Winder-Barrow, Region 8 girls ready to roll on to Round 2

ajc.com

Credit: Stephen Black - Score Atlanta

The Winder-Barrow girls basketball team made the most of its first state-tournament appearance in 22 years and paved the way for a Region 8-AAAAA sweep in the first round on Tuesday.

The Bulldoggs, seeded fourth from Region 8, rolled to a 53-32 victory over Region 5 champion Villa Rica for its first win in the state tournament since the 1993 AAA quarterfinals. Winder-Barrow lost in the first round the next season and had not been back since.

Winder-Barrow joined Flowery Branch, Loganville and Gainesville as winners from 8-AAAAA, making it the only girls region in the state in any classification to go 4-0 in the first round.

Next up for the Bulldoggs is a trip Friday to eighth-ranked Region 1 No. 2 seed Carver-Columbus, which advanced with a 59-30 victory over Morrow.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the first round in Class AAAAA:

101 – Points scored by Miller Grove in its 60-point victory over Sprayberry. It marked the third time this season that the second-ranked Wolverines scored at least 100 points.

31 – Points scored by McIntosh's Jordan Lyons in a 100-69 first-round victory over Carver-Columbus. The senior guard, who is headed to Furman, is averaging 18.8 points for the fourth-ranked Chiefs.

21.1 – Average margin of victory for the winning girls teams. The most lopsided game was Grovetown's 75-25 victory over Camden County, and the closest was Northside-Columbus's 53-51 win over Woodland-Stockbridge.

16.9 – Average margin of victory for the winning boys teams. The most lopsided game was Miller Grove's 101-41 victory over Sprayberry, and the closest was Morrow's 57-55 win over Shaw.

7 – Victories by lower-seeded teams in the boys and girls brackets. No. 3 seeds went 5-11 against No. 2 seeds, and No. 4 seeds went 2-14 against No. 1 seeds. The only No. 4 seeds remaining are the Winder-Barrow girls and the Jones County boys, who beat Region 3 champion Camden County.

6 – Victories in the first round by Region 2 and Region 8, the most of any region in AAAAA. Region 2 got three victories each by its boys and girls teams. Region 8 went 4-0 in the girls bracket and 2-2 in the boys bracket.

4 – Schools with both their boys and girls teams still playing. They are Gainesville (Region 8), Mays (Region 6), Southwest DeKalb (Region 6) and Warner Robins (Region 2).

1 – Ranked teams that were eliminated in the first round. The ninth-ranked Glynn Academy girls, who were ranked No. 1 two weeks ago, were knocked out 53-32 by fifth-ranked Warner Robins, which was No. 1 until a loss to Cross Creek in the 2-AAAAA semifinals.

Here are the best of the second-round games, followed by a complete list of the weekend matchups:

*Gainesville at McIntosh (boys): Fifth-ranked Gainesville rebounded from a loss to Cedar Shoals in the 8-AAAAA championship game with a 68-62 victory over Villa Rica. No. 4 McIntosh has won 17 consecutive games, including a 100-69 victory over Carver-Columbus in the first round. This game features two of the top players in Class AAAAA – McIntosh's Lyons and Gainesville senior D'Marcus Simonds, who was a McDonald's All-American nominee.

*Mays at Grovetown (girls): Grovetown (28-1) has the best record of any AAAAA girls team. The Warriors have won 11 consecutive games, all by at least 13 points, and are coming off a 50-point win over Camden County in the first round. But sixth-ranked Mays (21-7) comes from a region (6-AAAAA) that has produced seven of the past eight champions in the second-highest classification. Mays was the runner-up to region rival Stephenson last year.

Boys

(R4 #3) Morrow at (R5 #1) Allatoona

(R6 #2) Southwest DeKalb at (R2 #1) Warner Robins

(R4 #2) Mundy’s Mill at (R8 #1) Cedar Shoals

(R2 #4) Jones County at (R6 #3) Mays

(R5 #2) South Paulding at (R1 #1) LaGrange

(R2 #2) Richmond Academy at (R6 #1) Miller Grove

(R8 #2) Gainesville at (R4 #1) McIntosh

(R3 #2) Statesboro at (R7 #1) Riverwood

Girls

(R8 #4) Winder-Barrow at (R1 #2) Carver-Columbus

(R6 #2) Mays at (R2 #1) Grovetown

(R1 #3) Northside-Columbus at (R8 #1) Flowery Branch

(R7 #2) Creekview at (R3 #1) Brunswick

(R8 #3) Gainesville at (R1 #1) Columbus

(R2 #2) Cross Creek at (R6 #1) Southwest DeKalb

(R8 #2) Loganville at (R4 #1) Dutchtown

(R2 #3) Warner Robins at (R7 #1) Sequoyah