There doesn't seem to be much of a dividing mark between the regular season and playoffs, which open Friday for 17 local programs, with first-round games.
BUFORD - The East Hall girls have had no time to listen to the naysayers. The only expectations they care about are the ones coming from inside their own locker room after an up-and-down regular season that has given way to the Region 7-AAA tournament.
The waiting game for region basketball tournaments to begin has finally ended, as the snow and ice that caused the delay has turned to slush.
Preparing for a region basketball tournament is hard enough for those involved without dealing with a winter storm that is expected to dump snow and ice throughout Northeast Georgia this week.
In an age when college football prospects are most routinely prioritized and evaluated by height and weight, North Hall's Andrew Smith is a refreshing exception to the rule.
Rarely, if ever, has this area produced such a diversified senior class of elite college prospects. Hall County alone had players sign with top college programs in football, baseball and swimming.
Imagine for a second being a high school wrestler with one of the most important weekends of the season on the horizon, only to have your practice routine interrupted by a major weather event.
Caleb Hamilton has shown how far dedication and a lot of hard work can carry a high school wrestler. As a senior, the North Hall grappler has become an anchor for his team with 44 wins and 30 pins, heading into tonight's matches against Habersham Central and Winder-Barrow for Senior Night in Gainesville.
Lakeview Academy boys coach Todd Cottrell didn't see Friday's 98-54 loss to No. 5 Athens Christian as any immediate need to panic, even though it did go down as a defeat in the region column.
The Hall County wrestling championships always boast competitive battles.
Riverside Military basketball coach Lazarus Chennault knows he has a constant competitor on his hands with junior Avery Cagle on the floor.
High school wrestling season is a complex two-part puzzle, where coaches have to prioritize team structure and athlete training to fit that given portion of the year.
Maggie Roper did everything imaginable to help put Buford High volleyball on the map these past four seasons. Still a relatively new program when she stepped on the court in 2010, she developed herself into an All-State player in 2013, and also set most of the Lady Wolves' career and single-season records.
There's no greater motivator than a chance at redemption.
On a night when baskets were hard to come by for both teams, White County's Juwan Dorsey broke it wide open with a run of second-half 3-pointers and a 60-42 win against North Hall on Friday in Gainesville.
The first words used by Johnson coach Jeff Steele to describe his team's effort in a difficult second-round playoff loss to Sandy Creek were character and heart.
COLLEGE PARK - North Hall's girls basketball team played with all the heart and effort its coach Kristi House could have hoped for in Monday's second-round playoff game at Woodward Academy.
East Hall's girls opened the Class AAA basketball state playoffs on Friday with the poise and passion of a team destined for a long run, even though just a week ago it was a long shot that the Lady Vikings would even reach the postseason.
CLEVELAND - White County just proved it can play with the big boys in Region 7-AAA.
CUMMING - Devan Stringer provided Gainesville just the defensive lift it needed in its season opener against West Forsyth. Leading late in the second quarter Friday night, the Red Elephants' senior linebacker picked off a Hampton McConnell pass in West Forsyth territory.
Dawson County struck big in crucial situations to open the season Friday against East Hall in Gainesville. Leading by a small margin with five minutes left to play, Tigers (1-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA) quarterback Zack Buchan hit running back Cody Lamar in the open field on a third-and-long at the 30 and ran 70 yards for the score, propelling Dawson County to a 29-27 win.
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