NORTH FULTON, Ga. — The boys Region 7-AAAAAA tournament tips off this week at Chattahoochee. Nine teams will vie for the region title and the top four teams will earn berths in the state tournament.
No. 1 Chattahoochee
Chattahoochee compiled another strong regular season to capture the No. 1 seed with a 13-3 record against region opponents. The Cougars are the only 7-AAAAAA team to sport a top-10 ranking in Class 6A entering the tournament.
Junior AJ White and senior Region Player of the Year Cameron Sheffield continued to lead Hooch offensively this season. Both guards have strong outside shooting and 6-foot-6 Sheffield is a formidable presence in the paint.
The Cougars enter the tournament averaging 67 points per game in region play and were second in fewest points allowed. Hooch’s three regular season region losses were all by less than seven points.
Chattahoochee could be poised to reach its first region tournament finals since the 2012-13 season after taking a 72-70, heartbreaking loss to North Atlanta in last year’s semifinals.
Hooch will be chasing its first region title since the 2011-12 season.
In earning the No. 1 seed, the Cougars have an automatic bid to the state tournament. They will take on the winner of No. 4 Johns Creek and No. 5 Centennial in the semifinals.
No. 3 Cambridge
Defending 7-AAAAAA champions Cambridge remained among the region’s top teams this year despite losing a talented senior class following the 2018-19 season. With new talent emerging this year, the Bears have continued the program’s rise to prominence from a bottom-dweller to championship contender. Cambridge compiled an 11-5 region record in the regular season for the No. 3 seed.
The Bears closed out their regular season Jan. 28 with a 68-50 loss to No. 1 seed Chattahoochee.
The Bears have focused on playing better defensively this year, and it has paid off with the Bears entering the tournament having allowed the fewest points in 7-AAAAAA play. Cambridge has beaten its opponents by an average of 20 points per game in their region wins.
Cambridge has seen significant contributions from several players with senior forward Sola Adebisi, senior wing E.J. Smith, senior guard Cole Bearden and junior guard Davis Sager leading the way.
A year after earning the program’s first region title, the Bears will look to repeat as champs this week.
Cambridge takes on the winner of No. 6 North Atlanta vs. No. 9 Dunwoody. The Bears and North Atlanta met in the last two 7-AAAAAA tournament finals, splitting the series.
No. 4 Johns Creek
Johns Creek is already enjoying one if its best seasons in program history and will look to make some noise in the 7-AAAAAA tournament this week.
The Gladiators compiled a 16-8 overall regular season record and enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed with 10 wins in region play.
Johns Creek’s success has been driven by a high-caliber offense with five players averaging double digit scoring per game, led by seniors Chase McKey, Nick Willis, Jordan Johnson, Javani Brown and junior Steven Lyles. The Gladiators led the region in scoring with 73 points per game in 7-AAAAAA play.
If the Gladiators are to capture the program’s first region title, their defensive play will likely need to lead the way. Only Dunwoody and Centennial allowed more points in region play during the regular season.
Johns Creek will at least look to earn the program’s first playoff bid since the 2015-16 season by placing among the top four teams in the region tournament. The Gladiators open the tournament against No. 5 Centennial with a berth in the state tourney on the line. With a win, Johns Creek could then pursue its first ever win in the state playoffs.
No. 5 Centennial
Centennial will look to end its state tournament appearance drought this week and enter the tournament with a 9-7 mark against its 7-AAAAAA foes in the regular season. The Knights tied with North Atlanta for the No. 5 seed and won tiebreakers.
The Knights balanced offense and defense has been led by several players, including guards Mansir Williamson, Logan Turner, Kaleb Jordan and forward Julian Nixon. Centennial was fifth in points per game and seventh in points allowed during regular season region games.
Though the Knights enter the region tournament in the middle of the pack, the team has shown it can down top teams. Centennial took down Chattahoochee 89-85 in overtime Jan. 10.
The Knights take on Johns Creek to open the tournament. Centennial dropped its two regular season matchups with the Gladiators, including a tight, 75-71 loss on Jan. 31 in the team’s regular season finale.
No. 7 Northview
Northview has been competitive in region play despite their 5-11 record, but the Titans coming up on the wrong end of several of those games has relegated the them to the No. 7 seed. Five of Northview’s region losses have been by eight points or fewer.
However, the Titans are entering the postseason on a high note. Northview held Johns Creek’s high-caliber offense to 50 points Jan. 28 to down the Gladiators 54-50 before closing out the regular season with an 18-point win over Dunwoody.
The Titans have been led by sophomore guard Ivoryon Cuffee and senior guards Eric Hattings and Jaylen Stewart. The trio combined for 45 of Northview’s 54 points in the team’s 54-50 win over North Atlanta Jan. 21.
Northview is seeking its first region tournament win since the 2011-12 season and face No. 8 Alpharetta in the first round. The teams split their regular season meetings with Northview winning 70-57 on Dec. 6 and Alpharetta taking the Jan. 17 matchup, 60-50.
No. 8 Alpharetta
With several new starters, Alpharetta has experienced its frustrations this season, but the Raiders will look to shed those troubles this week.
Led offensively by 6-foot-5 senior guard Jayden Stephens, the Raiders averaged 56 points per game and 62 allowed per game in the regular season region play.
Despite just three wins in against 7-AAAAAA opponents, the Raiders have been competitive in most of their region tilts. Eight of the Raiders’ 13 losses have been by eight points or fewer, including both of their matchups with No. 1 seed Chattahoochee.
The Raiders take on No. 7 Northview in the first round after the teams split their regular season meetings.
Alpharetta will need two wins to make a return to the state tournament after their seven-season streak of earning a state berth ended last season.
No. 9 Dunwoody
If Dunwoody is to win a region game this season, it will have to be in the 7-AAAAAA tournament. The Wildcats went 1-21 overall in the regular season, including 16 losses in region play.
The Wildcats enter the tournament averaging a region-low 50 points per game and are last in points allowed in 7-AAAAAA play.
Dunwoody has not won a region tournament game since finishing as the 7-AAAAAA tournament runner-up in the 2016-17 season. The Wildcats will look to end that streak when they take on No. 6 North Atlanta in the first round of the tournament.
North Atlanta won both regular season matchups, 68-42 and 60-53.