Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over Greater Atlanta Christian emphasized what Buford coach Tony Wolfe already knew: everyone is out to get the three-time defending Class AA champions.
“Everybody’s trying to be the team that knocks us off,” Wolfe said Wednesday. “For as much as we’d like to think (everyone is afraid of us), everyone’s gonna show up and play.”
That includes teams like the Lady Spartans, who despite having a 15-11 record, gave the top-ranked Lady Wolves all they could handle.
“I have a lot of respect for GAC, as well as Blessed Trinity and Westminster,” Wolfe said. “I don’t think they’re the only team from that side (who can challenge us).”
Wolfe also has to be concerned with a team like Lovett, who is also undefeated in the Lady Wolves’ side of Region 6-AA. The two teams won’t play in the regular season, and if they meet in the region tournament, Wolfe knows his girls will be ready.
“For the most part, they’ve all been there,” he said of his playoff-tested team. “The moment won’t get too big for us.”
Especially if you look at schools Buford has played this year. The Lady Wolves (19-4, 4-0) have lost three games to Class AAAAA schools — including No. 1 Collins Hill and No. 3 North Gwinnett — and another to Class AAA’s top-ranked Oconee County.
“We feel like we’ve tested ourselves a little bit,” Wolfe said. “We’ve come up short on occasion, but we’re pleased with where we’re at.”
So too is White County coach John Brown, whose team has won nine of their last 10 and enters the final three games of the regular season 7-0 in Region 8A-AAA and 17-4 overall. Of those four losses, two were to Class A’s top-ranked Gordon Lee and Class AA’s third-ranked Union County.
Two teams the Lady Warriors haven’t yet faced are Oconee County and Walnut Grove, two top-three teams who reside on the other side of Region 8-AAA.
“They’re definitely going to be good teams,” Brown said. “I think we can compete with them.”
But first things first. Those matchups are a week away and Brown knows the most important one is tonight, when his team can lock up a playoff berth with a win over North Hall.
“If we win (tonight) we’ll lock up the No. 1 seed on our side,” Brown said. “That’s our first priority.”
After that it’ll be on to the region tournament, where the Lady Warriors are one of the three contenders for the title, with players like Stephanie Satterfield, Callie McDonald and Sarahbeth Cummins leading the way.
“We’re not very deep, but the nine we got are pretty solid,” Brown said. “If we can keep those nine healthy, I think we’ll be able to compete with some people.”
Buford and White County aren’t the only two schools with a tough road to a region title. Union County (18-1-1, 7-0 Region 8-AA) has No. 2 North Oconee (21-5-1, 9-0), Jefferson (17-6-1, 7-1) and Jackson County (13-6-2, 6-2) on the other side of the region.
The Lady Panthers defeated Jefferson 5-4 earlier this season, and enter tonight’s game at Dawson County riding a 15-game win streak.