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Monday May 30th, 2016 3:02AM

Big week ahead as region races start to take shape

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
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Region races are already well underway for area teams in tennis and soccer, while baseball is just starting to take shape after league play heated up last week.

This week, the area's squads will look to continue to shape their destiny -- though weather could play a role at the start of the week in baseball.

Regardless, there are some intriguing showdowns on tap, including Friday's Region 8-AAAAA showdown between Gainesville and Flowery Branch. The Red Elephants have bounced back from their sole loss so far on March 7, while Flowery Branch has won two straight and played Gainesville tough last season.

Meanwhile, North Hall has ridden some of its early growing pains and is off to a strong start in Region 7-AAA, White County has also impressed, while West Hall has shown it will be a contender this season. Buford has also dominated early, and all four teams face key region battles again this week.

Meanwhile, the area's soccer teams already have an idea of how their regions are shaping up -- at least some of them.

Region 8-AAAA already has a group of front-runners in the Chestatee boys and girls and Johnson boys. The War Eagles and Lady War Eagles are both 4-0 in league play, while the Knights are 3-0.

Meanwhile, Region 8-AAAAA has also developed an early hierarchy, with the Gainesville boys and girls both jumping out front, along with the Flowery Branch girls. The Lady Falcons face a huge showdown with Heritage, Conyers, on Tuesday, as both teams are currently undefeated in 8-AAAAA play.

And, in 7-AAA, The East Hall boys have opened 2-0, while the White County girls are 3-0 and the Buford girls 2-0 in region play -- though it is still very early in 7-AAA. The West Hall and Dawson County boys are also undefeated, though only 1-0. The Dawson and White County girls will battle on Friday in an intriguing match, while Johnson and West Hall will also face off in the Battle of Oakwood on Friday. The game is a non-region contest but could tell us a lot about the future of each program this season.

Big games with big implications? Sounds like another week of high school sports in northeast Georgia.

AREA SPORTS SCHEDULE, MARCH 17-22
Monday, March 17
BASEBALL:
Apalachee at Gainesville
Banks County at Buford
Chestatee at Lanier
Fannin County at East Hall
Habersham Central at North Gwinnett
Johnson at Eastside
Lambert at North Forsyth
Monroe Area at Lumpkin County
Murphy, N.C. at Rabun County
North Hall at West Hall
Salem at Flowery Branch
White County at Dawson County

SOCCER:
East Hall at Winder-Barrow


Tuesday, March 18
BASEBALL:
Commerce at Towns County
George Walton at Lakeview Academy
Jefferson at Union County
Rabun County at Riverside Military

SOCCER:
Gainesville at Cedar Shoals
Heritage at Flowery Branch
Johnson at Lanier
Lumpkin County at Chestatee
North Hall at Buford
Providence Christian at Lakeview Academy
West Hall at Fannin County
Winder-Barrow at Jefferson


Wednesday, March 19
BASEBALL:
Banks County at West Hall
Eastside at Johnson
Fannin County at Buford
Flowery Branch at Salem
Gainesville at Apalachee
Lambert at North Forsyth
Lanier at Chestatee
Lumpkin County at Monroe Area
Mountain View at Habersham Central
North Hall at Dawson County
White County at East Hall


Thursday, March 20
BASEBALL:
Commerce at Pinecrest Academy
Lakeview Academy at Prince Avenue Christian
Union County at Murphy, N.C.


Friday, March 21
BASEBALL:
Alpharetta at North Forsyth
Buford at Fannin County
Dawson County at North Hall
East Hall at White County
Eastside at Chestatee
Gainesville at Flowery Branch
Habersham Central at Meadowcreek
Jefferson at Social Circle (doubleheader)
Johnson at Lanier
Pinecrest Academy at Commerce
Prince Avenue Christian at Lakeview Academy
Stephens County at Lumpkin County
Union County at Greene County
West Hall at Banks County

GOLF:
Georgia-South Carolina Cup

SOCCER:
Banks County at North Hall
Dawson County at White County
Fannin County at Buford
Flowery Branch at Dacula
Johnson at West Hall
Lakeview Academy at Jackson County
Lanier at Chestatee
Monroe Area at East Hall
Social Circle at Jefferson
Winder-Barrow at Gainesville


Saturday, March 22
BASEBALL:
Rabun County at Washington-Wilkes (doubleheader)

GOLF:
West Hall Invitational at Chateau Elan
Georgia-South Carolina Cup

TRACK AND FIELD:
Flowery Branch Invitational

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