The Villa Rica boys entered the Region 7-AAAAA tournament as the No. 4 seed. They emerged as the region champion and will own the No. 1 seed – and all the homecourt advantages it brings -- when the state playoffs begin this week.
Villa Rica began as the No. 4 seed in a difficult Region 7 playoffs, behind Carrollton, Kell and Cass. Coach Jason Robinson's team beat Hiram 54-45 in the first round, then knocked off Paulding County 68-57 to qualify for the state playoffs.
From there the Wildcats defeated top-seeded Carrollton 71-49 and finished it off by beating Kell 74-62 in the championship game. Villa Rica outscored Kell 27-18 in the second quarter to take a big lead it never squandered. Villa Rica (21-8) has won seven straight games, making it one of the hottest teams in the state.
Region 1 boys: Warner Robins scored an 84-71 win over Bainbridge, its third victory over the Bearcats this season, and will play Veterans for the region title on Saturday. Veterans knocked off Harris County 60-49 behind Josh Linder’s 34 points.
Region 1 girls: Warner Robins plays Bainbridge on Saturday in the title game, with Harris County meeting veterans for third place.
Region 2 boys: Statesboro will play New Hampstead in the championship game on Saturday. Ware County and Wayne County meet for third place.
Region 2 girls: Ware County and Statesboro will determine first place on Saturday. Ware County and South Effingham meet for third place.
Region 3 boys: No. 6-ranked Fayette County (20-7) nailed down first place in Region 3 by whipping Starr’s Mill 99-69 in the final.
Region 3 girls: No. 1-ranked Griffin completed a sweep through the tournament by beating McIntosh 61-34 in the championship game. Fayette County defeated Morrow 50-34 for third place.
Region 4 boys: No. 7-ranked Eagle’s Landing (19-5) finally stopped the Dutchtown express, winning the regional title 51-43. Union Grove defeated Jones County 63-47 for third place.
Region 4 girls: Ninth-ranked Eagle’s Landing dominated Dutchdown 53-29 in the region championship game. Woodland rebounded from its semifinal loss to beat Locust Grove 43-26 in the third-place game.
Region 5 boys: No. 4 Miller Grove will play No. 5 Columbia for the region title on Saturday at 8:30 at Miller Grove. The defending state champion Wolverines beat Lithonia 61-39, behind 19 points from Tae Hardy and 10 points 11 rebounds from Jermon Clark. Columbia used an 11-0 run in the second half to defeat No. 8 Southwest DeKalb 47-34. Reyhan Cobb had 11 points and 14 rebounds to lead Columbia.
Region 5 girls: Arabia Mountain had to go to overtime to beat Columbia 55-53 in the semifinal. Columbia’s Tierra Smith hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. Iyanna McMillian led four Arabia Mountain players with 16 points. No. 3-ranked Southwest DeKalb got 15 points and 15 rebounds from Ruona Uwusiaba and dispatched Chamblee 66-21. Arabia Mountain and SWD meet for the championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Miller Grove.
Region 6 boys: No. 9-ranked Riverwood fought its way into the region title game with a 51-44 victory over Lithia Springs. Carver, which began the tournament as the sixth-seeded team, beat Maynard Jackson 47-32 in the other semifinal and is guaranteed a home game when the playoffs start.
Region 6 girls: No. 7 Maynard Jackson sailed into the championship game with a 65-45 win over North Springs. Lithia Springs upset Decatur 59-54 in the other semifinal.
Region 7 girls: Cass, which upset No. 8 Villa Rica in the semifinals, will play top-seeded and No. 5-ranked Carrollton in the championship on Saturday at Villa Rica. The third-place game is Villa Rica vs. Kell.
Region 8 boys: No. 2 Cedar Shoals will host No. 1 Buford for the region championship on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Cedar Shoals beat Flowery Branch 77-57 and Buford beat Loganville 72-33 in the semifinals. This will be the third meeting of the year between Cedar Shoals and Buford, with the Wolves winning both games by a close margin.
Region 8 girls: The championship game on Saturday will be between No. 2-ranked Buford and Loganville. The Wolves beat Cedar Shoals 69-36, while Loganville upset No. 6-ranked Flowery Branch 47-34 in the semifinals.