By Seth Coleman
An outstanding winter sports season for Atlanta Public Schools is coming to a close. But the best may be yet to come.
Eight APS teams advanced last weekend to the Georgia High Schools Association State Basketball Tournament, including two region champions and one runner up.
Leading the way is the Maynard H. Jackson girls team, which won the Class AAA Region 4 tournament last weekend. The Lady Jaguars are now 28-1, after winning their first-round game against Tattnall County, 61-23, on Tuesday night. The team’s lone loss of the season came at the hands of the No. 10 team in the nation (National Christian Academy, Ft. Washington, MD). The Jackson boys team (15-13) also advanced to the state tournament, as a fourth seed, and will travel to Savannah to face Jenkins (24-4) Wednesday night.
The Henry W. Grady boys (25-3) won the Class AAAA Region 6 title in dramatic fashion, as senior Christian Bryant hit a 75-foot shot at the final buzzer to beat Lithonia, 61-59. The Grey Knights will host Pickens County (9-19), Wednesday night.
The Benjamin E. Mays boys and girls teams advanced to the state tournament. The Lady Raiders (20-7) finished second in the Class AAAAA Region 6 tournament, and defeated Kell, 69-46, on Tuesday night. The boys team (11-13) advanced as a third seed and will travel to Cherokee County to face Sequoyah (20-8) Wednesday night in the first round.
Both the South Atlanta boys (22-6) and girls (16-10) teams advanced from the Class AAA Region 4 tournament as third seeds. The Lady Hornets were eleminated Tuesday night by Beach of Savannah, 53-36. The boys team will travel to Savannah as well to take on Johnson (20-7) Wednesday night.
The Douglass Lady Astros (13-13), the fourth seed from Class AAA Region 4, were eleminated by Johnson of Savannah, 50-33, Tuesday night.
— The North Atlanta boys team placed ninth overall at the Georgia High Schools Association Class A-AAAAA Swimming Meet.
— Grady’s Justin Cucchi placed 12th in the 100 meter backstroke.
— Grady’s Melissa Brown finished third in the 50 meter freestyle.
— The young wrestling program at Grady continued to make strides this season as two Grey Knights, senior Vernon Colton and sophomore Peter Bowden, advanced to the state sectionals.