PREP BASKETBALL: Who’s in and who’s out?

There are always a few notable omissions heading into the state tournament, and this year is no exception, especially on the boys side of things. These are some of the teams that won’t be dancing come tournament time, and the squads that will be taking their places.

NEWTON – The Rams jumped out to a great start to the season, even breaking into our Score Atlanta Power 15 all-class poll. But Newton’s struggles in the second half of the season were a precursor to an early Region 2-AAAAA tournament exit, falling to Greenbrier in the opening round. Greenbrier gets into the state tourney as a 4-seed with a 5-9 region record.

CHEROKEE – It was chaos in the Region 5-AAAAA tourney, as a highly regarded Cherokee team and solid South Cobb team were knocked out of the tournament by Marietta and North Cobb, respectively. The biggest surprise here is the exclusion of Cherokee, a team with a high D-I player in Shawn Kemp and a strong 18-7 record (playing some tough out-of-state games) before the tournament. Marietta was 5-16 after January 31; the Blue Devils went on a tear from there, next falling in the region title game to McEachern to earn the 2-seed. 

LASSITER – The Trojans weren’t the victim of an upset, just the victim of a stacked region. Unfortunately, the fifth-best team in a league can’t go dancing, even though it’s proven itself to be one of the top teams in the state. Centennial, Wheeler, Milton and Walton are the playoff teams from this region, but the Trojans were one of the great turnaround stories of the season.

CHAMBLEE – A 10-3 Region 6-AAAA record couldn’t save David Mason, Marcus Cowan and Co. from a disappointing ouster in the first round of the tourney. Stone Mountain, led by George Washington commit Kinley Branch, will be a tough out for ’08 runner-up Fayette County in the first round.

DUNWOODY – It’s been a tough year for Scott Bracco’s Wildcats, usually a power in the state. Losing three seniors to D-I programs certainly didn’t help matters, and for the first time in a while, Dunwoody was hurt, not helped, by a transfer with three-star guard Issiah Grayson’s move to Nevada’s Findlay Prep, a national powerhouse. So instead of tournament mainstay Dunwoody, Cedar Grove, Druid Hills and St. Pius X will be joining Columbia from Region 5-AAA.

Download the playoff brackets! Boys Class 5ABoys Class 4ABoys Class 3ABoys Class 2ABoys Class AGirls Class 5AGirls Class 4AGirls Class 3AGirls Class 2AGirls Class A. You can also find these brackets, which will be updated throughout the tournament, at Ewalt can be reached at



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