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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 7:59PM

Lanierland showdowns, East-West Classic to feature live over the weekend

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
For four area boys teams and four area girls teams the 2013 Lanierland basketball championship still hangs tantalizingly in the balance, and all four will take the next step toward notching a title in Thursday's and Friday's semifinals.

The boys semifinals will get underway Thursday at Flowery Branch, while the girls semifinals will take place on Friday at Lakeview. The winners will battle for the trophy on Saturday at Lakeview -- and all of the contests will feature live on the airwaves of Jacobs Media.

Yet that's not the only local milestone to play out on the air this week, as WDUN will also broadcast the first ever FCA East-West All-Star Classic football game at 7 p.m. Friday.

The contest will pit some of the best high school players in northeast Georgia against each other at Gainesville's Bobby Gruhn Field. For a complete look at rosters and game details, click here.

Speaking of Gainesville, the Red Elephants' basketball team showed flashes of explosiveness and plenty of athleticism in their first round, 89-80 defeat of Lakeview Academy in the first round of the Lanierland tournament, yet Gainesville will face possibly its toughest task a young season when they take on old rival Johnson in the Thursday's 7 p.m. semifinal at Flowery Branch.

The Knights entered the 2013-14 campaign with huge expectations and looked dominant in their first round defeat of Flowery Branch, 83-62. Led by a starting five that can each dominate on a given night, Johnson is hoping to notch its second ever Lanierland championship.

Chestatee's boys would love to get their hands on their first ever Lanierland trophy, and the War Eagles moved within two wins of doing just that on Saturday, pulling off a 77-71 comeback win over North Hall. Yet Chestatee will face one of the most successful teams in the tournament's history when it faces East Hall at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Flowery Branch.

The Vikings have not claimed the tournament since 2010 and looked serious about ending that barren run in Saturday's defeat of West Hall, dominating on defense and hitting seven 3-pointers to pull away for a comfortable 72-44 victory. East Hall has already defeated Chestatee once this season, 74-60 on Dec. 7.

Both boys semifinals will be broadcast live on WDUN AM 550.

The tournament moves to Lakeview for Friday's girls semifinals, and there are some interesting games on the slate.

North Hall's girls cruised through the first round, hammering West Hall 72-46 behind tough defense and timely shooting. The Lady Trojans have dominated the early going this season, going 5-0 so far.

One of those victories came courtesy a 73-41 rout of Lakeview, and the Lady Lions know they will have to build on their first round 57-51 upset of Flowery Branch if they are to get some payback when the two teams battle at 7 p.m. Friday at Lakeview.

The defending 2013 Lanierland girls champs moved within two wins of a repeat on Saturday, as Chestatee cruised past Johnson 53-30. The Lady War Eagles are already 8-1 on the season, yet they will face a rejuvenated Gainesville at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Lakeview.

The Lady Red Elephants moved within three wins of matching last year's victory total already with a 59-43 defeat of East Hall in the opening round, and a young squad will be eager to continue their ascent.

Both girls semifinals will play out live on 1240 AM ESPN Radio.

The girls winners will play again in the Lanierland championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lakeview, while the boys finalists will face off at 8:30 p.m. Both title games will be broadcast live on WDUN AM 550.


FOOTBALL
2013 FCA East-West All-Star Classic, 7 p.m., Bobby Gruhn Field -- Radio: 550 AM


2013 LANIERLAND SCHEDULE:
Thursday at Flowery Branch
Girls consolations
4 p.m. -- Johnson vs. East Hall
5:30 p.m. -- West Hall vs. Flowery Branch
Boys semifinals
7 p.m. -- Gainesville vs. Johnson -- Radio: 550 AM
8:30 p.m. -- East Hall vs. Chestatee -- Radio: 550 AM

Friday at Lakeview
Boys consolations
4 p.m. -- North Hall vs. West Hall
5:30 p.m. -- Flowery Branch vs. Lakeview
Girls semifinals
7 p.m. -- North Hall vs. Lakeview -- Radio: 1240 AM
8:30 p.m. -- Gainesville vs. Chestatee -- Radio: 1240 AM


OPENING ROUND LANIERLAND RESULTS:
Boys
Chestatee 77, North Hall 71
East Hall 72, West Hall 44
Gainesville 89, Lakeview 80
Johnson 83, Flowery Branch 62

Girls
Chestatee 53, Johnson 30
Gainesville 59, East Hall 43
Lakeview 57, Flowery Branch 51
North Hall 72, West Hall 46
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