Monroe players Erica Hayes (3), Madison King (14), Keshundra Price (10), Jomekia Morine (15) and Cekeya Mack (21) have helped Monroe to a 7-0 start. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)
The Albany Herald’s Fab 5 poll has a different look this week with a pair of teams making a big jump on the boys side, while the girls side has a couple of small changes.
Worth County, winners of eight straight, took over the top spot when Crisp County upset previous No. 1 Westover Tuesday night. The Rams were ranked fourth last week but reeled off two key wins over Albany and Dougherty to grab the top spot.
“We felt like we were going to be solid (coming into the season),” Worth County boys coach Arthur Davis said. “We felt like we could compete in the region. Probably the best thing that happened to us was that we lost our first game to Houston County. That made us work a little harder. We learned a lesson from that first game.”
The Rams, who are the only unbeaten in Region 1-AAAA play, don’t have another region contest until they travel to meet Westover on Jan. 7.
Seminole County, last week’s No. 3, moved up one spot after winning all its games last week. The Indians’ biggest victory was a 55-35 win at fellow region 1-A rival Randolph-Clay that garnered statewide attention.
“We are off to a good start and playing well, but we have some good teams coming up,” Seminole boys coach Kevin Godwin said. “We just have to take it one game at a time and keep improving.”
Westover took a tumble after dropping a 68-66 overtime loss at Crisp County last Tuesday. However, don’t count out the Patriots whom many still consider the top team in the city.
Randolph-Clay also took a tumble after dropping its game at Seminole County last week. However, the Red Devils rebounded with a key win at Early County on the road on Saturday. They will get a chance to make a statement in the U-Save-It-Classic this weekend at the Albany Civic Center when they tackle Westover Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Crisp County moves into the poll at No. 5 after upending former No. 1 Westover last Tuesday.
On the girls side, there is no denying who the top team is – Monroe. The Lady Tornadoes have already beaten Dougherty and Westover in region play this season. Last Friday night’s 54-31 victory at Westover was solid as Monroe’s defense frustrated the Lady Patriots.
“Our game plan was to box out because they are more physical than we are,” Monroe coach Cheryl Cheeks said of Westover. “We wanted to make sure they only got one shot attempt.”
Randolph-Clay remained at No. 2 this week after a couple of key wins over Seminole County and Early County. The Lady Red Devils have been dominant in all of their victories so far.
Dougherty moved up a spot to No. 3. The Lady Trojans have won six straight and will have a say-so in the outcome of Region 1-AAAA. Dougherty still has two region games left against Westover and one each against Crisp County and Monroe, the three teams expected to contend for postseason berths.
Pelham didn’t open its season until last Friday when they scored a big win over cross-county rival Mitchell County. The Lady Hornets then followed that victory with a rout of Seminole County Saturday night in a game Pelham was never challenged.
Westover fell to fifth after a tough week in which the Lady Patriots lost at Crisp County and Monroe.
Herald Fab 5 Basketball Polls
1) Worth County………………..8-1
2) Seminole County…………….5-0
5) Crisp County………………….2-4
Albany Herald Fab 5 High School Basketball Poll
1) Worth County (8-1) – The Rams have surged to the top, thanks to an eight-game winning streak and big wins over Albany and Dougherty last week.
Next: at Portal (Christmas Tournament), 8:30 p.m., Dec. 27
2) Seminole County (5-0) – The Indians are off and running, beating powerful Randolph-Clay, Lee County and Pelham last week to stay unbeaten.
Next: at Lee County, 7:30 p.m., today
3) Westover (7-2) – The Patriots fell out of the top spot after falling at Crisp County last Tuesday. But Westover rebounded nicely, beating Monroe and Lee County over the weekend
Next: vs. Manchester (U-Save-It-Classic), 5:30 p.m., Friday
4) Randolph-Clay (4-1) – After dropping a tough region tilt to Seminole County last Tuesday, the Red Devils rebounded with a big win at Early County on Saturday.
Next: vs. Westover (U-Save-It-Classic), 7 p.m., Saturday
5) Crisp County (2-4) – Cougars make debut after upsetting former No. 1 Westover last week.
Next: vs. Hawkinsville (Middle Georgia Classic), 5:30 p.m., Friday
1) Monroe (7-0) – A big 54-31 victory at Westover last Friday night helped the Lady Tornadoes strengthen the top spot.
Next: at Americus-Sumter, 6 p.m., today
2) Randolph-Clay (5-0) – The Lady Red Devils whipped Seminole County last Tuesday, then took a big win over a very good Early County team on the road Saturday night.
Next: vs. Twiggs County (Thomasville Christmas Tournament), TBA, Dec. 26
3) Dougherty (6-1) – The Lady Trojans have won six in a row and quietly are putting together a strong season.
Next: vs. Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln at Rickards (Fla.) High School, 1:40 p.m., Friday
4) Pelham (2-0) – The Lady Hornets opened their season with a big win over Mitchell County, then crushed Seminole County Saturday night.
Next: at Baker County, 6 p.m., today
5) Westover (8-2) – After starting the season 7-0, the Lady Patriots lost two tough games last week. But they rebounded with a win Saturday night over Lee County.
Next: at Rickards (Fla.), 7:45 p.m., Saturday