Calhoun County’s Bryant Williams (1) and Deante Scott (24) corral Seminole County’s Jordan Harris (24) Saturday night as Calhoun coach Marcus Shaw looks on. Calhoun County’s win over Seminole County put the Cougars back into the Fab 5 Poll. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
Calhoun County had grown tired of what they perceived as their boys basketball program not getting much respect. The Cougars decided to do something about it.
And did they ever.
Saturday night the Cougars gunned down former Herald No. 1 Seminole County, knocking the Indians out of the No. 1 spot and also out of The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll. After a one-week hiatus, Calhoun re-entered at No. 5.
While their victory created a shake-up on the boys side, the girls top five teams remained just about the same as last week. After top-ranked Pelham crushed county-rival Mitchell County Saturday night, it sent the former No. 5 Mitchell County Lady Eagles tumbling out of the poll as Crisp County took over the final spot. The top four teams – Pelham, Monroe, Westover and Randolph-Clay – remained the same from last week.
Worth County, which survived a scare from Americus-Sumter on Friday, reclaimed the top spot after going unbeaten last week. The Rams hold the top spot in the Region 1-AAAA standings as well with a key week ahead.
Crisp County, which moved up to No. 2, may be the hottest team in the area. The Cougars have won five straight in region play and five of their last seven with their only losses coming against Class A power Turner County.
Westover slipped a spot to No. 3 after a weird 59-58 loss to Americus-Sumter last week. The Patriots have just four region games left. However, two of those are against Crisp County and Worth County, whom the Patriots trail in the Region 1-AAAA standings.
“Every game is important … you better come in and play every game like it depends on you going to the postseason,” Westover boys coach Dallis Smith said.
Randolph-Clay moved up a spot to fourth place. The Red Devils have won seven straight and should have a chance to move up in the Class A power rankings during the next two weeks as they have Monroe and then meet Herald No. 5 Calhoun County in their regular-season finale.
However, don’t sleep on Calhoun County, which showed on Saturday night what happens when you play a complete game — excellent perimeter shooting, clutch free throw shooting and superb defense — in a victory over Seminole County.
“We just believe in each other and what we have,” Calhoun County boys coach Marcus Shaw said of his team.
On the girls side, no team has been as dominant as Pelham, which can clinch the Region 1-AA regular-season title with a victory over Berrien tonight as well as on Friday at Thomasville.
Monroe has won nine straight and clinched the Region 1-AAAA regular-season title with a 56-54 come-from-behind win at Crisp County Saturday night. The victory earned Monroe High School the right to host the region tournament that begins on Feb. 10.
“We won region last year, so we wanted to do the same thing this year,” Monroe’s Key Key Price said. “We want to go farther and do better.”
Westover’s Lady Patriots have quietly put together a four-game winning streak and can finish second in the region standings if they can win out. That includes a big game Thursday against Crisp County. Westover lost to Crisp County in overtime the last time the two met in December in Cordele.
Randolph-Clay appears to be hitting its stride at the most important time of the regular season. The Lady Red Devils have won five of their last six.
Crisp County had won five in a row before falling to No. 2 Monroe on Saturday.
Herald Fab 5 Basketball Polls
1) Worth County………………16-4
2) Crisp County………………..11-8
5) Calhoun County…………….18-1
5) Crisp County………………11-9
Albany Herald Fab 5 High School Basketball Poll
1) Worth County (16-4) – When you’re on top of the region standings, everyone is shooting for you. The Rams took Americus-Sumter’s best shot and still prevailed. However, it’s a big week.
Next: at Albany, 6 p.m., today
2) Crisp County (11-8) – With the exception of a non-region loss to Class A power Turner County last week, the Cougars were flawless. They are ½-game ahead of Westover for second place in the Region 1-AAAA standings.
Next: at Westover, 7:30 p.m., Thursday
3) Westover (14-5) – Don’t sleep on the Patriots yet. The loss to Americus-Sumter last week may have been a blessing in disguise for them.
Next: vs. Crisp County, 7:30 p.m., Thursday
4) Randolph-Clay (16-3) – The Red Devils have won seven straight and are playing their best basketball of the season
Next: at Stewart County, 7:30 p.m., today
5) Calhoun County (18-1) – The Cougars shook up the Fab 5 Poll this week, knocking off former No. 1 Seminole County Saturday night.
Next: at Terrell County, 7:30 p.m., today
1) Pelham (18-0) – The Lady Hornets flexed their muscles as the best team in the area last week. Perhaps the biggest story is seeing if Pelham can complete the regular season undefeated. They have five games left.
Next: vs. Berrien, 6 p.m., today
2) Monroe (17-4) – The Lady Tornadoes clinched the regular-season Region 1-AAAA title Saturday night, winning their ninth straight game.
Next: vs. Terrell County, 6 p.m., Friday
3) Westover (16-4) – The Lady Patriots are on a four-game winning streak. They play host to Crisp County in a game that will go a long way in the Region 1-AAAA standings.
Next: vs. Crisp County, 6 p.m., Thursday
4) Randolph-Clay (15-3) – The Lady Red Devils trounced Webster County, Quitman County and Miller County last week.
Next: at Stewart County, 6 p.m., today
5) Crisp County (11-9) – The Lady Cougars’ record may not show it, but they are one of the top girls teams around.
Next: at Westover, 6 p.m., Thursday