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This week: Buford boys and girls set for trip to state semifinals
Lady Wolves looking for third straight title in Class AA
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While there are no longer any Hall County teams left in the basketball state playoffs — East Hall boys were eliminated Friday in the quarterfinals — both Buford teams are in the Class AA semifinals. The No. 1-seeded Lady Wolves made easy work of Rabun County on Friday in Dalton, beating them 67-28, and head to Macon poised to defend their two-time state title.

They’ll play Laney at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.

The Wolves continue their surprising run, beating South Atlanta 47-44 as a No. 3 seed Friday in Dalton, two days after upsetting No. 1-seeded Kendrick 64-62.

The Wolves will play Laney 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.

HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS: Spring season is in full swing with numerous baseball games, golf and soccer matches and track meets taking place for area teams.

In baseball, North Hall (1-0) looks to stay undefeated in 8-AAA play, with Gainesville, Lumpkin County and White County (1-1) on its tail.

In Region 8B-AA, subregion play begins for East Hall, Banks County, Dawson County and Union County.

In soccer, both Johnson teams put their undefeated records on the line. The No. 4-ranked Knights (6-0, 5-0 8-AAA) and Lady Knights (5-0-1, 5-0) play East Hall on Tuesday, with the girls starting at 5:30 p.m.

Key golf matches include Lumpkin County against Franklin County at Achasta, and Gainesville, St. Pius and Johnson at Chattahoochee on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Gainesville’s girls play Johnson at Royal Lakes, and on Thursday Lumpkin County take on Pickens at Big Canoe.

In tennis, key matchups include Johnson at Gainesville and West Hall at Monroe Area on Tuesday, Buford at GAC and Johnson at Flowery Branch on Wednesday, and Gainesville at Walnut Grove and West Hall at Lanier on Thursday.

Key track meets include Buford at North Gwinnett on Tuesday and Commerce girls at Jefferson on Wednesday.

ATLANTA BRAVES: The Braves will gear up for the regular season with spring training games against the Marlins today, the Yankees on Tuesday, the Cardinals on Wednesday and Thursday, the Yankees on Friday, the Mets on Saturday and the Astros on Sunday. Tuesday’s game against the Yankees will be shown tape-delayed on the MLB Network.

Though spring training games don’t count toward the regular season, they go a long way in determining the opening day roster.

Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth are competing for the starting center field job, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy are fighting for the No. 5 starting pitcher role, Craig Kimbrel and Johnny Venters look to prove their worth as a closer and Chipper Jones attempts to come back from a torn ACL. Jones will be 39 April 24.

ATLANTA HAWKS: If the Hawks want to be a playoff contender, this week will be a good barometer of how well they could fare in the postseason. They host the Lakers 7 p.m. Tuesday, travel to Chicago for an 8 p.m. Friday game in a rematch of last week’s game which the Hawks rallied to win 83-80. They come back to Atlanta to host Portland 7 p.m. Saturday. All games will be televised on SportSouth.

ATLANTA THRASHERS: The Thrashers are fast fading from the playoff picture, best demonstrated by last week’s loss to last-place Ottawa. They’ll travel to play the Hurricanes 7 p.m. Wednesday before hosting former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk and the Devils 7:30 p.m. Friday. They’ll then travel to play the Flyers 7 p.m. Saturday. All games are on Fox Sports South.

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