Pace Academy continued to maintain its position among the top boys’ basketball teams in the state after winning the Class AA championship last year — its fourth state title in six years.

Now, the Knights are beginning their quest for a fifth crown in seven seasons in earnest as they enter into the main part of their Region 6AA schedule this month.

Pace defeated Columbia 73-42 in the AA boys’ state championship game last March. It was the Knights first state crown in AA after winning the AAA title in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

With an 8-4 overall record and 2-0 mark in 6AA and the No. 2-ranking in the state in AA as of Jan. 6, Pace appears to be in solid position to make another serious run at a state championship.

The Knights are certainly battle tested going into region play after a challenging non-region schedule in November and December that included games against teams like Class AAAAAAA powerhouses McEachern and Norcross and DeMatha of Hyattsville, Maryland, one of the top high school programs in the nation.

Pace got a big early win over McEachern, a AAAAAAA semifinalist a year ago and currently ranked fourth in the state, 63-55 Nov. 20.

However, the Knights lost to Norcross 75-57 Nov. 27 and DeMatha 73-57 Dec. 11. Those were two of the four losses that Pace had suffered as of Jan. 6, with the Knights also losing to Columbia 71-69 in a rematch of last year’s AA state final Dec. 7 and Greenforest — currently the top-ranked team in Class A Private — 56-50 Dec. 20.

Josh Reed, a 6-foot-7 senior forward has led the way for Pace. Reed, who has committed to Cincinnati, has averaged 21 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Bryson Tiller, a 6-7 freshman forward, has shown plenty of potential so far early in his career with 11 points and 9.3 rebounds a game as does Kyle Greene, a 6-2 sophomore guard who is averaging 10.9 points and six assists per contest.

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