Second-round primer: Two blockbusters in AAAAAA

The state basketball tournament resumes this weekend with 96 second-round games Friday and Saturday, including two blockbusters in metro Atlanta involving top-five Class AAAAAA teams.

The fifth-ranked Archer girls play at third-ranked McEachern, the fourth-ranked Norcross boys play at third-ranked Westlake. Both are Saturday games.

‘’You don’t want the toughest draw early, but if that’s how the cards fall, you have to be ready to play,’’ Westlake coach Darron Rogers said. “At this point, you’ve just got to win.’’

Here are more things to know about the second round:

What's new: Class A gets under way with 32 games. The No. 1 seeds, determined by the GHSA's power ratings, are Greenforest Christian (private boys), St. Francis (private girls), Treutlen (public boys) and Turner County (public girls).

Best second-round girls matchups: The McEachern-Archer game is a rematch of the 2014 championship, won by McEachern. There are two other AAAAAA games involving two top-10 teams. They are No. 8 Harrison at No. 7 Parkview and No. 6 Collins Hill at No. 4 Douglas County. Here is the full list:


No. 8 Harrison at No. 7 Parkview

No. 6 Collins Hill at No. 4 Douglas County


No. 6 Mays at No. 4 Grovetown

No. 5 Warner Robins at No. 10 Sequoyah


No. 9 Griffin at No. 5 Carrollton

No. 4 Buford at No. 6 Mount Zion

No. 10 Baldwin at No. 2 Marist


No. 7 Hart County at No. 3 Jackson-Atlanta


No. 7 GAC at No. 9 Swainsboro

No. 3 Wesleyan at No. 8 Vidalia

Best second-round boys matchups: The Norcross-Westlake game is one of eight between ranked teams. The most intriguing locally are No. 7 Pebblebrook at No. 9 Collins Hill in AAAAAA and No. 5 Gainesville at No. 4 McIntosh in AAAAA. Here is the full list:


No. 4 Norcross at No. 3 Westlake

No. 7 Pebblebrook at No. 9 Collins Hill


No. 6 South Paulding at No. 10 LaGrange

No. 5 Gainesville at No. 4 McIntosh

No. 8 Southwest DeKalb at No. 9 Warner Robins




No. 8 Westside-Augusta at No. 10 East Hall


No. 7 Early County at No. 4 Manchester,

No. 6 Greater Atlanta Christian at No. 9 Dublin

Historic girls: Girls teams that won their first-ever state playoff games in the first round this week were Arabia Mountain, Jackson-Atlanta, Burke County and West Forsyth. Winder-Barrow won its first since 1993.

Historic boys: Boys teams that won their first state-playoff games were Grayson, New Hampstead, East Jackson, Lumpkin County and Jefferson County. Jackson County won for the first time since 1965. Mary Persons won for the first time since 1968.

First-round stunner: Grayson's boys – which had never won a state-playoff game – defeated No. 1-ranked Wheeler, the defending AAAAAA champion, 59-58 after Austin Dukes made three free throws with three seconds left. Wheeler became the fourth defending champion in the highest class in the past five years to fail to make the second rounds. Others were Tift County in 2015, Milton in 2013 and Norcross in 2012.

Another defending champ out: In AA, third-ranked Crawford beat Seminole County 95-64 in a rematch of the 2015 AA title game, won by Seminole.

Ranked today, gone tomorrow: Three ranked girls teams are out – No. 9 Glynn Academy in AAAAA, No. 7 Jonesboro in AAAA and No. 10 East Hall in AAA. Seven ranked boys teams are out – No. 1 Wheeler in AAAAAA, No. 5 Eagle's Landing, No. 7 Walnut Creek and No. 10 Upson-Lee in AAAA, No. 9 Johnson-Savannah in AAA, No. 8 Seminole County and No. 10 Model in AA.

Strong regions: Three boys regions went 4-0 in the first round. They were 6-AAAA (Grady, Lithonia, Columbia, St. Pius) 5-AAAA (Sandy Creek, Woodward Academy, Carrollton, Fayette County) and 6-AA (Pace Academy, Lovett, Greater Atlanta Christian, Holy Innocents'). Only one girls region swept. That was 8-AAAAA (Flowery Branch, Loganville, Gainesville, Winder-Barrow).

What's next: The tournament will resume on Feb. 25-27 with the quarterfinals and semifinals, to be played in several college venues. The finals will be March 4-6 in Macon.

Credit: Stan Awtrey