MILTON, Ga. – The Milton Eagles closed out the regular season with a 48-41 victory at home last Saturday night over Wheeler, which came into the game ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AAAAAA.
The Eagles had lost twice earlier in the week to other Region 5-AAAAAA foes, including Walton, which finished second in the region behind Wheeler. The Eagles (16-8) ended up third and will need a win over rival Roswell this week to advance to the state playoffs.
Wheeler led 31-26 after three quarters in a game marked by cold shooting from both teams. The Eagles, ranked ninth in the state, outscored the Wildcats 22-10 in the final period. Senior Mo Lewis hit a pair of key three-point field goals and added three late free throws as Milton pulled away.
Sophomore Chris Lewis, Mo’s younger brother, was a defensive standout for the Eagles, repeatedly rejecting efforts by a talented Wheeler team to attack the basket. The Wildcats lost their composure after falling behind in the fourth quarter and were assessed three technical fouls.
Mo Lewis scored 15 points for Milton and Chris Lewis and Sean O’Connell added nine points each, with the Eagles winning despite making only 12 of 26 free throws. Wheeler was nine of 20 from the foul line.
The 5-AAAAAA tournament is being played at Etowah this week, with the Roswell girls entering as the No. 1 seed. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with the teams that win their opening round games qualifying for the state tournament, which begins next week.
The Region 6-AAAAAA tournament is being played at West Forsyth, with Alpharetta seeded second and Centennial third in the boys bracket. The Centennial girls tied for third in the region and play Chattahoochee in the first round.
Like Region 5-AAAAAA, all first round winners advance to state, with the semifinals and finals scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
In the Region 7-AAAAA tournament, the Northview boys defeated Forsyth Central 56-47 Saturday and play Osborne in the quarterfinals at Sequoyah. The Northview girls face Kell in a quarterfinal game, with the winners qualifying for the state tournament. Both Cambridge teams lost in the first round.
The Blessed Trinity boys are the second seed in the Region 6-AAA tournament, being played at St. Pius. The BT girls are seeded fourth in the eight team region, with both squads likely to reach the state tournament.
The North Fulton teams in Region 6-A travel to Rome and Trion this week, but the region tournament will not determine state playoff participants. Like football, the state qualifiers for the private and public schools in Class A will be determined by a power rating system.
Region 6-A South includes the top two teams in the private school power rankings going to the final week of the season, with St. Francis, Mount Pisgah and Fellowship Christian all in the top 12. King’s Ridge, the No. 6 team in the sub-region, was ranked 17th in the state and could earn a state tournament berth.
St. Francis and Fellowship Christian are both in line for berths in the girls state tournament.