Heritage-Conyers swept the championships, M.L. King’s girls pulled off the upset of the week, and a defending state champion was eliminated from the postseason as Class AAAAAA conducted its region basketball tournaments last week.
Here’s a recap of each region as they crowned champions and determined the teams and seeds for the state tournament, which begins on Friday. Listed at the bottom are the first-round matchups for the state playoffs.
*Region 1: Coffee was the No. 1 seed and Valdosta was the No. 2 in the boys and the girls brackets, and the schools played each other in both championship games. Coffee’s boys earned a 76-69 victory in the final after beating Northside-Warner Robins 73-60 in the semifinals. Valdosta took the girls championship 53-50. Valdosta’s win in the final was the only one by a lower-seeded team in the entire tournament.
*Region 2: Brunswick’s boys and girls teams were both seeded No. 1, but only the boys team came away with the region title, beating No. 3 seed Richmond Hill 52-48 in the championship game. Brunswick’s girls were upset by No. 4 seed Glynn Academy in the semifinals and settled for third place after beating No. 3 seed Richmond Hill in the consolation game. No. 2 seed Bradwell Institute won the girls title with a 51-36 victory over Glynn Academy.
*Region 3: Heritage, the No. 1 seed in the boys and girls brackets, was the only Class AAAAAA team to win both region titles. The boys team beat No. 3 seed Grovetown 68-66, and the girls beat No. 3 seed Greenbrier 59-51. Heritage’s boys will be seeking their second victory in the state playoffs since 1986. The Patriots girls have never won a state playoff game. The Evans boys entered the tournament seeded No. 5 but walked away with third place after beating No. 4 seed Alcovy and No. 2 Lakeside-Evans.
*Region 4: M.L. King’s girls, the No. 7 seed, pulled off the upset of the week when they beat No. 2 seed Forest Park 37-36 in the quarterfinals, ending the season for the fourth-ranked Panthers. M.L. King (8-20) also went upset No. 4 Stephenson in the consolation game to earn third place. Forest Park finished the season 21-5. Top-ranked Lovejoy cruised to the girls title. The boys teams from Stephenson and Jonesboro, which tied for first place in the regular season, met in the championship game, with Stephenson winning 56-53.
*Region 5: The Hughes boys and Mays girls won state titles last season, but only one will have a chance to defend the title. Mays, seeded fourth, had its season come to an end with a 53-48 loss to No. 5 seed South Paulding in the quarterfinals. Top seed Douglas County beat No. 3 seed New Manchester 41-38 in the championship game. The top-ranked Hughes boys beat Tri-Cities 65-57 in the semifinals and then rolled past Douglas County 73-51 in the championship game.
*Region 6: The eighth-ranked and top-seeded Creekview boys team was upset by No. 5 seed 52-44 in the semifinals and took third place after beating Allatoona. South Cobb beat Sprayberry 52-49 to win the championship. The top four girls seeds – third-ranked Harrison, Creekview, River Ridge and Sequoyah – reached the semifinals, as expected. Harrison beat Creekview 45-36 in the championship game, and Sequoyah took third place with a 49-39 victory over River Ridge.
*Region 7: North Atlanta’s second-seeded boys team won three games in five days to claim the title, beating top seed Cambridge 76-58 in the final. Cambridge had lost just one game during the regular season and was 16-0 in region play. The fourth-ranked Northview girls, seeded No. 1, survived a 57-53 scare from Johns Creek in the semifinals before rolling past No. 3 seed Pope 65-43 in the championship game. Pope knocked off No. 2 seed Alpharetta in the semifinals.
*Region 8: This is another region that went as expected. The only upset was No. 5 seed Gainesville’s victory over No. 4 Habersham Central in the first round of the girls tournament. The most intriguing matchups were between Lanier and Dacula in the boys and girls semifinals. Dacula’s boys and Lanier’s girls won and went on to second-place finishes. The Gainesville boys and Winder-Barrow girls, both ranked No. 2 in the state, won the region championships handily.
State tournament first-round matchups
(R6 #3) Creekview at (R5 #2) Douglas County
(R8 #4) Apalachee at (R7 #1) North Atlanta
(R2 #3) Bradwell Institute at (R1 #2) Valdosta
(R4 #4) Drew at (R3 #1) Heritage-Conyers
(R5 #3) Alexander at (R6 #2) Sprayberry
(R7 #4) Pope at (R8 #1) Gainesville
(R1 #3) Lee County at (R2 #2) Richmond Hill
(R3 #4) Lakeside-Evans at (R4 #1) Stephenson
(R8 #3) Lanier at (R7 #2) Cambridge
(R6 #4) Allatoona at (R5 #1) Hughes
(R4 #3) Tucker at (R3 #2) Grovetown
(R2 #4) Effingham County at (R1 #1) Coffee
(R7 #3) Alpharetta at (R8 #2) Dacula
(R5 #4) Tri-Cities at (R6 #1) South Cobb
(R3 #3) Evans at (R4 #2) Jonesboro
(R1 #4) Northside-Warner Robins at (R2 #1) Brunswick
(R6 #3) Sequoyah at (R5 #2) New Manchester
(R8 #4) Gainesville at (R7 #1) Northview
(R2 #3) Brunswick at (R1 #2) Coffee
(R4 #4) Stephenson at (R3 #1) Heritage-Conyers
(R5 #3) Alexander at (R6 #2) Creekview
(R7 #4) Johns Creek at (R8 #1) Winder-Barrow
(R1 #3) Northside-Warner Robins at (R2 #2) Glynn Academy
(R3 #4) Lakeside-Evans at (R4 #1) Lovejoy
(R8 #3) Dacula at (R7 #2) Pope
(R6 #4) River Ridge at (R5 #1) Douglas County
(R4 #3) M.L. King at (R3 #2) Greenbrier
(R2 #4) Richmond Hill at (R1 #1) Valdosta
(R7 #3) Alpharetta at (R8 #2) Lanier
(R5 #4) South Paulding at (R6 #1) Harrison
(R3 #3) Grovetown at (R4 #2) Tucker
(R1 #4) Houston County at (R2 #1) Bradwell Institute