GHSA Basketball Semi Finals PSN Big 3 Preview
Pebblebrook Falcons vs Milton Eagles – Two of the top teams in the state will collide in this 7A semi final match up. The Eagles have been rolling, with only two loses early in the season and winners of 24 straight games as well as coming off a convincing 70-34 win over Newnan in the quarterfinals, the Eagles are truly soaring but they will have their work cut out for them against Pebblebrook. Key wins this season for the Eagles include Grayson, Norcross and Wheeler. The Falcons have only one more loss on the season than Milton and had an impressive nine game win streak in the midst of their schedule before falling to McEachern, who they split the season series with. Notable wins for Pebblebrook include game one against McEachern, Kell and South Cobb.
Centennial Knights vs Wheeler Wildcats – After finishing under .500 last season at 12-14 and not post season appearance, the Knights have been one of the surprise teams to many this season. The Knights kicked off this season winning nine of their first 12 games and after dropping the first half of their season series with Chattahoochee to the Cougars, Centennial rolled off 12 straight wins before falling to Chattahoochee in the region championship. No in the playoffs, the Knights have knocked off a No. 3 seed in South Cobb and a No. 1 Seed in Evans, who they defeated 81-68. Although they are now a 6A team, Wheeler is still defending champs as they won the 7A title last season. The Wildcats are truly battled tested, with wins over teams like Kell, who plays in the other semifinal match and defeated Wheeler in the region championship, McEachern, Sandy Creek, and Pebblebrook. The Wildcats have won all three playoff match ups by at least 14 points or more.
Pace Academy Knight vs Thomasville Bulldogs – After capturing last years’ 3A title, Pace Academy is looking to win back to back titles in their hunt to claim the 2A championship. After dropping their season opener to Sandy Creek, the Knights have not lost since winning 26 consecutive games including dominating wins through the first three rounds of the playoffs, including a 70 point opening round win over Dade County and a 30 point win over Banks County. Thomasville is not to be outdone by the Knights as they too have only lost one game this season, which came four games into the season. Since, the Bulldogs have hauled off 15 straight wins with their most impressive being a 39 point win over Fitzgerald. Unlike the Knight, the Bulldogs region did not host a tournament so their playoff wins have been impressive with them having almost three full weeks with completion prior to the state tournament beginning.
Brookwood Broncos vs Woodstock Wolverines – What is most intriguing about this match up is the fact that neither team has the most dominating records as they each had more than six losses to close out the regular season, but they did the job where it counted the most and that was in region play. The Broncos finished at 6-2 in the region standings and won their region tournament to claim the No. 1 seed out of the region. Meanwhile, the Wolverines finished at 9-1 in the region standings but with their region not hosting a tournament, had to play Cherokee to determine the No. 1 seed since the two split the regular season series. The Wolverines would fall to Cherokee in the game and would get the No. 2 seed. The Broncos opened up the state tournament with an impressive 24 point win over Camden County but have been in close contest in their last two outings, winning by eight points over Campbell and three points over North Foryth. The Wolverines only struggle in the playoffs thus far came in the second round when they held off Archer for a 52-49 win.
River Ridge Knights vs Westlake Lions – The River Ridge Knights have a tall order in front of them as they look to dethrone the three time defending state champs in the Westlake Lions. The Knights definitely have momentum behind them as they have won 20 consecutive games heading into Saturday’s match up with the Lions. River Ridge has won all three playoff games by double digits so they have looked strong through the first three rounds. However, as we talk about win streaks, Westlake as not lost to a Georgia opponent since the 2016/2017 season. With McDonald’s All-American, Raven Johnson leading the way, the Lions have not lost a game this season and looked poised to become only the sixth team in GHSA girls basketball history to win four consecutive state titles.
Upson Lee Knights vs Greater Atlanta Cristian Spartans – Looking to continue their road of perfection, the Upson Lee Knights are also on a journey for their first state title in the program’s history. The Knights have been impressive in their 23 wins as they have only had a margin of victory less than 10 points twice this year, including their second round playoff win over Stephens County in which they won by a final of 66-58. Upson Lee will face a Spartans team that is determined to defend their 3A championship until the very end. After last season’s championship win, which was the first since 2007 for the Spartans, the GAC got off to a rocky start this season, which has been a bit of ups and downs for them. However, the Spartans have been able to gain some momentum winning their last seven games and now sit just two games away from being able to claim their second consecutive state championship.