On Saturday, both A-5A championships were scheduled to be played at Atlanta's Lakewood Stadium, with the girls taking the field at 2 p.m. and the boys playing at 5 p.m. However, the field's playing conditions were unplayable, with improper lines and fastening issues with a net forcing the league to postpone the girls' championship game.
That game, which is between the top-ranked Blessed Trinity Lady Titans (18-3) and No. 8 Kell Lady Longhorns (12-9), will now be played on Wednesday at 7 p.m., with the venue switching to Walton. With the game now being played in Marietta, that at least cuts the travel distance in half for both teams while still serving as a neutral site, as Walton is nearly equal distance from both schools.
Still, it would be an understatement to say both teams were disappointed to show up at Lakewood on Saturday ready to play, only to be told the field wasn't ready.
The good news for the Lovett Lions and Westminster Wildcats is that the field was ready in time for the 5 p.m. A-5A boys title game, which turned out to be a thriller. The Wildcats beat the Lions 10-9 in overtime for their second title in three seasons and fifth overall dating back to 2007.
Before the tournaments started, I predicted Westminster would win on the boys' side and that Blessed Trinity would win on the girls' side.
On to 6A-7A: the semifinals for both the boys and girls will be played on Wednesday. On the boys' side, it's top-ranked Lambert (19-1) at No. 3 Centennial (18-3) and No. 6 Lassiter (15-4) at Allatoona (15-6). I have Lambert and Lassiter winning to advance to the title game, which is scheduled for Saturday, 5 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium.
Here's a breakdown of the boys quarterfinals:
- The No. 4 Pope Greyhounds put up a fight on the road against the Lambert Longhorns, coming up just short by a score of 12-9. The three-point deficit was the closest any Peach State team has come within the Longhorns, who had outscored their first two playoff opponents 41-1 heading into the game.
- The Centennial Knights made easy work of the Roswell Hornets with a 21-11 home victory. The Knights have now posted double-digit wins in all three of their playoff games, outscoring the opposition 65-29. For the Hornets (10-11), it was a successful run as road warriors, pulling off two road wins over North Atlanta and Peachtree Ridge.
- The Allatoona Buccaneers are the only remaining unranked team in the tournament after their 17-10 handling of No. 10 Walton at home. The Bucs are going for an unconventional route to back-to-back championship seasons, and are two wins from a high-class title after winning last year's A-5A title, their first in program history. The Raiders finished the season 13-7.
- The Lassiter Trojans knocked off No. 9 West Forsyth 16-4 at home, keeping their season alive and well after they barely survived a tough Round 2 matchup against No. 2 Mill Creek, which they won 9-8. For West Forsyth, it was the end to a historic season for the program.
On the girls' side, it's No. 3 North Gwinnett (20-1) at No. 1 Milton (17-4) and Lambert (16-5) at No. 7 Cambridge (17-6). I had Milton meeting Mill Creek in the title game, but Mill Creek didn't make it out of the second round. The title game will be played Saturday, 2 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium.
Here's a breakdown of the girls quarterfinals:
- The Lambert Lady Longhorns continue their impressive postseason run with a 10-8 win at home over Pope. The Lady Longhorns are the bracket's lone remaining unranked team. However, they've managed to go through the playoffs without playing a ranked team up to this point. That will change on Wednesday with Cambridge. The Lady Greyhounds' season ends at 11-10.
- The Cambridge Lady Bears edged defending state champions and No. 10 Walton 11-10 in overtime at home, closing one of the season's best rivalries. The two teams played three times, and the quarterfinals marked the second time the Lady Bears escaped with an 11-10 overtime win — the last coming nearly two months to the day on March 14. Walton won 13-10 on Feb. 15, but see their season end at 14-8 after shocking Milton for the state title last season.
- Speaking of Milton, the Lady War Eagles subdued No. 2 Lassiter 12-3 at home in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that was played far too early in the tournament. Milton appears to be on a redemption tour after coming up short in last season's title game. They've outscored their playoff competition 49-6, with Lassiter's 3 points the most they've given up in a game.
- The No. 3 North Gwinnett Lady Bulldogs handily beat Chattahoochee 14-6. Like Lambert, the Lady Bulldogs have yet to play a ranked team in the playoffs, but they'll face what is easily their toughest test of the season when they travel to Milton.
Check back Friday when we recap the A-5A girls title game and 6A-7A semifinals, as well as look ahead to the high-class title games.