We’re starting something new at macon.com this week. We’re going to do a top-10 power poll for Middle Georgia GHSA boys and girls basketball. Throughout the season, we’ll post new ratings on Thursday nights.
Week 1: Games through Wednesday, Dec. 7
Analysis: I like to start the season with rankings based off postseason results from the previous season. Since we’re only two or three weeks in, that means last season’s results largely influence the opening rankings, perhaps to a fault. The team hurt by this the most is Westside, which was eliminated in the second round last year but returns most of its lineup and gains a high-level transfer in former Central big man Kentrevious Jones. I easily could have (and should have) slotted Westside, No. 1 in the Score Atlanta Class 3A rankings, at No. 1 or No. 2 in this Middle Georgia list, but for now the Seminoles have yet to crack this top 10 despite a 2-1 start and a quality loss to Class 7A No. 1 (Score Atlanta) Norcross. Under-rated? Definitely. But give things a couple of more weeks, and Westside should move into the picture if it continues to win. Central, meanwhile, benefits from this ranking scenario since it was a Class 3A quarterfinalist last season and is off to a 3-0 start. Stratford (1-1) also benefits after its Class 1A private semifinal berth last year. Also worthy of higher consideration at this point: Upson-Lee (8-0), Twiggs County (5-0) and Perry (6-1).
1. Wilkinson County (3-1)
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Season so far: Hancock Central (W 61-47), Dublin (L 57-56), Swainsboro (W 74-45), Warren County (W 80-53).
The week ahead: Crisp County, 8:30 p.m. Saturday (Middle Georgia Shootout).
2. Central (3-0)
Season so far: Northeast (W 76-57), Southwest (W 53-48), Peach County (W 68-36).
The week ahead: at Westside (Friday), Jackson (Tuesday).
3. Crawford County (4-1)
Season so far: Mary Persons (W 85-71), Upson-Lee (L 77-66), Dooly County (W 70-48), Central-Talbotton (W 63-58), Marion County (W 93-87)
The week ahead: Taylor County (Friday), at Greenville (Saturday), at Upson-Lee (Tuesday).
4. Stratford (1-1)
Season so far: GMC (W 63-52), North Cobb Christian (L 57-38).
The week ahead: at GMC (Friday).
5. Tattnall Square (1-0)
Season so far: Mount Vernon Presbyterian (W 45-44).
The week ahead: at Eagle’s Landing Christian (Friday).
6. Hancock Central (2-2)
Season so far: Baldwin (L 53-35), Taliaferro County (W 70-46), Wilkinson County (L 61-47), Taliaferro County (W 91-55).
The week ahead: at Washington County (Friday), Baldwin (Saturday), at Lake Oconee Academy (Tuesday).
7. Taylor County (2-1)
Season so far: Upson-Lee (L 46-34), Greenville (W 61-42), Central-Talbotton (W 58-41)
The week ahead: at Crawford County (Friday), at Pacelli (Saturday), Marion County (Tuesday).
8. Monticello (4-2)
Season so far: Jones County (W 69-65), Dorman (S.C.) (L 86-57), Spartanburg (S.C.) Christian (L 60-59), Laurens (S.C.) (W 79-45), Jackson (W 78-60), Greene County (W 81-60).
The week ahead: at Banks County (Friday), at Jones County (Saturday)
9. Warner Robins (3-1)
Season so far: GMC (W 69-26), Perry (L 57-53), Jones County (W 67-36), Baldwin (W 66-62).
The week ahead: Houston County (Friday), Hillgrove (Saturday, LakePoint Basketball Showcase in Emerson).
10. Upson-Lee (8-0)
Season so far: Heard County (W 58-44), Central-Talbotton (W 61-35), Woodland (W 75-50), Taylor County (W 46-34), Lamar County (W 85-49), Crawford County (W 77-66), Lamar County (W 69-32), Mary Persons (W 71-53).
The week ahead: West Laurens (Friday), Crawford County (Tuesday).