Hillgrove (25-4) outscored Valdosta 18-7 in the second quarter, which was enough to keep the Wildcats at bay.
Kyle Castlin had 18 points to lead the Hawks, who will play Tri-Cities in the second round. Castlin scored consistently in all four quarters.
B.J. Brown added 13 points, with nine coming in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. Keith Ray was also in double figures with 11.
Allatoona 69, Salem 56: Daniel Fowler had 23 points and was 13-for-16 from the free-throw line to lead the Buccaneers to a first-round win in the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
Fowler also pulled down seven rebounds.
Forrestt Lane scored 11 points and added seven rebounds as Allatoona built a 14-6 first-quarter lead and made it stick. Austin Faulkner finished with a 10-point night that included two 3-pointers.
Allatoona (23-6) will host Tucker on Saturday in the second round.
Tift County 70, McEachern 48: The Indians were in contention for most of the first-round Class AAAAAA state playoff game, trailing by just 10 points at the half, but Tift County managed to extend the lead in the second half.
Deonta Patterson was the only double-figure scorer for McEachern (15-13) with 11 points. Logan McIntosh had nine.
Stephenson 45, Pope 43: After tying the game with a pair of clutch free throws, the Greyhounds fell victim to the clutch play of the Jaguars.
After Pope’s Eli Gruber hit two free throws with 30 seconds left, Stephenson held the ball and hit the go-ahead jumper with 4 seconds left in the first-round Class AAAAA state playoff game.
Gruber finished with 16 points to lead Pope (20-9), hitting four 3-pointers. Andrew Mendel added 12 points and Chase Hutchins had seven.
Shiloh 54, Walton 52: The Raiders controlled their first-round Class AAAAAA state playoff game from the opening tip and took a 10-point advantage at the end of the third period.
However, Shiloh found a way to come back, outscoring Walton 21-9 in the fourth to get the victory.
Shiloh used a 7-0 run to start the fourth to pull to within three with 4 minutes left in the contest, and later took a three-point lead with a little over a minute remaining.
Walton’s Rico Overall, who finished with five 3-pointers and 23 points, hit a 3 to tie the contest with 1:20 on the clock.
Shiloh then held the ball for the final shot, but Walton, which had four fouls to give, started using them with 12 seconds remaining. After fouling on the floor twice, the Raiders were called for a foul in the act of shooting, with Dave Mason’s shot going in with 2.4 seconds on the clock and giving Shiloh its two-point lead.
Mason missed his free throw, and Walton’s desperation heave at the buzzer didn’t connect.
Maurice Gibson had 10 for the Raiders.
Walton 3, Sprayberry 0: The Raiders opened the season in strong fashion, no-hitting their longtime rival.
Bradley Schwartz and Daniel Parker combined for the no-hitter. Schwartz (1-0) struck out six and walked one over five innings, while Parker, who got the save, struck out three and scattered four walks in two innings of relief.
Logan Barnette went
2-for-4 with two RBIs for Walton, while Luke Manzo also had an RBI. Schwartz was 2-for-2 and Stephen Wrenn drew two walks and stole two bases.
Walton (1-0) will host Alpharetta today, while Sprayberry (0-1) is at Lassiter on Friday.
Kell 6, Wheeler 2: The Longhorns scored twice in each of the second, third and fifth innings, taking the season-opening game.
Bryce O’Brien, Kerrigan McManigal and Jamari Moore accounted for those runs, each getting a single and driving in a pair.
Alex Stockton was 2-for-3 on the day, with Brady Smith and Justin Russell also collecting hits.
The first of three pitchers used, Avery McReynolds went three innings and got the win for Kell (1-0), which will travel to the coast for the Baseball on the Beach event this weekend.
Kyle Allen had two hits and Alan Peters one for Wheeler (0-1), which will also be at Baseball on the Beach.
McEachern 13, Milton 5: Jonathan Wells and Dalton Geekie each scored three times as the Indians won their first game under new coach Dan Torrenti.
Torrenti is a former McEachern baseball player who succeeded his former coach, David Joiner, in July.
Wells was 3-for-4 on the night, with Sam Stephens
2-for-4. Stephens, Bruce Kirkpatrick and Nick Walker each drove in two runs.
Kirkpatrick also was the winning pitcher, striking out five over 4 1/3 innings. Geekie followed and struck out four in relief.
McEachern (1-0) will host Marist on Saturday.
South Cobb 14, Berkmar 1 (5 inn): The Eagles scored four runs in the fourth inning and put up five in the fifth to break the game open.
Jose Bustamonte was 2-for-2 with four RBIs, while Kyrie Hawkins was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Tyler Minkinnen was 1-for-2 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Tyler Randles was 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
Nate Golden earned the win after going four innings, and Marco Martinez pitched the fifth.
South Cobb (1-0) will host Dutchtown today.
North Cobb Christian 12, Galloway 2 (5 inn.): The Eagles went 7-for-10 with runners in scoring position and opened the season with a lopsided win.
Patrick Martin went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, while Rabon Martin and Tripp Ross were each 2-for-3 and drove in three and two, respectively. Also gathering hits were Zach Cornell, Dylan Crumbley, Canon Robinson, Josh Schibi and Ryan Martin.
Robert Gnann picked up the win, allowing two earned runs in four innings while striking out five and walking one.
North Cobb Christian (1-0) will travel to Landmark Christian on Saturday.
Carrollton 12, Walker 2: The Wolverines couldn’t catch up after falling behind 6-0 through 5½ innings.
Austin Walker’s double was Walker’s lone extra-base hit. Cameron Bloebaum, Mitchell Golden, James Pittinger, Gaines Lahue and Zach Eikost each had singles.
Walker and Pittinger accounted for the RBIs that scored Golden and Zach Eikost.
Walker (0-2) will try again to break into the win column when it travels to Dunwoody on Saturday.
Lassiter 6, Westminster 5: The Trojans rallied from a 0-4 deficit in the second half to pull out the win.
Hunter Rowley had two goals for Lassiter, while Daniel Evans, Jason Tutchton, Jack Fitzharris and Alex Lipsky each had a goal. Ryan Smith had 16 saves.
Lassiter rallied by scoring six unanswered goals, with three coming in the third quarter and three more in the fourth. Westminster got a goal back late before the Trojans held on.
Lassiter (1-0) will host Woodstock on Friday to open Area 2AAAAAA play.
Kell 15, Pope 6: The Lady Longhorns made a statement in their Area 2A-AAAAA opener with a convincing victory over their east Cobb rival.
Emily Swift and Leslie Ferguson both scored four goals to lead Kell (1-0, 1-0). Katie Kunberger and Haley Swift both scored two goals, and Sarah Bielecki, Izzie Palermo and Jessica Armstrong each scored one.
Kell will host Harrison on Wednesday.
Kennesaw Mountain 11, Wesleyan 8: Caitlin Farmer led the Lady Mustangs with four goals in the non-area win.
Abby Barnett, Megan Dreyer each had three goals, and Lily Morin finished with one.
The Lady Mustangs maintained a slim lead from beginning to end, not allowing Wesleyan to close in.
Goakeeper Monica Hicks had nine saves for Kennesaw Mountain (1-0), which will open area play Friday at home against Campbell.
Hillgrove 5, Mount Paran Christian 1: Maggie Gaughan had two goals and an assist for the Lady Hawks.
Necee Jennings and Sydney A. Clark both had a goal and an assist. C.C. Clark also had a goal, and Maggie Post added an assist.
The score was tied at 1-all at one point in the first half before the Lady Hawks scored four unanswered goals.
Hillgrove (2-1) will play at Sequoyah on Friday.
Lovett 5, Whitefield Academy 0: Only one match went into a third set as the returning state champion Wolfpack lost their season-opening match.
David Lemasters opened at No. 3 singles with a 6-4 first-set win before losing the next two.
Harrison 5, Allatoona 0: Ben Maryland won 7-6, 4-6, 10-5 at No. 1 singles for the visiting Hoyas, while Jack Hadaway rallied for a 6-7, 7-5, 10-6 win at No. 2.
Brad Dismukes won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 3 singles, as did the No. 1 doubles team of Peter Heflin and Whit Barfield, who claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Lee Chadwick and Dylan Harvey triumphed in their No. 2 doubles match 6-1, 6-4.
Lassiter 3, North Cobb 2: The Lady Trojans’ No. 2 doubles team of Veronica Ulicny and Nicole Christian won 6-2, 6-0 to clinch the road match.
Rachel Sumner won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles for Lassiter, while Natalie Eldredge won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2.
North Cobb saw its No. 1 duo of Claire Bracken and Lauren D’Olympio capture a 6-2, 6-0 victory. Marisa Albanese took a 7-6, 6-3 triumph at No. 3 singles.
Mount Pisgah Christian 3, Harrison 2: The Lady Hoyas couldn’t get over the top against the private-school contender.
Taylor Lambertson and Jaclyn Black eased to a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 1 doubles, but Meredith Frost had to battle for her win at No. 3 singles. Frost needed to rally and win a third-set super tiebreaker to beat her opponent 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6), 10-7.
Harrison will host Lassiter today.
Lovett 3, Whitefield Academy 2: Rachel Hicks and the team of Caroline Holliday and Megan Schwarzkopf provided the Lady Wolfpack with the points in a season-opening setback.
Hicks won 7-5, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, while the No. 1 doubles team of Holliday and Schwarzkopf split the first two sets 6-4, 3-6 before winning a super-tiebreaker 10-8.