The high school spring sports season is entering a pivotal point, and there are several key events this week worth noting.
In baseball, the Region 8-AAA race remains tight. White County holds first place with an 8-1 league record, followed by Gainesville (8-2) and North Hall (7-2). Close behind are Oconee County and Walnut Grove, both with 7-3 records.
No. 6 Gainesville and Walnut Grove play today at Ivey-Watson; Ninth-ranked White County and North Hall meet Friday in Gainesville; North Hall and No. 8 Oconee County meet today.
In soccer, the No. 4 ranking in class AAA belongs to Gainesville on the boys' side, and Johnson on the girls'. Johnson's boys are ranked No. 5.
Gainesville's boys (10-2, 8-0 8-AAA) play at North Hall (8-4-1, 7-2) on Thursday; Johnson's boys (10-2, 8-1) host Walnut Grove (9-2-1, 7-2) on Thursday; Johnson's girls (9-2-1, 8-1) play Region 8-AAAA's first-place team, Flowery Branch (9-5, 7-0) at home on Tuesday.
In tennis, West Hall's boys, ranked No. 4, look to get back on track Tuesday in a key 8-AAA match at Oconee County. The Spartans came into last week 14-0 before dropping matches to region rival Gainesville and 6-AA's Buford. The Oconee County match is critical to the Spartans (9-1 8-AAA) holding on to the top spot, as they have a one-game lead over Gainesville (8-2) and Oconee County (8-2), which beat Gainesville earlier in the season. The Spartans beat Oconee County in their first meeting in Oakwood.
In golf, Gainesville hosts the Big Red Shootout at Chattahoochee Golf Club today.
ATLANTA BRAVES: The Braves wrap up the final week of spring training at Turner Field with a two-game series against the Twins on Tuesday and Wednesday - both games will be televised by SportSouth.
Atlanta opens the regular season Thursday at Washington, has Friday off and plays the Nationals again Saturday and Sunday. Thursday and Saturday's games are on SportSout,h and Fox Sports South will televise Sunday's game.
ATLANTA HAWKS: The struggling Hawks look to maintain their slim lead over Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference's fifth-place position, hosting fourth-place Orlando on Wednesday, top seed Boston on Friday, followed by a trip to Houston on Sunday.