. Cherokee is probably favored to win twice and get to the final and face Holy Innocents’, the No. 1 team in Class A private. …

No. 7 Colquitt County (8-3) is playing at Rickards of Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday. Rickards is Florida’s No. 8 overall team, according to MaxPreps. … No. 8 Newton (9-1) is playing two of Birmingham’s best teams this weekend – Carver and Shades Valley. …

No. 9 South Gwinnett (9-1) is at the McDonald’s Shootout at Hart County. Its first opponent, Battery Creek of Beaufort, S.C., is 10-0. … No. 10 North Cobb (8-2) is playing at the Newnan Holiday Tournament this weekend against Auburn, Ala., North Clayton and Hiram.


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