JONESBORO - If there was ever a time to tune into boys’ basketball in Clayton County, it must be with the re-emergence of Lovejoy High.
The Lovejoy Wildcats basketball program has finally returned to the state tournament bracket joining five other Clayton County programs also making their starts to the 2020-2021 state tournament.
Lovejoy hosts Brunswick
No matter what happens for the Lovejoy Wildcats in the postseason, their regular season finish must be one of dreams. Looking back, the last time the Wildcats made the postseason was during the 2013-14 season where they finished 20-9, 11-4.
This season, the program finished 17-9, 10-6 and only got better as the season went on. Although, the Wildcats have averaged 59.8 points per game, they'll have to contend with Brunswick at 7 p.m. Friday night at home.
The Wildcats' home record is near flawless. They've finished the regular season 11-1 at home.
Brunswick comes to visit with their team averaging 55.5 points per game.
Morrow travels to Richmond Hill
The Morrow Mustangs are a solid team but it's not without their own hard work that's put them in this position. The No. 4 seed is not an easy road to climb through, but Morrow can do so and will need to against Richmond Hill Saturday at 6 p.m.
Riverdale plays host to Bainbridge
The Riverdale Raiders are in the postseason and are looking to make it far this year. The first step comes with facing Bainbridge at home.
Riverdale averages just 56.6 points per game on offense and they may have their work cut out for them against Bainbridge's team led by freshman KJ Cochran. But the Raiders should be up to the challenge.
Jonesboro travels to face Warner Robins
The Cardinals must travel for the first round this year but that shouldn't be a big issue for the team that opened their new gym earlier this season. Quinn Thomas leads the Cardinals into the postseason with 16.1 points per game.
Seeing as many of their games this season were on the road, Jonesboro should be comfortable playing in hostile environments.
North Clayton travels to West Laurens
North Clayton reached the postseason in such a dramatic way it only took eliminating a heavily favored Eastside team to get to the playoffs. That should give the Eagles all the momentum they need as they travel to West Laurens.
North Clayton has a lot of offense. Three players average double-digit scoring with Jermaine Lattimore leading the way with 19.3 points per game.
Xavier Valley has shown off the ability to knock down three's, and not just any three as he's averaged 12.7 points per game. Junior Derrius Martin averages 12 points per game.
Add in Onuma Dieke who cleans the glass at a nice 9.6 rebound clip, North Clayton should be able to handle West Laurens easily Friday at 7:30 p.m.