The regular season grind is nearing an end, and as we hit February, we reveal our latest BLITZ Power Rankings for boys hoops!
#1 DAWSON COUNTY TIGERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #1
REGION STANDING: 9-2; 2nd Place
The Tigers maintain the number one spot, complete with a #3-state ranking and their first 20-win season since 2013-14. The boys have won nine of the past ten, with only one loss since we turned the calendar to 2019. Luke Chism, Jasper Gibson, Eli Burruss, Campbell Reed, Ahmad Kamara, and others are having outstanding seasons. State playoffs are a lock with a number two finish in the region (behind only #1-ranked GAC).
#2 BANKS COUNTY LEOPARDS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #4
REGION STANDING: 11-2; 2nd Place
Winners of six straight and eight of the past nine, including a statement win over #5-ranked Elbert has Banks County moving back up. The Leopards are finally gelling together, as Carl Cleveland (28 pts, 11 reb per game) has done his thing. Pierce Martin is becoming that #2 guy for Banks. Playoffs are looking to be a lock here, as the boys sit still behind Elbert in the region standings. While the offense is ridiculous and the best in the region, the defense (third from last in pts/game allowed) could look to improve, although this statistic can be misleading as Banks runs a quick tempo offense, which means more opportunities for opponents to score also.
#3 JEFFERSON DRAGONS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #2
REGION STANDING: 6-5; 3rd Place
A handful of tough losses for the Dragons in the past six games hurts quite a bit, as Jefferson fell from the state rankings. However, the Dragons are still in a good spot for the playoffs. These guys are 8-5 away from the home court, and 6-4 at home. Remember, this is a young team with guys like Spencer Darby having a breakout year, as well as Donsha Gaither and Jacob Radaker.
#4 STEPHENS COUNTY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING #3
REGION STANDING: 4-3; 2nd Place
The Indians have dropped three straight and are just 3-5 in January. However, this is still one of the more balanced teams in Region 8-AAAA, and the playoffs are essentially guaranteed in this five-team region. Ty Nails continues to have a great season.
#5 UNION COUNTY PANTHERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #5
REGION STANDING: 7-6; 4th Place
The Panthers have won a couple close games as of late, behind heroics of the star duo of Pierson Allison and Sawyer Drake. They’ve also dropped a few key region games in heartbreaking fashion that they’d like to have back. This team will upset someone in the playoffs. Union has one of the best defenses in 8-AA, but despite Allison/Drake, it would like to get a bit more points on the board.
#6 TALLULAH FALLS INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #6
REGION STANDING: 4-4; 6th Place
Back-to-back wins are crucial for the Indians. That said, a 4-5 January has dampened the playoff hopes, although that dream can still come true with the upcoming Power Ratings for Class 1A. Tallulah scores at a rate near the top of the region, but its defense struggles to keep opponents from scoring, too.
#7 TOWNS COUNTY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #8
REGION STANDING: 3-5; 8th Place
Towns County has won three of its last four to keep playoff dreams alive. Kolby Moss has been red-hot as of late, while Will Travis has been pretty consistent all season. You would probably be surprised to know that the Indians have the third-best offense in the region, but also the worst defense in terms of pts/game allowed. Road woes have been an issue, as the guys are 5-8 away from Hiawassee.
#8 WHITE COUNTY WARRIORS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #10
REGION STANDING: 2-9; 6th Place
It’s a positive improvement with a 3-4 mark in the last seven for the Warriors. White County would love to be have been more lock-down at home, as it went just 2-7 in Cleveland.
#9 LUMPKIN COUNTY INDIANS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #7
REGION STANDING: 2-10; 6th Place
A 2-7 January isn’t what the Indians had in mind, but the upcoming region tournament could see the guys sneak into the playoffs if they can pull off some big upsets. The defense needs major work as Lumpkin does allow the most points/game of any team in 7-AAA.
#10 RABUN COUNTY WILDCATS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #11
REGION STANDING: 4-9; 7th Place
The Wildcats have a good offense behind Kasin Old and company, but the defense ranks second from the bottom in the region. That said, we’ve witnessed this team come so close to some big wins. Finishing is something they are working on, and when they’re hot, look out! Could the Cats sneak into the playoffs come region tournament time?
#11 HABERSHAM CENTRAL RAIDERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #9
REGION STANDING: 0-8; 6th Place
13 straight losses for Habersham has the guys reeling. On the positive side, the Raiders’ defense is near the top in the region.
#12 COMMERCE TIGERS
PREVIOUS RANKING: #12
REGION STANDING: 1-10; 10th Place
The recent win over Athens Christian was good for morale here. There is talent on this roster with Jalen Dorsey and Creed Dunbar being the key players. Unfortunately, as is the theme throughout our North Georgia teams, the defense can be improved (second only to Towns County in pts/allowed per game).