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Tuesday February 9th, 2016 5:01AM

Week promises big contests on the hardwood and mats and in the pool

By staff
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While there may be a holiday on Monday, don't expect the area's top high school athletes to take a break this week.

Starting Tuesday, the slate of contests will be packed, including key basketball games, a big wrestling showdown and the area's penultimate swim meet.

There have already been some big competitions in the pool this winter and the state swim meet is still some days away, but the area's top swimmers will get a chance to earn local bragging right for at least one more year on Friday when Gainesville's Frances Meadows Center plays host to the Hall County Swim Championships.

The meet is sure to bring plenty of exciting finishes, as some competitors look to hone their skills for the upcoming state championships, while others look to finish on a high note.

Riverside Military Academy won last year's Hall County boys title, while the Flowery Branch girls swam away with their own crown.

Meanwhile, Hall County's wrestling programs will also get one last shot at a duals meet this campaign, as they compete in the Hall County Duals on Friday and Saturday at North Hall. The county's teams will take one last shot at team glory before embarking on the frenetic finish that is the traditional championships that begin shortly thereafter.

And, of course, there is plenty of key hardwood action this week, as the area's basketball teams look to maintain their winning ways or find their form as the postseason continues to come into view.

In Region 8-AAAA, Chestatee's girls will look to bounce back from their first league setback of the campaign when they play host to Walnut Grove on Friday, while Johnson's boy will look to keep rolling on Friday against Eastside in Oakwood.

In Region 7-AAA, North Hall's boys will try to keep up with Buford's lead in Tuesday's showdown at East Hall -- which is continuing to improve -- and Friday's battle with White County. In Region 8-A, Lakeview faces a litmus test when it travels to take on blossoming rivals Athens Christian on Friday.

And in Region 8-AAAAA, Gainesville's boys will look to continue their bounce back in key contests at Winder-Barrow on Tuesday and at home to Heritage on Friday. The Red Elephants will also travel to face longtime rival East Hall on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Flowery Branch will look to stay undefeated in league play with contests at Apalachee (Tuesday) and at Cedar Shoals (Friday).

And that's just a sampling of the action. Scroll down for a complete look at the schedule.


AREA SPORTS SCHEDULE, Jan. 21-26
Tuesday
BASKETBALL
Buford at Banks County
Dawson County at White County
East Jackson at Elbert County
Flowery Branch at Apalachee
Franklin County at Jackson County
Gainesville at Winder-Barrow
George Walton at Commerce
Jefferson at Riverside
Lumpkin County at Lanier
Mill Creek at Habersham Central
North Hall at East Hall
Prince Avenue at Towns County
Providence Christian at Lakeview
Rabun County at Union County
South Forsyth at North Forsyth
Walnut Grove at Chestatee
West Hall at Fannin County


Friday
BASKETBALL
Banks County at West Hall
East Hall at Dawson County
East Jackson at Morgan County
Eastside at Johnson
Fannin County at Buford
Flowery Branch at Cedar Shoals
Heritage at Gainesville
Lakeview at Athens Christian
Lumpkin County at Stephens County
Mountain View at Habersham Central
North Forsyth at Alpharetta
North Hall at White County
Oconee County at Jackson County
Oglethorpe County at Riverside
Rabun County at Greene County
Social Circle at Jefferson
Towns County at Providence Christian
Union County at Washington-Wilkes

SWIMMING
Hall County Championships at Frances Meadows Center in Gainesville

WRESTLING
Hall County Duals at North Hall


Saturday
BASKETBALL
Banks County at Fannin County
Chestatee at Habersham Central
Flowery Branch at Dacula
Gainesville at East Hall
Lakeview at Lumpkin County
Riverside at Jefferson
Towns County at Rabun County
Wesleyan at Buford
West Hall at Johnson

WRESTLING
Hall County Duals at North Hall
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