With Cobb and Cherokee schools out for spring break next week, and Fulton County schools out the following week, many regions held the first round of their tournaments this week. After the two-week break, the teams that advanced to the second round will play during the second week of April.
On the boys side, Etowah cruised through its Region 5AAAAAA opener against Wheeler, 3-0, and will play its next region tournament match April 15 against Walton.
Etowah coach Don Hurlburt said the match against Wheeler was challenging because of Tuesday’s cold temperatures and excessive wind, but he’s now happy to get some time off after reaching one of the Eagles’ goals for the season — making the state playoffs.
“It’s been good. The boys are playing well,” he said. “Now, we are just going to see if we can get into the championship (match), but it will be a tall order because Walton is very good.”
Etowah lost 4-1 to the Raiders in the teams’ lone regular-season meeting last Thursday.
Hurlburt, who spent the better part of the fall and winter coaching Etowah’s boys basketball team, and took just one day off before starting with the tennis team, said it will be nice to rest next week.
“I’ll tell you, I’m getting a little tired,” he said. “I’m looking forward to next week. If you want to find me next week, don’t look on a tennis court or in a gym. I won’t be around either one of those”
Region 5AAAAAA will match up with the Gwinnett-based Region 8AAAAAA in the state playoffs, and Hurlburt likes his chances in that situation, regardless of what the Eagles’ seed ultimately is.
“I haven’t looked into them too much, but I think we have a real good shot of at least getting to the second round of the state playoffs, but we’ll see,” Hurlburt said.”
Cherokee was swept from the Region 5AAAAAA tournament by Lassiter, and Woodstock was eliminated by Roswell. While the Warriors and Wolverines are still able to play non-region matches, they have no chance of reaching the state playoffs.
In Region 7AAAAA, Creekview was a 3-1 winner over Kell to move on to the second round of that tournament. Sequoyah had a bye through the first round of the region tournament and will not play its first match until April 15.
As for the girls, Etowah, Woodstock and Creekview easily qualified for the second rounds of their respective region tournaments.
Etowah defeated Milton, 3-0, and Woodstock swept Lassiter 3-0, earning the Towne Lake neighbors berths into the state playoffs.
Cherokee was swept by Walton 3-0 to end its season.
The Creekview girls defeated Osborne, 3-0, to advance to the second round of the Region 7AAAAA tournament. In the second round, the Lady Grizzlies will face Sequoyah, which benefitted from a first-round bye.
Unlike the eight-team Region 5AAAAAA, in which teams must only reach the second round to qualify for the state tournament, those in the 11-team Region 7AAAAA must advance past second round.
Sequoyah coach Karin Eubanks feels good about her team.
“They are doing really well,” she said of the 7-4 Lady Chiefs. “We ended the season a little earlier than usually because of spring breaks, but we are holding the tournament about the same time. We are looking forward to it.”
River Ridge is still completing its regular season. The Region 7AAAA tournament is scheduled for the second week of April.