AAAAA blog: Five questions for round two, plus predictions

The Class AAAAA basketball tournament resumes Tuesday with girls games and Wednesday with boys games.

Here are five questions that loom in the second round:

Can Shiloh’s size put an end to Milton? For the second year in a row, Milton’s boys are ranked No. 1 and favored to win a state championship. It didn’t happen last season, partly because Norcross outplayed Milton down low in the championship game. On Wednesday, Milton (24-4) will get a visit from fifth-ranked Shiloh (25-4), which will bring 6-foot-9 Robert Carter (a Georgia Tech signee) and 7-foot Trayvon Reed to Milton. Milton’s top big man is Tevin Glass, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the first-round win against Walton.

Are Wheeler’s boys a legitimate title contender? Perennial contender Wheeler (17-10) has won Region 5 and made the round of 16, but with an uneven season and few convincing wins. Maybe that chance comes Wednesday, when North Gwinnett (20-9) and Georgia Tech-signee Chris Bolden pay a visit.

Which left-side boys team will emerge? The boys bracket is stacked in the bottom quarter of the draw with Milton, Shiloh, Wheeler and North Gwinnett, teams with big-name players. The left side of the draw doesn’t have teams that light up the marquee, but one of them will make the championship game. The region champions on the left are North Cobb, Berkmar, Peachtree Ridge and Savannah. There hasn’t been a AAAAA boys finalist since Beach in 2006 that was not viewed as a serious title contender from the start.

Can Region 4-AAAAA put four girls teams in the quarterfinals again? A year ago, McEachern, Hillgrove, North Cobb and Campbell – all from 4-AAAAA – reached the quarters in Fort Valley. Subtract Campbell, add Harrison, and Region 4 could do it again this year. Top-ranked McEachern appears to be a lock against almost anybody, but Harrison (at Valdosta), North Cobb (at Lowndes) and Hillgrove (at Stephenson) must win on the road.

Will any South Georgia teams make the quarterfinals? South Georgia teams went 2-6 in the first rounds of the boys and girls draws. That’s more surprising on the boys side, where Valdosta and Tift County made the semifinals a year ago. Now, Region 3 champion Savannah (27-2) gets third-ranked Westlake (25-3) at home, while Harrison (21-7) visits Region 1 champion Valdosta (23-5). Westlake won at Tift County, and Harrison beat Johnson of Savannah. In the girls second round, Valdosta plays at Harrison – a fourth seed that crushed Region 3 champion Beach of Savannah 43-25. Region 1 champion Lowndes is at home against North Cobb.

OK, what are your predictions? Here are mine …

BOYS

Westlake d. Savannah
North Cobb d. Stephenson
Berkmar d. Marietta
Peachtree Ridge d. Alpharetta
Valdosta d. Harrison
MLK d. South Cobb
Milton d. Shiloh
Wheeler d. North Gwinnett

Westlake d. North Cobb
Berkmar d. Peachtree Ridge
MLK d. Valdosta
Milton d. Wheeler

Westlake d. Berkmar
Milton d. MLK

Milton d. Westlake

GIRLS

Valdosta d. Harrison
McEachern d. Westlake
Parkview d. North Forsyth
Norcross d. Marietta
North Cobb d. Lowndes
Hillgrove d. Stephenson
Mill Creek d. Alpharetta
North Gwinnett d. Woodstock

McEachern d. Valdosta
Norcross d. Parkview
Hillgrove d. North Cobb
North Gwinnett d. Mill Creek

McEachern d. Norcross
North Gwinnett d. Hillgrove

McEachern d. North Gwinnett

42 comments Add your comment

VernC

February 27th, 2012
11:31 am

I’m riding N.Cobb girls to the final four.

BucsBballFan

February 27th, 2012
12:50 pm

Todd – I have to disagree with your pick of Valdosta over Harrison. Though not a big Harrison fan, I do have to give credit to their team. They start four seniors that are all three year varsity starters. They were the #1 seed going into the region tournament & should have been in the region championship game against N. Cobb except they fell asleep against S. Cobb. I believe that they are the best #3 seed in the tournament. Playing in Valdosta should not affect them too much due to their experience.

The Westlake v. North Cobb game should be one of the better games this week. North Cobb is a good team & are playing well. I wouldn’t count them out either.

Coach'sson

February 27th, 2012
2:13 pm

As a supporter for Westlake I appreciate the AJC picking us to lose the championship game. So we will at least have something to hang over our heads. Everyone is talking about the lefft side of the bracket not having marquee teams when Berkmar, Westlake, Savannah, North Cobb, Peactree Ridge can beat any team on the right side. The two best records in the state are Savannah and Westlake. Westlake has a tough road and can not say we will beat anybody that we play. All we can do is go out and fight each game and leave it out on the floor. Nothing better than tournament time!!!

dekalbcounty1

February 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

I like those predictions based on what few games in the metro I saw. Good luck to every team that is still playing. But that can ONLY be 1 winner! MLK is pick be in the final 4! That is scary b/c most of their players are returning along w/jv players!!!!

HSBB Follower

February 27th, 2012
4:06 pm

Just look at all of these juicy matchups and the talent that will be on display the next few weeks in Georgia. The Hoops here are serious and it needs to be respected right there with football. The McEachern girls are something special too watch and with their coaching and drive to stay focused it’s really going to be tough to beat them. The Boys is wide open and I will not be shocked if Milton goes home via Shiloh.

Enjoy the talent and the hoops folks.

Shiloh 2014

February 27th, 2012
5:03 pm

The game is won on the court not from the mouth.

MebeingMe

February 27th, 2012
8:18 pm

Relax Shiloh 2014 and go finish your homework.

NCHS Fan

February 27th, 2012
9:30 pm

You must not have done much research into North Cobb before the season then. Or you would have noticed Jordan Neff is finally getting to shine after 2 years of injuries that kept him out most of the season or he would have been starting since freshman year. Saxon Steele and Lee Moore are to prolific scorers not to be messed with. North Cobb plays some great defense especially with the other 2 starters Jon Bousejour and Dennis Young-Coleman. . . . . Not to mention they’re all juniors.

NCHS Fan

February 27th, 2012
9:40 pm

I’d have to say Harrison over Valdosta too. Harrison is playing with something to prove after losing to South Cobb in the region semis. They aren’t a team I would want to play right now. And I’m kind of confused how AJC is putting North Cobb at number 2 in the state then talk about the tournament like they aren’t a contender? You put us in front of all of those teams for a reason, we’re playing darn good basketball. NC could have scored 100 easy Saturday but they took the starters out midway through the 3rd quarter. I guess they’ll just have to remind you why they’re number 2.

Also, that Berkmar vs. Marrietta game is a game that can easily go either way.

Shiloh 2014

February 27th, 2012
10:49 pm

@ MebeingMe.. homework done now and same thing applies..lol

Lithonia here

February 27th, 2012
11:17 pm

I like your predictions. However, even though MLK is my team; I am not so sure if they make it pass the next round they will make past the third. Good luck to them though.

Wheelerfan

February 27th, 2012
11:33 pm

I feel like I’m beating a horse that already has been dead for months, but if Wheeler’s underclassmen play together they can be the best team in the tournament. I admit it would be a bit of a surprise if they turned on the switch now after what has been an average season, but I would say that not even Milton has a higher ceiling than Wheeler IF all players are on the same page. Who knows though? Maybe the pressure of the win-or-go home situation is what they need.

BHS

February 28th, 2012
12:34 am

will be at the Berkmar vs. Marrietta game. i hope the turn out for this game is good like the Norcross and Berkmar game, cause Berkmar had like 2000 fans and norcross had like 100. lol great game tho.

Bnjamin Mitchell

February 28th, 2012
6:26 am

I like Savannah High to beat Westlake. Its going to be hard coming to savannah getting a win. Regardless of how it goes it should be a good game I am looking foward to it.

Coach'sson

February 28th, 2012
9:26 am

Mr. Mitchell no need to brag on my Westlake boys but just make sure you tune in tomorrow 6 oclock. Savannah never seen this much talent this year. All that subbing going ten deep, i hope all ten can play cuz when you sub we may go up 10 quick!!!!

Farland Cobb

February 28th, 2012
9:32 am

@ Lithonia Here: I will have to beg to differ. I have said MLK will be a title contender since the Converse invitational only coming up short to Eagles Landing by 1. One would be hard pressed to find a team with more talent and if they continue to gell as they have with winning the toughest region the state of GA had to offer this year, the sky could be the limit. Loving Savannah chances as well. Valdosta and or Harrison will more than likely be out done by Kings depth in the end. They are the only team with the talent, depth, and coaching experience to beat Milton on the right side.

Todd Holcomb

February 28th, 2012
9:35 am

”You must not have done much research into North Cobb before the season then.”

”And I’m kind of confused how AJC is putting North Cobb at number 2 in the state then talk about the tournament like they aren’t a contender?”

Nobody said that North Cobb was not a contender. NC has a great opportunity to make the final. The point I was making was that any team that reaches the final from the left side was not among the five or six teams people were talking about in preseason as the top state contenders. If Westlake an exception? Maybe. But none of the others were ranked in preseason, if not mistaken. I don’t think NC had ever won 20 games in a season, so no matter how good things looked on paper in preseason, NC wasn’t going to be taken seriouslly as a state contender at that point.

Coach'sson

February 28th, 2012
9:43 am

Westlake has always been a marquee team. We have been in the state tournament every year since 1998. In every classification. AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. I guess we are not the upper echelon North Georgia schools in gwinett or marietta is what they meant. Westlake has a better record than Milton, Shiloh, Wheeler, North Gwinnet. We also have played a tough schedule!!!

Just sayin...

February 28th, 2012
10:08 am

@Coach’sson. I agree that Westlake is talented, but you keep pointing out that Westlake has the best record. True, but mainly because of paperwork… If Milton didn’t have to forfeit three games they would be what, 27-1? That said, they did lose to the Tift team that you just beat…

Big Blue Fan

February 28th, 2012
10:18 am

It’s amazing how Marietta gets no respect, even though they beat NORTH COBB convincingly, and YES, NC was healthy and had all their players. Although I was really impressed with Neff. Marietta also beat Wheeler, and they didnt lose a game by more than 7-8 points this season, if i’m not mistaken; except for the first two games when three of theur starters were still in football playoffs. I know we have two things against us: 1.) Size; no players over 6′2′. 2.) We lost our center and best athlete to injury near the end of the season. However, we still found a way to pull out convincing wins with Great Coaching, 3-point shooting (great guard play), good defense, and the will to win. Not to mention that the team is senior heavy. That experience makes a difference. If nothing else, Coach Lyons should get Coach of the Year for the success of a team that so physically overmatched.

Coach'sson

February 28th, 2012
10:36 am

@just sayin You right about that Milton does have the defacto best record but its a reason they lost those games. Charles Mann had illegitimate move that really should have sidelined him the whole year but we all know Boyd knows how to work that out. But Milton is a great team we have great respect for their coaching and program!!!

downbydariver

February 28th, 2012
11:31 am

Watch out for them Savannah boys we deep & talented… We the VCU of the tourney….Westlake doesnt stand a chance in the Savannah HIgh gym w/ dat raucous crowd…

Todd Holcomb

February 28th, 2012
12:21 pm

”It’s amazing how Marietta gets no respect, even though they beat NORTH COBB convincingly, and YES, NC was healthy and had all their players. Although I was really impressed with Neff. Marietta also beat Wheeler, and they didnt lose a game by more than 7-8 points this season.”

Good points, Big Blue. Marietta is the most improved good team in the state. Nice to see the Devils back to being a top program in basketball.

That dude

February 28th, 2012
1:49 pm

I don’t have a horse in the race for AAAAA but I’m pulling for Westlake. Southside all day!!!!

Johnny Too Good

February 28th, 2012
2:29 pm

I’m pullin for the Blue Jackets, its time for Coach J to get another one!

Shiloh Guru

February 28th, 2012
4:21 pm

Shiloh with shock Milton on tomorrow. Shiloh is a very balance club that plays very good defense and usually controls the pace of the game. Shiloh will have the best player on the floor in Carter. The deciding factor will be that Milton will not be able to get all of those easy lay ups and dunks that their use to getting against Shiloh because Tra Reed and the rest of the Generals will not allow it. Milton is a mediocre outside shooting team beside’s Nolte and he has to be wide open and set to hit his shot consistantly. Generals 56, Milton 50. See you in West GA on Saturday.

bball fan

February 28th, 2012
4:57 pm

westlake did not make the state tourney in 2003, got beat by stone mountain in the sub-region tourney at clarkston

NorthFAN

February 28th, 2012
6:45 pm

@WheelerFan, stop beating the horse if its already dead. The pressure of win or go home will certainly get to Wheeler. The state play offs is not the time to turn on the switch. North Gwinnet has this game won 64-56.

Milton vs. Shiloh Webcast

February 28th, 2012
11:20 pm

If you can’t make it out to one of the biggest games in the state this year, it is being webcasted for free live from Milton High School tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 7:00.

The link to the webcast is:
milton.sportzcast.tv

Please spread the word about the webcast!
It should be a great game and hopefully more people are able to watch it and support Georgia basketball now!

Fan01

February 29th, 2012
12:23 am

I don’t understand why Marietta gets no credit. They have beat really good teams this season despite there size. They work as a team and you can really see there desire to win. They have really good gaurds also. There PG Damon Mitchell is one of the quickest and exciting gaurds I have seen this season. A true PG that has really help turn Marietta’s program around, he led them against Northcobb, Wheeler, and other teams they have ran against (I really hope to see him in college next year). But him nor the Marietta basketball program gets any credit.

What more do they have to do but win??

a Lowndes Viking

February 29th, 2012
10:50 am

Don’t sleep on the Cats of Valdosta. They may be small in stature, but play with a huge heart. If they are hot from 3 point land, they are hard to beat with their style of play. As a Viking fan, I would love to see the Cats get back to Gwinnett

Columbus,GA. Fan Club

February 29th, 2012
11:51 am

Coach’sson, Westlake season will end tonite at “The High” in Savannah. Don’t cry too much tonite.

e

February 29th, 2012
8:29 pm

savannah high beats westlake 66-64 in ot, great game westlake controlled the 1st half, savannah kept chipping away and pulled ahead in ot, westalke tied it with free throws with 4.7seconds and savannah high won on a tip in at the buzzer. great game between two schools with great programs. go savannah high in the elite 8

Slav

February 29th, 2012
9:05 pm

Milton High strikes again with a 72-52 victory over the #3 Shiloh Generals. The Eagles were certainly soaring high with the likes of Shaq Johnson throwing down many wild dunks.

NCHS Fan

February 29th, 2012
9:53 pm

Oh my! Stephenson came to play tonight! Those boys played hard and with passion the whole night. Their coach cost them 2 huge points after getting a tech after off setting techs. NC won by 3. Stephenson is way better than what their record shows. CONGRATS TO NC! ELITE 8 BOUND! GIRLS AND BOYS!!!!

rudbuck

February 29th, 2012
9:56 pm

@Shiloh Guru: Slav is right. Just got back from the game and it was the complete opposite of what you said above. Layup after layup by Milton. Dunks of all varieties. Milton shot well from the perimeter. Shiloh got outclassed, outscored, outplayed, out dunked, out shot and out rebounded. Your 7 footer wasoutplayed and outrebounded by 6′5″ Shaq johnson. His game is too soft and plays it that way. Shiloh even had a dunk blocked by Milton that sent the crowd noise all the way to West Georgia. And that was one block shot of many. Shiloh height was a none factor in the game.

Tony

February 29th, 2012
10:05 pm

The score in the Mitlon/Shiloh score was closer than the disparity in play. Milton did pretty much anything they wanted, except shoot free throws. They attacked the paint frequently, aggressively and successfully. Shiloh’s size made no difference and Carter got outplayed and outworked by Glass.

rudbuck

February 29th, 2012
10:24 pm

@ Tony, you’re right the foul shooting was horrible for Milton. It’s the only aspect I did not include above. Carter got way outplayed, the kid is soft and needs to keep his head, his attitude was horrible out there.

johnny too good

February 29th, 2012
10:27 pm

Westlake is a good team, their pg #2 played really well, Savannah kept the game close in the 4th and ot by missing free throws
Shout out to Coach J and the rest of the blue jackets

rudbuck

February 29th, 2012
10:29 pm

CORRECTION: I meant Reed the 7 footer above and not Carter.

HENJAMCOL

March 3rd, 2012
12:44 am

@FAN01 WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE PLAYED MARIETTA AGAIN TO AVENGE THAT EARLY SEASON LOSS BUT WITHOUT JENNINGS UR TEAM WAS NOT THE SAME EVEN D. MITCHELL WAS NOT THE SAME BEFORE HE WENT DOWN……THERE’S TWO STARTERS AT N COBB THAT R HEADED TO FT VALLEY SAT. THAT WOULD HAVE HELPED MARIETTA IN THERE INJURY PLAGUED TOURNAMENT,BUT UR COACH LET THEM GET A WAY. HOPEFULLY WE CAN PLAY MARIETTA NEXT YR. WHEN N.COBB RETURNS ALL 5 STARTERS….PEACE!!!!

Fan01

March 3rd, 2012
5:51 pm

@HENJAMCOL theres two startes at north cobb that could not take down a full and healthy Marietta team. Damon and Anthony are two amazing atheletes who took down alot of great teams this season. but nothing against north cobb. they are playing great basketball and deserve to be where they are. but i believe with Damon And Anthony Marietta would be right along side with them.