DULUTH - Norcross led 8-0 after 68 seconds and the Peachtree Ridge boys called a quick timeout.
Coach Gerald Arnold was able to calm the Lions down, but it would prove to be just a momentary fix.
The Blue Devils opened the second quarter with an 11-0 run and led 36-19 at halftime. So much for Norcross finally getting a close game.
In fact, the two-time defending state champs may not get one all season in Region 7-AAAAA.
Norcross continued to pull away in the second half and beat host Peachtree Ridge 70-37 on Thursday night, again showing why the Blue Devils are ranked No. 8 nationally by USA Today.
In its three victories, Norcross has won by 33, 47 and 33 points. Peachtree Ridge is the only victim to not have the fourth quarter shortened because of the mercy rule.
The Lions, coming off a 26-win season, may again be the second-best team in 7-AAAAA, but they were certainly no match for the Blue Devils in this game.
Al-Farouq Aminu had 20 points and eight rebounds, while Tarriq Mohammad scored 18 and had nine assists.
Khalid Mutakabbir had 17 points for Peachtree Ridge, 11 in the first half. But the other Lions were completely shut down by the Blue Devils' rugged and quick defense.
Peachtree Ridge came in with a 5-1 record, including 3-0 in the region. Of course, Collins Hill had been 3-0 before it was crushed by Norcross.
Denzail Jones and Mohammad started the game with 3-pointers, then Aminu converted a lay-up after a Norcross steal. Defense and outside shooting appear to be the Blue Devils' hallmarks this season.
"We have a lot of good 3-point shooters," Mohammad said. "Of course, we have a lot of inside threats, too."
The 6-foot-9 Aminu, a Wake Forest signee, is certainly that. But even he drained a 3-pointer against the Lions - the only Georgia team to beat the Blue Devils last season.
Mohammad was 3-for-4 from behind the arc, while fellow junior Jones, who had 12 points, was 3-for-5.
The Norcross regulars sat out almost all of the fourth quarter. Mohammad had 14 points by halftime, while Aminu had nine - with two dunks - and three blocked shots.
Aminu and Mohammad are returning starters, while Jones was the sixth man last season.
"We have the experience, so we are trying to be the leaders," Mohammad said. "We are playing well, but there is still a lot we can improve on. We want to be playing our best at the end of the season."
If the Blue Devils are, it will be hard to keep them from a third consecutive state championship.
Peachtree Ridge girls 43, Norcross 37
The Lions took a 12-point lead in the second quarter and held off Norcross in improving to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in Region 7-AAAAA.
Mackenzie Dalrymple had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Peachtree Ridge, while Tori Nwadiogbu scored seven and Brittany Jack six.
Tiffany Clarke had 10 points and Nicole Jones 8 for Norcross, which pulled within three points with a little more than two minutes left in the game. The Blue Devils are 2-4 overall and 1-2 in 7-AAAAA.