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Key Region 7-AAA basketball matchups this week
West Hall's Marquise Stephens (24) drives to the basket against Johnson last Friday night in Oakwood. The Spartans have another big Region 7B-AAA game against Flowery Branch this week. - photo by Tom Reed

After starting the year 11-0, the West Hall boys have lost three of their last six games, including the first two subregion games against West Forsyth and Johnson.

On Tuesday, the Spartans go head-to-head with another Region 7B-AAA title contender in Flowery Branch. The Falcons opened subregion play with a win over Gainesville on Jan. 13, but followed that up with a loss at East Hall on Friday.

West Hall needs this game to avoid an 0-3 start in the subregion, which would have the Spartans looking up in the standings at not only Flowery Branch, but Gainesville, Johnson and East Hall, as well. If the Falcons win this one, they will prove to the region that last year’s region title was no fluke, and despite having a new coach and missing three key players, they are still capable of winning the region again.

Tip-off for the boys game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Flowery Branch.

A chance for an upset

The Georgia Tech Lady Yellow Jackets welcome No. 2-ranked North Carolina to Alexander Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. Thursday in a battle between a perennial powerhouse and an upstart program.

Ranked No. 25 in the nation, Georgia Tech will have to find a way to limit the effectiveness of Rashanda McCants and Chay Shegog if it hopes to pull off the upset. One thing that may help out the Lady Jackets is that UNC will be playing just two days after it takes on the No. 1 team in the country, UConn.

Depending how that game goes, UNC may just be vulnerable for the upset.

Seeking revenge

West Hall’s boys made an early statement in Region 7-AAA when it knocked off Gainesville in the first round of Lanierland, and now the Red Elephants finally have their shot at revenge at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Oakwood.

The Gainesville team of early December was nothing like it is now, as the team is coming together and playing solid basketball under first-year head coach Todd Cottrell. West Hall could be 0-3 in Region 7B-AAA entering this home matchup with Gainesville, and possibly only one subregion loss, the Red Elephants could take a nice lead in the standings with a win Friday.

Both teams are highly athletic and the fast-paced tempo that each likes to play should make this the most entertaining matchup of the week.

Playoff test 

The Gainesville girls planned their schedule this year to give their team some stiff competition during the regular season in hopes that it will prepare them for the postseason. Well, their wish will be more than granted on Saturday as the Lady Red Elephants will travel to Norcross to take on the three-time Class AA defending champion Wesleyan Lady Wolves.

Although in Class A this year, the top-ranked Lady Wolves remain dominant. University of Georgia commit Anne Marie Armstrong will provide the Lady Red Elephants a test like they’ve never seen before, as the 6-foot-3 guard can do just about anything, at anytime she’s on the court.

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