Pre-Region Tournament Key Questions – February 3, 2020
Grayson (GA) is national ranked and is the favorite to win the 7A State Champion.
Can someone take down Grayson?
Grayson has shot up national ranking polls and deservedly so, but it has not come without some tough tests from their region counterparts. A little over 2 weeks ago, they trailed Archer by 4 with about 20 seconds left in the game, but came out with a 1-point victory. 8 days later, the Rams went wire to wire with Shiloh, and took home another narrow win by a score of 68-67. Grayson are the #1 team in Georgia and ranked in the Top 5 in the country by MaxPreps; their lone loss this season came to region foe Newton, which they then avenged with a 86-39 win in the next meeting. They have proven to be a resilient group, but you know Shiloh and Archer are dying to finally get over the hump and hand them a loss. We will get to see if this will happen on Friday and Saturday as Shiloh hosts the R8-7A tournament, with them and Grayson both receiving byes.
Will there be any surprises in Region 5-AAAAAAA?
Milton went undefeated in the region’s regular season and while the Eagles and Lambert have both already secured state playoff berths, nothing is for sure in this region. It seems like almost every year, someone is sent home unhappy and there is a team that shocks people in the R5-7A tourney. The game I have my eye on is West Forsyth vs. Forsyth Central. West is 2-0 against Central on the year, but Central is the host of the tournament and they have shown the ability to put up points and battle with the region’s top teams. I’m hoping to get another battle between South Forsyth and Lambert as well, they split their 2 regular season meetings and the last one was really intense. Teams have been able to put up a good fight for 2-3 quarters against Milton, if someone can find a way to put together a complete game against the Eagles, that will put a lot of pressure on them and could shake things up.
Can Pebblebrook put it all together?
Pebblebrook’s wealth of 2021 talent is well-known, but their record this season has not been indicative of how talented they are However, the Falcons just ended region play with a win over Wheeler, who is the 1 seed in the tourney and hadn’t lost a region a game since November 16thbefore Friday. If Pebblebrook can carry some momentum from Friday’s game, it’ll make things very interesting in R2-7A. The Falcons’ first round matchup is Newnan, who they beat by 20 in their last faceoff, but also lost to the game before that. At the top, Wheeler and East Coweta have byes. Both Wheeler and EC have 17 wins on the season and you know they’re going to be well-prepared and determined to come out as the region’s top seed. R2-7A is filled with competitive, physical teams each year; there won’t be any easy games this week at Newnan and Westlake.
Who will be left out in Region 7-AAAAAA?
A 9-team region that has lots of talent, R7-6A is one of the most crowded and unpredictable regions in the state. The last month of play in this region has proven that any team can be beaten on any given night. Chattahoochee is hosting the tournament and has a bye until the semifinals, but things are really up in the air after that. Pope will take on the winner Northview-Alpharetta, both who have tested the Greyhounds at different points in the season. Cambridge faces who wins between North Atlanta and Dunwoody; North Atlanta just beat the Bears in double overtime less than 2 weeks ago. Johns Creek and Centennial are set to battle again after the Gladiators narrowly beat the Knights last Friday. The semifinals and finals should be interesting as well given the potential matchups and how those matchups played out earlier this winter. Only 4 teams can advance to the state playoffs; there are multiple teams in R7-6A who will be outside of that 4 but could have very well made it in other regions.
Trent Markwith is a scout/evaluator for On the Radar Hoops.
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