Here is a class-by-class look at the boys quarterfinals.
For a rundown on the girls semifinals, go here.
AAAAAA – Tift County had to turn 400 fans away Saturday for its 100-81 victory over Westlake. Expect the same for the quarterfinals against North Cobb unless Tift is able to find a way to squeeze them in. Tift is ranked No. 1, North Cobb No. 2. Tift led by as many as 30 against Westlake, which is ranked eighth. … The other quarterfinal that is between ranked teams matches No. 6 Peachtree Ridge at No. 7 Wheeler. AJC.com’s David Purdum is slated to cover that one from The Lip in Marietta. … Unranked Brunswick is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1982. The Pirates will be at home against fifth-ranked Hillgrove, another second seed. Hillgrove made the quarters in 2010. Neither has made a state semifinal. … No. 3 Norcross plays Berkmar in the other quarter. The two Gwinnett County schools have won some six state titles since 2000, although it’s been a while for Berkmar.
AAAAA – No. 1-ranked and four-time state champion Miller Grove plays No. 6 Tucker on Tuesday as part of a boys-girls double-header. It’s at Miller Grove, which has beaten Tucker by 11 and 19 points in their two Region 6 clashes. … Nice to see Ceekside back in contention in basketall. The Seminoles have advanced as a No. 3 seed and are in the quarters for the first time since 2003. Creekside was a state runner-up in 2002. Creekside plays at second-ranked Effingham County, which will be trying to make the semifinals for the first time in school history. … History is not on the side of several AAAAA quarterfinal teams. New Manchester, which opened in 2011, hadn’t won a playoff game until this year. New Manchester’s opponent, Jenkins, is in the quarters for the first time since 1973 and has never made the semis. Northside-Columbus, which opened in 2002, has never made the semifinals. Northside’s opponent, Gainesville, is used to this stuff. The Red Elephants have made the semis or better 10 times in the last 25 years, although none since 2009.
AAAA – Columbia-Marist III is slated to take place Wednesday at Columbia, which one the previous games 46-45 and 52-50 in overtime. AJC.com’s Jeff Haws will cover that one and bring a photographer. Columbia is ranked No. 3, Marist No. 4. … Since quarterfinals are no longer at neutral sites, No. 1-ranked Eagle’s Landing is forced to travel to Albany to play eighth-ranked Westover. Both are region champions. Since they are No. 1 seeds, the home team is predetermined on the draw. It’s the same for Rutland vs. Statesboro. Rutland is at home, though both are region champions. Second-ranked South Atlanta plays at home against Alexander in the other quarterfinal.
AAA – Chatham County rivals Johnson and Savannah could be headed for an all-Savannah final. Both have home games Wednesday – third-ranked Johnson against unranked Tattnall County and second-ranked Savannah against ninth-ranked Washington County. If the Savannah teams win, they’ll have the home crowd behind them again in the semifinals, which will be played at Savannah’s Armstrong Atlantic State University. Savannah and Johnson are on opposite sides of the draw. … The other two quarterfinals match North Georgia teams – No. 1-ranked Buford vs. No. 6 Woodward Academy and No. 7 North Hall vs. No. 10 St. Pius. None of the four has won a state title.
AA – The 2012 semifinal teams are still in it this year – champion Laney, Manchester, Vidalia and Jordan. … The most intriguing game Wednesday is No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Manchester. A year ago, Manchester upset GAC 48-46 in the quarterfinals. GAC was ranked No. 1 then, too. That game was in Dalton. The rematch is on GAC’s home floor. … If you missed it, one of the best round-of-16 games statewide Saturday was No. 7 Bleckley County’s 62-61 victory over No. 3 Westside of Augusta. Westside trailed by 22 and took the lead with second left, but Bleckley’s Rydealous Taylor made two free throws with 2.8 seconds to win it. Taylor scored 25 points. Now Bleckley plays at No. 2 Vidalia. Bleckley is trying to make the semifinals for the first time since 1985.
A – The home teams won 15 of 16 first-round games in both public and private divisions last week. The exception was No. 9 Jenkins County over No. 8 Dooly County on the public side. Top games this week will be fourth-ranked North Cobb Christian, which spent most of the season at No. 1, traveling to ninth-ranked Athens Christian. In a side note, Seth Vining coached his last game in Lakeview Academy’s loss to Aquinas. The retiring coach won more than 700 games, sent 10 teams to the semifinals and won four state championships at East Hall, two boys titles (2001, 2003) and two girls titles (1979, 1980).