In eight semifinal games played on Thursday in Macon and Gwinnett, the winner of each game calls metro Atlanta home. Meanwhile, six teams from outside the metro area saw their seasons come to an end.
In Class AA, Buford and GAC flexed their hoops muscles as each school qualified boys and girls teams into the finals. The programs come from the same region and will watch their boys teams play for the third time this year (GAC won both previous meetings), while the girls teams will play for the fourth time (Buford won two of three).
Norcross will also make appearances in the Class AAAAA finals in both boys and girls hoops. The girls team figured to be here, but the boys berth in the final may come as a surprise for a team that began the season 5-8.
McEachern 65, Mill Creek 56: Patches Roberts led the Lady Indians with 23. McEachern took off on a 15-0 second quarter rally to erase a deficit and take a 30-23 lead. Kayla Montgomery added 11 for the Lady Indians.
Norcross 66, Campbell 46: The Lady Blue Devils will have a chance to defend their Class 5A title on Friday after defeating Campbell 66-46. The Devils outscored Campbell 32-12 in the last 11 minutes of the game which led to the big win. Diamond DeShields led Norcross with 21 points.
Milton 75, Tift Co. 53: Jordan Loyd had 27 and Shaq Johnson scored 21 in the Eagles’ dominating semifinal win. The Blue Devils jumped out a leads of 6-0 and 11-5 but, by halftime, Milton had taken a double-digit lead. Milton will try to defend their Class 5A title against Norcross Saturday.
Norcross 70, Valdosta 61: will look to win their fourth title in six seasons after defeating Valdosta in the semifinals. The Blue Devils took the game over after going on a 14-0 run late in the second quarter. Chris Bolden led Norcross with 26 points and Jay Rome led all scorers with 33.
Buford 69, Laney 39: The Lady Wolves broke open a 34-25 game after halftime with a dominant third quarter. Buford’s Andraya Carter scored a game-high 29 points, while Kaela Davis totaled 19. The Lady Wolves will take on GAC for the fourth time this season in the final.
Greater Atlanta Christian 56, Northeast-Macon 32: GAC needed to start fast in order to not give Northeast any chance. The Lady Spartans were able to do just that with a 12-1 run to start the game. Since Jan. 18, the Lady Spartans have won 18 of 19 games.
Buford 63, Laney 59: The Buford boys came away with a thrilling win over Laney to advance to the Class 2A championship. Laney had a chance to win the game, being down only two with less than a minute left, but T.J. Shipes, who led the Wolves with 20 points nailed two free-throws to ice the game.
Greater Atlanta Christian 71, Swainsboro 58: Virginia commitment Malcolm Brogdon led GAC with 32 points and 11 rebounds in the Spartans’ semifinal win. A.J. Davis pitched in with 16 points and nine boards, while teammate Cole Hobbs accounted for nine points and seven rebounds. GAC plays region-rival Buford for the third time this season in the final.