As the region schedules continue to heat up, this could be a pivotal week for area teams with several huge matchups in store.
Tuesday’s action features three monster boys showdowns and a pair of girls games that should help shape the top seedings in the region tournaments. Several others could put some teams in precarious spots with less than three weeks left.
On the boys side, in Region 8-6A, three teams trail Class 6A No. 3 Lanier (15-4, 6-0 Region 8-6A) by two games, including Gainesville (11-7, 4-2 Region 8-6A) and North Forsyth (11-8, 4-2 Region 8-6A). The Red Elephants are off on Tuesday.
But the Raiders travel to Sugar Hill to take on the Longhorns, who have won 10 straight. Habersham Central (12-6, 2-4 Region 8-6A) will play host to Shiloh (8-11, 4-2 Region 8-6A) with a chance to inch closer to the top four.
On the girls side in Region 8-6A, North Forsyth (13-6, 5-1 Region 8-6A) lis tied with Gainesville (17-1, 5-1 Region 8-6A), which is idle, and leads Lanier (12-7, 4-2 Region 8-6A) by one game and has a chance to put some distance between them with a win on the road.
In Region 7-3A, the key games will be in Norcross as Wesleyan plays host to White County. Both games are crucial for the standings. The fourth-ranked Lady Warriors (15-4, 5-1 Region 7-3A) lead the second-ranked Lady Wolves (15-3, 5-2 Region 7-3A) by just one-half game but took the first meeting of the season, 59-51, last month in Cleveland. Both now trail third-ranked Lumpkin County (16-3, 6-1 Region 7-3A) in the standings. Lumpkin County plays at rebuilding West Hall (2-17, 0-7 Region 7-3A) on Tuesday
For the boys game, ninth-ranked White County (12-7, 6-0 Region 7-3A) has won five straight and can put second-place Wesleyan (13-6, 5-2 Region 7-3A) 2 1/2-games behind with five games left in the regular season with a win. The Warriors beat the Wolves 47-36 back in December in their first meeting.
On the boys side in Region 8-4A North, Cherokee Bluff (13-7, 6-1 Region 8-4A North) and Chestatee (13-7, 6-1 Region 8-4A North) are tied for first with important matchups on Tuesday.
Chestatee plays host to East Forsyth (9-11, 4-4 Region 8-4A North) while Bluff travels to a quickly-improving East Hall (5-16, 2-5 Region 8-4A North), which has won 4 of its last 6 after a 1-14 start.
For the boys, four of the five teams in Region 8-A D1 are tied for first place, and all four will play each on Tuesday. Commerce travels to Athens Christian while Rabun County heads to nearby Tallulah Falls all sitting at 2-1 in the region standings.
But Commerce and Rabun County both have a chance to take control in the region this week. They play each other Friday and if one of them can sweep this week they’ll have the upper-hand to the top seed in the region tournament.
In a set of games moved because of weather earlier in the season, East Jackson will travel to Union County on Wednesday in a pair of Region 8-2A matchups.
(Check below for the entire day’s schedule of games.)
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Jan. 24
Apalachee at Jackson County*
Cherokee Bluff at East Hall*
Chestatee at East Forsyth*
Commerce at Athens Christian*
Dawson County at Gilmer*
Hiwassee Dam at Towns County
Jefferson at Winder-Barrow*
Lanier Christian at Young Americans Christian*
Lumpkin County at West Hall*
Mountain View at Buford*
North Forsyth at Lanier*
North Hall at Johnson*
Rabun County at Tallulah Falls*
Riverside Prep at Lakeview Academy (boys only)*
Shiloh at Habersham Central*
White County at Wesleyan*
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Jan. 25
East Jackson at Union County*
Riverside Prep at Tapestry Charter
(* -- denotes region contest)