With one night left in the high school basketball regular season, no Hall County girls game carries quite the same intrigue as Lakeview Academy’s Region 8-A matchup against Hebron Christian — a battle of the best two teams in the region for the No. 1 seed in next week’s 8-A tournament.
It’s a clash of Lady Lions vs. Lady Lions, as Lakeview Academy aims to topple undefeated Hebron Christian to close the season out. And while the top seed in the region tournament would be a major boost for Lakeview Academy, Lady Lions coach John Carrick said the mental boost from a victory is much more important than the difference between the first and second seeds.
“Obviously, it’s going to be good for their confidence,” he said. “There’s not going to be anything bad about it if we can win the game. It’s all wine and roses, so to speak.”
Regular seasons will come to a close all around Hall County Friday evening, a final chance for teams to fine-tune starting combinations and team chemistry before the games really start counting.
Some teams are still struggling for higher seeding and potential byes in region tournament games, while others are already locked into their postseason fates regardless of outcome.
Every squad is hoping to finish things out on a high note.
“It’s a matter of pride,” Carrick said.
Another factor that will impact teams playing at home on Friday is the desire for senior classes around the county to go out on a high note.
The last day of the regular season will also be the last time many seniors get to play in their home gyms — one final goodbye to the classmates that supported them through their high school careers.
Each school comes into Friday in different situations, with varying stakes on the line. All programs will be looking for a win to build some momentum going into the postseason, and the overarching formula for victory will be the same across the board.
“It doesn’t really matter what the bad guys do,” Carrick said. “We just have to do the things that we’re supposed to.”