After missing out on the region championship last year, the Norcross boys were determined to return to place they considered to be part of the program’s legacy. They competed the quest on Saturday with a 55-48 win over rival Peachtree Ridge in the Region 7-AAAAAA final at Mill Creek.
The No. 3 Blue Devils (22-6) got 23 points from Brandon Godwin and beat the No. 8 Lions (19-9) in a tough, physical game. Both teams will host first-round games.
“We talked about it at the beginning of the year that last year was the first time in 10 years that we hadn’t played for the region championship,” said Norcross coach Jesse McMillan. “Winning it would be great, but we wanted to at least be playing for it. We reminded them about that at the beginning of the tournament.”
The game was taut throughout the second half. Norcross led by seven at the half, but was not able to lengthen its lead. Peachtree Ridge trimmed it to 446 on a basket by Jordan Capps with two minutes left in the game, but could get no closer. Godwin wound up icing the game by making 4-of-5 free throws in the final 35 seconds.
“They were talking so much smack on Twitter that we had to get it back,” Godwin said. “This is a big deal for us, especially after losing to them last year.”
Lorenzo Carter added 12 points for Norcross. Peachtree Ridge was led by Brandon Johnson with 13 and Amir Warnock with 11.
“The game was extremely physical and we responded to it,” McMillan said. “We said the game would be won and lost on the glass and won and lost on transition. There wasn’t any transition, but we did play well on the glass.”
Boys consolation: Meadowcreek 56, Collins Hill 53
The Cinderella Mustangs (10-18), who upset No. 4-ranked North Gwinnett in the first round, got 19 points from Austin Robinson to win the third-place game. Collins Hill (17-11) was led by Devin Mitchell with 22 points.