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HOOPS NOTEBOOK: Parkview girls move into national rankings

The North Gwinnett and Norcross girls basketball teams are no longer alone in drawing national attention.

Parkview moved into the Top 25 rankings this week, claiming No. 17 on the USA Today national list.

The Panthers are 16-0 and haven't been challenged this season. But a relatively soft schedule with no out-of-state tests had left coach Tony Watkins' team unrecognized.

North (13-0) skyrocketed to No. 3 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 last week after a championship at the Naples Holiday Shootout in Florida and is No. 13 on the USA Today list.

Norcross (13-2) dropped out of the USA Today Top 25 after its loss in the title game of the Nike Interstate Invitational in Oregon. The Blue Devils had been No. 20.

No team has come within 20 points of Parkview this season, with the Panthers' closest victory a 22-point decision over Mill Creek on Dec. 1.

The Panthers defeated Greater Atlanta Christian by 23 points on Nov. 20 in the championship game of the Parkview Tip-Off and had the same margin in defeating Chattahoochee for the Big Red Shootout title at Gainesville on Dec. 29.

Parkview is 7-0 in Region 8-AAAAAA and doesn't figure to be tested the rest of the regular season. The Panthers defeated second-place Archer 54-29 on Dec. 14.

How dominant has Parkview been? The Panthers have victories of 97-7, 69-11 and 72-22. Rival Brookwood lost to Parkview 60-19.

A lack of close games, though, could hurt the Panthers come the state tournament. Parkview was undefeated a year ago until losing 63-46 to battle-tested Norcross in the state quarterfinals.

Archer's Smith hits milestones

Archer suffered a tough OT loss at Shiloh on Tuesday, but senior point guard Randall Smith reached a pair of impressive milestones during the game.

The Jacksonville State signee went over both 1,000 career points and 500 assists in the 76-74 defeat. The four-year starter has 1,002 career points and 501 career assists after registering 19 points and four assists against Shiloh.

Archer and Shiloh are tied for first in Region 8-AAAAAA with 7-1 records. Shiloh is 11-2 overall and Archer 12-3.

Buford boys get revenge

The Buford boys were knocked out of the state tournament a year ago with an upset loss at Dawson County. On Tuesday night, the Wolves got some payback.

Buford held previously unbeaten Dawson County scoreless in the second period and rolled to a 53-36 victory that improved the Wolves to 6-0 in Region 7-AAA and 9-5 overall.

Kyle Doyle had 25 points and Isaiah Williams scored 19 for Buford, which was playing without 6-foot-7 Tennessee signee A.J. Davis.

Dawson County (14-1, 4-1) was held scoreless for a stretch of more than 11 minutes as Buford went on a 20-0 run from late in the first quarter to early in the third.

The Wolves started the season 2-4 against a rugged schedule, but have been on a roll since. They host West Hall on Friday before another important Region 7-AAA game at North Hall next Tuesday.

On Jan. 19 and 21, Buford will play in the Flyin' to the Hoop showcase in Dayton, Ohio.

Rescheduled games set

Norcross and North Gwinnett will play their rescheduled games at Norcross on Jan. 23, meaning the schools will face each other twice in nine days.

The first meetings between the Region 7-AAAAAA powers is Tuesday at North and first place in both the girls and boys standings will be at stake.

The schools were originally scheduled to play for the first time on Nov. 30 at Norcross, but the games were postponed because of a conflict with the state football playoffs.

"It was very hard to find a time to reschedule," Norcross athletics director Kirk Barton said. "We thought about a couple other dates, but either the boys or the girls had a conflict."

For awhile, it was thought that the rescheduled games might have to be played on Feb. 2, but that is just one week before the regular season is set to conclude.