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Norcross, Parkview girls a win away from state basketball showdown

Photo: Karl L. Moore  North Gwinnett guard Baylee Rexing (5) drives around Norcross' Diamond DeShields (22) during Saturday night's Region 7-AAAAAA championship game.

Photo: Karl L. Moore North Gwinnett guard Baylee Rexing (5) drives around Norcross' Diamond DeShields (22) during Saturday night's Region 7-AAAAAA championship game.

The most glaring spot in the Class AAAAAA state girls basketball bracket, both statewide and locally, is where Parkview and Norcross collide in the second round.

The Region 8-AAAAAA champion Panthers are unbeaten at 28-0, but a difficult test awaits in powerful Norcross, their nemesis in recent state tournaments and the 7-AAAAAA runner-up.

That said, both still must win first-round games to make that showcase pairing a reality.

Parkview, winners of five of the past six titles in its region, hosts Wheeler, a heavy underdog on Tuesday, the first night of state tourney games. The Panthers have won their games by an average of 37 points, which makes them a huge favorite against Wheeler (9-17).

Norcross (22-5) begins its state tourney a day later when it hosts South Forsyth, which offers a much tougher opening test than Wheeler does to Parkview. The War Eagles are 20-8 and play in a tough region, 6-AAAAAA.

Parkview is one of five local AAAAAA girls teams who open the state tournament Tuesday night. North Gwinnett, the 7-AAAAAA champion, is the only other one at home with a matchup vs. Lambert.

Meanwhile, Brookwood's girls play at Cherokee, Central Gwinnett's girls are at Woodstock and Mountain View's girls are at North Forsyth.

In AAA, the Buford girls are home Tuesday vs. Woodward Academy and Greater Atlanta Christian hosts Dade County's girls in AA.

The tournament's biggest night locally is Wednesday, when 15 games are being played involving Gwinnett teams, including three doubleheaders. One involves the Norcross girls, whose game precedes a Norcross-Lambert boys showdown.

Archer also hosts a Wednesday doubleheader, with the girls facing Etowah and the boys playing Cherokee. The other AAAAAA doubleheader is at Alpharetta, whose teams host Duluth at 6 p.m. and Collins Hill at 7:30 on Wednesday.

Wesleyan also has two games at home Wednesday, with the girls at 5:30 p.m. vs. Armuchee and the boys following vs. Dade County.

All eight AAAAAA boys games involving Gwinnett teams are Wednesday night: Dacula at Wheeler, Meadowcreek at Chattahoochee, Berkmar at Roswell, Centennial at Peachtree Ridge, Cherokee at Archer, Collins Hill at Alpharetta, Lambert at Norcross and Walton at Shiloh.

The other local boys games Wednesday are Cedar Grove at Buford in AAA and Coosa at Greater Atlanta Christian boys in AA.