The Towns County boys and Lumpkin County girls were the only northeast Georgia area teams to advance on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Georgia High School Association basketball playoffs.
Both teams pulled off huge road wins. Towns County beat Irwin County 61-55 in Class A Public while the Lady Indians held off Pierce County 64-55 in Class 3A.
Three more teams -- the Flowery Branch girls in Class 4A, the Rabun County boys in Class 2A, and the Commerce girls in Class A Public -- will see if they can snag Final Four berths on Wednesday.
The Flowery Branch girls are into the Elite 8 for the fifth time in six years. The Lady Falcons (14-14) are no stranger to this round and seem to be peaking. They have won 8 of their last 10 overall and will play host to Troup (14-5), the Class 4A state runners-up in 2020. You can hear the action on WDUN AM 550/FM 102.9 beginning at 6 p.m.
"Troup is a very skilled team that is going to play fast and push the tempo of the game," Flowery Branch's Courtney Newton-Gonzalez said. "They are experienced over the last two years. They also lost a key senior from last year’s team but have a lot of talent from that team coming back.
"The key (for us) will be to play with confidence and take care of the ball. We will have to try to slow the game down some and will need to play great transition defense. I feel like our group is playing their best basketball over the past few weeks and that is what you want to see. They are coming together at the right time."
The Commerce girls (18-10) also in Class A Public, will take on Turner County (18-5) at home looking for its first semifinal appearance since 1989. Turner County is in the Elite 8 for the eighth time since 2011 but is looking for its first semifinals since 2016.
And the Rabun County boys may be the state's most surprising team to this point. The Region 8-2A third-seeded Wildcats (9-20) came into the region tournament with just six wins and just two road wins. They have won three straight, including a pair of road wins in the playoffs after knocking off Region 7-2A champion Model in the second round. They will travel to Region 1-2A champion Thomasville (17-1).
"This group of players has bought into the process, and have been putting in the work needed to be successful," Rabun County coach David Adcock said. "We have played a really tough schedule this year, which has prepared us for the competition we have seen in the state tournament. They are unselfish and play hard for one another."
On Tuesday, the Buford girls saw several long streaks come to an end in a 49-42 oss to Lovejoy in the Class 6A quarterfinals. The Lady Wolves had won 35 straight games going back to last season and had won 22 straight playoff games going back to 2016 after winning four consecutive Class 5A state titles and their first two playoff games in 2021.
The Jefferson girls, looking to get to the semfinals for the first time since 2006, dropped a gut-wrencher to Carver-Columbus, 61-60, on the road in Class 4A.
STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL ROUND, Wednesday, March 3
(Area teams in bold)
Troup girls (R2, S2) at Flowery Branch (R8, S2), 6 p.m. -- WDUN AM 550/FM 102.9
Rabun County boys (R8, S3) at Thomasville (R1, S1), 7 p.m.
CLASS A PUBLIC
Turner County girls (R2, S2) at Commerce (R8, S2), 6 p.m.
STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL SCORES, Tuesday, March 2
(Area teams in bold)
Lovejoy girls 49, Buford 42
Carver-Columbus girls 61, Jefferson 60
Lumpkin County girls 64, Pierce County 55
CLASS A PUBLIC
Towns County boys 61, Irwin County 55