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Duluth girls win coin toss; 7-AAAAA, 8-AAAAA hoop tourneys start Mon.

LILBURN - Duluth girls coach Jeremy Huckaby lost a coin flip last year and the Wildcats' hopes of making it to the state basketball tournament for the first time in more than 30 years ended a couple days later.

This season is shaping up differently for Duluth.

"At least we have luck on our side this time," Huckaby said.

A loss Friday at Norcross dropped Duluth into a three-way tie for second place in Region 7-AAAAA, but Huckaby won a coin flip with Collins Hill and North Gwinnett on Saturday to get the No. 2 seed in the region tournament anyway.

Duluth will play the winner of Monday's South Forsyth-North Forsyth game on Tuesday and a victory would guarantee the Wildcats a spot in the state tournament for the first time in 32 years.

The top four teams in each region tournament advance.

While Duluth was the winner in the Region 7-AAAAA coin flip, the North Gwinnett girls were the unlucky ones.

Collins Hill got the No. 3 seed, while North Gwinnett fell to No. 4 and must play No. 5 Norcross at home on Tuesday.

"Murphy's Law," North Gwinnett coach Tony Watkins said. "I was afraid this would happen."

The Bulldogs own a home win against Norcross, but the Blue Devils were the region's second-best team down the stretch. Norcross won seven of its last eight regular-season games.

The first-place Mill Creek girls, ranked No. 1 in the state, get a bye to Thursday's semifinals at Norcross. That means that the Hawks are already in the state tournament.

The same holds true for the Norcross boys, ranked No. 1 in one poll and No. 2 in the other. The boys semifinals are on Friday.

The play-in and quarterfinal games are at North Gwinnett or Collins Hill. Norcross is the site for the semifinals and Saturday finals.

Nine-school Region 7-AAAAA and eight-school Region 8-AAAAA both held their tournament seeding meetings at Berkmar following the Gwinnett Tip-Off Club awards breakfast on Saturday.

Parkview is the No. 1 seed for both boys and girls in 8-AAAAA, with the boys getting the nod via a tiebreaker. Parkview and Berkmar tied for first place with 12-2 records, but the Panthers beat the Patriots twice in games decided by a combined three points.

After play-in games on Monday at Brookwood, the 8-AAAAA tournament will be played at South Gwinnett. The boys quarterfinals are Tuesday and girls quarterfinals on Wednesday. The semifinals are Friday and finals Saturday.