The Norcross boys hit No. 1-ranked McEachern with a quick defensive flurry, built a big lead and rode the momentum to a 75-55 win in the Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals.
The No. 2-ranked Blue Devils jumped out to a 24-8 lead after one quarter and never let McEachern back in the game. The Indians got back to within two points on a couple of occasions in the second half, but were never able to make a sustained run.
“Best we’ve played all year,” Norcross coach Jesse McMillan said. “I said going in that we needed to have our A-plus defensive game and I felt like we did it. Guys stepped up. They were locked in from the beginning. The defense got us our lead and the defense maintained our lead.”
Norcross was led by sophomore Brandon Boston with 22 points and Kyle Sturdivant scored 12. Center Issa Muhammad scored 10 points and dominated the glass with 12 rebounds. Point guard Dalvin White scored only eight, but ran the offense to perfection.
“You know McEachern is going to press the entire ball game,” McMillan said. “That didn’t bother us because we knew Dalvin’s been doing this for four years and you can put the ball in his hands in a difficult situation and the pressure’s not going to bother him.”
White was also able to get the ball to Boston in scoring position, particularly in the second half. Boston scored 11 of his points in the third quarter.
“(Boston) has really paid attention to how teams have played him the last couple of games, him and Kyle both,” McMillan said. “We told them, don’t force it early and it’ll come to you. He took the open shot when he had them. In the third quarter he was able to get loose and put the ball on the floor and make plays. I was pleased with him understanding how the game was going to play out and being patient.”
McEachern (26-3) was led in scoring by sophomore Sharife Cooper with 17 points. Isaac Okoro added 10 and Babatunde Akingbola blocked eight shots.
It was the first loss to a Georgia team by McEachern, which held several national rankings, including a No. 6 spot in the MaxPreps’ Excellent 25.