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Prep Peek: Incudes Fab 5, Quote of the week, By the numbers, schedule

Monroe’s Jabari McGhee works against Albany High’s Larry Sanford in AHS’ 65-43 win last week.  Albany High is the No. 1 seed in the Region 1-AA tournament, and Monroe is the top seed in 1-AAA.

Monroe’s Jabari McGhee works against Albany High’s Larry Sanford in AHS’ 65-43 win last week. Albany High is the No. 1 seed in the Region 1-AA tournament, and Monroe is the top seed in 1-AAA.

ALBANY — Now he’s worried.

That’s the way Albany High’s boys basketball coach Archie Chatmon feels as his team leaves a remarkable regular season behind and tip-toes into the postseason this week as the No. 1 seed in the Region 1-AA tournament.

Albany High finishes the season as the No. 1 team in The Herald Fab 5 poll after beating Monroe and Brooks County last week to wrap up the season with an 11-game winning streak. The Indians have won 15 of their last 16, but Chatmon is cautious.

“I’m an old school coach,’’ he said. “That’s why when people ask me about the postseason I have a glum look on my face. Old school coaches know now is the time to fear.

“Young coaches don’t fear anything. But I’ve been around and I know what can happen. It scares me to death.’’

Chatmon said he has seen it too many times. He knows upsets are lurking at every turn.

“Every team you play is like a wounded animal in a corner,’’ he said. “If you’re not at your best game, every team is capable of beating you.’’

Albany High came close to a perfect season, losing to Westover, 57-54, on Dequan Green’s 3-pointer at the buzzer, and falling to Thomasville, which erased a four-point deficit in the last 48 seconds of the game to win, 37-36, on a shot with five seconds left.

The Indians won’t play until Thursday at Brooks County, where they will likely face Cook in the semifinals. The Indians needed a 3-pointer from Larry Sanford to send their first game with Cook into overtime, where the Indians won, 36-34. Albany also beat Cook in Adel, 52-44, but Chatmon knows Cook matches up well with his team, and it won’t be easy getting to the title game.

Early County, which moved back up to No. 2 in the final Fab 5 poll, plays tonight at 8:30 p.m. against Fitzgerald to open the Region 1-AA tournament. A win would send the Bobcats (20-5) into the semifinals Thursday at Brooks County against No. 2 seed Thomasville. The Bobcats and Bulldogs split a pair of games this season, both winning at home.

Early moved right back up to No. 2 in the final poll after slipping to No. 3 last week. The Bobcats beat Cook, 51-42, on Saturday to clinch the No. 3 seed in the region tournament.

Monroe lost to Westover and Albany High last week and slipped to No. 3, but the Tornadoes are No. 1 where it counts — in the Region 1-AAA tournament. Monroe went 11-1 in the region to capture the No. 1 seed, and the Tornadoes are guaranteed a berth in the state tournament. They want much more. They’re the defending Region 1-AAA champs, and if they repeat they know they will host the first two rounds of the state tournament.

The Nadas earned a bye in the region tournament this week and don’t play until the semifinals on Thursday at Westover. Everyone at Monroe is hoping Herald Super 6er Rantavious Gilbert, a 6-foot-8 shot-blocking master, will be ready to play. Gilbert sprained his ankle last Friday against Albany High.

The Herald No. 4 Bainbridge Bearcats did it again, ending their third season in a row with a long winning streak. They closed out the season with a 15-game winning streak and will defend their Region 1-AAAA title this week.

Calhoun County stays at No. 5 in the final poll by winning 11 of its last 12 games. The Cougars (18-5) have a difficult road in the Region 1-A tournament, which has some strange scheduling.

If Calhoun County wins its first game on Wednesday against the winner of the Seminole County game, and Terrell County beats Pelham on Wednesday, the Cougars could meet five-time defending region champ Terrell County. That possible showdown would be the biggest game of the entire region tournament, and the way Calhoun and Terrell County travel, would produce a huge crowd.

So when would those two meet? At 4 p.m. on Friday, which would kill the chance for a big crowd and put the showcase game in the afternoon. Talk about losing the gate and the luster of a big game. Instead of a standing-room-only crowd at 8:30 p.m. that would have rocked the gym and given the tournament a prime-time atmosphere, the two bitter rivals will play in front of a half-empty gym on a school day.

The biggest shakeup in the girls poll came at the No. 2 spot, where Monroe jumped from No. 4, leap-frogging Pelham, which fell from No. 2 to No. 4 after losing to Seminole County on Saturday night, and No. 3 Dougherty, which won twice last week.

But Monroe pulled off the upset of the season, knocking off No. 1 Westover, 51-48, last Tuesday at Darton to end the Lady Patriots’ season-long 23-game winning streak.

Westover, which beat No. 5 Americus-Sumter on Friday to finish at 24-1, stays at the top of the poll, going wire-to-wire in the No. 1 spot. Meanwhile, Monroe is peaking at the right time, and the Lady Tornadoes, who are the No. 2 seed in the Region 1-AAA tournament behind Westover, look to be a dangerous team in the postseason.

No one is as scary as Dougherty, which wins with an unrelenting defense and toughness that could take the Lady Trojans a long way in the postseason. Dougherty upset No. 1 Westover last year to win the Region 1-AAA tournament.

All anyone has to do this week is take a look at the Crisp County girls team for a little inspiration. Crisp finished strong season and landing in the Final Four in Macon, going from No. 5 in the region to No. 4 in the state. Now they want to do it again.

“We’re playing real well right now,’’ Crisp coach Molly Spears said. “We’re looking to go right back where we were a year ago — and even further.’’

Westover may have something to say about that. After losing to Monroe, Lady Patriots coach Lewis Smith said it would help his team. He said he was glad the streak was over because it had become a burden, and promised that “We will be a different team (in the postseason).’’

Quote of the week

“They say when you die your life flashes before you. It was like that. It’s pretty emotional. There was about 30 seconds left in the game, and I looked up at the scoreboard, and I saw a bunch of faces from the past. They just popped up in front of me. It was strange. I saw different faces and different places. Everything just kind of slowed down for me right then. It was just a very strange feeling.’’

Gordy Gruhl,

Deerfield boys basketball coach after earning his 1,000th career win Saturday night at ABAC, while also winning the Region 3-AAA title in the process in the same game.

By the number

1

Number of points scored by Deerfield’s Candace Cosby, who hit the game-winning free throw with 0.3 seconds left to lift DWS to the GISA Region 3-AAA title against Westfield.

28

The number of points scored by Albany High’s Tim Pierce in the first 22 minutes in a 65-43 win against Monroe. He finished with 30, and at one point he had outscored Monroe, 28-26, in the third quarter.

8

Number of wins Gordy Gruhl’s first team at Deerfield Windsor won 29 years ago. Gruhl won his 1,000th game on Saturday night as DWS won its seventh region title in eight years.

SCHEDULE

GISA STATE TOURNAMENT

CLASS A

Girls

Wednesday

At ABAC

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 Westwood vs. No. 3 Heritage Christian

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 Crisp Academy vs. No. 4 Twiggs

Boys

Thursday

At ABAC

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 Crisp Academy vs. No. 3 Providence Christian

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 Westwood vs. No. 4 Twiggs

CLASS AA

Girls

Wednesday

At Terrell Academy

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 Terrell Academy vs. No. 4 Curtis Baptist

Boys

Thursday

At Terrell Academy

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 SGA vs. No. 3 Frederica

CLASS AAA

Girls

Wednesday

At Stratford

7 p.m

No. 1 Deerfield-Windsor vs. No. 4 Tattnall Square

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 Arlington Christian vs. No. 4 Southland

Boys

Thursday

4 p.m.

No. 2 Sherwood Christian vs. No. 3 Stratford

7p.m.

No. 1 Deerfield-Windsor vs. No. 4 Griffin Christian

GHSA REGION TOURNAMENTS

REGION 1-AAAA

Girls

Thursday

Semifinals

4 p.m

Bainbridge vs. TBA

7 p.m.

Lee County vs. Northside, WR

Friday

4 p.m.

Consolation

7 p.m.

Chamiponship game

Boys

Today

At Northside,Columbus

7 p.m.

No. 1 (South seed) Bainbridge vs. No. 3 (North seed) Warner Robins

8:30 p.m.

No. 3 (South seed) Lee County vs. No. 1 (North seeed) Northside, Columbus

Thursday

At Northside, Columbus

Semifinals

5:30 p.m.

8:30 p.m.

Friday

5:30 p.m.

Consolation

8:30 p.m.

Championship game

REGION 1-AAA

Girls

Today

At Crisp County

4 p.m.

No. 4 Dougherty vs. No. 5 Americus-Sumter

7 p.m.

No. 3 Crisp County vs. winner of Cairo/Worth play-in game.

Thursday

At Westover

Semifinals

4 p.m.

No. 2 Monroe vs. Crisp County-Worth/Cairo winner

7 p.m.

No. 1 Westover vs. winner of Dougherty-Americus

Friday

At Westover

4 p.m.

Consolation

7 p.m.

Championship game

Boys

Today

5:30 p.m.

No. 4 Dougherty vs. No. 5 Americus-Sumter

8:30 p.m.

Crisp County vs. winner of Cairo/Worth play-in game.

Thursday

At Westover

Semifinals

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 Westover vs. Crisp County-Cairo/Worth winner

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 Monroe vs Dougherty-Americus-Sumter winner

Friday

At Westover

5:30 p.m.

Consolation game

8:30 p.m.

Championship game

Region 1-AA

Girls

Today

At Thomasville

4 p.m.

No. 4 Early County vs. No. 5 Cook

7 p.m.

No. 3 Thomasville vs. No. 6 Fitzgerald

Thursday

At Brooks County

Semifinals

4 p.m.

No. 2 Albany High vs. Thomasville-Fitzgerald winner

7 p.m.

No. 1 Brooks County vs. Early/Cook winner

Friday

At Brooks County

4 p.m

Consolation game

7:30 p.m.

Championship game

Boys

Today

At Thomasville

5:30 p.m.

No. 4 Cook vs. No. 5 Brooks County

8:30 p.m.

No. 3 Early County vs. Fitzgerald

Thursday

At Brooks County

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 Thomasville vs. Early-Fitzgerald winner

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 Albany High vs. Cook-Brooks County winner

Friday

At Brooks County

5:30 p.m.

Consolation game

8:30 p.m.

Championship game

REGION 1-A

Girls

(S=South seed); N=North seed)

Today

At Seminole County

5:30 p.m.

No. 4 (North seed) Terrell County vs. No. 5 (South seed) Baker County

8:30 p.m.

No. 4 (S) Miller County vs. winner of Webster/Stewart play-in game

Thursday

At Pelham

4 p.m.

No. 2 (N) Calhoun County vs. No. 3 (S) Seminole County

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 (S) Mitchell County vs No. 3 (N) Quitman County

7 p.m.

No. 1 (N) Randolph-Clay vs. Miller-Webster/Stewart winner

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 (S) Pelham vs. Terrell-Baker winner

Friday

At Pelham

Semifinals

5:30 p.m.

Randolph-Clay/Miller winner vs. Mitchell County/Quitman County winner

8:30 p.m.

Pelham winner vs. Calhoun-Seminole County winner

Saturday

5:30 p.m.

Consolation game

8:30 p.m.

Championship game

Boys

Today

At Seminole County

4 p.m.

No. 5 (S) Baker County vs. No. 4 (N) Stewart County

7 p.m.

No. 4 S Seminole County vs. winner of Quitman-Webster play-in game

Wednesday

At Mitchell County

4 p.m.

No. 2 (N) Randolph-Clay vs. No. 3 (S) Miller County

5:30 p.m.

No. 2 (S) Pelham vs. No. 3 (N) Terrell County

7 p.m.

No. 1 (N) Calhoun County vs. Seminole County-play-in game winner

8:30 p.m.

No. 1 (S) Mitchell County vs. Baker County-Stewart County winner

Thursday

At Pelham

Semifinals

4 p.m.

Calhoun County-Seminole County winner vs. Pelham-Terrell County winner

7 p.m.

Randolph-Clay-Miller winner vs. Mitchell-Baker/Stewart winner

Saturday

At Pelham

4 p.m

Consolation game

7 p.m.

Championship game