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This week: Hall County sends seven to second round of playoffs
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Tuesday’s games

Boys basketball playoffs

Class AAA

Franklin County at North Hall, 7 p.m.

Johnson at Riverwood, TBA

East Hall at Columbia, TBA

West Hall at Elbert County, TBA

Class AA

Westminster at Jefferson, TBA

What a weekend for Hall County’s seven basketball teams that swept first round playoff matchups last weekend in Class AAA.

Now it’s on to the second round to see which teams will qualify for the state quarterfinals next weekend at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton.

Last weekend, the four higher seeded teams, including the North Hall (23-3) and West Hall (19-11) boys, and the Gainesville and East Hall girls, all won on their home court to move to the second round. Also, the East Hall and Johnson boys, and Flowery Branch girls landed upsets of higher-seeded teams on the road.

Now that the second round is here, things don’t get any easier. East Hall (20-10) visits second-ranked Columbia (24-5) in the second round Tuesday in Decatur.

The Knights travel to Riverwood (18-12) for the second round. In the first round, Johnson pulled the upset against No. 8 ranked Carrollton. West Hall also travels for the second round with a game at Elbert County Tuesday in Elberton. North Hall plays host to Franklin County in the second round Tuesday.

If North Hall and Johnson were to win in the second round, they would face each other in the state quarterfinals Friday night in Dalton. East Hall and West Hall could also meet in the state quarterfinals.

On the girls side, Gainesville (16-9) plays host to Franklin County (17-9) in Wednesday’s second round. These two split a series of games during the regular season with each team winning on its home floor. East Hall (22-6) visits Region 8-AAA champion Stephens County Wednesday with a berth in the state quarterfinals on the line.

Flowery Branch’s girls (17-10) pay a visit to Columbia (23-3) in Atlanta. The Lady Falcons defeated Southeast Whitfield in the playoffs opening round last Saturday night.

ATLANTA HAWKS: The Hawks have stayed close to the Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division standings, but simply haven’t been able to overtake the front-running Magic for the division’s top spot. The Hawks have remained a couple games back from the Magic since the All-Star Break with a matching 6-4 record as Orlando over the last 10 games.

This week, Atlanta plays five games.

After a win against Milwaukee on Sunday, Atlanta visits Chicago on Monday and plays host to Philadelphia on Wednesday and Golden State on Friday. The Hawks wrap up the week with a trip to face the Miami Heat on Saturday.

ATLANTA THRASHERS: The Thrashers (26-24) emerge this week from the Winter Olympic Break tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning (26-24) for second in the Southeast Division. Before the three week hiatus for the Winter Olympics, the Thrashers struggled earlier in the month of February, winning only two of six games.

This week, Atlanta plays host to the Florida Panthers (24-27) on Tuesday, followed by games against the New York Islanders on Thursday and then the Lightning on Saturday in Tampa.

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