Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

4 teams clinch region titles; Lassiter salvages wild card

The (unofficial) first-round draw is at the bottom. CHeck it out.

Meanwhile, here are the highlights from the final weekend of the regular season.

*Roswell (d. Cherokee) and Grayson (d. South Gwinnett) won what were essentially region-title games.

*McEachern (d. Hillgrove) and Lambert (d. Forsyth Central) clinched region titles in what were not exactly region-title games.

*Etowah (5-5, 1-4) saved its season with a 41-0 victory over Lassiter, while Lassiter (6-4, 1-4) appears to have won the wild card and will advance to the playoffs as a fifth-place team. It's not official, as the GHSA must do the math, but Lassiter’s 6-4 record should hold up pretty well in the GHSA’s power ratings. Walton (4-6, 1-4) would've advaned with a win over Woodstock or a Lassiter win over Etowah.

*North Paulding and Peachtree Ridge won must-win games to make the playoffs.

Here’s a region-by-region look. Note that it's unofficial and depending on my understanding of region tiebreakers.

Region 1 – Tift County defeated Camden County 44-7 and clinched the No. 3 seed. Camden will miss the playoffs for only the second time since 1988.

Final seeds – 1. Colquitt County, 2. Lowndes, 3. Tift County

Region 2 – Wheeler defeated Pebblebrook 35-13 in a game that decided third and fourth. East Coweta beat Newnan 28-0.

Final seeds – 1. Westlake, 2. East Coweta, 3. Wheeler, 4. Pebblebrook

Region 3 – McEachern clinched the region title with a 47-23 victory over Hillgrove. North Paulding nailed won the fourth and final playoff berth with a 28-12 victory over Marietta.

Final seeds – 1. McEachern, 2. North Cobb, 3. Hillgrove, 4. North Paulding

Region 4 – Roswell escaped Cherokee 20-14 to win the region title. Woodstock beat Walton 35-24 to nail down third place. Now, here’s where it gets interesting: Etowah rocked Lasstiter 41-0. That created a three-way tie among Lassiter (6-4, 1-4), Etowah (5-5, 1-4) and Walton (4-6, 1-4). The region’s tiebreaker format is the total victories by the teams you’ve beaten in region play. Etowah beat a six-win team (Lassiter), while Walton and Lassiter beat five- and four-win teams. (Walton beat Etowah, and Lassiter beat Walton). That makes Etowah the No. 4 seed. Then, it reverts to head-to-head, and Lassiter beat Walton. That’s important because the fifth-place team (Lassiter) is elibible for the wild card, and with a 6-4 record, Lassiter is expected to get it.

Final seeds – 1. Roswell, 2. Cherokee, 3. Woodstock, 4. Etowah

Region 5 – Lambert clinched its first-ever region championship with a 39-0 victory over last-place Forsyth Central. South Forsyth beat West Forsyth 21-17 to decide third and fourth. Milton beat North Forsyth 38-15 for fourth place.

Region 6 – Peachtree Ridge was in an odd situation Friday. Lose and miss the playoffs, or win and be the No. 2 seed. The Ridge won, beating Collins Hill 31-0. Peachtree Ridge, North Gwinnett and Mountain View finished tied for second, and the tiebreaker is point differential in games among the three, with a cap of 13.

Final seeds – 1. Mill Creek, 2. Peachtree Ridge, 3. North Gwinnett, 4. Mountain View

Region 7 – Parkview beat Central Gwinnet 67-43 in the game for third place. Everything else was decided.

Final seeds – 1. Norcross, 2. Brookwood, 3. Parkview, 4. Central Gwinnett

Region 8 – Grayson defeated South Gwinnett 45-3 to clinch the region title. That also put South Gwinnett, Newton and Archer in a three-way tie for second place, which was expected. The tiebreaker is overall record. South Gwinnett (7-3) gets the nod. Once the tie is broken, it reverts to head-to-head. Archer (4-6) beat Newton (6-3-1).

Final seeds – 1. Grayson, 2. South Gwinnett, 3. Archer, 4. Newton

Unofficial first-round draw:

(Region/seed) team

8/3 Archer @ 6/2 Peachtree Ridge

2/4 Pebblebrook @ 4/1 Roswell

1/3 Tift County @ 3/2 North Cobb

7/4 Central Gwinnett @ 5/1 Lambert

6/3 North Gwinnett @ 8/2 South Gwinnett

4/4 Etowah @ 2/1 Westlake

3/3 Hillgrove @ 1/2 Lowndes

5/4 Milton @ 7/1 Norcross

4/3 North Gwinnett @ 2/2 East Coweta

6/4 Woodstock @ 8/1 Grayson

5/3 West Forsyth @ Brookwood

3/4 North Paulding @ 1/1 Colquitt County

2/3 Wheeler @ 4/2 Cherokee

8/4 Newton @ 6/1 Mill Creek

7/3 Parkview @ 5/2 South Paulding

WC Lassiter @ 3/1 McEachern

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