Selma Kulo (left), Mia Bongcaron (center) and Sarah Manley are the seniors on a historic Brookwood girls basketball team, the first from the Gwinnett County school to reach the quarterfinals in the state tournament in 39 seasons of fielding teams. Brookwood will face Campbell next week.

Class AAAAAAA blog: Brookwood girls make history

The state basketball tournament just finished the second round. Now, it’s on to the quarterfinals, which are Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here are things you should know about Class AAAAAAA entering the elite eight:

*Brookwood’s girls team is in the quarterfinals for the first time in the history of a school that opened in 1981. Under first-year coach Courtney Strauthers, the Broncos (17-12) defeated No. 7 Tift County this week to advance. Brookwood has had some good teams over the years, several that won 20 games, one that went 27-1.  But this is the first one to break through. Brookwood’s girls had lost six previous times in the round of 16, most recently in 2017. 

*There haven’t been any major surprises. In two rounds, only twice has a lower-ranked team beaten a higher-ranked team. More on those below.

*Wheeler’s boys defeated second-ranked Shiloh 65-64 on Thursday night in the game of the second round in any classification. Shiloh has six wins over current top-10 teams in the highest class (No. 10 Archer three times, No. 9 Newton twice, No. Berkmar once, No. 5 McEachern once), plus Sequoyah and Chattahoochee, who are still alive in the Class AAAAAA playoffs, and No. 1-ranked (albeit eliminated) Eagle’s Landing of AAAAA. All three losses came to No. 1-ranked Grayson. But Wheeler is good too, especially on its home floor, and is ranked No. 6. 

*Brookwood and Campbell are the only non-region champions still playing among the girls. Campbell beat Region 8 champion Rockdale County 50-25. The two will play each other this week at Campbell. That’s the Cinderella quarter of the draw. 

*The higher-placed team on the draw will be at home in the quarterfinals when same-seeded teams meet. That’s the result of a universal coin toss conducted by the GHSA on Friday. That means No. 8 Berkmar travels to No. 6 Wheeler, No. 4 Norcross to No. 1 Grayson and No. 5 McEachern to unranked North Gwinnett in the boys draw. All are region champs. In the girls’ draw, No. 4 North Forsyth goes to No. 3 Cherokee, unranked Norcross to No. 1 Westlake and No. 5 McEachern to No. 2 Collins Hill. Again, all are region champions.

Boys quarterfinals schedule (Feb. 25-26)

R8 #3 Newton at R5 #1 Milton

R7 #1 Berkmar at R2 #1 Wheeler

R7 #2 Norcross at R8 #1 Grayson

R3 #1 McEachern at R6 #1 North Gwinnett

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

R8 #3 Newton 74, R2 #4 Westlake 65

R5 #1 Milton 72, R3 #2 North Cobb 57

R2 #1 Wheeler 65, R8 #2 Shiloh 64

R7 #1 Berkmar 83, R3 #3 Kennesaw Mountain 46

R8 #1 Grayson 67, R2 #2 Pebblebrook 54

R7 #2 Norcross 67, R3 #4 Hillgrove 27

R6 #1 North Gwinnett 66, R2 #3 East Coweta 65

R3 #1 McEachern 59, R5 #2 South Forsyth 53

Girls quarterfinals schedule (Feb. 25-26)

R5 #1 North Forsyth at R4 #1 Cherokee

R7 #1 Norcross at R2 #1 Westlake

R7 #2 Brookwood at R2 #2 Campbell

R3 #1 McEachern at R6 #1 Collins Hill

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

R4 #1 Cherokee 74, R8 #3 Grayson 53

R5 #1 North Forsyth 56, R3 #2 North Cobb 50

R2 #1 Westlake 71, R8 #2 Archer 40

R7 #1 Norcross 50, R3 #3 North Paulding 36

R2 #2 Campbell 50, R8 #1 Rockdale County 25

R7 #2 Brookwood 57, R1 #1 Tift County 52

R6 #1 Collins Hill 70, R2 #3 Pebblebrook 53

R3 #1 McEachern 57, R7 #3 Parkview 51

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