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By Zach Shugan | Photo by Willie Prince

Winter weather and COVID is doing its best to slow down the season, but there was plenty of action last week across the state. As a result, there was a healthy amount of movement in the SBLive Top 25.

Woodward Academy jumped three spots and joined the top five after taking down Mount Paran, which in turn fell three spots to No. 7. 

Grayson climbed three spots into the top 10 following its win over Hebron Christian, which fell one spot to No. 15.

Previous No. 21 Woodstock (12-7) fell out of the top 25 after dropping its second and third games in 10 days against Alpharetta and Greater Atlanta Christian. 

Southeast Georgia’s Brunswick (16-0) joined the top 25 as it looks to continue building on its undefeated season as the playoffs approach.

1. Brookwood (14-3)

Last week: 1

Brookwood sits atop the rankings for the third week in a row after picking up a 79-41 region win over South Gwinnett. The Broncos continue region play Friday when they host Newton (4-11).

2. Holy Innocents’ (16-2)

Last week: 2

Holy Innocents’ beat a ranked team for the third and fourth game in a row, taking down Forest Park and Luella by 20-plus points each. The Golden Bears aren’t slowing down either, as they travel to No. 17 Greater Atlanta Christian on Saturday.

3. St. Francis (13-2)

Last week: 3

In their only game last week, St. Francis cruised to a 72-19 region win over Fellowship Christian. The Knights play at Mount Vernon (8-4) on Friday.

4. River Ridge (16-1)

Last week: 5

River Ridge won big in region games against Creekview and Centennial last week, defeating the Grizzlies by 24 points and the Knights by 47 points. This week, the top-ranked team in Class 6A continues region play against Johns Creek (4-9) and an upset-minded Sequoyah (13-5), which could enter the top 25 with a win Friday.

5. Woodward Academy (14-2)

Last week: 8

Fresh off a 56-51 win over previous No. 4 Mount Paran and a couple of dominant region wins over Creekside and Mundy’s Mill, the War Eagles are rolling. They host No. 20 Forest Park on Friday and Tri-Cities on Saturday.

6. Kell (14-2)

Last week: 6

Kell got on track following back-to-back losses to Holy Innocents’ and Sprayberry, crushing Kennesaw Mountain by 70 points and Wheeler by 57 points. The Longhorns’ run against region opponents continues this week with games against Allatoona (4-10) and Osborne (6-4).

7. Mount Paran (12-4)

Last week: 4

The Eagles took care of business in region games against Walker and Christian Heritage, but they fell 56-51 to Woodward Academy to end the week. They have the chance to rebound with region games this week against North Cobb Christian (7-7) and Darlington (13-3).

8. North Forsyth (15-3)

Last week: 9

North Forsyth remains unbeaten against in-state opponents after beating Gainesville and a South Forsyth team just outside the top 25. The Raiders put their streak on the line Thursday at Lambert (10-8).

9. Luella (15-3)

Last week: 10

Luella came out on top in one of its two games against a top 10 team last week, winning 49-44 over previous No. 7 Carrollton and falling 61-41 to No. 2 Holy Innocents’. After playing four games in seven days, the Lions have one game this week, a region contest against North Clayton (0-9).

10. Grayson (13-3)

Last week: 13

Grayson won its second game in a row against a ranked opponent, giving previous No. 14 Hebron Christian its second loss of the season. The Rams resume region play Friday, as they South Gwinnett (3-12).

11. Jefferson (15-2)

Last week: 11

Jefferson remains undefeated in region play following its 62-35 win last week over North Oconee. The Dragons continue their region slate this week with games against Madison County (5-12) and Cedar Shoals (11-4).

12. Buford (13-3)

Last week: 12

The Wolves went 3-0 last week, defeating Rabun Gap-Nacoochee, Central Gwinnett and Winder-Barrow. They have a couple of region games at Shiloh (2-10) and Lanier (5-11) before a weekend non-region matchup with Wesleyan (9-4).

13. Lumpkin County (17-1)

Last week: 15

Lumpkin County extended its win streak to 15 games with region wins against White County and East Forsyth last week. The Indians put their streak on the line against Dawson County (11-7), Gilmer (7-12) and Union County (11-6).

14. Carrollton (16-2)

Last week: 7

The Trojans perfect season came to an end with losses to unranked Dalton (13-2) and Luella. They have since bounced back with a region win over Alexander, and they have a couple more region games coming up against in Rome (12-3) and Paulding County (5-14).

15. Hebron Christian (14-2)

Last week: 14

Hebron nearly pulled off the win but lost by one point to Grayson. The Lions rebounded with a 30-point victory over Cherokee Bluff to close out their week, and they have games against Banks County (8-11) and Wesleyan (9-4) this week.

16. Maynard Jackson (9-1)

Last week: 16

After a couple of weeks off, the Jaguars made a solid return with region wins over Villa Rica and Midtown. The Jaguars host another region opponent, Lithia Springs (10-7), on Friday.

17. Greater Atlanta Christian (10-4)

Last week: 20

In addition to winning region games against Cedar Grove and Westminster last week, the Spartans defeated previous No. 21 Woodstock. They have a couple more region games this week against Douglass (3-4) and Redan (11-4) before a non-region date with No. 2 Holy Innocents’ (16-2) on Saturday.

18. Cross Creek (12-1)

Last week: 18

Cross Creek won by double digits in two games against region opponents Hephzibah and Morgan County. The Razorbacks continue region play this week on the road against Academy of Richmond County (2-12) and Burke County (9-3). 

19. Elbert County (17-2)

Last week: 19

The Blue Devils defeated Banks County by 32 points in their only game last week. They play at Rabun County (13-3) in their only outing this week.

20. Forest Park (10-2)

Last week: 17

Forest Park looked dominant in two region wins over Tri-Cities and Creekside but lost by 27 points to No. 2 Holy Innocents' over the weekend. The Panthers have a chance to rebound and get a signature win this week in region games at Drew (0-8) and No. 5 Woodward Academy.

21. Cherokee (14-5)

Last week: 22

The Warriors beat region foes Forsyth Central and Denmark by double digits and held off a Wesleyan team just outside the top 25 for a 62-54 win. They get back into region play this week against Gainesville (8-9) and South Forsyth (15-4), which they lost to earlier in the season. 

23. Norcross (13-2)

Last week: 24

Norcross won two region games last week against Duluth and Archer, a former top 25 team. The Blue Devils host Meadowcreek (3-13) on Friday ahead of a battle with Hoover (Alabama) next Monday.

24. Lovejoy (11-3)

Last week: 25

The Wildcats beat Westlake by 40 points and Hewitt-Trussville (Alabama) by 24 points last week. They resume region play this week at North Atlanta (2-7) and Langston Hughes (12-4).

25. Brunswick (16-0)

Last week: Unranked

Outside of a Dec. 21 matchup with Wesleyan and a couple games against teams from South Carolina, Brunswick hasn't played a team outside the south Georgia area, making it a bit tougher to judge the Pirates compared to the rest of the teams in the top 25. Still, they’re one of the last unbeaten teams in the state, and it's easy to see why when watching the talented, athletic squad.

On the bubble: Sequoyah, Woodstock (21), South Forsyth, Wesleyan, Langston Hughes