State Basketball Playoffs: Thursday Night Recap

The first round of the GHSA basketball state playoffs tipped off Thursday night and a total of eight girls teams and six boys emerged victorious and earned their spots in the Sweet 16. Norcross joined Parkview, Newton, South Forsyth, West Forsyth and Collins Hill as schools with girls and boys both taking the hardwood on Thursday. Only Norcross, however, managed to advance both of its teams on and into the second round.

The No. 2 seed Norcross boys hosted No. 3 seed Lambert and fell behind 23-16 at the half before securing a 65-49 victory. The Blue Devils’ poor start included a four-point effort in the second quarter. The beginning of the third quarter did not go much better for Norcross, which trailed 25-16 with just over five minutes left in the period. A made jumper by junior Jaden Harris, however, quickly ignited Norcross on a massive 49-24 run that closed out the 16-point victory. J.T. Thor finished with a game-high 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocks to lead the Blue Devils. Quincy Ademokoya scored 13 points, Will Campbell finished with 11 points and teammate Josh Taylor had 11 rebounds to go with his eight points. Lambert’s Colin Granger finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Longhorns teammate Will Baker finished with 14 points. Norcross will face the winner of Camden County and Hillgrove in the next round.

The top-seeded Norcross girls outscored the visiting Wolverines 21-11 in the second half in order to overcome its four-point deficit at the break (20-16) and advance with a 37-31 victory. West Forsyth’s Cayla Cowart and Maggie Quincy each netted seven points in the first half. Norcross 6-foot-1 senior Yamani Paul scored seven of her game-high 13 points in the first half and battled foul trouble for much of the contest. Blue Devils teammate and senior Dani Dias provided eight points and eight rebounds off the bench, Jada Warren hauled in nine rebounds and freshman guard Kayla Lindsey chipped in five points to go with seven rebounds and three steals. The Blue Devils will face the winner of Camden County and North Paulding in the Sweet 16.

Class AAAAAAA

Boys

Berkmar 62, West Forsyth 29

Berkmar opened up a 9-5 lead after the first quarter and went into the half with a 20-14 lead. The top-seeded Patriots increased the lead to 40-25 heading into the fourth quarter where they closed out the Wolverines with a 22-4 edge. Senior Jalen Deloach provided 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in the victory. Sophomore Jermahri Hill added 11 points and seven rebounds and 6-foot-10 sophomore Malique Ewin finished with 11 points and six rebounds. The Patriots will take on the winner of Kennesaw Mountain and Colquitt County in the second round.

Girls

Collins Hill 66, Newton 41

No. 1 seed Collins Hill got off to a fast start and outscored the Lady Rams 21-5 in the second quarter to grow a sizeable 43-17 lead. Senior point guard Asjah Inniss scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the first half and junior teammate Kamryn Collins netted 11 of her 14 points in the first-half action. The Eagles will face the winner of Pebblebrook and Roswell in the second round.

Class AA

Girls

Union County 69, Therrell 40

Top-seed Union County opened the game on an 8-0 run and took a 36-19 lead into the half. Sophomore Ava Hunter paced the Panthers with 16 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 27 points in the victory. Union County also got contributions from Kait McCarter (12), Corinne Hill (9), Brooke Dockrey (8), Ellie Cook (7) and Rebekah Chambers (6). The Panthers will host the winner of Butler and Bryan County next week in the Sweet 16.

Thursday's First Round Results

Boys

Berkmar 62, West Forsyth 29

Monroe Area 49, North Murray 47 OT

Norcross 65, Lambert 49

Newton 85, Collins Hill 80

South Forsyth 62, Parkview 53

Wayne County 57, Jones County 56

Girls

Archer 39, Duluth 38

Brookwood 75, South Forsyth 60

Cedar Grove 45, Dawson County 39

Collins Hill 66, Newton 41

Lithia Springs 43, Loganville 42

Norcross 37, West Forsyth 31

Parkview 56, Forsyth Central 46

Union County 69, Therrell 40

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