Class AAA blog: Breaking down the first round of the state tournament

The first round of the Class AAA state basketball tournament is in the books, so let’s look at what took place after the first 32 games:

-- Boys top seeds: Two No. 1 seeds on the boys side did not advance to the second round. Dawson County, the No. 1 seed from Region 7, was eliminated after a 72-69 loss to Cedar Grove, the No. 4 seed from Region 5. And Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, the No. 1 seed from Region 6, lost to Hart County, the No. 4 seed from Region 8, 53-31.

-- Girls top seeds: All eight No. 1 seeds on the girls side advanced to the second round. Rutland, the No. 1 seed from Region 4, defeated Liberty County 59-29. Cedar Grove, Region 5's No. 1, beat Dawson County 45-39. Tattnall County, the No. 1 from Region 2, beat Central-Macon 51-38. North Hall, the No. 1 from Region 7, downed Pace Academy 58-46. Jefferson, the top seed from Region 8, beat Coahulla Creek 62-55. Monroe, No. 1 from Region 1, beat Southeast Bulloch 54-45. Sonoraville, the top seed from Region 6, handled Jackson County 61-41. Top-ranked Johnson-Savannah, the No. 1 seed from Region 3, beat Lumpkin County 66-38.

-- Boy's upset specials: Five lower-seeded boys teams defeated their higher-seeded opponents. The most surprising was Cedar Grove’s 72-69 victory against Dawson County at Dawson County. Dawson led early, 9-2, but the Saints put together a 31-11 run to build a 17-point lead to take control of the game. Here were the other outcomes: Region 8 No. 3 Monroe Area over Region 6 No. 2 Murray County, 49-47; Region 3 No. 3 Johnson-Savannah over Region 1 No. 2 Crisp County, 52-44; Region 8 No. 4 Hart County over Region 6 No. 1 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 53-31; Region 7 No. 3 Cherokee Bluff over Region 5 No. 2 Westminster, 61-51.

-- Girl's upset specials: All but two higher-seeded teams advanced to the second round. Here were the other two "upset" games: Region 3 No. 3 Savannah over Region 1 No. 2 Worth County, 51-48;. Region 7 No. 3 Fannin County over Region 5 No. 2 Westminster, 54-45.

-- Playing to form (boys): The top-ranked Pace Academy boys opened the tournament with an easy 80-37 victory against North Hall. Pace was led by Matthew Cleveland, who had 22 points, eight assists and six steals. The Knights will face Beach in the second round before a possible matchup against Westside-Macon in the quarterfinals.

-- Playing to form (girls): The Johnson-Savannah girls are trying for their third consecutive state title and seem to be peaking at the right time. Antalazia Baker scored 17 points for No. 1 seed Johnson-Savannah in its 66-38 home victory against at-large team Lumpkin County. Jaida Burgess and K’Lya Hankerson each scored 14 points for the Atomsmashers, and Amani Hamilton scored 12 points.

-- Great escapes (boys): Two games were extremely close. Franklin County, the No. 2 seed from Region 8 narrowly defeated Calhoun, the No. 3 seed from Region 6, 65-63. Franklin will travel to Long County for the second round. On the other side of the bracket, Region 7 No. 2 Greater Atlanta Christian narrowly defeated Region 5 No. 3 Lovett, 71-70. GAC will travel to Monroe in the second round.

-- Great escapes (girls): Savannah, the No. 3 seed from Region 3, narrowly defeated Region 1 No. 2 Worth County 51-48. The Savannah program, which never had won a state playoff game, will travel to North Hall in the second round.

The second round will be played Wednesday and Thursday at home sites of the higher-seeds.

First-round scores

Boys

R8 #3 Monroe Area 49, R6 #2 North Murray 47 OT

R4 #1 Westside-Macon 80, R2 #4 Tattnall County 59

R3 #2 Beach 67, R1 #3 Worth County 49

R5 #1 Pace Academy 80, R7 #4 North Hall 37

R8 #2 Franklin County 65, R6 #3 Calhoun 63 OT

R2 #1 Long County 61, R4 #4 Rutland 44

R3 #3 Johnson-Savannah 52, R1 #2 Crisp County 44

R5 #4 Cedar Grove 72, R7 #1 Dawson County 69

R2 #2 Pierce County 72, R4 #3 Peach County 55

R8 #1 Jefferson 75, R6 #4 Adairsville 46

R7 #2 Greater Atlanta Christian 71, R5 #3 Lovett 70

R1 #1 Monroe 60, R3 #4 Benedictine 42

R4 #2 Central-Macon 68, R2 #3 Appling County 36

R8 #4 Hart County 53, R6 #1 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 31

R7 #3 Cherokee Bluff 61, R5 #2 Westminster 51

R3 #1 Windsor Forest 79, At Large Murray County 56

Girls

R6 #2 Ringgold 68, R8 #3 Hart County 53

R4 #1 Rutland 52, R2 #4 Liberty County 29

R3 #2 Beach 56, R1 #3 Crisp County 36

R5 #1 Cedar Grove 45, R7 #4 Dawson County 39

R8 #2 Morgan County 43, R6 #3 Calhoun 40

R2 #1 Tattnall County 51, R4 #4 Central-Macon 38

R3 #3 Savannah 51, R1 #2 Worth County 48

R7 #1 North Hall 59, R5 #4 Pace Academy 46

R2 #2 Pierce County 52, R4 #3 Kendrick 44

R8 #1 Jefferson 62, R6 #4 Coahulla Creek 55

R7 #2 GAC 76, R5 #3 Stone Mountain 31

R1 #1 Monroe 54, R3 #4 Southeast Bulloch 45

R4 #2 Jackson 54, R2 #3 Brantley County 35

R6 #1 Sonoraville 61, R8 #4 Jackson County 42

R7 #3 Fannin County 54, R5 #2 Westminster 45

R3 #1 Johnson-Savannah 66, At-Large Lumpkin County 38

Boys second-round schedule (Feb. 19-20)

R8 #3 Monroe Area vs. R4 #1 Westside-Macon

R3 #2 Beach vs. R5 #1 Pace Academy

R8 #2 Franklin County vs. R2 #1 Long County

R3 #3 Johnson-Savannah vs. R5 #4 Cedar Grove

R2 #2 Pierce County vs. R8 #1 Jefferson

R7 #2 GAC vs. R1 #1 Monroe

R4 #2 Central-Macon vs. R8 #4 Hart County

R7 #3 Cherokee Bluff vs. R3 #1 Windsor Forest

Girls second-round schedule (Feb. 19-20)

R6 #2 Ringgold vs. R4 #1 Rutland

R3 #2 Beach vs. R5 #1 Cedar Grove

R8 #2 Morgan County vs. R2 #1 Tattnall County

R3 #3 Savannah vs. R7 #1 North Hall

R2 #2 Pierce County vs. R8 #1 Jefferson

R7 #2 GAC vs. R1 #1 Monroe

R4 #2 Jackson vs. R6 #1 Sonoraville

R7 #3 Fannin County vs. R3 #1 Johnson-Savannah

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