2019 is here, so an updated look at the local dozen and where they stand is in order. Take a gander at the BLITZ Girls Hoops Power Rankings (January edition).
#1 RABUN CO LADY WILDCATS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #3
The Lady Cats are back on top after reeling off 10 wins in 2018 to just one loss. This includes a perfect 3-0 start in region play, including an incredible game against region rivals Banks County in a top-five showdown in December. The scary thing here is that DeeDee Dillard’s team is not playing at 100% as far as health is concerned. Every team faces the injury bug, but this year has been difficult. Nevertheless, Georgia Stockton, Laken Stiles, Brooke Henricks, and the #4-ranked Lady Cats are faring just fine.
#2 BANKS CO LADY LEOPARDS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #1
The Lady Leopards fell on a 3-pointer at the last second to Rabun, but they’re still just fine. Heather Vaughan has emerged as a Player of the Year candidate alongside Jaycie Bowen. This team is so dangerous, and Steve Shedd’s girls were able to set aside rare back-to-back losses and seem to have recovered very well, and are still ranked as high as #8 in the state polls. They’d like to be better than 1-2 in region, but there’s plenty of time to run the table.
#3 JEFFERSON LADY DRAGONS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #1
The Lady Dragons continue to impress with an unimaginable first half of the season despite the massive turnover from last season’s loaded roster. These girls are fun to watch, and are 3-1 in region play so far and ranked #3 in the state in Class 3A.
#4 DAWSON CO LADY TIGERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #3
The #5-ranked Lady Tigers are still doing just fine despite a few hiccups along the way. Kaylee Sticker’s supporting cast continues to shine, and it needs to be recalled that this team has only two seniors counting Sticker, so the youth movement proves very well for the future (which includes this coming postseason). Dawson is 3-1 in 7-AAA at the moment.
#5 LUMPKIN CO LADY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #5
The historic run for Lumpkin continues and the girls and coach David Dowse are 2-3 in region play. They nearly took down Dawson in an overtime loss, and have proven to be a team to beat in Class 3A this season.
#6 TALLULAH FALLS LADY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #7
The Lady Indians continue to get better nightly under the leadership of Brandy Corbett and senior leader Nyah Williams. TFS moves up slightly to number six in our rankings.
#7 WHITE CO LADY WARRIORS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #8
The Lady Warriors are enjoying a solid season, but would like a couple of the losses back for sure. Still, at 7-7 overall and 2-2 in region, these girls can make a splash in the playoffs. It’s still a young team with girls like Dasha Cannon, Bentley Cronic, Naomi Crumley, and others!
#8 UNION CO LADY PANTHERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #6
The Lady Panthers slide a couple spots, but are still sitting pretty at 2-1 in region play. They took a big hit losing to Towns County in the Battle of the States Tournament after beating them twice earlier in the season. It was the first time in many years Union has lost to Towns.
#9 TOWNS CO LADY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #11
Towns slides up to #9 after getting a few wins as of late. The Lady Indians took down rivals Union in the BOTS Tournament despite losing to them twice before this season. The girls with a win over Commerce are off to a great start in region play as well.
#10 COMMERCE LADY TIGERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #9
The Lady Tigers have done fairly well this season, but a loss to Towns puts them here at #10 for now. Again, this is amazing because at 8-5, a team should be higher up. However, this year proves to be awesome for girls basketball in North Georgia.
#11 STEPHENS CO LADY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #12
The Lady Indians move up a spot with a split over Habersham Central and the loss being by just a couple of points. At 0-1 in region, this young team doesn’t seem far off from being a big threat. A few more wins would be nice for momentum.
#12 HABERSHAM CENTRAL LADY RAIDERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #10
The Lady Raiders got a nice win over Stephens County, but still search to grow as a very young team.