Semifinal history: 8 teams in first final fours; Wilkinson boys, GAC girls move up in record books

Eight high school basketball teams are in the final four of the state basketball tournament for the first time this year while Wilkinson County’s boys and Greater Atlanta Christian’s girls, among others, continue to climb in the state-tournament record books. 

Here is a look at some of that history with a schedule of Friday’s and Saturday’s games at the bottom.

Boys in their first final fours: Four boys teams are in the semifinals for the first time. They are Meadowcreek (Class AAAAAAA), Heritage-Conyers (AAAAAA), Clarke Central (AAAAA) and Eagle’s Landing Christian (A private). Each is one victory from its first state finals, and so are Sandy Creek (AAAA), Westside-Macon (AAA) and Aquinas (A private). Wilkinson County is in the final four for the 17th time, the most of any current semifinal team. That is second all-time behind Perry‘s 22 appearances. 

Final-four appearances among current semifinal boys teams:

17 - Wilkinson County

15 - Gainesville

14 - Calhoun County

12 - Greater Atlanta Christian

11 - Norcross

10 - Miller Grove

9 - Newton

8 - Jonesboro

8 - Laney

8 - Warner Robins

7 - Morgan County

6 - Thomasville

6 - Vidalia

6 - St. Francis

5 - Central (Talbotton)

5 - Baldwin

4 - Jenkins

4 - Pebblebrook

4 - Montgomery County

3 - St. Pius

3 – Aquinas*

3 - Sandy Creek*

3 - Glenn Hills

3 - Holy Innocents'*

2 - Westside (Macon)*

2 - Upson-Lee

2 - Langston Hughes

2 - Hiram

1 - Clarke Central*

1 – Meadowcreek*

1 - Eagle's Landing Christian*

1 - Heritage (Conyers)*

*Never advanced to the finals

More boys history: Wilkinson County’s boys won their 75th state-tournament game on Wednesday, a 67-63 win over Manchester. That moves Wilkinson (75-47) into first place all-time in tournament victories ahead of Savannah (74-47). Greater Atlanta Christian (57-23) and Gainesville (57-32) have moved into a 10th-place tie with Columbia (57-17). Miller Grove (47-4) has improved on its state record for winning percentage (.923).

Girls in their first final fours: Four girls teams are in the semifinals for the first time. They are North Forsyth (AAAAAAA), Spalding (AAAA), Tattnall County (AAA) and Fitzgerald (AA). In addition to those, Douglas County, Westlake, Greenville, Flowery Branch, Lovejoy and Northview are one victory from their first state final. Douglas County, in its sixth state semifinal, has the most final-four appearances in history without a title. Westlake is next with five. So they’re hungry. Greater Atlanta Christian this week tied Taylor County with the most final-four appearances in history with 19. Wesleyan has tied Dodge County for third with its 17th appearance. Laney’s 16 appearances rank fifth all-time.

Final-four appearances among current semifinal girls teams:

19 - Greater Atlanta Christian

17 - Wesleyan

16 - Laney

12 - Franklin County

12 - Terrell County

11 - Holy Innocents'

8 - McEachern

8 - Model

6 - Douglas County*

6 - Fayette County

6 - Josey

6 - St. Francis

5 - Newton

5 - Villa Rica

5 – Westlake*

4 - Telfair County

3 - Carver (Columbus)

3 – Greenville*

3 - Harris County

3 - Henry County

3 - Johnson (Savannah)

3 - Stratford Academy

2 - Americus-Sumter

2 - Flowery Branch*

2 - Harrison

2 – Lovejoy*

2 - Marion County

2 – Northview*

1 – Fitzgerald*

1 - North Forsyth*

1 – Spalding*

1 - Tattnall Square*

*Never advanced to the finals

More girls history: Wesleyan’s victory this week over Calvary Day moved the Wolves into second all-time in state-tournament victories ahead of Taylor County (78-25) and behind Greater Atlanta Christian (85-31). Wesleyan is 79-5 in state-tournament history, and its winning percentage of .940 is No. 1. This is Wesleyan’s 15th straight semifinal, a state record.

Boys/girls: Five schools have qualified their boys and girls teams. They are Newton (AAAAAAA), Greater Atlanta Christian (AAA), Laney (AA), Holy Innocents’ (A private) and St. Francis (A private). It’s happened 18 times that a school has swept the state titles, nine times since 2010. The most recent was Buford in 2017.

Schools that have swept boys and girls titles:

1952 - Stilson (C)
1958 - Murphy (AAA)
1958 - Jeff Davis (AA)
1959 - Roopville (C)
1963 - Hart County (AA)
1972 – Greater Atlanta Christian (C)
1987 - Clinch County (A)
2006 – Southwest Atlanta Christian (A)
2008 - Wesleyan (AA)

2010 – Wesleyan (A)

2010 – Columbia (AAA)

2011 – Norcross (AAAAA)

2012 – Miller Grove (AAAA)

2012 – Columbia (AAA)

2013 – Norcross (AAAAAA)

2015 – St. Francis (A)

2016 –Morgan County (AAA)

2017 – Buford (AAAAA)

Schedule:

FRIDAY

Class AAAA at Fort Valley State

Girls (2 p.m.): Americus-Sumter vs. Henry County

Boys (4 p.m.): Baldwin vs. St. Pius

Girls (6 p.m.): Carver-Columbus vs. Spalding

Boys (8 p.m.): Upson-Lee vs. Sandy Creek

Class A private at Columbus State

Girls (2 p.m.): Holy Innocents’ vs. Stratford 

Boys (4 p.m.): Holy Innocents’ vs. St. Francis 

Girls (6 p.m.) St. Francis vs. Wesleyan. 

Boys (8 p.m.): Eagle’s Landing Christian vs. Aquinas 

SATURDAY

Class AAAAAAA at Buford Civic Center

Girls (2 p.m.): McEachern vs. Newton 

Boys (4 p.m.): Norcross vs. Newton 

Girls (6 p.m.): Westlake vs. North Forsyth 

Boys (8 p.m.): Meadowcreek vs. Pebblebrook 

Class AAAAAA at West Georgia

Girls (2 p.m.): Northview vs. Lovejoy 

Boys (4 p.m.): Heritage-Conyers vs. Gainesville 

Girls (6 p.m.): Douglas County vs. Harrison 

Boys (8 p.m.): Hughes vs. Jonesboro 

Class AAAAA at Fort Valley State

Girls (2 p.m.): Villa Rica vs. Fayette County 

Boys (4 p.m.): Hiram vs. Miller Grove 

Girls (6 p.m.): Harris County vs. Flowery Branch 

Boys (8 p.m.): Warner Robins vs. Clarke Central 

Class AAA at Armstrong State

Girls (2 p.m.): Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Franklin County 

Boys (4 p.m.): Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Morgan County 

Girls (6 p.m.): Johnson-Savannah vs. Tattnall County 

Boys (8 p.m.): Jenkins vs. Westside-Macon. 

Class AA at Georgia College

Girls (2 p.m.): Model vs. Laney

Boys (4 p.m.): Vidalia vs. Laney

Girls (6 p.m.): Fitzgerald vs. Josey

Boys (8 p.m.): Thomasville vs. Glenn Hills

Class A public at Valdosta State

Girls (2 p.m.): Telfair County vs. Greenville

Boys (4 p.m.): Calhoun County vs. Montgomery County

Girls (6 p.m.): Terrell County vs. Marion County

Boys (8 p.m.): Central-Talbotton vs. Wilkinson County

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