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Friday September 4th, 2015 8:29AM

Area sports squads keep up torrid pace in another big week

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
While much of the sports fans' attention in this part of the state will now swing toward Athens -- and with good reason after the move of heavily-scrutinized former Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham -- there is also plenty to keep area fans occupied this week in northeast Georgia.

Yet perhaps the biggest news of the week -- for high school athletics -- will come from middle Georgia.

The GHSA's Executive Committee will meet in Macon on Tuesday to ratify the two-year reclassification regions for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

The changes that have already been proposed include some significant alterations for northeast Georgia schools and those -- including the shaping of a brutally-tough Region 8-AAAA -- are expected to stand.

If that's not enough there are some big match-ups on tap for the week.

Area wrestling teams will begin their shift away from duals concentration after this past weekend's state tournament and will begin looking toward the state traditional championships in February.

That tournament -- which will return to the Gwinnett Arena, Feb. 13-15 -- will have a long way to go to equal the excitement of the state duals, which saw three area teams claim titles, another finish second and two more take fourth place.

Champions Buford, Commerce and Jefferson will continue their hard work this week, as will all of the area's grapplers.

The same will also be true for northeast Georgia's basketball players, as a number of key region contests take place -- including the Eastside at Chestatee showdown on Friday, which will be broadcast live on WDUN AM 550 and 102.9 FM.

Buford will look to maintain its position atop Region 7-AAA with key showdowns against North Hall (Tuesday) and at East Hall (Friday). Johnson's boys also face intriguing tip-off with a much-improved Lumpkin County on Tuesday in Oakwood in Region 8-AAAA -- Chesatee's girls will also look to maintain the top spot in the region.

Lakeview Academy's girls, meanwhile, face a key battle against Prince Avenue at home in Region 8-A. In Region 8-AAAAA, Gainesville's girls will look to bounce back from a stuttering loss to non-region rival East Hall and stay in the hunt for the No. 1 seed, while Flowery Branch's girls will take on Loganville on Tuesday in a battle of top five teams in 8-AAAAA.

It should be another compelling week -- one good enough to keep even the most ardent Georgia fans from keeping all their attention on Athens.

AREA SCHEDULE, JAN. 13-18
Tuesday, Jan. 14
BASKETBALL:
North Hall at Buford
East Hall at Banks County
Dawson County at West Hall
Lumpkin County at Johnson
Fannin County at White County
Chestatee at Madison County
Flowery Branch at Loganville
Prince Avenue at Lakeview Academy
Athens Academy at Commerce
Oglethorpe County at Jefferson
Hart County at Jackson County
Habersham Central at Collins Hill
North Forsyth at Centennial
Hebron Christian at Towns County
Union County at Riverside Military
Franklin County at East Jackson

Friday, Jan. 17
BASKETBALL:
Buford at East Hall
West Hall at White County
Dawson County at Fannin County
Johnson at Lanier
Eastside at Chestatee
Flowery Branch at Winder-Barrow
Apalachee at Gainesville
Lakeview Academy at Hebron Christian
Lumpkin County at Monroe Area
Washington-Wilkes at Jefferson
Commerce at Athens Christian
Elbert County at Jackson County
North Forsyth at Johns Creek
Towns County at George Walton
Greene County at Riverside Military
Rabun County at Oglethorpe County
Union County at Social Circle
Stephens County at Walnut Grove
East Jackson at North Oconee

Saturday, Jan. 18
BASKETBALL:
Jefferson at Apalachee
Flowery Branch at Jackson County
Buford (girls) vs. Tucker at Brookwood
Franklin, N.C. at Rabun County
Franklin County at Stephens County
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