A rematch of the 2019 boys state championship game will be the headliner when the Class AAAAAA basketball quarterfinals are played Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Tri-Cities captured its first state title last year when it beat Tucker 46-43 in the most dramatic of the state finals, winning on a 3-point shot at the buzzer by Da’Marcus Johnson. Tri-Cities had taken possession with 6.9 seconds remaining after Nick Watson tied the game with two free throws.
“Our coach told me, if they miss the [second] free throw don’t let them get the rebound,” Johnson told the AJC’s Stan Awtrey after the game. “And if they make the free throw, he told me to hit the game winner.”
Johnson, a senior last season, led the Bulldogs with 13 points. This year the leader for Tri-Cities is Peyton Daniels, who had 12 points and five rebounds in the victory. Daniels, a 6-foot point guard, is the No. 8 junior in Georgia, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Tucker’s top player once again is Jermontae Hill, who scored a game-high 14 points in last year’s matchup and was the Region 4 player of the year this season. He is rated the No. 22 senior in the state.
Top-ranked Tucker is 26-3; No. 3 Tri-Cities is 25-5.
Here’s a look at the other boys and girls matchups for the quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played Friday at Buford. The second-round scores and quarterfinal schedule are listed below:
*Sequoyah at Chattahoochee: Sequoyah and Hughes are the only No. 3 seeds remaining in the boys field, although Sequoyah is 24-5 and ranked No. 6, two spots ahead of Chattahoochee (22-7). Sequoyah is in the quarterfinals for the first time. Chattahoochee, which has won 10 consecutive games, has been to the quarterfinals three times (2001, 2004, 2012) but never advanced to the semifinals.
*Hughes at Lanier: Seventh-ranked Hughes won state titles in 2017 and 2018. Both teams feature region players of the year – Hughes’ P.J. Carter in Region 5 and Lanier’s Sion Davis in Region 8. James, who is committed to Tulane, scored with four seconds left in overtime of a 60-58 second-round victory over Stephenson, putting the No. 4 Longhorns in the quarterfinals for the first time.
*Evans at South Cobb: Tenth-ranked Evans has recovered from a three-game losing streak in mid-January and won eight straight games, including two in the state tournament by an average of 16.5 points. No. 2 South Cobb has cruised past Winder-Barrow 60-38 and Brunswick 75-49. Evans guard Christian Chambers and South Cobb forward Emon Washington were region players of the year.
*Hughes at Lovejoy: No. 6 Hughes is 22-1 since a 1-4 start and brings a 16-game winning streak into its first quarterfinal appearance since 2013. The Panthers will be facing a Lovejoy team that is ranked No. 1, was the runner-up last season and won the state title in 2018. The Wildcats are led by Genesis Bryant (N.C. State signee) and Anaya Boyd (Georgia Tech), two of the state’s top guards.
*Johns Creek at Glynn Academy: Johns Creek was 11-11 after a 59-50 loss to Cambridge on Jan. 21, but the Gladiators have since won eight consecutive games to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. Fifth-ranked Glynn Academy, a quarterfinalist last year, has lost just once this season (45-37 to Valdosta on Dec. 13) to a Georgia opponent. Forward/center Zoesha Smith is a Georgia signee.
*Valdosta at Dacula: This is a rematch of the teams’ Nov. 26 game, which Dacula won 43-40 in the Dacula Tip-Off Classic. No. 2 Valdosta hasn’t lost since and enters the quarterfinals on a 24-game winning streak. No. 4 Dacula is 14-1 in 2020, its only loss coming against defending state champion Lanier on Jan. 24, a game in which Region 8 co-player of the year Lazaria Spearman did not play.
*Douglas County at Forest Park: Douglas County and Forest Park, both No. 2 seeds, are the only girls teams remaining that weren’t region champs, although Forest Park is ranked No. 3. Forest Park is trying to reach the semifinals for the seventh time in 11 seasons. Douglas County, which joins Johns Creek as the only remaining unranked teams, was a semifinalist twice in the past four years.
Tucker 57, Allatoona 43
Tri-Cities 79, Houston County 67
Sequoyah 61, Richmond Hill 56
Chattahoochee 73, Heritage-Conyers 68
Lanier 60, Stephenson 58
Hughes 55, Valdosta 52
South Cobb 75, Brunswick 49
Evans 76, Douglas County 62
(R5 #1) Tri-Cities at (R4 #1) Tucker, 7 p.m. Wednesday
(R6 #3) Sequoyah at (R7 #1) Chattahoochee, 7 p.m. Tuesday
(R5 #3) Hughes at (R8 #1) Lanier, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
(R3 #1) Evans at (R6 #1) South Cobb, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Lovejoy 44, Harrison 25
Hughes 61, Heritage-Conyers 43
Glynn Academy 67, Sequoyah 50
Johns Creek 65, Houston County 55
Dacula 69, Brunswick 50
Valdosta 70, Cambridge 55
Forest Park 66, Sprayberry 55
Douglas County 41, Grovetown 39
(R5 #1) Hughes at (R4 #1) Lovejoy, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
(R7 #1) Johns Creek at (R2 #1) Glynn Academy, 6 p.m. Tuesday
(R1 #1) Valdosta at (R8 #1) Dacula, 6 p.m. Wednesday
(R5 #2) Douglas County at (R4 #2) Forest Park, 6 p.m. Tuesday
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