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Tuesday January 18th, 2022 5:39AM

Boys basketball: Area regions brewing for a fun final month

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

Teams are approaching the midway point of the regular season this weekend. And already some serious jockeying for the top spot in the upcoming region tournaments is underway in several regions housing Northeast Georgia teams.

Battles involving area teams are brewing in Regions 8-6A, 8-4A, 7-3A and 8-A Public with ranked teams quickly rising to the top. Region 8-2A is just getting started in what is expected to be a tight race among the five teams.

Buford, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, and Shiloh, ranked third, both are unbeaten in 8-6A. The Wolves (12-2, 3-0 Region 8-6A) and Generals (13-0, 3-0 Region 8-6A) don’t play until Jan. 18 in Snellville. A revamped Habersham Central squad (9-6, 2-2 Region 8-6A) sits third and took Buford down to the wire in a 2-point loss last week.

In Region 8-4A, No. 4 Jefferson (15-1, 5-0 Region 8-4A) leads unranked Madison County (14-2, 4-1 Region 8-4A) by just a game with the two teams also set to meet for the first time on Jan. 18 in Danielsville. East Hall (13-4, 2-3 Region 8-4A) has dropped two straight, and the Vikings, still trying to cash in on their first Lanierland title in 11 years, take on the Red Raiders on Friday at Valhalla. They are tied for fourth with Flowery Branch (10-7, 2-3 Region 8-4A). The Falcons and Chestatee (7-10, 0-5 Region 8-4A) have a huge showdown next week in Gainesville.

Region 7-3A is much the same with North Hall (14-3, 6-1 Region 7-3A) and White County (10-7, 6-1 Region 7-3A) tied atop the standings at the halfway point. The other six teams are all within two games of each for third place.

Gainesville, in Region 6-7A, has struggled in the early going, but the Red Elephants (5-11, 1-4 Region 6-7A) got their first region win on Tuesday and are just two games out of second place.

Region 8-A Public is stacked with No. 2 Social Circle (15-0, 3-0 Region 8-A Public), leading a surging Commerce (6-8, 3-1 Region 8-A Public) by just one-half game. The two teams will meet for the first time on Jan. 22 in Social Circle. No. 10, and defending state champion Towns County (9-5, 1-2 Region 8-A Public) is starting to find its way. A pair of region games on back-to-back days next week (Greene County and Lincoln County) could have the Indians right back in the hunt for the top spot.

Lakeview Academy in a brutal Region 6-A Private (6-9, 3-3 Region 6-A Private) is right in the middle of the pack for the moment and has steadily improved over the course of the season.

Regions 8-2A and 8-3A just opened their region schedules this week.

(Click here for the area schedule for Friday’s games involving Northeast Georgia teams.)

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