Class 3A blog: Cross Creek teams will try to repeat as state tournament begins Tuesday

The Cross Creek boys and girls teams will begin their marches toward repeating as Class 3A champions this week, when the state high school playoffs begin Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cross Creek’s teams are ranked No. 5 on the boys side and No. 2 on the girls side in the latest rankings.

Here’s the breakdown of the first round:

Top-left quadrant

Boys: Top-ranked Sandy Creek, No. 3-ranked Sumter County, No. 6-ranked Windsor Forest and No. 10-ranked Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe begin the tournament in this quadrant. Assuming Sandy Creek and Windsor Forest each win first-round games, the two programs would meet in the second round. Sumter County and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe will meet if each team advances.

Girls: No. 4-ranked Sumter County is the only ranked program in the top-left quadrant and opens tournament play against Morgan County.

Bottom-left quadrant

Boys: No. 2-ranked Thomson is the only ranked team in this part of the bracket and will face Region 2 No. 4 Crisp County in the first round. North Hall, the other No. 1 seed in the quadrant, will face Region 5 No. 4 Redan.

Girls: Top-ranked Lumpkin County, No. 2 Cross Creek, No. 8 Murray County and No. 10 Tattnall County begin their tournament play in this quadrant. Lumpkin will host Redan in the first round; Tattnall County will play Beach; Murray County hosts Franklin County, and Cross Creek will play Mary Persons.

Top-right quadrant

Boys: No. 5-ranked Cross Creek, No. 7-ranked LaFayette, No. 8-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian and No. 9-ranked Groves highlight the quadrant. LaFayette has yet to lose a game (25-0) and will face Region 8 No. 4 Oconee County in the first round. Cross Creek will face Region 2 No. 3 seed Upson-Lee and could play LaFayette in round two if both advance. GAC will play East Forsyth to open the tournament, and Groves will play Brantley County.

Girls: No. 3 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and No. 5 Greater Atlanta Christian reside in the top-right quadrant to open the tournament. Lakeview will host Hart County, and GAC will play White County.

Bottom-right quadrant

Boys: No. 4-ranked Salem is the only ranked team in the bottom-right quadrant and will face Region 7 No. 2 seed White County to open the tournament.

Girls: No. 6 East Jackson, No. 10 East Forsyth and No. 7 Pierce County will begin their tournament trek in the bottom-right quadrant. East Jackson will host Ringgold; East Forsyth will play Cedar Grove, and Pierce County will play Savannah in the first round.

(For more information, you can follow the links to the past boys and girls champions, the boys and girls brackets or the Basketball Scoreboard powered by Score Atlanta.)