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Tuesday August 16th, 2022 11:44PM

Basketball: Kelly King Classic, Battle of the States also get under way Tuesday

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

DAHLONEGA — The annual Lanierland Tournament isn’t the only showcase basketball event in Northeast Georgia this week.

Two other major holiday tournaments will be staged beginning on Tuesday. And both will feature plenty of talent as well.

The Kelly King Classic will be held at Lumpkin County High School and will feature nearly a half-dozen state ranked teams. The annual Battle of States will be held at Towns County this year and will feature teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Both tournaments will run from Tuesday’s fist round action through Thursday’s finals.

“We are excited about this year’s Kelly King Classic,” Lumpkin County boys coach Michael Parker said. “Dahlonega is one of the best Christmas towns in America, and (Lumpkin County High School) has incredible facilities."

On the girls side, host and Class 3A No. 1-ranked Lumpkin County, as well as Class 4A No. 4-ranked Jefferson and Class 2A No. 3 Fannin County, will make for a deep bracket. It also will feature three Class 7A teams -- North Gwinnett, Mill Creek, and Peachtree Ridge -- as well as Class 6A Johns Creek and perennial playoff team Banks County.

Lady Indians girls coach David Dowse felt they have the best tournamnt field anywhere.

"We are excited to host what we believe will be one of the most competitive holiday tournaments in the state," Dowse said. "The girls bracket is loaded with outstanding teams and exceptional individual talent throughout metro Atlanta and all of North Georgia."

On the boys side, host Lumpkin County will have its hands full with Class 7A programs Duluth and Mill Creek, Class 6A teams Johns Creek and River Ridge, formerly-ranked Monroe Area, and Class 2A powers Banks County and Fannin County.

“Overall, the talent level of our boys teams in this tournament will make it a can’t-miss event,” Parker said. “Class 7A teams Mill Creek and Duluth are both talented. Johns Creek brings a solid team. River Ridge is a title contender in 6A and features two highly recruited post players at 6-foot-11 (Braden Pierce) and 6-9 (Jared Russo), along with good guard play.

“Monroe Area has been ranked in the top 10 (in Class 3A) [most of the season]. Banks County has been a perennial contender the last five or six years. And then Fannin may have their best team of the past decade coming down from Blue Ridge.

“We are looking forward to showcasing the Gold City and our school.”

In the Battle of the States, area teams Rabun County and East Forsyth, along with host Towns County, will be featured. Both Rabun County teams come in ranked in Georgia in Class 2A -- the girls are fourth and the boys ninth.

"Battle of the States (BOTS) always fields competitive teams that we normally don't see in our regular season play," longtim Rabun County girls coach DeeDee Dillard said. "Having to compete at a high level for three consecutive days hopefully will prepare us for our region games that begin in January."

Polk County (tenn.), Strom Thurmond (S.C.), Murphy (N.C.), Coosa (Ga.), and Pendleton (S.C.) will have teams in the BOTS  field in 2021.


TUESDAY'S TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE, Dec. 28
Kelly King Classic (Lumpkin County High School)

Johns Creek girls vs. Jefferson, 10 a.m.
Monroe Area boys vs. Duluth, 11:30 a.m.
North Gwinnett girls vs. Fannin County, 1 p.m.
Banks County boys vs. River Ridge, 2:30 p.m.
Banks County girls vs. Mill Creek, 4 p.m..
Johns Creek boys vs. Mill Creek, 5:30 p.m.
Peachtree Ridge girls vs. Lumpkin County, 7 p.m.
Lumpkin County boys vs. Fannin County, 8:30 p.m.

Battle of the States (Towns County High School)

Polk County (TN) girls vs. East Forsyth, 10 a.m.
Polk County (TN) boys vs. East Forsyth, 11:30 a.m.
Strom Thurmond (SC) girls vs. Rabun County, 1 p.m.
Strom Thurmond (SC) boys vs. Rabun County, 2:30 p.m.
Murphy (NC) girls vs. Coosa (GA), 4 p.m..
Murphy (NC) boys vs. Coosa (GA), 5:30 p.m.
Pendleton (SC) girls vs. Towns County, 7 p.m.
Pendleton (SC) boys vs. Towns County, 8:30 p.m..

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