No. 1 Blue Devils pull out late win

NORCROSS -- After rising to No. 1 in Class AAAAA in the most recent Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings this past week, Norcross' boys tested themselves on a national level in the finale of the Marriott Invitational.

And the Blue Devils passed with flying colors against North Carolina powerhouse Quality Education Academy.

Jeremy Lamb dashed the length of the court before dishing off to Malcolm McDonald for a layup with 3 seconds left, lifting Norcross to a 65-63 victory Saturday at the House of Blue.

It was the capper to a huge week for the Blue Devils (17-2), who soundly beat their two closest pursuers in the Region 7-AAAAA race -- Peachtree Ridge and Mill Creek -- before fending off the Fighting Pharoahs (27-4).

"Before the game, we talked about how this section of our schedule -- five games in a row in which we were going to have to play hard every single night," Norcross coach Jesse McMillan said. "It's as close as we can mimic a state playoff environment."

Quality Education Academy was perhaps the biggest test Norcross had faced all season in every sense of the word, as the Pharoahs featured five different players who took the floor standing 6-foot-6 or taller, including 6-10 Quincy Miller, rated by some recruited services as the No. 3 junior in the nation.