High school basketball: Region and state outlooks

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerJanuary 24, 2013 

Midway through the season, region battles continue to rage on in essentially every classification.

A handful of battles involve teams from the Bi-City area, which continue to contend for state consideration at the conclusion of the regular season.

Class AAAAA

In boys Class AAAAA, Northside High stands out the most. Currently, the Patriots are 14-4 and 2-2 in their region. Bainbridge is undefeated in the region and will host Northside on Feb. 1.

Northside has a significant chance at winning the region despite a handful of difficult games down the stretch.

The Patriots will host Hardaway next, then play Thomas County Central, at Bainbridge and close their season with a game against Harris County.

Harris County hasn’t experienced much success this season, but did defeat Northside 61-55 on Tuesday.

A win against Hardaway would put the Patriots in good position to contend for a high seed in the region tournament.

Hardaway lacks Northside’s success with its record, but has proven itself capable of contending for the region.

At 3-2 in region play, it has lost only to Northside and Bainbridge, the latter of which it lost by only eight points.

Like Northside, a win in its next game against the Patriots would put it in a good position for region seeding come tournament time.

Northside is ninth in the MaxPreps ratings index. Miller Grove and Allatoona remain top contenders at the state level.

Class AAAA

Count Shaw out of the state championship mix and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.

The Raiders are 12-5 and 6-1 in region play.

That puts them at the top of their region, ahead of LaGrange, which is arguably the best team in the region.

The MaxPreps ratings system has LaGrange at the top of the heap, and yet Shaw may have the more impressive resume.

Shaw’s biggest loss came by five points to Hardaway and has been within two points in all but one of its other losses.

It faces LaGrange on Friday, which will go a long way to indicating which team will be the favorite to land the top seed in the region down the stretch.

With six consecutive wins, each by nine points or more, Shaw appears to be settling into its own in the region.

At the state level, Glen Hills and Columbia have the longest winning streaks, 17 and 16 games, respectively.

Statesboro remains a serious contender at 16-2 and third in MaxPreps ratings. LaGrange sits at ninth in the ratings, 12 spots ahead of Shaw.

Class AA

All the teams in the Bi-City area remain firmly in the race for a region title in 5-AA. Jordan and Kendric head the pack, while Spencer, a talented team, continues to try to find itself.

Jordan is 11-4 and undefeated in the region. At 5-12, Kendrick is a surprising 2-0 in the region with wins over Bremen and Bowdon. After a game against Heard County, Kendrick will face some top teams in the region in the next three, traveling to Spencer and hosting Jordan and Manchester in three straight games.

Jordan, which advanced to the Class AA semifinals last year, is ranked 10th in MaxPreps ratings.

On the girls side, Kendrick remains undefeated and the unquestioned favorite in Region 5-AA. At 18-0, the Lady Cherokees remain a fixture in the region conversation as well as one of the favorites at the state level.

Send your region standings and outlook in to dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.com. Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports

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