By Zach Shugan
Postseason basketball has officially arrived in North Fulton. The regular season came to a close last week, and teams have turned their attention to region tournaments, where they compete for bragging rights within their region and a spot in the upcoming state playoffs.
Some schools in the area won’t take part in the tradition, as their regions decided not to play a postseason tournament. Therefore, the top four teams in the region standings at the conclusion of the regular season earned direct berths to the state playoffs.
Region 5 in Class 7A, which features Alpharetta, Milton and Roswell, chose not to play a region tournament.
On the boys side, Milton (23-2, 10-0) and Roswell (15-9, 5-5) clinched spots in the 7A state playoffs. The Eagles, ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 10 in the nation by MaxPreps, will be a one-seed in the state tournament, and the Hornets will be a four-seed.
On the girls side, Roswell (10-11, 6-4) was the only local team to finish in the top four of the Reg. 5-7A standings. The Hornets finished third in the region, making the state playoffs for the fifth year in a row.
Region 5 in Class 5A also decided not to play its region tournament. With that, the Northview boys and girls basketball teams will miss out on the 5A state playoffs. The Titans boys finished sixth in the region standings and the girls finished fifth.
As for the regions which will be playing tournaments this week, there are three different tournaments taking place with North Fulton teams vying for region titles and spots in the state playoffs.
Class 6A’s Region 7, which includes Cambridge, Centennial, Chattahoochee and Johns Creek, will plays its region tournament Tuesday through Saturday.
The Centennial boys (19-3, 13-1) earned the top seed in their region tournament, and Chattahoochee (17-3, 12-2) took the second seed. The Knights will host Cambridge (6-16, 1–13) in the first round and the Cougars will host Johns Creek (8-14, 5-9), with the winner of each game advancing to the region semifinals and clinching a spot in the 6A state playoffs.
The Cambridge girls (14-8, 9-5) finished third in their region standings. The Bears will take on six-seed Riverwood in the first round of the region tournament. Right behind, Johns Creek (14-10, 9-5) finished fourth. The Gladiators play five-seed Creekview in the first round.
Chattahoochee (9-16, 3-11) and Centennial (3-19, 1-13) finished seventh and eight in the region, respectively. The Cougars play at two-seed Sequoyah in the first round, while the Knights play at one-seed River Ridge.
A win for any of these teams in the first round would put them in the region semifinals and lock up their spot in the 6A state playoffs. A loss, on the other hand, would end their season.
Class 5A’s Region 7 began its region tournament Monday, with the boys and girls basketball teams from Blessed Trinity both playing Cartersville in the first round. The Blessed Trinity boys (17-7, 6-4) won 61-45, earning a berth to the 5A state playoffs and advancing to the region semifinals against one-seed Cass. The Lady Titans season came to an end Monday, as they lost 41-28 to Cartersville.
Class A Private
In Class A Private’s Region 6 will play in a region tournament for the first time, as the classification abandoned its power rankings system for choosing the state playoff teams.
On the boys side, three local teams earned homecourt advantage in the first round. The winner of each first-round game not only advances to the region semifinals but clinches a spot in the state playoffs.
The Mount Pisgah boys earned the top seed in the region tournament after going 15-1 in region play and 19-6 overall during the regular season. The Patriots host Weber in the first round.
King’s Ridge (18-4, 13-3) finished second in the region, earning the two seed in the region tournament and a home matchup with Fellowship (8-13, 6-10), who they recently beat 69-45.
St. Francis won its final nine games of the regular season, climbing to third in the region standings after having to forfeit its first four region games. The Knights (11-8, 11-5) host Mt. Bethel in the first round.
The Reg. 6-A Private girls tournament has only five teams in the field, so three local teams have already earned berths to the state playoffs.
The St. Francis girls (16-4, 8-0) took the top seed in their region tournament after going undefeated in region play for the ninth year in a row. St. Francis will host the winner of Pinecrest and Lakeview Academy in the region semifinals.
In the other region semifinal, Fellowship (8-6, 5-3) and Mount Pisgah (7-5, 5-3) will square off for homecourt advantage in the first round of the state playoffs. The winner will advance to Friday’s region championship, while the loser will play in the third-place game.