Flowery Branch boys basketball coach Todd Cottrell purposely retreated off to the side as the Falcons (24-3) went to work on Wednesday practicing for Friday's Class AAA state playoff game against Southside (18-9).
Prior to 2002, the girls soccer program at North Hall had success, but were never able to compete with some of the more talented teams in the region or the state. All that has changed in just four years.
Now that all of the region tournaments are complete and the champions have been crowned, the 12 surviving area teams are now preparing for their first round games in the state tournament that begins with boys action on Friday night.
HIAWASSEE - With their chance at the first region title in team history depending on a hard-earned, seven-point halftime advantage, and Jefferson's high-energy defense making points tough to come by inside, Lakeview was forced to look outside for offensive production.
ELLIJAY - Micah Mills didn't come away with a trophy for the two pins he recorded in the opening day of the Area 7-AAA traditional wrestling meet on Friday in Ellijay. And this Johnson High senior's strong performance at 189 pounds hasn't qualified him yet for next weekend's state finals at the Gwinnett Arena.
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville High's lone senior Abby Musselwhite was prepared to play in Saturday night's Region 7-AAA title game as part of a program that has played for the region crown the past 12 seasons in a row.
HIAWASSEE - When they met during the regular season, the Lakeview Academy Lady Lions were able to make eight 3-pointers in an overtime win against Social Circle. During their postseason meeting, the Lady Lions weren't so fortunate.
The top-ranked Buford baseball program will play for the Class AAAA state championship against Whitewater, starting with a doubleheader in the best-of-three championship series at 5 p.m. Saturday in Fayetteville.
Gregg Hartsuff took out a screwdriver as he worked on a trophy in the bed of his truck, carefully putting the cup back together after disassembling it for the long drive down from Ann Arbor, Mich. It's a labor of love for the University of Michigan men's rowing coach, who has led his team to seven straight American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) national championships, including four since the tournament moved to Gainesville.
ATLANTA - After dropping Game 2 of the Class AAA state semifinals to the Westminster Wildcats, Jefferson coach Tommy Knight said his team would "be better" in a pressure-packed, season-deciding Game 3.
The Gainesville High baseball team will visit Greenbrier for the Class AAAAA state championship, starting with a doubleheader in the best-of-three series at 3 p.m. Monday in Columbia County. The third game, if necessary, would be Tuesday.
ATLANTA - The Jefferson Dragons' baseball team split its first two games against the Westminster Wildcats in the Class AAA state semifinals on Tuesday. The deciding Game 3 will be played today at 5:30 p.m. at Westminster. The winner plays at Blessed Trinity for the Class AAA state championship on Saturday.
Dawson County's Madison Caldwell shot a 73 to win the Class AAA girls golf individual state title Monday at Horseshoe Bend in Roswell. Caldwell beat out second place finisher Clara Halsey of Sonoraville. The Dawson County girls finished seventh as a team with a score of 298. In addition to Caldwell's 73, Sydney Morgan shot a 103 and Hannah McConnell shot a 122 for the Lady Tigers. The Dawson County boys shot a 343 to finish seventh at the state tournament. David Ford led the way with an 81.
COLUMBUS – The scores were good for Gainesville's boys, especially when you consider the fast greens and humid air pressing golfers during the Class AAAAA championship meet at the Country Club of Columbus.
Flowery Branch's Jake Shewbert added to his strong performance at the Georgia Olympics, earning a fourth-place spot in the 3200 race with a time of 9 minutes, 44.1 seconds at Jefferson Memorial. Joining him in the race for the Falcons, Grant O'Callaghan was ninth (9:53.29).