Class 7A Boys

Norcross vs. Berkmar

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Norcross Blue Devils

Record: 26-6      

Coach:  Jesse McMillan

How they got there: Def. Cherokee, def. Lowndes, def. North Gwinnett, def. Newton.

About the Blue Devils: Norcross is the No. 2 seed from Region 2. The Blue Devils had two first-team all-region selections in London Johnson and Jerry Deng and two second-team picks in Samarion Bond and Mier Panoam. Bond and Hezekiah Flagg were named to the region’s all-defensive team. Norcross has won five state championships, all since 2006, the last three with McMillan at the helm. The Blue Devils last went to the title game in 2018 when they lost to Meadowcreek.

Berkmar Patriots

Record: 26-4

Coach:  Greg Phillips

How they got there: Def. Etowah, def. Hillgrove, def. Grayson, def. Pebblebrook.

About the Patriots: Berkmar is the champion from Region 7 and has won 17 straight games. The Patriots are led by Malique Ewin, a 6-foot-10 senior who has signed with Ole Miss. Ewin is a rim protector, a good ball handler and can be aggressive around the basket. First-team all-region pick Jameel Rideout is an excellent distributor, a good perimeter shooter and an elite defender. Ewin and Rideout were named to the region’s all-defensive team. Other top players Jermahri Hill and Bryce Blaine, both capable of double-figures. It is uncertain whether 6-foot-7 Bo Hurns can play because of a foot injury that kept him out the last two games. Berkmar lost to Milton in the championship game in 2021 and is seeking its third state title, the first since the Patriots went back-to-back in 2000 and 2001.

Notes: This will be the third meeting between the teams this season, with Berkmar winning them all. Berkmar won 68-67 at homer on Dec. 10, 54-52 on Jan. 25 at Norcross, and 45-39 in the region championship game.