State playoff predictions: Expect more metro ATL domination

Metro Atlanta teams won all 10 state basketball championships in 2010. Don’t expect another sweep, but most of the champions in this year’s tournament – which begins Friday – should be from the metro area again.

Below are my predictions for the semifinals and the eventual champion.

Milton (AAAAA), Miller Grove (AAAA), Columbia (AAA) and Greater Atlanta Christian (AA) are clear favorites in the boys draws, although SWD’s win over Miller Grove in the 6-AAAA final opens the door in AAAA. The hardest to pick in Class A, where defending champion Wesleyan, runner-up Whitefield Academy, No. 1-ranked Wilkinson County and No. 2 Greenville are top contenders along with my pick, Wilcox County, led by Nick Marshall.

With the girls, Wesleyan (A) is a virtual lock.

The others are much harder to establish a team to beat. Norcross is the defending champion but had to avenge two losses to North Gwinnett to win Region 7-AAAAA.

In AAA, Columbia is No. 1 but lost to St. Pius in its region final.

In AA, a Buford-Kendrick final would be pretty special.

The AAAA girls draw is the most unpredictable. With No. 1 Chamblee falling in the region, it’s open to many contenders.


AAAAA: Harrison vs. Norcross, McEachern vs. Milton
Winner – Milton
AAAA: Jonesboro vs. Miller Grove, Fayette County vs. SW DeKalb
Winner – Miller Grove
AAA: Eagle’s Landing vs. Columbia, Monroe vs. Carrollton
Winner – Columbia
AA: Laney vs. South Atlanta, Thomasville vs. Greater Atlanta Christian
Winner – Greater Atlanta Christian
A: Wilcox County vs. Wilkinson County, Terrell County vs. Whitefield Academy
Winner – Wilcox County


AAAAA: Campbell vs. Norcross, Westlake vs. North Gwinnett
Winner – Norcross
AAAA: Forest Park vs. Douglas County, Fayette County vs. Clarke Central
Winner – Forest Park
AAA: Westover vs. St. Pius, Washington County vs. Columbia
Winner – Columbia
AA: Vidalia vs. Kendrick, Laney vs. Buford
Winner – Buford
A: Savannah Christian vs. Wesleyan, Bryan County vs. St. Francis
Winner – Wesleyan

Boys: AAAAA | AAAA | AAA | AA | APrelims
Girls: AAAAA | AAAA | AAA | AA | A

214 comments Add your comment


February 21st, 2011
10:19 am

@Todd SWD is the #1 seed out of 6 AAAA so they would face fayette if they both made it to the final four. I also don’t think MGHS is a lock. SWD has played them tough the last 2 meetings & SWD won the last meeting and lead almost the whole game. I think SWD will shock everyone & win 4A.

Will Jones

February 21st, 2011
10:34 am

Let’s Go Panthers Let’s Go !!! How bot them Forest Park Panthers!!! Thanks for the love Todd hope they can live up to the hype. Coach Coles done a remarkable job of keeping the Panthers prepared. Congrats Panthers on your Region championship you earned it. Finish the drill and bring that state title home.

George Robinson

February 21st, 2011
10:37 am

DecaturFinest SWD has a good team. Miller Grove is a very good team. Miller Grove will run the table and put SWD in it place along with you.It will not be close a box in one will do the trick for Miller Grove.You all one one game and now you feel that you are ready to play with the big boys.Relax you will see what I am talking about very soon.

Coach O

February 21st, 2011
10:54 am

It will be a ATL Sweep in the Boys State Tournament if you have been following the boys side as you say you have then you would have listed the Class A boys Champion prediction with Whitefield Academy as the Champion and not Wilcox county Whitefield academy beat Wilcox county with Nick Marshall with the score of Won 93-76 at Wilcox. Whitefield is proven over and over again to be one of the best team in regardless of class if you go to the Massey rankings who ranks the top teams in the country the have the rankins for the best teams in the state. In the Class AA you would have listed South Atlanta as the Champion. A loss in the region does not determine the Championship. But that is why the play the game.

Panther Pride

February 21st, 2011
10:55 am

Langston Hughes is a second year program that is not to be taken lightly.

johnny too good

February 21st, 2011
10:58 am

remember last yearr’s NCAA tournament……….. Kansas vs. Northern Iowa……… and Butler somehow making it all the way?
I am skeptical of the metro atl dominance


February 21st, 2011
11:08 am

@George Robinson
Come on Son! if you have watched the last 2 games these teams have played against each other you know its not going to be a blow out on ether side. I think SWD & MGHS are evenly matched and if used right Jordan Price & Shaq Williams will be hard to stop. Jordan is a tough match up for anyone in the state.

Lets' get it started!

February 21st, 2011
11:17 am

Keep an eye on a fine Albany (AA boys) team. Been underneath the radar all season.


February 21st, 2011
11:20 am

I meant Shaq Goodwin

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Devil Lover

February 21st, 2011
12:09 pm

There is a lot of basketball to be played before it will become clear who the semifinal 5-AAAAA teams will be. But I will take a high level stab at it anyway.

Of course Milton should be there but they really haven’t had to play any talented teams to win the region championship. We will just have to wait and see if this lack of competition will have a negative effect on them.

On the other side of what I call the north metro brackets, Norcross and Wheeler should have to beat the other to be in the semifinals. I don’t know how Wheeler is playing but Norcross is playing with a lot more confidence that they had when they played Wheeler earlier in the season and lost by only 5 pts at Wheeler’s gym. So my money is on one of the two teams. However spoilers could come from Walton or Peachtree Ridge.

As far as for the other two teams, Jenkins, Harrison or McEachern all could end up as one of the other two semifinal teams. However the highest probably goes with Harrison and McEachern both two solid teams. Outside spoilers might be Vadosta or even Savannah.

Todd Holcomb

February 21st, 2011
12:34 pm

Fixed the SWD/Miller Grove thing. The GaSports draws had those backward, and I should’ve noticed since SWD is the #1 seed.

Coach O – I know I’m going out on a limb w/ Wilcox. Hard to bet against Whitefield, but if we based it strictly on who beat who, then Greenville or Wilkinson would be the favorite. G’ville beat Whitefield.

WheelerFan #2

February 21st, 2011
12:50 pm

silly devil lover your’e always trying to excuse every norcross loss….the wheeler game was early in the year, blah blah, we lost by 5 blah blah at wheelers gym.., norcross was actually down dbl digits almost the entire game….neither team will beat milton in all likelyhood anyways


February 21st, 2011
12:50 pm

About time for us to see some info on high school roundball.
Where on earth was the AJC last weekend with all of the region
tournament scores ???
The boys predictions look pretty accurate by the way.


February 21st, 2011
1:44 pm

I’ve seen Norcross and Wheeler late in the season. Both are better than they were beginning the year. Norcross has finally settled down and started to play team ball, Wheeler is finally getting good point guard play out of Derek Evans. I’d say it’s a toss-up as to who would win. My opinion though is that those two teams present the best hope at beating Milton. Milton thrashed McEachern earlier this year, and Harrison just doesn’t have the guard play to begin to challenge Scott and Parker. Yes, Wheeler lost by 18 to milton earlier this year, but they had it down to 6 with 6 minutes to go and hit nothing from outside all night. The only reason Wheeler got back in the game early in the 4th is because Chuck owns Royal down on the blocks (who doesn’t want to be a true post player). IF, big if, Wheeler’s guards play like they are capable of, meaning Evans is controlling offensive flow and limiting TO’s and KK is knocking down 3’s like he usually does (although he struggled to convert his open looks against Milton in January), Wheeler can give Milton a run for their money. Same can be said for Norcross. Norcross brings the size, length, and athleticism that could give Milton fits, but it comes down to how their guards manage the game and if they knock down enough jumpers to keep milton honest on defense.
Regardless, somebody please beat Milton! Please, just so I can laugh at the ajc’s year long obsession with them.


February 21st, 2011
2:11 pm

Anyone that was @ the MGHS & SWD game on Saturday knows that MGHS was not in the building because whenever they are they make their presence known. SWD won their state championship on 2/19 all they have wanted this whole season was to defeat MGHS & now that they have they are done!!!

Not quite sure what my boys were going through but now that they have the defeat I will guarantee their won’t be n-e more slacking because they know it’s WIN or Go Home time!!

Stay tuned……..

Just The Facts

February 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

Last year Whitefield was not the A boys champion, but rather Wesleyan. No one gave the Wolves a chance against Wilcox in the semis, nor Whitefield in the finals, yet they beat both. Don’t be surprised if it happens again.

Panther Paw

February 21st, 2011
2:50 pm

MGHS-3 RINGS sounds like classic case of making an excuse for a loss. So let me get this straight ……..if Miller Grove ever loses a game it’s because they are not in the building and not because a team just beat them on the court. I got it now!!!!!!!! Anybody can be beat…. especially when it’s a region game and both the team’s are familiar with each other. It would have been cool if you would’ve just gave SWD congrat’s for the win and hope you meet them again in the finals. Until next time…….


February 21st, 2011
2:53 pm

Bainbridge Bearcats will spoil this so-called ATL sweep .


February 21st, 2011
3:50 pm

Congratulations to the SWD Boys Basketball team, you all did a great job, and I am looking foward to seeing you all on March 11, 2011 at the Championship game, Also, thanks Coach Mckinney for not stalling the ball for almost a whole quarter of the game, you allowed your boys to play the game and we got the win!!!!! Again Congratulations!!!!

Tift BlueDevil

February 21st, 2011
3:56 pm

Todd – I saw the Wilcox – Whitfield game in Tifton during the holidays. I would want our neighbors from Wilcox to do well but Whitfield is clearly much better. The difference is not talent but coaching. Whitfield is relentless on pressure defense and Marshall and company did not handle the pressure well. At one point marshall took a cheap shove at a little Whitfield guard when the sides were going to their benches for a time-out.

Chamblee Girls - You Deserve More!

February 21st, 2011
3:58 pm

I will not get a chance to see Chamblee girls play in this year’s event due to their loss to Miller Grove in OT. Great things were written and said about this squad. I was told that two of the starters were sick and a third starter was suffering from a knee injury. To make matters worse, I heard that a fourth starter twisted her ankle in the first quarter of the region play. Region 6 is the TOUGHEST region in Class AAAA and probably the entire state for GIRLS. This varsity squad had to play like CHAMPIONS all season to go undefeated in this region. Now, they have to watch other teams compete for regions champs. Chamblee Girl – YOU DESERVE MORE!


February 21st, 2011
4:35 pm

Yeah – The Buford Lady Wolves! A 3-peat!!!

Buford has beaten Columbia, & Madison County (2 times) Badly…

I have to say, I believe the best girls hoops team I have seen this year – in ANY class – is Wesleyan


February 21st, 2011
4:49 pm

Miller Grove doesn’t play defense….if they don’t score in transition they are very beatable. SWD exposed them.


February 21st, 2011
4:58 pm

SWD expected to beat Miller Grove….they almost beat Miller Grove last game even after the third quarter stall. SWD has no fear of Miller Grove.


February 21st, 2011
6:15 pm

Congrats to GAC on being 2A region champs. Enjoy while it lasts, because you wont get us three times. You won the battle thus far ,but we will be STATE CHAMPS!


February 21st, 2011
6:43 pm

Hey Todd…..The AAA Girls is up for grabs….your odds on favorite Columbia was beaten by St. Pius X in their Region Championship..

GO LIONS!!!!!!!!!

Bulldog Coach

February 21st, 2011
7:27 pm

Who ever wrote the article about Single A boys basketball and last years champion needs to get the facts correct. Last years champion was the Wesleyan Wolves. Please make the necessary corrections.

Just a question

February 21st, 2011
7:31 pm

Who is the forgotten team in 6-aaaa playoffs


February 21st, 2011
8:53 pm

Panther paw- SWD took advantage of a great situation. I am not taking anything from SWD they wanted it more than MGHS contests. No excuses & u know it. I have witnessed MGHS defeating better teams. These two teams will not meet again in the finals! So don’t count on it.

SWD– the stall out was mo representation of McKinney MG was not going to allow that, the stall out @ SWD was a reflection of poor coaching. There is no way that would have happened @ MG.& t was purely to get the refs out the game, Saturday night they let the boys play and SWD played harder and came out with a victory.

Mr. Coach, Mr.Coach, Mr.Coach clearly u are not a coach or have only witness one MG game if you can honestly say MG don’t play defense.

See u guys in 3 weeks in Gwinnett!

eastside finest

February 21st, 2011
9:21 pm

The Lady Eagles will soar to the AAA championship!


February 21st, 2011
10:04 pm

Besides the usual recruited teams that are always around, like Wheeler and now recently Milton, who do you all see as the best non-recruited teams? Who is the favorite from the south bracket in AAAAA? Love to get your thoughts.


February 21st, 2011
10:08 pm

MGHS-3 RINGS I know you hope MGHS don’t SWD again because it would be a repeat of Saturday night. SWD will shock everyone and win state in 4A. MGHS will not have the same bias refs that kept them in the game Saturday, or the same ones that robbed Columbia at Miller Grove.


February 21st, 2011
10:40 pm

Decatur finest please run the tape from MG &SWD 1st game. & 2 SWD won’t make it to the FINALS. These are SWD boys we r talking about here.

If SWD win state which they won’t it. They would not only shock everyone themselves included. You could not be further from the truth the refs allowed them to play SWD went to the line just as many times as MG if not more & for the record Refs HATE MGHS ask them they will tell u!!
It’s funny how neither of these teams started the season prepared considering they were both beaten first meeting of the season with MG. And not by a couple of points.

Great job with both of these programs to improve during the season but the best is yet to come.


February 21st, 2011
11:01 pm

Bode you on point!!

other devil lover

February 21st, 2011
11:46 pm


sports writer

February 22nd, 2011
12:01 am

region 4AAAA may be the toughest region in Girls Basketball. Forest Park ranked # 3 is one of the best teams I’ve seen all year, had to go to overtime to defeat North Clayton. From top to bottom Forest Park is too talented and they should win the state championship. North Clayton is a solid team too especially with # 42 and #32. Lovejoy has pick it up late, #23 is one of the best defenders in the state, and they will defeat Statesboro on Friday. But the sleeper team is Munday’s Mill. After graduating All-State pt guard, their second leading scorer, and hiring a new head coach, Munday’s Mill beat #4 Redan at Redan, and we all know that Redan hasn’t lost at home in nearly three years. Watch out for region 4AAAA. They will win all of their first round games.

Milton dad

February 22nd, 2011
12:45 am

W/E: I’m going to give you another reason to laugh if somebody beats Milton. I GUARANTEE a state championship. There, now I aqm fair game if it doesn’t happen. Now, all that aside, I was at the Milton/wheller game. Wheeler was outclassed. It did get interesting a few times, but when Milton kicked into its gear there was no comparison. I also saw the Milton Norcross game early in the year. While I think the score was a comfortable margin, I never could get comfortable with the game. Something about Norcross scares me on a “given night”. Also, W/E, I will admit Chuck owns Julian – last year and this year. He is an interesting speciman. Very agile and athletic for his considerable size. Not Barkley agile, but along those lines.

WheelerFan #2

February 22nd, 2011
1:12 am

the main difference between wheeler and milton and is the PG spot…big difference in talent at that spot

House of Blue

February 22nd, 2011
8:21 am

Come watch Playoff Double-header in the House of Blue (Norcross boys & girls) on Saturday (2/26). Girls at 4:00 and boys at 5:30.


February 22nd, 2011
9:23 am

MGHS – 3 Rings we love the shock factor, so bring your crying towel on March 11, 2011. SWD Let’s Go, who says we can’t be 4-A State Champions.


February 22nd, 2011
10:05 am

It’s so easy to be a Miller Grove fan…..people love the hype. However you should have learned from Public Enemy a longtime ago “Dont believe the Hype”. Miller Grove is just like Mike Tyson when they face an opponent that is not scared of them they will fold.

MGHS 3-rings

February 22nd, 2011
11:12 am

It’s pretty easy to be fan of any team especially when the team is winning(SWD), please understand although I know they exist I am not a band wagon fan I have been loyal to this team since the school open and have a history with them win or lose.

Coach, (FOR THE RECORD most of people attending MG games are not fans!! they are only around when the team is winning. that’s not me)
I don’t think oppent being scared had anything to do with the MG lost on Saturday SWD was prepared and MG was not but I asure they won’t be caught unprepared again.

This has been great dialogue I am sure that I will see you ALL in March.


February 22nd, 2011
12:30 pm

For the record MGHS – 3 Rings, I have been a supporter of DeKalb County Athletics since I was in High School in Dekalb County and that has been some years ago, and now my children attend Dekalb County schools, so MGHS-3Rings, get your facts straight I am not a member of the band wagon club, I am a life time member and supporter of Dekalb County Schools and Athletics.

Did you see the stance that Miller Grove boys and coaches took before the game when they were calling the names of the SWD boys team, I beg to differ when you say that Miller Grove boys team was not ready just admit it SWD won the game fair and square!!!


February 22nd, 2011
12:55 pm

how many coaches blog on this site, nothing better to do? smh

Wheeler vs Milton winner Milton


February 22nd, 2011
1:00 pm

@ Milton Dad .. Chuck do own Julian just like he owned Ododa when Norcross played Wheeler


February 22nd, 2011
1:01 pm

No one giving Sequoyah and their 28-0 record any chance huh? Everyone thought Chattahoochee would get them in the regionals, and they didn’t. This team has beaten the odds all year, and if they get past Lithia Springs they get Miller Grove at home in the second round.


February 22nd, 2011
1:04 pm

The Bradwell Institute girls are the best team in Region 3-AAAAA all season, and Saturday’s beat down of Beach did nothing to disprove the Tigers’ supremacy. Bradwell, undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state, led 18-2 midway through the first quarter and was never seriously threatened en route to winning the Region3-AAAAA Tournament for the second straight year with a 57-48 victory over Beach.”

Go Bradwell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)


February 22nd, 2011
1:51 pm

Region 3-AAAAA Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers takes it all.


February 22nd, 2011
2:11 pm

Why would they put Sequoyah, #1 in AAAA in the same bracket with Miller Grove, #2 in AAAA? This makes no sense at all! And to make things worse, they are set up to meet in the 2nd round. The top two teams in AAAA should be on opposite sides of the bracket to set up a possible meeting in the championship game!