A lot at state: 7 local high school basketball teams begin pursuit of a championship

Matt Hamilton/Daily Citizen-News

Murray County High School's Hayden Newport, right, puts up a shot as North Murray's Landon Burrell defends.

The regular season is over.

The region tournaments have concluded.

Now, it's state playoff time.

Seven high school basketball teams from Whitfield and Murray counties made the Georgia High School Association state basketball tournaments in their respective classes. First-round games begin Thursday and continue through Saturday. Below are capsule previews of the local teams in action:

Girls

• Class A Private: Athens Academy (15-11) at Christian Heritage (17-6), Friday at 5 p.m.

The Lady Lions check in at No. 14 in the GHSA Power Rankings while Athens Academy is No. 19. The Power Rankings are a formula used to determine playoff seedings. Athens Academy went 7-4 in region play while Christian Heritage went 9-3.

• Class 3A: Coahulla Creek (20-7) at Jefferson (23-4), Friday at 6 p.m.

The Lady Colts, the No. 4 seed out of Region 6, take on Jefferson, the No. 1 seed from Region 8. Jefferson is ranked either first or second in Class 3A and is coached by Greg Brown, the former head girls basketball coach for Northwest Whitfield High School who went 149-49 there. Jefferson went 12-0 in region play and won the region tournament as well. Coahulla Creek went 11-6 in its region.

• Class 4A: Madison County (15-12) at Northwest Whitfield (20-7), Friday at 6 p.m.

The Lady Bruins, the No. 1 seed from Region 6, host Madison County, the No. 4 seed from Region 8. Northwest's region record was 12-2 and won its region tournament on Monday with a 49-39 win over Gilmer. Madison County out of Danielsville went 5-3 in region play.

Boys

• Class 3A: Monroe Area (16-12) at North Murray (21-6), Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Mountaineers, the No. 2 seed from Region 6, host Monroe Area, the No. 3 seed from Region 3. North Murray went 16-0 in its region, but lost in the finals of the region tournament. Monroe Area went 7-5 in region.

• Class 4A: Madison County (9-18) at Northwest Whitfield (16-11), Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Bruins, the No. 2 seed from Region 6, host Madison County, the No. 3 seed from Region 8. Northwest went 10-3 in region play while Madison County out of Danielsville went 5-3 in its region.

• Class 3A: Murray County (18-7) at Windsor Forest (23-4), Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Indians, which received an at-large bid for Class 3A, travel to Savannah to play Windsor Forest, the No. 1 seed out of Region 3. Murray County went 11-5 in region play while Windsor Forest went 14-2. Windsor Forest is the No. 2-ranked team in Class 3A.

• Class A Private: Christian Heritage, first-round bye

The Lions (20-4) have a first-round bye as the No. 4 team in the Power Rankings. In the second round, Christian Heritage plays the winner of the Athens Christian (No. 22)/Trinity Christian (No. 10) game on Friday. Christian Heritage will host the second-round game.

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