Boys second round: Top games, story lines

Here are some of the best games and story lines for the second round of the boys tournament:

AAAAAA –

Best games: No. 8 Westlake at No. 1 Tift County, No. 6 Peachtree Ridge at No. 4 Shiloh.

Story lines: Druid Hills and Tri-Cities, the two Cinderfellas that won their region tournaments after finishing fifth and sixth in the regular season, have tough home games. Fourth-ranked Hillgrove, the No. 2 seed from Region 4, travels to Tri-Cities. Both looked good in the first round – Tri-Cities in beating Luella 67-51 and Hillgrove in beating Valdosta 57-43. Brunswick, the No. 2 team in Region 2, plays at Druid Hills. … Tri-Cities has won its first-round game and lost its second-round game each of its last six trips to the state playoffs.

AAAAA  –

Best game: No. 6 Tucker at No. 7 Allatoona

Story lines: Region 6 (Miller Grove, Stephenson, Mays, Tucker) swept Region 7 in the first round. The four could sweep again, with Tucker getting the toughest  challenge. Fourth-ranked Stephenson plays Region 5 champion New Manchester. Fifth-ranked Mays plays Region 8 champion Gainesville. No. 1-ranked Miller Grove plays at home against Villa Rica.

AAAA –

Best game: No. 5 Jonesboro at No. 6 Statesboro

Story lines: Region 6 (South Atlanta, Columbia, Mays, Grady) swept Region 7 in the first round. The four could sweep again. Second-ranked South Atlanta is at home against Fayette County. Third-ranked Columia plays at Region 5 champion LaGrange. Fourth-ranked Marist is home against Shaw. Grady plays at Alexander in a game between formerly ranked teams that won on the road in the first round.

AAA –

Best games: No. 7 North Hall at No. 5 Morgan County, No. 10 St. Pius at No. 4 Cartersville

Story lines: Three Savannah teams won their first round games in Savannah, Johnson and Beach. All played in the highest class last year but moved to AAA this season. Third-ranked  Johnson travels to Region 2 champion Carver of Columbus. No.. 2 Savannah plays dangerous Dodge County at home. Beach travels to ninth-ranked Washington County.

AA –

Best game: No. 7 Bleckley County at No. 3 Westside-Augusta, No 4 Laney at No. 9 Taylor County

Story lines: Augusta schools Laney and Westside are on the spot with games against Top 10 opponents. Laney is the defending state champion. Westside is the top-ranked team in the computer Maxwell Ratings, ahead of AJC No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian. Another city of note is Columbus, which has three teams (Kendrick, Jordan, Spencer) in the second round.

A public –

Best game: Hancock Central at Wilcox County

Story lines: It’s the first ‘’public’’ Class A basketball tournament. Computer-rating experts would argue that the GHSA power ratings don’t work nearly as well for basketball because of the larger number of games but also the fact that opponents’ classification (a big part of the GHSA system) means less in basketball than football.  As a result, the Maxwell Ratings rank Wilcox County and Dooly County at No. 2 and No. 3. The GHSA has them No. 7 and No. 8. The Wilcox-Hancock game matches the GHSA’s No. 7 and No. 10 teams. They are Maxwell’s No. 2 and No. 6 teams. Hancock is only 15-10, but according to Maxwell, Hancock’s average opponent is 16 points better than the average opponent of Portal (20-7).

A private –

Best game: Whitefield Academy at No. 4 W.D. Mohammed

Story line: Whitefield Academy, the 2012 Class A champion, had a great region tournament, beating North Cobb Christian, reaching the final and losing in overtime to St. Francis, after an up-and-down regular season during which many wrote the team off. Its second-round opponent, WDM, was ranked No. 1 just two weeks ago.

22 comments Add your comment

SavannahHOOPS

February 22nd, 2013
10:18 am

Savannah teams are finally in the classifications befitting of their high school enrollment. It shows as the Savannah area teams won all first round games. I can see a state championship banner being hoisted in the city of Savannah this year.

Region 6...

February 22nd, 2013
10:36 am

That would be Marist…not Mays from region 6 that beat Dalton this week. Marist gets by Shaw on Saturday and then it looks like a 3rd game v. Columbia (provided they get by @ LaGrange…Marist can win AAAA, in spite of their doofus coach. They have the talent to get it done!

Region 6...

February 22nd, 2013
10:39 am

Another thing…Marist should seriously consider hiring the coach from Miller Grove after this season. He wins big every year.

Northside Dawg

February 22nd, 2013
11:28 am

Man, Northside laid an egg in round 1 against Windsor Forest. I guess we’re just a football school.

Columbia85

February 22nd, 2013
12:15 pm

Region 6 is strong!!!

Andre Elam

February 22nd, 2013
12:20 pm

Look out for the upset of the year when the MIGHTY Westlake Lions go down to Tift County and beat them soundly on our way the Elite 8. We went there last year and upset them, it will be the same result. As I been saying all year we are too deep! Round 1 my man Raymond (Rondo) Saunders dropped 7-3 balls for 21 pts, I think he was 100% from the field. Of course the regular cast did their thing as well (Tony Bagatas 18 pts, Andre’ Elam, 16 pts and Kejuan Johnson, 13 pts). They have 2 big timers and we have 9-10 true ballers. LET’S GO LION’S!!!!!!! Should be a great game and in the famous words of T.O. “You Better Get Your Popcorn”

Sgabball

February 22nd, 2013
12:31 pm

Andre. You must not know much about Tift. We have 2 of the best in the nation and another4-5 more that’s as good as anyone on westlake. Westlake better be ready as this is a much much better tift team than last year. Tift will win by double digits. Mark it down!

Lakerman

February 22nd, 2013
12:49 pm

Sounds like the Marist folk still wish Rob Bell was on the bench

rockdale observer

February 22nd, 2013
2:10 pm

Andre Elam, I wouldn’t toot your own horn too much. Rockdale jumped out 7-0, and was up 12-6 in the first quarter Wednesday night. I thought to myself, “This team was ranked all season???” Rockdale has a good team, but they’re not supposed to do that against one of the top teams in the state. The second quarter Westlake started to play better, Rockdale went cold, and your shooter got hot. Halftime the Lions were up by 10. A state ranked team should roll from that point, right?

5 minutes into the third quarter Rockdale had tied the game. Westlake was very sloppy with the ball, and Rockdale was able to drive to the hoop. The entire fourth quarter was back and forth, and down to the final minute, the game was in doubt. Rockdale missed some key shots the last minute, Westlake didn’t, and so Westlake advanced.

However, Rockdale could have easily advanced. and better teams have beaten Rockdale this season. Luckily for Westlake, Westlake played at Rockdale during a week we were out of school, or the gym would have been packed. As it was, it seemed like a neutral court. I predict Tift County (if they are as good as advertised) will beat Westlake by 15-20. Unless we just saw a very lackluster effort because they felt Rockdale was beneath them, Westlake looks very overrated.

Da Coach

February 22nd, 2013
3:01 pm

Bell’s a legend, but McClaire is doing fine (despite some whiney people on this board). Hope Marist doesn’t overlook Shaw this weekend.

Tift blue devilish

February 22nd, 2013
5:18 pm

I saw Tift vs Westlake last yr. the game was decided in the final seconds on a missed Tift shot. I have not seen Westlake this year but Tift is much better. Tift added Greene who is going to Kansas to play basketball and our other two very good players Tuft and Jackson are a year older. good game coming no doubt but I think Tift will be fine.

Region 6...

February 22nd, 2013
5:29 pm

State Champion will come from Region 6 for AAAA…

Region 6...

February 22nd, 2013
5:39 pm

By the way Da Coach, Ron Bell is a legend, only it’s in his own mind. His EGO would not fit inside most arenas! However, I will say this for Coach Bell…he has forgotten more about Basketball than Coach McClaire could ever dream of. And, in all fairness…Coach Bell did lead Marist to three State titles and numerous runner-up and final fours during his time at Marist. Unfortunately, that is a helluva lot more than Coach McClaire has done or will ever do. Give me Coach White from Miller Grove or Coach Reddick from South Atlanta any day of the week and with the talent Marist has year in and year out, they would be playing for State titles on a semi-regular basis. In order for Marist to win now, they have to do it in spite of their current head coach. Maybe they can get it done this year. Get by Shaw on Saturday and likely, they will face Columbia next week in the quarterfinals (provided they go on the road and beat a pretty good LaGrange team…). Region 6-AAAA is where it’s at this year though…

Bball Friend

February 22nd, 2013
10:41 pm

Let’s go Westlake Lions, play hard!!!!!

Bmax

February 22nd, 2013
11:00 pm

LaGrange & Shaw wins behind good game plans. Pauley & Terry White can coach

Manny fresh

February 23rd, 2013
9:31 am

Lets go South Atlanta hornets they show us no love on max prep or ajc. I think hate to love us.

Still a Dawg Fan

February 24th, 2013
11:18 am

Savannah has 3 AAA teams in the final 8 & our 4th team was upset last nite & lost by 2pts

ggee87

February 24th, 2013
12:00 pm

Well Region 6AAAA didnt sweep the 2nd round. Grady got outplayed and outhustled by Alexander. Gradys coaching isnt up to par. Their big man wasnt the focal point of their offense while he towered over the opposition. Good game plan on Alexanders side and i think they give South Atlanta a run for their money in the Elite 8.

wolfbait67

February 25th, 2013
8:55 am

l AAA is coming down to the wire …any team could win it….but defense wins championships…so who wants it more…..looks like 1-AAA or 7-AAA ….no Cinderella here

wolfbait67

February 25th, 2013
9:03 am

Savannah hoops…you must be talking about Jenkins-Savannah in Class AAAAA…hope to see y’all this weekend at Armstrong State…hopefully we will be there…’cause they are not any slackers left just go getters…good luck to your team

sav 912

February 25th, 2013
1:58 pm

Savannah schools have overlooked for years. We beats each other all year due to being in the same region. Now that the region is divided, watch out .Savannah teams will be contenders in all classification s. Don’t sleep on the atom smashers. Mr. Quarterman is for real. I saw clips of the oak hill game. He gave them 36. Oh yeah

JW

February 26th, 2013
10:42 am

Why is Greenforest allowed to be in the playoffs with their asst. coach’s AAU team that plays together all year round? Doesn’t the GSHA have rules about this, even for private schools? He (a former player for GT) sits on the bench with the team all season while everyone knows he’s their AAU coach. They recruit these players to go to Greenforest and then put them altogether year round in AAU and all are coached by the same guy. Shouldn’t all schools play by the same rules? Even private schools? They could at least try to hide him in the crowd.