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Davis: Expect the unexpected
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The Collegiate gets back to basics

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There’s a fine line that has to be walked this time of year.

Come out relaxed and the team you beat by 30 points twice this season will be the ones celebrating.

Come out too wound up and the same will occur.

It’s a battle between expectations and a lack thereof.

There are great expectations for the North Hall and Gainesville boys, as well as the Gainesville and Gilmer girls in the Region 7-AAA tournament.

Each bears the cross that is a No. 1 seed.

“Well the advantage to winning subregion is that you get to play at home,” North Hall coach Benjie Wood said. “The disadvantage is that you become afraid that your kids are losing that edge we’ve been playing with.”

As the seeding numbers grow, the expectations lower.

That’s a scary thought when you consider that the East Hall boys are a No. 4 seed and will more than likely be the team North Hall faces with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

“We knew one way or another we were going to be playing someone tough,” East Hall coach Joe Dix said. “We were trying to stay off playing someone on their home floor to get to the state tournament.

“However, we feel like we’re playing better than we have been.”

There are even overall expectations in this region tournament. The teams that lost in the regular season will lose in the first round.

The slower-paced more methodical play of 7A-AAA will be no match for the athleticism of 7B-AAA
The Gainesville girls will be in the finals.

Some are true; the Gilmer, Pickens and White County boys, along with the White County and Johnson girls probably won’t make it out of the first round.

For those ready to hit send on a nasty e-mail, I used the word “probably.”

The flip side to that coin is that the Johnson and East Hall boys both finished with losing records in the subregion, but I don’t believe for one minute that they’ll lose in the first round.

The athleticism of 7B-AAA has posed problems for teams in 7B-AAA, and will for those on the outside.

However, don’t underestimate the power of control. Sloppy, undisciplined play has been the trademark for the likes of Gainesville, Johnson, East Hall and West Hall. Their styles are run-and-gun, in-and-out, exciting and fun, but vulnerable to being worn down by a team who walks it up the floor.

Vulnerable to a team that drives to the hole not looking to dunk it in someone’s face, but get to the free throw line where they’re shooting more than 80 percent. Vulnerable to the teams of 7A-AAA.

The lead into the final expectation that the Gainesville girls will be in the finals comes with predictions.

(Please note that the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not the entire Times sports’ staff – or the copy editors, production crew, managing editors, etc.)

Outside some of the first round games, I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen in this region tournament.

How’s that for a prediction?

There are teams expected to win, there are teams expected not to be able to compete but I expect the unexpected.

After all, you know what they say about assumptions.

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