Lacrosse: The playoffs have arrived

ajc.com

April 28 marks the first day teams can begin playing opening round matchups of the GHSA lacrosse playoffs, with the championship games taking place May 15 at Denmark in Alpharetta.

The 1A-5A girls championship starts at 10 a.m., followed by the 1A-5A boys, who are scheduled to compete at noon. The 6A-7A girls are slated to face off at 2 p.m., and the 6A-7A boys close out the season with the final match, scheduled for 4 p.m.

For the boys brackets, go here. The girls brackets can be found here.

Here are some things to know heading into the playoffs:

  • This will mark the first season since 2019 that a GHSA lacrosse champion will be crowned after the organization canceled all spring sports last year. The defending champions from two seasons ago are Walton (6A-7A boys), Milton (6A-7A girls), Westminster (1A-5A boys) and Starr’s Mill (1A-5A girls).
  • Milton’s girls are seeking a fourth consecutive title. The Lady Eagles are the definition of GHSA lacrosse, having claimed a state championship in all but two seasons since the GHSA began acknowledging lacrosse champions in 2005. The only seasons they didn’t win it all are 2009 and 2016.
  • Starr’s Mill’s girls won their first ever championship last season, and Westminster won their sixth title. The Walton boys’ title was its first since 2011.
  • The most recent rankings at the time of publication come from April 20. On the boys’ side, Lambert (6A-7A) and Blessed Trinity (1A-5A) are No. 1, and for the girls, Milton (6A-7A) and, again, Blessed Trinity are tops.
  • With Blessed Trinity ranked No. 1 in both genders, the Titans and Lady Titans are shooting to sweep the championships and if they’re successful, they’ll be the first school to accomplish that feat since...Blessed Trinity did it it 2019, winning 1A-5A. Westminster also swept 1A-5A in 2013 and swept 1A-4A in 2010. Milton swept the high class in 2010 and 2012.
  • According to the Inside Lacrosse national rankings for the Class of 2021, Walton’s James Gurr is the highest-rated player in Georgia, coming in at No. 75. Others in the IL rankings are Milton’s Fisher Finley at No. 80, and Lassiter’s Braden Erksa (No. 92). On the girls’ side, Maddie Dora and Marleigh Sanders (No. 28 and No. 29, respectively) are the top Georgians. Gurr (Ohio State), Finley (Notre Dame), Erksa (Maryland), Sanders (Notre Dame) and Dora (USC) have all signed to play at the next level.
  • There are no matchups between ranked teams in the first round, regardless of gender or classification.
  • My champion picks: 6A-7A — Lambert (boys), Milton (girls); 1A-5A — Blessed Trinity (boys and girls)

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