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Teams Carry High Rankings into State Play

North Cobb, North Cobb Christian and Mount Paran Christian will start the boys tournaments at home.

Three Kennesaw schools will host first-round games in the Georgia High School Association state boys basketball tournaments Saturday, while one boys team and two girls teams will hit the road.

Both North Cobb teams will open the state AAAAA playoffs against Bradwell Institute, and both Harrison teams face trips to Savannah.

Meanwhile, North Cobb Christian’s boys will try to extend their perfect season at home.

North Cobb Christian, the Region 6-A champion, carries the state’s top Class A ranking and an undefeated record into Saturday’s home game against Region 5-A’s third seed, St. Francis. If the Eagles win, they’ll likely face the No. 2 team in the state, Whitefield Academy, in the second round.

Mount Paran Christian School, which lost the 6-A title to North Cobb Christian, also will start the state tournament at home Saturday, playing the winner of a play-in game between Region 5-A fourth seed Wesleyan and Region 9-A third seed Greenforest. (Update: Wesleyan beat Greenforest, 52-48, Tuesday and will play Mount Paran.)

How will the local teams do in the state playoffs? Make your predictions in the comments below.

At the AAAAA level, North Cobb’s boys will play at home Saturday night as the Region 4-AAAAA champs and the second-ranked team in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s poll.

The Warriors will play Bradwell, which hasn’t made the state tournament since 2001 and hasn’t won a state playoff game since 1959, according to the AJC.

The same schools will face off in the girls’ tournament, except 4-AAAAA third seed North Cobb will be the road team Friday night in Hinesville.

The winner will play at Lowndes or play host to Luella next Tuesday.

If the North Cobb boys win, they will host Stephenson or Coffee in the second round Feb. 29.

Harrison fans, meanwhile, could get familiar with the route to Savannah.

The Lady Hoyas, Region 4-AAAAA’s fourth seed, have to make the trip east Friday night to play Region 3-AAAAA’s top seed, Beach, and the third-seeded boys will repeat the drive the next night to play Johnson.

The Lady Hoyas have never won in the state tournament, the AJC said, but if they break the drought, they’ll play next Tuesday at Valdosta or at Newton.

The Harrison boys will play Wednesday at Valdosta or will host Newnan if they win Saturday night.

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