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Plenty on the line in final week of regular season
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East Hall’s Charles Perry, center, chases a loose ball between two North Hall defenders during the Trojans’ December Lanierland Tournament victory at the Flowery Branch High gymnasium.

Today's games

Jefferson at Banks County, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Buford at Decatur, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Chestatee at Lumpkin County, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Commerce at Towns County, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Dawson County at Fannin County, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Lambert at East Hall, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Johnson at Flowery Branch, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Gainesville at West Forsyth, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Madison County at Habersham Central, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Hart County at Jackson County, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Athens Academy at Lakeview, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

North Hall at Creekview, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Riverside at Rabun County, 6:30 p.m.

Johns Creek at West Hall, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

Gilmer at White County, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.

The battle for basketball tournament seedings in Northeast Georgia is exactly what it is supposed to be with only four days left in the regular season schedule: Wide open. The final week of the regular season will go a long way to determining which teams earn a coveted No. 1 spot to their region tournament and which have to go in as a lower seed.

And while Region 8-AA, at least on the boys side, seems to be shaking itself out pretty early, the rest of the regions around the area have a lot to play for in these final days.

The Gainesville boys (12-8, 8-2) have a one-game lead on East Hall and Johnson (both 7-3 in the subregion), but still need a win against West Forsyth or Lambert to lock up the subregion’s top spot and a first-round bye in the 7-AAA tournament. The Vikings face Lambert and West Hall this week, while Johnson faces Flowery Branch and Lambert.

“Things are far from wrapped up,” Gainesville coach Todd Cottrell said. “There are still so many scenarios that could play out.”

In Region 7A-AAA, North Hall (19-3, 9-1) can wrap up the top spot in the region tournament with a win tonight at Creekview (15-8, 7-3). Of course, don’t try and tell Trojans coach Benjie Wood that a preferable region tournament seeding will somehow translate into a spot in the playoffs; not with the way this 7-AAA teams have beaten up on each other this season.

“We’re all just jockeying for position right now,” Wood said.

The girls battle for the top spot in Region 7B-AAA is so close, it could come down to a coin flip to determine who’s No. 1 next week. There are natural advantages attached to earning a No. 1 seed for the region tournament, including playing the state tournament qualifying game at home.

The Gainesville girls (12-9, 9-1) and East Hall girls (17-5, 9-1) are both vying for the No. 1 seed. A season split between the two teams could make it necessary for a coin flip at the end.

The Lady Red Elephants have subregion games against West Forsyth (today) and Lambert on Thursday remaining. The Lady Vikings have subregion matchups against Lambert today and West Hall on Friday.

“It makes it exciting that every game is important here at the end of the season,” East Hall coach Joey Rider said.

The girls battle at the top in Region 7A-AAA is a little more clear. Chestatee (18-4, 9-1 Region 7A-AAA) can lock up the top spot in the subregion with a win tonight at Lumpkin County or against North Hall on Friday. However, the seeding for No. 2-4 in the subregion could come down to the final day with Creekview (8-2 in subregion), Pickens (8-3) and North Hall (7-3) all alive for those spots.

In Region 6-AA, the Buford girls (20-2, 10-1) and Greater Atlanta Christian (18-4, 11-1) are battling for the top spot in the region. The Lady Wolves have games against Decatur, Cross Keys and Lovett on the schedule this week. GAC defeated Buford in overtime last Friday, securing a season split between the two programs.

The only No. 1 seeds locked up at this point are on the boys’ side of Region 8-AA: Riverside Military in subregion A, and Jefferson in subregion B.

Riverside Military (15-3, 8-0 8A-AA) secured its No. 1 seed with a win over Rabun County on Monday. Jefferson (17-6, 8-0 8B-AA) is assured of top billing for region after defeating East Jackson last week.

“It’s a big deal to be the top seed from the subregion,” Eagles coach Rico Zackery said. “This is what we’ve been working for all season.”

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