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No. 1 Wesleyan girls face twin test

The Wesleyan girls haven't been challenged since winning the Deep South Classic, but that will change this weekend.

The top-ranked Wolves, who have won once by 60 points and twice by 50, play fellow Class AA powers Buford and Greater Atlanta Christian on back-to-back nights.

GAC, the defending state champion, and Buford join 6-AA South member Wesleyan in the top echelon of the Class AA rankings.

GAC was ranked No. 2 behind Wesleyan in the GaSports.com coaches poll last and No. 4 in the Georgia Sportswriters poll. Buford was ranked No. 3 by the media and No. 4 by the coaches.

Wesleyan (15-2) will host Buford (13-2) on Friday, then play at GAC (14-2) on Saturday.

It makes for tough back-to-back games, but the Wolves won four consecutive games against top teams to take the Deep South Classic after Christmas.

Wesleyan, which has won 12 games in a row, has lost only to Mill Creek, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA, and North Carolina power Bishop McGuinness.

The game against Buford will feature a matchup of two of the state's top juniors, with Wesleyan's Anne Marie Armstrong going against Buford's Blanche Alverson for the first time.

Alverson, like Armstrong a versatile 6-foot-3 player, is a transfer from Alabama who had a season-high 26 points Saturday in a 63-33 non-region win over Flowery Branch.

GAC doesn't have a starter back from last season's state championship team, but features two of the state's top sophomores in guards Chaney Means and Briana Jordan.

In the only meeting between the 6-AA South powers, GAC beat Buford 60-51 at home last Tuesday. Both Jordan and Alverson made four 3-pointers.

Wesleyan boys also get big test

The Wesleyan boys, ranked No. 2 in both polls behind Randolph-Clay, also have a demanding upcoming schedule.

The Wolves (13-2) play at No. 3 GAC (15-2) on Saturday, face defending Class AAAA state champion Tucker (12-3) on Monday and host dangerous Decatur (12-4) next Tuesday.

Wesleyan and GAC are each 8-0 and tied for first in 6-AA South.

The game with Tucker is in an MLK Day event at Centennial and will begin at 1 p.m. The Tigers are ranked No. 3 among AAAA teams in the Georgia Sportswriters poll.

Wesleyan, led by Georgia signee Howard Thompkins, has won nine straight games. The 6-foot-9 Thompkins is averaging 30.2 points per game.

Parkview girls host streaking Comets

After losing three times on their home court during the Deep South Classic, the South Gwinnett girls were 1-6 going into 8-AAAAA play. But the Comets have won four straight region games and can take over first place with a win at Parkview tonight.

Beating the Panthers would be a major upset, however. Parkview, led by senior point guard Sczeny Hartry, has won 12 straight games to improve to 13-2 and 4-0 in the region.

The Panthers, ranked No. 9 in the Georgia Sportswriters poll last week, haven't lost since the Parkview Tip-Off Classic and rarely have had a close game.

South Gwinnett is the defending region champion, but has no starters back from last season's 29-3, state runner-up team.

Norcross dominates region

The Collins Hill boys lost by 33 points the first time they played No. 1 rated Norcross, but that's been about the norm for Region 7-AAAAA teams against the Blue Devils.

Now the Eagles, tied for second place, get another shot at Norcross tonight, this time at home. Collins Hill is 14-5 overall and 7-2 in the region, while the Blue Devils are 13-1 and 9-0.

North Gwinnett, 5-4 in the region and 9-9 overall, is the only 7-AAAAA team to come remotely close to Norcross, losing 61-50 at home on Friday. But the Blue Devils came back to rip the Bulldogs 83-54 on Saturday at home.

Florida power at Norcross

The atmosphere won't be as electric without the ESPN2 cameras, but Norcross may face an even more dangerous opponent when it hosts Dillard in the Prime Time Shootout on Saturday night.

The Blue Devils, which beat Helen Cox of Louisiana 59-48 on Thursday, will face a perennial Florida power from Fort Lauderdale that was unbeaten until a loss Friday.

The only loss for Norcross - the two-time defending Class AAAAA state champion - came against another Florida team, Lakeland Kathleen, in the Amare Stoudemire Invitational before Christmas.

Norcross coach Eddie Martin thinks a team benefits greatly from playing tough teams and before enthusiastic crowds.

"If you get an opportunity to go far in the state tournament, games like this help," Martin said after beating Helen Cox. "You've already played in front of a big crowd and you've played a tough team."

Mustangs are riding high

The Meadowcreek boys had two good wins over the weekend, beating 8-AAAAA leader Parkview 64-56 and then routing Beach 78-56. But the Savannah team wasn't the same one that the Mustangs lost to 66-41 in early December.

Senior guard James Fields, who signed with Georgia State, transferred from Beach to a private school recently. The Bulldogs have lost six of their past seven games.

Meadowcreek (10-4) has a key Region 8-AAAAA game at home against Berkmar (9-4) on Friday. Both are 3-1 in the region and tied with Parkview for first place.