The cross-town rivals were tied for second place with 6-1 region marks — only a half game behind leader W.D. Mohammed (18-1, 5-0) — going into last Friday’s games.
“The race for 5A is wide open at this point as anyone is capable of beating anyone on any given night,” Holy Innocents’ coach Terry Kelly said. “Top to bottom, it is the most competitive region in the state.”
Mount Vernon, which was 14-5 overall before its game last Saturday against North Atlanta, won five of its first seven games in January — including a 60-38 victory over Lakeside of DeKalb County at the MLK Classic at Centennial High School in Roswell last Monday and a 76-60 win over Pace in a 5A contest last Tuesday.
“The kids have stepped up and done a really good job of playing and paying attention to detail,” Mount Vernon coach Curtis Berry said. “You like to be one of those four teams to get a bye in the first round [of the region tournament] and we certainly have a chance for that. I see this league, 5A, as the toughest [Class] A league in the state, so it’s a really tough region and it’s coming down the stretch. A lot of positions are going to change in the next two weeks.”
Holy Innocents’, at 14-4 overall before last Friday’s game with Pace, is also on a roll with five wins in its first six games this month.
The Golden Bears bounced back from its 56-48 loss to region leader W.D. Mohammed Jan. 15 with a convincing 86-20 victory over Atlanta International Jan. 18 and a 77-54 win over Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy last Tuesday.
Pace is also in the mix for a high seeding in the 5A tournament with a 9-7 overall record and 4-2 region mark as of last Friday.
The Knights defeated Walnut Grove 56-51 at the MLK Classic last Monday before their loss to Mount Vernon last Tuesday.
Galloway was in the middle of the 5A standings at 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the region before its game last Friday against ELCA.
The Scots started last week with an 83-42 win over Atlanta International last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, AIS was still trying to get its first win of the season going into its contest with Greenforest Christian last Friday.
The Eagles were 0-14 overall and 0-5 in 5A play, sitting in the bottom of the region standings with Strong Rock Christian (3-15, 0-7).