Projecting the boys draw: Norcross, Miller Grove, Columbia, GAC, Buford

Just in case you need a cheat sheet for your office pool, here’s one look at how the boys state playoff draws might play out. I wouldn’t bet your lawnmower on it, though.

Tell us what you think. We’ll take a look at the girls draw on Tuesday.

Asterisk means a lower-seeded team is projected to win. Note that the quarterfinals are no longer held at neutral sites. If two same-seeded teams meet in the quarters, the team listed first or higher on the draw will be the home team. The Class A draw won’t be posted until later this week.

AAAAAA: There’s a consensus building that the two best teams are Norcross and Tift County. Will be fun seeing which team emerges in the top quarter of the draw, which is populated by surprising region champions Tri-Cities and Druid Hills. Don’t see a lot of upsets overall, especially with higher-seeded teams getting home-court edge through the quarterfinals. Westlake at Tift County is the best second-round matchup, if they win their first-round games. Second-ranked North Cobb, with one starter out of the season and another hobbled, would have to travel to Tift for the quarters. Norcross can win its fifth state title in eight seasons and become the first school to win football and boys basketball state titles in the same academic year since Mitchell-Baker in 1989-90. No. 1-ranked Tift can become the first south Georgia team to win the highest class since Savannah in 1998. Tift last won in 1996.

First round

Druid Hills d. Douglas County

Brunswick d. Campbell

*Luella d. Tri-Cities

Hillgrove d. Valdosta

Shiloh d. Walton

Peachtree Ridge d. Centennial

Wheeler d. Dacula

Chattahoochee d. Meadowcreek

Tift County d. McEachern

*Westlake d. Rockdale County

North Cobb d. Coffee

*Morrow d. Newnan

Norcross d. Lambert

Archer d. Cherokee

Alpharetta d. Collins Hill

Roswell d. Berkmar

Second round

*Brunswick d. Druid Hills

Hillgrove d. Luella

Shiloh d. Peachtree Ridge

Wheeler d. Chattahoochee

Tift County d. Westlake

North Cobb d. Morrow

Norcross d. Archer

Alpharetta d. Roswell


Hillgrove d. Brunswick

Shiloh d. Wheeler

Tift County d. North Cobb

Norcross d. Alpharetta


Shiloh d. Hillgrove

Norcross d. Tift County


Norcross d. Shiloh

AAAAAA: Miller Grove is the most likely of any boys state champion. Any of the four Region 6 qualifiers (Mays, Tucker and Stephenson are the others) could make the semifinals, but playing on the road for the third road instead of the traditional neutral sites will make that more difficult for them. Miller Grove’s average margin of victory through the five games should be 12-plus points.

First round

Northside-Warner Robins d. Windsor Forest

Bainbridge d. Creekside

Effingham County d. Warner Robins

Starr’s Mill d. Thomas County Central

Gainesville d. Hiram

*Mays d. Creekview

New Manchester d. Apalachee

Stephenson d. Pope

Northside-Columbus d. Northgate

Jones County d. Richmond Hill

Whitewater d. Hardaway

Jenkins d. Evans

*Tucker d. Sprayberry

*Allatoona d. Salem

Miller Grove d. Sequoyah

Villa Rica d. Loganville

Second round

Northside-Warner Robins d. Bainbridge

Effingham County d. Starr’s Mill

Gainesville d. Mays

*Stephenson d. New Manchester

Northside-Columbus d. Jones County

*Jenkins d. Whitewater

Allatoona d. Tucker

Miller Grove d. Villa Rica


Effingham County d. Northside-Warner Robins

Gainesville d. Stephenson

Jenkins d. Northside-Columbus

Miller Grove d. Allatoona


Effingham County d. Gainesville

Miller Grove d. Jenkins


Miller Grove d. Effingham County

AAAA: Columbia has won 15 straight state playoff games, so let’s not pick against the Eagles, even if South Atlanta has beaten them twice. Columbia can’t like its draw and the potential game with Marist in the quarterfinals. Columbia would rather have a team coming to its gym that will be intimidated by the banners. Marist won’t be. South Atlanta and Eagle’s Landing are each very capable of winning this title. South Atlanta last won with Derrick Favors in 2009. Has it been that long? Eagle’s Landing has never won.

First round

Rutland d. Liberty County

Monroe d. Dutchtown

Statesboro d. Baldwin

Jonesboro d. Crisp County

*Shaw d. Johnson

*Marist d. Dalton

LaGrange d.Madison County

Columbia d. Gilmer

Westover d. North Clayton

*Glenn Hills d. Westside

Eagle’s Landing d. Albany

Butler d. Perry

*Grady d. NW Whitfield

*Alexander d. Eastside

South Atlanta d. River Ridge

Fayette County d. Stephens County

Second round

*Monroe d. Rutland

*Jonesboro d. Statesboro

Marist d. Shaw

Columbia d. LaGrange

Westover d. Glenn Hills

Eagle’s Landing d. Butler

*Grady d. Alexander

South Atlanta d. Fayette County


Monroe d. Jonesboro

Columbia d. Marist

Eagle’s Landing d. Westover

South Atlanta d. Grady


Columbia d. Monroe

Eagle’s Landing d. South Atlanta


Columbia d. Eagle’s Landing

AAA: Several teams could win it, but Buford is looking pretty strong with only one loss since Jan. 1. The Wolves avenged that one, to North Hall, in the Region 7 tournament. The Savannah teams, Johnson and Savannah, will be fun to watch. Morgan County also is very talented. The second quarter of the draw is awfully strong with four Top 10 teams. Cartersville (26-1) will have trouble making even the quarterfinals. Note that Morgan County would have home-court edge if there is a Morgan-Cartersville quarterfinal.

First round

Carver d. Swainsboro

Johnson d. Rockmart

Thomson d. Peach County

*Tattnall County d. Douglass

Morgan County d. Ringgold

North Hall d. Decatur

Cartersville d. Elbert County

St. Pius d. East Hall

Savannah d. Chapel Hill

*Dodge County d. Henry County

*Beach d. Callaway

Washington County d. Central Macon

Buford d. Cedar Grove

Franklin County d. Gordon Central

Woodward Academy d. Dawson County

North Murray d. Hart County

Second round

*Johnson d. Carver

Thomson d. Tattnall

Morgan County d. North Hall

Cartersville d. St. Pius

Savannah d. Dodge County

Washington County d. Beach

Buford d. Franklin County

Woodward Academy d. Hart County


*Johnson d. Thomson

Morgan County d. Cartersville

Savannah d. Washington County

Buford d. Woodward Academy


Johnson d. Morgan County

Buford d. Savannah


Buford d. Johnson


AA: GAC is heavily favored, much like Miller Grove in AAAAA, although notice that GAC could face Manchester in the quarterfinals. It was Manchester that stunned No. 1-ranked GAC a year ago. Otherwise, it’s a terrific draw for GAC as the other top contenders must go through each other. There could be as many as three second-round games between Top 10 teams – No. 8 Pelham vs. No. 10 Dublin, No. 9 Taylor County vs. No. 4 Laney and No. 3 Westside vs. No. 7 Bleckley County. No other playoff draw is quite like that. Laney is the defending champion.  In the quarterfinals, No. 2 Vidalia would be the designated home team in a potential game against No. 3 Westside. Same with Pelham in a game against Taylor County. So we’re predicting Pelham to make the semifinals for the first time since 1972. But GAC will get its third title in four seasons. That would be six state titles in eight years for coach Eddie Martin.

First round

Vidalia d. Harlem

Early County d. Northeast

Westside d. Jeff Davis

Bleckley County d. Thomasville

Jefferson d. Kendrick

Model d. Westminster

Jordan d. Washington-Wilkes

*Dade County d. Wesleyan

Pelham d.Macon County

*Dublin d. McIntosh County Academy

Taylor County d. Cook

Laney d. Benedictine

Calhoun d. Hapeville Charter

*Manchester d. Greene County

Greater Atlanta Christian d. Coosa

Spencer d. Rabun County

Second round

Vidalia d. Early County

Westside d. Bleckley County

Jefferson d. Model

Jordan d. Dade County

Pelham d. Dublin

Taylor County d. Laney

*Manchester d. Calhoun

GAC d. Spencer


Vidalia d. Westside

*Jordan d. Jefferson

Pelham d. Taylor County

GAC d. Manchester


Vidalia d. Jordan

GAC d. Pelham


GAC d. Vidalia

36 comments Add your comment

South Georgia Coach

February 18th, 2013
11:50 am

Good call on Brunswick. After watching them play a few times this year, I think they are a dark horse coming out of region 1AAAAAA.

Manny fresh

February 18th, 2013
1:07 pm

Nice predictions but I don’t see eagle landing beating south Atlanta. We will win the state this year and I think it will be against Columbia we beat them in the state for the 3rd time this year and we finally get our credit


February 18th, 2013
1:11 pm

I think your AA predictions are pretty accurate except I would have Jordan vs GAC in the Championship with GAC winning it close.


February 18th, 2013
2:22 pm

Norcross better bring it. No way they stop the tadric Jackson and brannen Greene show along with dj Bryant donnell tuff and boo Stewart. Best starting five in the state and when they are motivated which they will be for state playoffs they’re unstoppable. Tift co wins state to rarely bring it to sga.


February 18th, 2013
2:40 pm

DJ Bryant!! Dat boy GOOD!!!!


February 18th, 2013
2:47 pm

@Todd Holcomb.. come on Todd..Man you really need to go and watch Hillgrove.. They are very overrated. They will be lucky to make it out the first round. Shiloh wont get past P’ridge. If they do, Wheeler will destroy them. Wheeler is finally getting it together and they have a deep enough bench to dominate the whole Tournament. I think it will be Wheeler vs Tift for the Title.. North Cobb has 2 main players out. Saxon Steele & Jordan Neff. Its gonna be tough to win without those 2.


February 18th, 2013
2:50 pm

@Sgabball.. I agree with you.. even though I like wheeler, I think Tift has the experience edge..

Manny fresh

February 18th, 2013
5:00 pm

People telling me west lake is gonna beat tift in the 2nd round. I think Shiloh will be in the finals with tift dough.


February 18th, 2013
5:06 pm

In AAAA, Shaw over Johnson (g’ville)? I thought you said a week or two ago that Johnson would be a surprise team in the tourney?

Here is a reminder, Johnson has yet to lose in 2013, undefeated in region play too.

I guess if you only saw the score to the region championship game you might think that they are not playing well but Eastside basically ran 4 corners the whole game…

Hubert Green

February 18th, 2013
5:15 pm

Tift vs Norcross would be a good game; pure talent edge goes to Tift, but Norcross has lots of depth especially inside. Westlake will not win at Tift. Shiloh has two great players, one of which is 7 feet tall; the other has Columbia state championship pedigree. Wheeler may have learned finally to get out of its own way; they actually beat perennial state power Roswell (cough). They have the best soph in the state in Jalyn Brown; a great 6′7″ athlete in Staley; a couple of good guards, and a 6′9″ post who struggles but is a shot blocker when he’s not in foul trouble. Wheeler is dangerous. P Ridge is inconsistent; you never know what you’ll get with them. Their best player can shoot them in and out of games. They also have a talented albeit freshman point guard. North Cobb is literally hurt by injuries. Alpharetta is finally hitting their stride after the Carlos Burse football suspension debacle. They are hitting all cylinders right now and were in the final four last year.


February 18th, 2013
5:19 pm

Manny if South Atlanta keep relying on those jumpers they won’t stand a chance vs Eagles Landing.

Manny fresh

February 18th, 2013
5:26 pm

@studentofthegame it’s not the jumpers that are beating people it’s our defense of pressure and to keep it real we probably have the best 2 shooters in the state on the same team in #23 and #12 they don’t miss many as you can see. They can drive to but shood why drive when they shooting high percentage from 15 feet. And red hot behind that 3pt line. We will see dough it’s gonna be a good game


February 18th, 2013
5:32 pm

Yeah it should be a great game especially on a neutral floor. Eagles Landing is the real deal don’t sleep.

Manny fresh

February 18th, 2013
5:39 pm

Yea I know they are that’s why I wanted Jonesboro to beat them so they woulda been on the other side, we rather see them in the finals. That’s the only team I really fear never even seen them play but I Hurd they are tuff. It should be a good 1 Dough we both gotta win our early games 1st doe.

Marietta fan

February 18th, 2013
5:41 pm

I’ve seen North Cobb play in person about 4 times this year and was never really impressed even at full strength. They had trouble with us the two times we played them and this was the worst team Marietta has fielded in a while. They should beat Coffee County, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Coffee pulls the upset. They are the only team in Georgia to beat Tift County. I’m interested more in the tournament this year since I don’t have a team to pull for. Good luck to all in the state tournament!


February 18th, 2013
6:12 pm

It’s Put or shut up time!!!! Goodluck to all teams and congrats of making it this far. Looks like Tifton has the best chance to bring the title down south but it will not be easy when dealing with those talented Atl schools but goodluck to them anyway and also to the rest of regoin 1aaaaaa. In 2aa don’t sleep on the Jordan boys even tho GAC is the favorite to win it all and in the girls 2a Kendrick girls have scored about a thousand more points than their opponents and have beaten 25 of their 27 teams by well over 10 points and even scored over a 100 points over a 3a playoff team this year. If u don’t have 3 or 4 greast ballhandlers then u are done because they press the entire game!!


February 18th, 2013
6:14 pm

Also congrats to my Colquitt Lady Packers for making the playoffs and goodluck!!! Go Pack Go!!!!


February 18th, 2013
10:43 pm

Boy, if NC was healthy they’d be easily favorited to win state. they had 4 players that could all go for 20 point games every time they stepped on the courth. WIth out Saxon they still managed to win region. NC beat Hillgrove 3 times. once with out Steele and once with out steele and Neff.
They beat Peacthree Ridge twice, once with out Neff. They just show how deep they are and how much heart they have coming back from a 14 point deficit at the half to beat Hillgrove for the region championship. Their defense keeps them in every game they play. When they were all healthy they were the best starting 5 in the state. Neff should be back for the tournament and I cant see them not making it to the 3rd round. But that Tift game is gonna be a good one. I’m excited to see how they play this post season. GO WARRIORS!


February 18th, 2013
11:21 pm

Shiloh has 2 big time guards and the 7 footer may show up and play. If he does, they will be tough to beat, and would take Wheeler out if they both get there. Norcross-Shiloh is a very realistic final. The cross are improving every game and with the new 6′7″ power forward, jelling at the right. They beat a decent Collins Hill team over 40 points in region.

Norcross is DEEEEEEP

February 18th, 2013
11:27 pm

You don’t know what depth is until you’ve seen Norcross. These guys are three deep at every position and the third guy could start for almost any other team in their region. They push the ball from start to finish. It’s relentless. And the coach gets mad at them when they win by a lot because they didn’t win by enough.

Eagles Fan

February 19th, 2013
7:39 am

can’t complain with what you think about AAAA, If this coach can get the rotations together I don’t see anybody beating us, I would love to get a rematch with south atlanta since they feel they better than us, Drive for 6 starts tomorrow, this is when you make a name for yourself in the state playoffs not regular season

Manny fresh

February 19th, 2013
10:16 am

@eagle what you mean think we are better than y’all we bear y’all twice I mean what game are you looking at. Y’all shoulda lost to Marist both times. Don’t worry y’all gon see marist again in the final 8 and they gonna beat y’all this time 3rd time is a charm

Mike Steele

February 19th, 2013
11:33 am

In response to MARRIETTA fan, u may not have been impressed with N Cobb because u don’t know THEASE KIDZ, they have a problem of PLAYING DOWN TO THERE COMPETITON, when there comp is not good, plus they are FREINDS & very familiar with MARRIETTA, but had u seen them against #4 HILLGROVE, # 5 PEACHTREE RIDGE, #1BUFORD#8 BERKMAR , u might think differently, teams that beat MARRIETTA like a drum , we whipped, because N COBB GETS UP FOR GOOD COMPETITON, as there record shows, against top 25 N COBB , was 10-1, or maybe are whole region just sux, we went 17 & 1 in that, 1 loss coming to Campbell on a terrible shooting night on the road without Neff, & other issues I can’t disclose, I expect CAMPBELL, HILLGROVE, & NCOBB TO MAKE ELITE 8, & last year our region fared the best overall in state , with 3 teams in sweet 16 , 2 in elite 8, 1 in final 4!

Eagles Fan

February 19th, 2013
12:34 pm

@manny fresh, Ill give yall the 1st game yall won that one, now sat yall was down 18 in the 3rd qtr and you might not admit to it yall was beating tahj ass up when he was trying to get the inbounds pass and everytime he went to the cup he was getting hit but anytime yall went to the cup it was a foul in the 2nd half but hey I expected the refs to be worse than they were, plus klair the 2nd best player was out, but don’t get me wrong this isnt the same columbia team we have been the past 8 years, not only is coach phil gone this year but the bigs this year are weak, as a fan I don’t trust this coach and his rotations but he can prove himself now that its playoff time

Decatur 4 Life

February 19th, 2013
12:56 pm

Manny fresh

C’ mon man, you were at both of those games they could’ve gone either way. You guys won and for that you deserve the credit but don’t make it seem like yall own us because deep down you know better than that. Just like you say we should’ve lost both those Marist games you could’ve easily lost both games against us,

Manny fresh

February 19th, 2013
2:23 pm

@eaglesfan n Decatur for life. Now the 1st game we dominated we was up double digits dang near the whole game then y’all cut it to 1 then we went back up double digits. And ya had y’all 2nd best player kiair who ain’t do nothing. So the 1st game y’all really got killed. Now the 2nd game that was a miss print the most y’all ever went up was 15, and we was missing alot of easy stuff the 1st half 2nd half we got on sync and everything start dropping and you gotta understand basketball tahj was tired as hell he can’t run the offense and try to play d to he scored 29 but he also gave up 23 he never come off the floor coach gotta kno how to manage the game y’all got out coach both games and that’s why we won and plus we got the best guard in the stat of Ga hands down #23 when he got on tahj everything change. And the only reason y’all went up like that is because that sorry ass #10 showed up dat game he is so trash to me. Before that night he was like 2 for 18 behind the 3pmt line I think he gonna mest y’all up in the state because he always tryna compete with tahj tryna let people know he’s a scorer to when really he’s trash can juice. But he is y’all X factor if he on y’all can beat anybody but if he off y’all get blowed out like the 1st game was. He can shoot you in a game and he can shoot you out of a game.

Pelham Hornet '96

February 19th, 2013
2:29 pm

Let’s go Hornets!

Eagles Fan

February 19th, 2013
2:55 pm

@manny it was a 14 point game at the half and tahj hit two layups early in the 2nd half to move it to 18 but it don’t matter yall won the game and that coach played zone most of the night, but its a mute point yall won the game and you wont get no argument from me about being out coached oh believe me if coach phil was still there we will be undefeated easily without no inside play like we used to, and you was saying marist shouldve beat us two times I dont know where you get that from yeah they was up in the 1st meeting but couldnt hold on and the 2nd game we had a chance to win at the end and overtime wasnt close, and chill with this #23 is the best in the state you must havent watch enough of tahj its not even close

Eagles Fan

February 19th, 2013
3:02 pm

3 in a row going for 6 in 8 years we not no one year wonder, come to our gym our banners speak for ourselves, Columbia Eagles

Manny fresh

February 19th, 2013
4:58 pm

@eaglefan yea I know y’all history the banners speaks for its self, tahj good but he’s getting alot of credit from the 3 championships when y’all had them 6,8 dudes in the paint now what can tahj do with out them he got to be able to work with the bigs he got just like #23 for south atlanta y’all bigs are waaay better than our bigs. But #23 put the team on his back and carrying his team like a champ. If #23 had won ships like tahj did I promise he would have had the same exposures tahj do but he didn’t say that’s why he prove it on the court that’s he better. Tahj haven’t beat him yet and he was giving him the talk while they was playing talking him outta his game that’s a vet move.

Decatur 4 Life

February 20th, 2013
9:32 am

Manny fresh

First of all, the first game yall did lead most of the game by double digits but once we cut the lead to 1 point the lead never got back to double digits. Actually I think we went for the three to tie the game way too early with about 40 seconds left when we could’ve gotten the two and made you guys make some free throws. That’s the only reason the margin of victory was eight points in the first meeting, I’m trying to figure out when this blow out happen. Were you even at the first game? Also #10 is not our X factor, heck he made finally some shots aginst yall in the championship Saturday and we still lost. Our true X factor is #12 Rivers, when he plays like he can we don’t lose because he can do it inside and out. Right now he’s struggling a bit but hopefully he wakes up soon because this is Columbia and we rise up this time of year. Good luck to yall in the state tourney hope 6-AAAA represents!


February 20th, 2013
11:26 am

bottom line we beat yall twice this year one time at columbia and the second time for the regional championship yall can say what yall want its in yall mind yall just cant beat south atlanta point blank period


February 20th, 2013
1:08 pm

@CMill…Shaw is not a bad team. Not sure they still pull the upset without best player & floor general though. Watched them against LaGrange they seem out of sync & looked worst against Alexander. If they were full strength I could see them in qtr finals easily


February 20th, 2013
1:09 pm

Eagles Landing wins AAAA


February 21st, 2013
12:21 am


February 21st, 2013
12:25 am

Tahj is good but I don’t think he is the best guard in his class. He is no doubt the most decorated which is why he stands out but like someone else said look at what he HAD around him! Not to mention a. Great Coach