Area Sports...

February 6, 2002

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Hoopsters need win to stay alive
Leopards, Lady Leopards scheduled for play-in game. Two wins stand in the way of both the Leopards and the Lady Leopardsı chance of getting to the state tournament this year.
The Leopards, who will finish the year in fifth place in the subregion, are set for a play-in game Monday night at 8:30 p.m.
If Banksı can beat Dawson County this Friday, the Leopards will play Dawson Monday. If they lose, Banks will travel to GAC for the play-in game.
³Right now, itıs up to us who we want to play,² head coach Mike Ruth said. ³Friday night weıve got to throw it all out on the line.²
Ruth said he would rather take his chances at Dawson County Monday than have to face GAC in Norcross.
But if the Leopards did play Dawson in the play-in game, it would be the second time in four days.
³We might have to show some stuff Friday that Iıd like to save for the play-in game,² Ruth said.
Banks County was edged out 67-61 in overtime the first time the Leopards faced Dawson in early January.
The Leopards must win their game on Monday, whether they play Dawson or GAC, to get into the region tournament.
After that, they will have to win only one more to make it into the state tournament. That win will have to come against the number one team in 8AA North.
The Lady Leopards are also in a similar situation.
They will likely finish fourth in the region and will compete in a play-in game Monday. Their opponent for the game was not decided as of presstime Tuesday night.
But, the Lady Leopards will have to win the play-in game and one more game in the region tournament to qualify for the state playoffs.
See page 2B for results from the Leopards and
Lady Leopardsı games last week.

Nine Wrestlers Headed To State Tournament This Weekend
Nine Tiger wrestlers will pack their bags for the state tournament in Adairsville this Saturday, but head coach Joe Hames isnıt singing his teamıs praises yet.
³I was a little disappointed,² Joe Hames said of his teamıs performance at the Area Four tournament this past Saturday. ³I didnıt think we wrestled as well as we could have.²
Blake Milford, who has a 29-1 record on the season so far, was the teamıs lone first-place finisher, topping Bufordıs James Purgason with a pin and then taking the title with a forfeit win over Jason Fields of Jefferson.
Hames said Monday that he thought Milfordıs chances at a state title this Saturday are solid, but added that itıs ³kind of early to tell.²
³His chances are good,² Hames said. ³It all depends on what kind of week at practice he has.²
Others besides Milford gunning for a medal at the state meet in Adairsville are Kevin Wilson (160), Taylor Massey (215) and Justin David (275), who all notched second-place showings, along with Jonathan Beasley (125) and Royale Goodwin (130) who finished third in their eight classes and Jesse Smith (112), Eric Redmon (140) and Greg Elrod (145), who all placed fourth.
³Again itıs too early to tell, but weıre hoping for the other guys to place,² Hames said. ³It all depends on how they wrestle.²
Hereıs a run down of the results of those taking medals Saturday:
€Smith (112) placed fourth, losing to Jeffersonıs Corey Mack, pinning Social Circleıs Mac Howard and losing to Bufordıs Jake Pendergrass.
€Beasley (125) finished third, losing to Jeffersonıs Nate Wilson, and topping Andrew Hubbard of Social Circle.
€Goodwin (130) lost to Wesleyanıs John Ball, pinned Bufordıs Zach Bush, and topped Social Circleıs Elijah Wyatt in overtime.
€Milford (135) took first with a pin over Purgason and a forfeit win over Fields who sustained an injured shoulder earlier in the tournament.
€Redmon (140) placed fourth by topping Bufordıs Jeff Bennett and losing to Jeffersonıs
€Elrod (145) finished fourth, losing to Eli Carino of Social Circle, topping Bufordıs Aaron Calvert and losing to Wesleyanıs Peter Lai.
€Wilson (160) took second, topping Chris Swearengen of Social Circle and falling to Jeffersonıs Daniel Love.
€Massey finished second, beating Wesleyanıs Bo Hoyt and losing to Chris Seibert of Jefferson.
€David placed second, pinning Social Circleıs Josh Gauntt and losing to Hunter Glenn of Jefferson.

Dragon, Panther teams look for momentum heading into regions
Area basketball teams will begin the home stretch of their 2001-02 seasons next week, as region tournaments get under way. The top four teams from each regionıs tournament will advance to the state tournaments, which begin Feb. 22.
In Region 8-AAA, all the region tournament seeds have been decided, with one exception. After leading the pack for most of the season, Jackson Countyıs girls dropped a decision to Monroe Area Friday, setting up a tie between those two for the top spot in the south subregion. Tie-breaker rules still left the teams knotted, and as a result, there will be a coin toss during Sundayıs region meeting to determine the top two girlsı spots from the south subregion.
Jackson Countyıs boys had an edge in the tie-breaker rules over Winder-Barrow, and thus claimed the number-one seed for the south subregion boys.
The tournament will begin with play-in games Monday between the fourth and fifth seeds from each subregion. Mondayıs winners will advance to the eight-team region bracket.
The loser of Sundayıs coin toss will meet Stephens County at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Winder-Barrow, while the winner plays Wednesday at 7 p.m., against the winner of Mondayıs Elbert County-Madison County contest.
Semifinals and finals are set for Thursday and Friday at Elbert County. Teams who win Tuesday and Wednesday will clinch a top-four region finish, and with it a state tournament berth.
Several seeds are still undetermined in Region 8-A, including the top boysı spot.
Buford and Wesleyan will meet in a regular-season game Friday, and the Buford wolfpack will tie their Wesleyan canine counterparts with a win. If Wesleyan wins Friday, they will take the top seed.
Jefferson and Providence will likely wind up knotted at third, provided neither is upset in final regular-season games Friday and Saturday. Coin tosses will be held Sunday to break any ties.
For the girls, Wesleyan remains undefeated at number one, followed by Jefferson and Providence in second and third. Commerce and Buford are tied through Tuesdayıs action at fourth.
Jefferson will face Tallulah Falls Tuesday in Providence at 8:30 p.m. in round one of the region tournament, and can clinch a playoff spot with a win. Commerce will play Buford at 5:30 p.m.
All 8-A tournament games will be held at Providence. Semifinals and Finals are set for Thursday and Friday.

Eight to State
Raider wrestlers enjoy record performance at area tournament. Due to inconsistent record keeping at Madison County, itıs hard to know at times whether an achievement is or isnıt a school best.
But some at the school feel fairly confident that the performance turned in by the Raider wrestling squad this past Saturday is a school first.
Eight Madison County wrestlers qualified for state competition in Winder Saturday — an apparent school record for number of qualifiers, while the Madison County squad took fourth place overall in the area tournament.
The Class AAA tournament will be held this weekend at Westminster High School, beginning Friday evening and continuing Saturday morning.
Those making the trip will include: Walker Overstreet, who took fourth in the 103 lb. class in the area tournament; David Giles, who finished third in the 112 lb. class.; Steve Austin, second in the 130 lb. division; J.J. Brueshaber, who finished second in the 140 lb. division;
J.J. Brueshaber, who placed second in the 140 lb. class; Kevin Cash, who finished third in the 160 lb. division; Mark Arnold, who took second in the 189 lb. class; Josh Moyer, who finished second in the 215 division; and Matt Kittle, who took third in the heavyweight class.
John Poole, 135 lbs., and Conrad Carey, 171 lbs, placed fifth in their respective weight classes and will travel to the tournament as alternates.
First-year Raider head coach Steve Mason had good things to say about all of his qualifiers.
He pointed out that Brueshaber placing second in the area as a freshman is a ³big accomplishment.² Mason said Kittle ³showed heart and determination,² battling back from an early loss in the tournament to take third in his weight class. The coach said Arnold, Moyer and Austin ³all did an excellent job.²
³I expect them to do well in state,² he added.
Mason said Cash came back from a knee injury and turned in his ³best wrestling² performance of the season. The coach said Giles and Overstreet ³continue to get better every time they wrestle.² Mason said Poole has been a solid wrestler this season. He added that Careyıs performance was remarkable considering he only has experience in four varsity matches.
³I was pretty pleased,² said Mason of the teamıs performance in Winder Saturday. ³I still feel we could have qualified two or three more guys. We were only a couple of points away from finishing third (as a team), which would have been a big accomplishment.²
Mason said one obstacle for his team has been inexperience.
³One thing that hurt our guys is that a lot of the guys we matched up with had been there (the area tournament) before,² said Mason.
The coach voiced optimism about his teamıs chances Saturday, but he warned there wonıt be any creampuffs. Each match will be very difficult.
³Weıve seen about as high a level of competition (in the area) as we will see there,² said Mason. ³It just each match will be that way. Thatıs what worries me. Are we ready to wrestle four matches in a row.²

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