As we head into Masters Week, or spring break as local students and their families know it, region play was completed for some spring sports in the Georgia High School Association.
Region 2A-AAAAA baseball play ended Friday, but those games were more about pride and keeping – or regaining – momentum as the subregion standings already had solidified after Tuesday night play.
And it’s not just subregion standings, it’s essentially the county standings, because all the teams, with the exception of Harlem, battle to claim the title of Columbia County’s best.
The Region 2-AAAAA baseball tournament begins April 19 and, like 2012, Greenbrier, which is the No. 3 team in Class AAAAA, is in first place and will play host as long as the Wolfpack remain in the competition.
Evans needed a win Tuesday and then some help to wrestle the top spot away from the Wolfpack, but the Knights were turned away 9-1 by the Wolfpack. Even with the loss, they still clinched second place. Like Greenbrier, they will play host in the opening round of the region tournament.
The Lakeside Panthers had a shot at taking second, but lost 6-0 to Grovetown Tuesday and finished third, meaning they will be on the road to start the tournament, as will the fourth-place Warriors.
I was high on the county teams for both boys and girls basketball, thinking that multiple teams would advance to the state playoffs, but was wrong. Not knowing the talent on the other side is dangerous, but once again I’ve seen the talent on all the teams in the county and how they’ve fought tooth-and-nail with each other all year. Hopefully I’m not a jinx, but I’ll go out on a limb and predict two or more teams will advance to the state playoffs.
The postseason starts April 16, for Region 2-AAAAA soccer. Like baseball, the top spots for the boys and girls belong to Greenbrier, which owns home-field advantage throughout.
The Lady Wolfpack finished with a 5-1 record in the subregion, its only blemish coming at the hands of Lakeside, which finished second and will play host to a first-round match. The Lady Panthers and Lady Wolfpack split during the year, with the Lady Wolfpack taking first with a higher goal differential.
Evans and Grovetown finished third and fourth, respectively, and will hit the road.
On the boys side, the battle for second came down to the final region match of the year, with the Evans boys emerging victorious by way of a 1-0 win over Lakeside on Tuesday. The Knights will play host to a region game, while Lakeside and Grovetown will travel.
Heading into the latter stages of the season, I would have made the Wolfpack a strong favorite to win the region and advance deep into the state playoffs, but with the recent shakeup I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on them. I think I’ll put the crystal ball away for soccer and let events transpire without further comment.