Their first-round matchup in the Class AAAA state basketball tournament was plenty to get the Dacula boys players motivated. A matchup with the defending state champion will do that.
Fortunately, it also kept their minds off what might lie ahead in Round 2 - a rematch with Lithia Springs.
The Falcons were bounced from last year's state tournament in the first round by Lithia Springs, which won in exciting fashion last February, 69-61 in overtime. They get a shot for revenge tonight when they host the 25-3 Lions in the second round.
Fourth-ranked Lithia Springs is a tough test, but No. 6
Dacula (27-2) also has piled up the victories this season, most recently a 68-65 defeat of defending AAAA state champion Tucker in the first round.
The winner of tonight's matchup likely will face a quarterfinal matchup against powerful Miller Grove, which is 24-5 and ranked third in AAAA.
Dacula isn't the only team out for revenge tonight.
Centennial hopes to turn the tables on top-ranked Norcross, which defeated the Knights 59-58 in last year's Class AAAAA state championship game.
It was the second straight state title for Norcross.
Norcross star Al-Farouq Aminu, at 6-foot-9, still causes matchup problems for Centennial, which has its own star in 6-5 guard Lorenzo Brown.
Brown is ranked as the No. 8 point guard and No. 42 player overall in the Class of 2009, and already has offers from Florida, N.C. State, Connecticut and LSU and Oregon.
Highly recruited senior Wesley Witherspoon is beginning to take more of the scoring load for the Berkmar boys, who host South Forsyth tonight in the second round.
The 6-8 guard/forward has averaged 24.2 points and 11.0 rebounds the past five games, upping his season averages to 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds. He also averages 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals.
Witherspoon, considered one of the nation's top unsigned seniors, is still mum on his recruitment.
He won't name any favorites and plans to take visits after Berkmar's season is complete.
"I've got to keep y'all guessing," Witherspoon said after scoring 32 in the Patriots' first-round win over Sprayberry.
He also scored his 1,000th career point in that victory.
Rivals.com lists Witherspoon as the No. 9 small forward and No. 56 player overall in the Class of 2008. The site also lists Memphis, Texas and Virginia as his three favorites among a large group of offers.
Gwinnett vs. Gwinnett
Two talented girls basketball teams will go home and two will move on after Wednesday's second round of the Class AAAAA tournament.
The bracket set up two Gwinnett vs. Gwinnett games, creating two intriguing matchups between Region 8-AAAAA and 7-AAAAA teams.
Surging Peachtree Ridge travels to 25-3 Parkview in one of those games, while the other county vs. county game on Wednesday night is at Mill Creek, where the top-ranked Hawks host Berkmar.
The only other Gwinnett AAAAA girls team with a chance to advance from the second round is Duluth, which travels to Chattahoochee on Wednesday.