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Craig Sager previews Saturday's state tennis championships at the Rome Tennis Complex at Berry College. Can state powers like the Walton girls maintain their dominance? Graham David recaps the first day of track and field action from all three sites, Albany, Rome and Carrollton. And we recap Thursday's big night of baseball and lacrosse quarterfinals.

Follow along this weekend as Score Atlanta tracks spring playoff and championship scores across the state on and We will bring you recaps of each soccer championship game from McEachern and Mercer today and Saturday, as well as a full recap of Saturday's tennis action. Visit and the AJC's High School Sports page for more coverage.

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Friday, May 11, 2018
By Craig Sager

GHSA tennis championships head to 52-court Rome Tennis Complex at Berry

The 2018 GHSA Tennis State Championships are set for Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. The venue's impressive 52-court size has changed this year's scheduling, allowing all girls matches to be played at once (10 a.m.) before the boys matches (2 p.m.). See below for matchups and court assignments.
Walton's girls teams looks to continue its dominance in the state
In Class AAAAAAA, Region 5 No. 3 seed South Forsyth advanced to the state finals with a 3-1 win over Region 5 No. 2 seed Lambert last Friday. The War Eagles await 11-time state champion Walton, which defeated Region 5's top-seed Milton 3-2.  On the girls side, five-time defending champion Walton swept its way past Kennesaw Mountain, East Coweta, South Forsyth and Milton to set up a championship match Lambert, which defeated last year's finalist North Gwinnett 3-0 in the semifinals.
In Class AAAAAA, the boys and girls Region 7 champions advanced to the finals out of an all-region 7 semis for the second straight year. The Johns Creek boys got past Centennial 4-0 and will take on No. 3 seed Dunwoody, while top-seeded Northview awaits Cambridge on the girls side.
Defending boys Class AAAAA state champion Starr's Mill was swept in the semis by Buford, which will square off with Flowery Branch. The Kell girls are a win away from the first-ever state title in program history after holding off Flowery Branch 3-2 in the semis and await Chamblee, a 3-2 winner over Buford in the semis.
In Class AAAA, North Oconee defeated Marist in the boys and girls semis and will face Blessed Trinity and Columbus, respectively for the title. The Class AAA finals features a showdown between Westminster and Lovett in boys and girls.
In Class AA, the Bleckley County girls are headed back to the finals and will look to defend their first-and-only state title against Berrien, which can capture its program's own first crown with a win over the Royals Saturday in Rome. The Bleckley County boys, which also won their first-ever state title last spring, await Benedictine, a 4-1 winner over Rockmart in the semis.
The past two Class A-Public boys state champs, Irwin County (2017) and Telfair County (2016), will go head-to-head in this year's championships, and the Taylor County and Trion girls will set the Class A-Public finals, guaranteeing a first-time state champ.
In Class A-Private, defending boys state champion Stratford Academy faces 2016 state champion Paideia and  boys 2016 state champ Paideia awaits defending champion Stratford Academy. The Walker girls swept Athens Academy in the semis to return to the finals where they will look for their first state title since 2013 against two-time defending champion Brookstone.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
All girls matches begin at 10 a.m.
Class 7A: Walton vs. Lambert (Courts 47, 48, 49, 50, 51)
Class 6A: Northview vs. Cambridge (Courts 38, 39, 40, 41, 42)
Class 5A: Kell vs. Chamblee (Courts 30, 31, 32, 33, 34)
Class 4A: North Oconee vs. Columbus (Courts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)
Class 3A: Westminster vs. Lovett (Courts 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
Class 2A: Bleckey County vs. Berrien (Courts 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
Class A-Public: Taylor County vs. Trion (Courts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Class A-Private: Brookstone vs. Walker (Courts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Saturday, May 12, 2018
All boys matches begin at 2 p.m.
Class 7A: Walton vs. South Forsyth (Courts 47, 48, 49, 50, 51)
Class 6A: Johns Creek vs. Dunwoody (Courts 38, 39, 40, 41, 42)
Class 5A: Buford vs. Flowery Branch (Courts 30, 31, 32, 33, 34)
Class 4A: North Oconee vs. Blessed Trinity (Courts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)
Class 3A: Westminster vs. Lovett (Courts 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
Class 2A: Bleckey County vs. Benedictine (Courts 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
Class A-Public: Irwin County vs. Telfair County (Courts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Class A-Private: Stratford Academy vs. Paideia (Courts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
By Graham David

Day 1 track and field recap from Albany, Rome and Carrollton

Courtesy of GHSA
The 2018 GHSA Track and Field Championships kicked off Thursday in Albany, Rome and Carrollton. At Albany, the boys Class A-Public, AA and AAA competitors took to the field events early in the morning. The Class A-Private, AAAA and AAAAAAA runners hit the track preliminary events to determine the finalists. At noon, all Class AAAAA and AAAAAA athletes competed in field events, along with the 1600-meter run.

Class AA defending discus champ C.J. Wright scored a whopping 159-01, putting him in first by leaps and bounds ahead of second-place Jackson Ramey of Banks County, who scored a 140-03. Westminster's Paris Howland improved on his fourth-place finish in last year's long jump in AAA by jumping a solid 23-06.75, putting him in first place ahead of Jackson's Namiyum Smith and Pike County's C'Bo Flemister, who jumped 23-00.50 and 22-08.5 respectively. Perhaps the greatest improvement from last year's championships came from Pierce County's Tyler Foreman. The pole vaulter failed to place in the top 10 during the 2017 meet but skyrocketed to first place in AAA with a mark of 13-06.00. After seven field events were scored, the Westminster boys led all of AAA with 52 points. Second-place Pierce County had 25, while third-place Pike County had 20.5. The Bleckley County boys led AA with 27 points, followed by Banks County (21) and Elbert County (20). Gordon Lee led A-Public with 37 points, followed by Commerce (33) and Montgomery County (32).

In the Clas AAAAAAA 4×100 meter relay preliminaries, the McEachern girls team, composed of Nilaja Florence, Tamiya Roberts, Jayda Parsons and Sequoya Hunter, qualified easily with a top score of 46.15 to continue their quest for consecutive golds in the event. After failing to qualify for the finals in last years AAAA 100-meter dash, Cross Creek's JaTravious Stewart placed third in the preliminaries with a time of 10.81. Walton's Tia Jones led the AAAAAAA girls 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.03. Behind her were Trinity Williams (14.31) of Westlake and Rayna Whyte (14.41) of McEachern, who both placed in the top four in last year's finals. Returning AAAAAAA 100-meter dash champ Terell Smith of South Gwinnett had a time of 10.59 to best all other runners in the prelims. Wheeler's Javaughn Moore ran a 21.39 in the AA 200-meter dash to place first in the preliminaries. After failing to qualify in the same race last year, Hillgrove's Garrett Shedrick placed fourth in the prelims with a time of 21.48 to advance. Colquitt County's Elizabeth Funderburk backed up her first-place finish in last year's AAAAAAA 3200-meter run by claiming first place again, scoring a time of 10:28.77. The Parkview 4×400 meter relay team, composed of Marquis Lynch, Brandon Harvey, Matthew Chavers and Justin Long, placed first with a time of 3:16.27 in the preliminaries. Last year's first-place finisher, Shiloh, placed third with a time of 3:17.64.

Southwest Dekalb's Nicholas Edwards denied Jeremiah Pierce of Carrollton a chance at back-to-back titles in the boys AAAAA discus throw, besting the previous champ with a score of 175-03 to 174-04. Riverwood's Pache' Caldwell defended his spot at the top, winning gold in the boys AAAAA high jump with a mark of 6-10.00. Payton Phillips of Carrollton became the new leader of the girls AAAAA pole vault, scoring a solid 11-05.00. Last year's winner, Mutnodjmet Debnam of Grady, placed third with a vault of 10-00.00. Pope's Denise Issah placed second in last year's girls AAAAAA triple jump. This meet, Issah took first place with a 39-08.25. In the boys Class 1 wheelchair shot put, last year's second-place finisher O'lando Hicks of Houston County scored a 20-05.50 and took the event. Madison Watts, also of Houston County, scored an 11-00.00 in the girls Class 1 shot put for the title. Lithia Springs' William Jones placed first in the boys AAAAA long jump after failing to place top-five last year, jumping a solid 23-11.25. During last year's AAAAA triple jump, Fayette County's Na'ilah Moore feel just short of first place. This year, she claimed first place with a score of 39-02.25. Alexander's Brenda Ayuk placed first in the girls AAAAAA 1600-meter run finals with a time of 5:04.62. Placing second was Kira Stanley (5:08.27) with Riley Perlakowski (5:13.31) placing third. Starr's Mill owned the boys AAAAA 1600-meter run. Harrison Fultz (4:19.56) and Nick Nyman (4:20.15) placed first and second, respectively.
By Alex Ewalt

Thursday brings quarterfinals action with baseball Game 3s and lacrosse

Alpharetta downed Greenbrier to advance to the 6A semis. Credit: Alpharetta HS
Thursday night brought quarterfinal Game 3s in baseball and several quarterfinals matches in boys and girls lacrosse. In Class AAAAAAA baseball, Brookwood handled Lassiter 12-3 to earn a matchup with state No. 1 Mill Creek in the semifinals on May 15-16. Three of Class AAAAAA's series went to rubber matches, and defending champion Pope defeated Houston County late, 8-2, after a weather delay. Class AAAA's top team, Blessed Trinity, defeated Columbus 7-3 and next week will host Jefferson, a 10-5 Game 3 winner over Woodward Academy. In boys lacrosse play, 6A-7A North Gwinnett defeated Roswell 16-14 and Westminster and Kell both moved on to the Final Four in A-5A. Blessed Trinity bested McIntosh 14-6 in A-5A girls lacrosse.
On Friday, Score Atlanta will have state championship recaps from the day's action in soccer and track and field, as well as Class A-Public baseball and lacrosse quarterfinal scores for Friday night. And stay tuned Saturday for championship tennis coverage from the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, as well as soccer and baseball.
Allatoona 10, Grovetown 0
Alpharetta 12, Greenbrier 4
Blessed Trinity 7, Columbus 3
Brookwood 12, Lassiter 3
Callaway 9, Thomasville 6
Holy Innocents' 14, Pinecrest Academy 7
Jefferson 10, Woodward Academy 5
Lovett 4, Southeast Bulloch 2
Morgan County 3, Pike County 2
Pope 8, Houston County 2
Prince Avenue 2, Savannah Christian 1
Starr's Mill 3, Carrollton 0
Boys Lacrosse
Kell 12, Woodward Academy 8
North Gwinnett 16, Roswell 14
Westminster 13, Marist 9
Girls Lacrosse
Blessed Trinity 14, McIntosh 6
Kell 16, St. Pius X 6
Westminster 7, Marist 5

© Score Publishing, LLC 2018