On Saturday, the Lady Raiders (41-6) will host a team it’s very familiar with in Area 4AAAAAA foe Lassiter (32-21), which garnered the No. 8 seed. The match is set for 5 p.m.
Walton, a perennial state title contender, is seeking its fourth straight championship in the state’s highest classification, while Lassiter is back in the quarterfinals after a year away.
“I’m not really surprised by our seed,” Lassiter coach Greg Hodge said. “Knowing who the other seven teams are that made the quarterfinals, and they’re all ranked, I knew we’d be the eighth seed.”
The Lady Raiders have already swept the Lady Trojans twice this season.
“We’ve seen Lassiter before and played them twice in our area,” Hodge said. “It will be an east Cobb battle and, hopefully, we’ll play the game like we’re supposed to and give the No. 1 seed a run for their money.”
Joining Lassiter and Walton in the quarterfinals are Harrison and North Cobb, marking the second time in three years that Cobb County has put four teams in the quarterfinals in the state’s highest classification — Walton, Lassiter, Harrison and North Cobb reached the Class AAAAA elite eight in 2011.
“There are four teams from Cobb County in the quarterfinals,” North Cobb coach James Auld said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
Harrison (49-10), the state runner-up in 2011 and ’12, earned the No. 5 seed and will travel to face No. 4 South Forsyth (47-12) at 1:30 p.m.
North Cobb (40-15) received the sixth seed and will travel to take on No. 3 Johns Creek (43-9) for a 1 p.m. start.
No. 2 seed Chattahoochee (46-9) will host No. 7 Roswell (38-13) to round out the list of quarterfinalists.
The Walton-Lassiter winner will compete against the South Forsyth-Harrison winner in Wednesday’s semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, the Johns Creek-North Cobb victor will go against either Chattahoochee or Roswell.
Auld wasn’t too surprised when he found out where his team was seeded. He said the quarterfinals are always filled with some of the strongest teams in the state, and no matter where the teams are seeded, it’s going to be a battle every round to reach the final.
“I think they seeded the tournament well,” Auld said. “There are always some tough choices. Looking at the field, sixth sounds right about where we should be, and we’re proud of that. It’s not a bad thing.
“This year, all of the teams are playing well, and it should be an exciting Class AAAAAA playoffs.”
Auld likes the matchup against Johns Creek. The Lady Warriors split their two matches with the Lady Gladiators this season, with each team earning a 2-0 sweep. Johns Creek won the last meeting.
“We’re more inconsistent than I want us to be right now, but when we play well, we’re a pretty good team,” Auld said. “We’ve played Johns Creek before, so we have some familiarity with them, as well as a lot of the teams left in the bracket. We have a chance like everybody else.”