Oft-delayed region basketball tournaments begin today
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
February 15, 2014 04:01 AM | 1192 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cherokee’s Christian Vines (12) battles Etowah’s Josh Fulenwider for the ball in the teams’ meeting last month. After nearly a week’s worth of lost games because of this week’s winter storm, region tournaments will begin today, with Cherokee and Etowah playing each other in Region 5AAAAAA.
<BR>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Cherokee’s Christian Vines (12) battles Etowah’s Josh Fulenwider for the ball in the teams’ meeting last month. After nearly a week’s worth of lost games because of this week’s winter storm, region tournaments will begin today, with Cherokee and Etowah playing each other in Region 5AAAAAA.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
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Region basketball tournaments will finally get underway today after being postponed for much of the week, while the state’s top wrestlers will have another week to hone their skills before hitting the mats in pursuit of state titles.

Most coaches agree that no team has an advantage following the delay. If anything, the time off might break the momentum that some teams had been building up.

River Ridge boys basketball coach Matt Bohon said that might be the case with his team, which has won five straight games leading into the Region 7AAAA tournament at Cass.

The Knights are the No. 1 seed and won’t play until Monday at 8:30 p.m., when they face the winner of today’s game between Cedartown and Heritage-Catoosa.

“We were actually playing really good basketball, so I didn’t want to quit playing at the time,” Bohon said. “It’s neither an advantage nor disadvantage for anyone at this point.”

Because they won’t play until Monday, River Ridge will be able to get in two days of practice, after the county’s approval of workouts Sunday after 2 p.m.

Bohon hopes that makes a difference.

“We get a couple of days of practice, and I don’t mind having that before we start back up,” he said. “I think that will help us.”

Region 7AAAA will hold its quarterfinals Monday, with the semifinals Tuesday and finals Wednesday.

Like the boys, the River Ridge girls are also the No. 1 seed in their tournament. They will play Monday at 7 p.m. against the winner of today’s game between Dalton and Cedartown.

The Region 7AAAAA tournament, which began with preliminary-round games last Saturday, will pick up in earnest today at Sequoyah before continuing Monday and Tuesday.

In the boys bracket, Creekview will face Pope at 5:30 p.m., with Sequoyah-Kell at 8:30 p.m. The winner of those games advance to play Monday and will be guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, while the losers will see their seasons end.

On Monday, the boys semifinals will be played at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The region championship game will be played Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., with the third-place game at 4:30 p.m.

Creekview boys coach Casey Gramling said his team has been able to get in a few practices, but he has no idea if it is more or less than this opponents.

With the region’s schools spread through several counties — all of which have different policies regarding practicing when schools are closed — Gramling figures some teams have been able to practice more than others.

The Grizzlies had a short practice Monday, before snow and ice covered the county, and they were able to practice Friday.

“We got to prepare a little bit, but you never know what the other teams are getting to do,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to see who is prepared and who isn’t.”

In the girls bracket of the Region 7AAAAA tournament, Creekview will face Pope today at 4 p.m., while Sequoyah will face Sprayberry at 7 p.m. today. Semifinals games will be at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, the third-place game is slated for 3 p.m. Tuesday with the region championship tips off at 6 p.m.

Etowah was originally scheduled to host the Region 5AAAAAA tournament alone, but it will now share the duties with nearby Woodstock.

In the first round of the tournament today, the boys will play at Etowah and the girls at Woodstock. Monday’s semifinals and Tuesday’s finals will be held at Etowah.

In the first round of the boys tournament, Woodstock will face Wheeler at 3 p.m., while Cherokee and Etowah will play one another at 7:30 p.m.

In the first round for the girls, Woodstock and Cherokee will play at 4:30 p.m., with Etowah facing Lassiter at 6 p.m.

On Monday, the girls semifinals will take place at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., with the boys at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday’s schedule begins at 4 p.m. with the girls third-place game, followed by the boys at 5:30 p.m. Championship games begin with the girls at 7 p.m. and boys at 8:30 p.m.

Once the region tournaments finally end Tuesday, teams will have a few days of rest before a fast-paced state playoff schedule begins. First-round games will be next Friday (girls) and Saturday (boys), followed by second-round games Feb. 24-25, quarterfinal games Feb. 26-27 and semifinals March 1.

Wrestling schedules have also been altered because of the weather.

The traditional state championships were originally set for the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, with wrestlers from all classifications competing at one site. But this week’s weather forced the Georgia High School Association to postpone the state tournament and also find a new venue, as the Gwinnett Center will be occupied by the Gwinnett Gladiators hockey team.

Now, the state championships will be split by classifications across six locations. Wrestlers from Etowah and Woodstock will compete for Class AAAAAA titles next Friday and Saturday at Chattahoochee. Creekview’s finalists will compete in the Class AAAAA tournament at Loganville.
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