After a momentous week that saw region champions and playoff seeding determined, the area's top prep basketball teams will continue their postseason march this week as state playoffs get underway.
Meanwhile, first pitch is set for northeast Georgia's high school baseball teams this week, and one of the area's oldest tournaments will get underway with the staging of the 26th Northeast Georgia Mountains Soccer Cup.
The tournament features both programs from Chestatee, Fannin County, West Hall and White County, along with the Riverside Military boys and North Hall girls, with contests beginning Monday at Chestatee High and the Allen Creek Soccer Complex in Gainesville.
Tournament champions will be determined on Saturday.
The weekend should also feature plenty of action for area basketball fans, as the second round of the state tournament commences over the weekend. And with 19 area teams taking part in the first round on Tuesday-Wednesday (see below for first round match-ups), there is sure to be plenty of more hoops on tap this weekend.
Region champions Gainesville (8-AAAAA), Johnson (8-AAAA), Buford (7-AAA) and Jefferson boys (8-AA) will look to continue their impressive postseason runs, as will girls region champs Buford (7-AAA) and Rabun County (8-AA). Towns County's also claimed the Region 8-A crown but will have to wait until the weekend to begin play in the Class A public playoffs, opponent to be determined.
Meanwhile, tennis, track and golf are also hitting full swing, as spring sports begin to dominate the high school sports landscape -- despite sub-freezing temperatures each night. The conclusion of wrestling last weekend and swimming the week before -- both with plenty of success for area teams -- signal that the winter season is nearing its finale.
The area's baseball teams will begin this season looking to build on an impressive 2012 campaign. For more on what area fans can expect see our area preview on Access North Georgia.com later today.
State Basketball Playoffs, First Round Match-ups for Area Teams*
Kendrick (No. 4 seed) at Jefferson (No. 1 seed)
Rabun County (No. 3) at Spencer (No. 2)
Cedar Grove (No. 4) at Buford (No. 1)
Decatur (No. 3) at North Hall (No. 2)
East Hall (No. 3) at St. Pius (No. 2)
Dawson County (No. 4) at Woodward Academy (No. 1)
Shaw (No. 4) at Johnson (No. 1)
Stephens County (No. 3) at Fayette County (No. 2)
Hiram (No. 4) at Gainesville (No. 1)
Manchester (No. 4) at Rabun County (No. 1)
Union County (No. 3) at Bowdon (No. 2)
Jefferson (No. 4) at Kendrick (No. 1)
Woodward Academy (No. 4) at Buford (No. 1)
Blessed Trinity (No. 3) at Dawson County (No. 2)
Fannin County (No. 3) at Decatur (No. 2)
White County (No 4) at St. Pius (No. 1)
Columbus (No. 3) at Chestatee (No. 2)
Stephens County (No. 3) at LaGrange (No. 2)
Flowery Branch (No. 4) at Allatoona (No. 1)
*-Note: Class A playoffs scheduled to begin Friday and Saturday