DeKalb County has dominated basketball in the state’s second-largest classification in recent years, winning 10 of the past 11 championships in both the boys and the girls brackets.
It has been a different story this year as only four DeKalb schools (Dunwoody, M.L. King, Stephenson and Tucker) play at the Class AAAAAA level, and none reached the semifinals. The county’s last team standing, the Stephenson girls team, was eliminated Tuesday by Northview in the quarterfinals.
Instead, Cobb and Fulton have taken the lead roles, putting six of the eight teams in the boys and girls semifinals. Cobb has the Harrison girls, South Cobb boys and Allatoona boys, while Fulton still has the Northview girls, Mays girls and Hughes boys.
The South Cobb and Hughes boys pulled off two of the biggest victories of the tournament, knocking out No. 1 South Paulding and No. 2 Gainesville in the quarterfinals. That leaves No. 4 Hughes and No. 9 Allatoona as the only remaining ranked teams in the boys bracket. Hughes and Allatoona will face off Saturday in the semifinals.
Here’s a look back at all eight quarterfinal games, along with their historical significance, and a peek ahead to the semifinals:
*South Cobb 40, South Paulding 37: South Cobb scored the game’s final six points over the last four minutes to knock off the top-ranked Spartans. The victory put South Cobb in the semifinals for the first time since 2001. South Paulding lost in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season and is still seeking its first semifinal appearance. The Spartans’ Kane Williams led all scorers with 12.
*Brunswick 64, Northside-Warner Robins 54: Brunswick and Northside were tied 53-53 with three minutes remaining, but Daquan Humphrey’s 3-pointer gave Brunswick the lead for good, and the Pirates outscored Northside 11-1 down the stretch. Brunswick won the AAAAA title in 2015 and is in the semifinals for the second time in school history. Northside has never reached the semifinals.
*Hughes 72, Gainesville 69: Fourth-ranked Hughes secured its first trip to the semifinals when No. 2 Gainesville missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime. The victory avenged a 74-57 loss to Gainesville in the season opener. It also sets up a rematch in the semis with Allatoona, which lost to the Panthers 62-53 at the Lake City Classic in December. Hughes is the only No. 3 seed remaining.
*Allatoona 63, Tri-Cities 54: Ninth-ranked Allatoona broke the game open with a 10-1 run in the third quarter after leading 24-23 at halftime. Trey Doomes scored 17 points to lead the Buccaneers, who are one win away from their third consecutive championship-game appearance. Elijah Lawrence had 18 points for Tri-Cities, which was playing in the quarterfinals for the first time.
*Harrison 73, Douglas County 63: Raicheal Tringalli made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead fourth-ranked Harrison to its first semifinal appearance. Audrey Jordan scored the game’s first seven points and finished with 21 in a game the Hoyas never trailed. Arula Clark scored 28 points for No. 2-ranked Douglas County, which reach the semifinals in the highest classification last season.
*Northview 65, Stephenson 46: Shannon Titus scored 21 points and Ashlee Austin had 19 for top-ranked Northview, which has won its three tournament games by an average of 19 points. The Titans, who had never advanced past the second round, led Stephenson by 19 at halftime and made that stand up. Stephenson, the only No. 4 seed remaining, won state titles in 2004, 2008 and 2015.
*Mays 65, Winder-Barrow 51: Region 5 player of the year Kamiyah Street scored 33 points for the Raiders, who took control with a 13-4 run in the third quarter. Mays, the No. 3 seed from its region, is making its fourth semifinal trip and seeking its second state title (first since 2003). Third-ranked Winder-Barrow, which lost in the state final last year, had its 13-game winning streak snapped.
*Lovejoy 63, Chattahoochee 52: Freshman Genesis Bryant scored 25 points and fellow freshman Anaya Boyd had 14 points and six rebounds to lead seventh-ranked Lovejoy to a victory over a Chattahoochee team that had lost just once in its previous nine games. Lovejoy will be making its first semifinal appearance. Chattahoochee was trying to reach the semis for the first time since 2011.
(Saturday at Fort Valley State)
South Cobb (23-7) vs. Brunswick (22-8), 4 p.m.
No. 4 Hughes (23-8) vs. No. 9 Allatoona (21-8), 8 p.m.
No. 4 Harrison (25-5) vs. No. 1 Northview (28-3), 2 p.m.
Mays (20-9) vs. No. 7 Lovejoy (26-4), 6 p.m.