Ranked teams went 43-7 in the first round of the girls state tournament this week. Three of the losses were by AAAAAA teams and three were by AAAAA teams (No. 1 Kell being one of them). That means the ranked teams in AAAA, AAA and AA were a combined 29-1.
Here are some of the best games and story lines for the second round of the girls tournament:
Best game: No. 3 Norcross at No. 2 Parkview
Story lines: The Norcross-Parkview game is a classic, with Norcross’ roster of blue-chip recruits led by Diamond DeShields against undefeated Parkview’s deep but unspectacular roster. … Region 1 sent three teams to the round of 16 in Valdosta, Colquitt County and Tift County. That’s a shock considering that the region they beat – Cobb County’s Region 4 – sent four teams to the final eight last season. Biggest shocker was Colquitt County over 2012 champion McEachern.
Best game: No. 10 Allatoona at No. 3 Miller Grove
Story lines: No. 1-ranked Kell is done, beaten by seventh-ranked Stephenson in the first round. DeKalb County teams are going to be hard to stop as No. 2 Tucker, No. 3 Miller Grove and No. 4 Southwest DeKalb are now the highest-ranked teams remaining. Tucker goes on the road to Region 8 champion Salem, and 2012 champion Miller Grove plays at Region 5 champion Allatoona.
Best games: No. 3 Redan at No. 7 Fayette County, No. 5 Woodland-Stockbridge at No. 2 Cross Creek, No. 10 South Effingham at No. 4 Jonesboro; No. 9 LaGrange at No. 1 Columbia
Story lines: There are four games matching Top 10 opponents. No other class has quite that list of blockbusters.
Best games: No. 10 Dodge County at No. 7 Chapel Hill, No. 9 Dawson County at No. 4 North Oconee, No. 8 Decatur at No. 5 Sonoraville
Story lines: All eight region champions advanced in the first round. All are favored again, although three off them must get through Top 10 opponents (above) that didn’t win their regions.
Best game: No. 7 Greater Atlanta Christian at No. 3 Kendrick, No. 10 Bremen at No. 1 Wesleyan
Story lines: As in AAA, all eight region champions advanced in the first round. Unbeaten Kendrick got a tough draw with GAC in the second round.
A public –
Best game: Calhoun County at Towns County
Story lines: No. 3 Randolph-Clay, 6 Towns County, No. 8 Gordon Lee and No. 10 Turner County are the favorites in this first public state tournament. The last public school champion in Class A was Hawkinsville in 2007.
A private –
Best game: Pace Academy at Paideia
Story lines: The top four teams – Southwest Atlanta Christian, St. Francis, Holy Innocents’ and Darlington – appear to have separated themselves from the field. None should be pushed in the first round.