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Friday June 22nd, 2018 4:52PM

VIDEO: After long road back, Gainesville hungry to end title drought

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor

GAINESVILLE — The Gainesville boys have dominated the local basketball landscape for much of the past few seasons. Tonight in Atlanta, they hope to do the same for the state scene.

The Red Elephants storm into their first state championship game since 2013 and will face Langston Hughes at 8 p.m. at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, where a win would net the program's first state championship since 1984.

As strong as Gainesville's season and recent past has been, however, it has not come easy. And the Red Elephants believe they are ready to take the next step and erase memories of last year's gut-wrenching, overtime state quarterfinal loss to the same Hughes program.

That said, Gainesville knows it must continue the impressive play that has seen it rip off 21 straight victories and four dominant playoff wins -- and even raise its game if it wants to hang another state banner.

The Panthers feature Virginia Tech-bound guard Landers Nolley, who played a key role in last year's quarterfinal, as well as the type of athleticism and length to challenge Gainesville's own impressive attributes.

Suffice to say that there could well be an absolute dogfight brewing in Atlanta.

NOTE: To watch a feature with Gainesville click "play" on the video box above.

CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK CONTENT:

- LATER TODAY: Red Elephants past excited to see latest title shot

FEATURE: Gainesville boys know they must stick to defensive effort first in 6A battle

- GAME STORY: Ozment leads Lady Wolves to another crown, as Buford fends off Branch

VIDEO: Despite veteran status, Lady Wolves learned much in 2017-18

- VIDEO: Lady Falcons ready for another shot at history

FEATURE: Juniors Wysocki, Woodroffe taking chances to lead Branch state charge

FEATURE: Buford girls get back to state thanks to pressure, effort in title run-in

- FEATURE: Buford-Branch match-up often matter of inches

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