It was another by-the-book night in the first round of the boys tournament. No top seed lost its first round game and only three No 3 seeds advanced to the round of 16. The only minor upsets were East Hall beating Dade County, Early County beating Long County, and Dodge County besting Putnam County.
The only ranked team to lose was No. 7 South Atlanta, which dropped its opener to No. 6 Jordan, 71-65.
Albany tops 100 points
The No. 4-ranked Indians didn’t have any trouble in the first round, a 100-75 victory over Appling County. It was the first time that Albany had scored 100 points in a state playoff game.
Albany (24-2) scored the first 18 points of the game, 10 of them from Tim Pierce, and coach Archie Chatmon’s team wound up posting 34 points in the first quarter. Pierce finished with 23 points and Larry Sanford scored 21; neither all-star played much in the second half.
“Without a doubt, that’s the best team we’ve seen all year,’’ Appling County coach Bryan Weaver told the Albany Herald. “They’re physical, and they are well disciplined. I think they do (have a chance to win it all) any time a team is well-coached like that. I think they are built for the long run.”
Albany hosts Bleckley County in the second round.
Defending champion GAC boys roll
Greater Atlanta Christian scored a workmanlike 64-48 win over Callaway in the first round of the playoffs. Robert Armstrong and Isaiah Wilkins both scored 12, while Delano Spencer and Cole Hobbs each scored 10 points.
GAC (24-5) have won eight straight since losing a showcase game to Butler in Augusta. The Spartans host Jefferson in the second round.
Buford ends Spencer’s Cinderella run
No. 4 Buford got behind early, but roared back to eliminate Spencer 79-60 in the first round. Buford (21-7) was led by T.J. Shipes with 33 points and Isaiah Williams had 14, which including three 3-pointers.
Spencer began the tournament as the longest of the longshots. The Greenwave started the Region 5 tournament as the No. 8 seed. Spencer’s bus got lost on the way to Buford and caused the game to start 30 minutes late.