The Lady Bulldogs of Harlem High have had one of the finest seasons in school history. Despite a loss to Hephzibah in the Region 3-AAAA tournament title game, Harlem boasts a 23-3 mark as they enter the state tournament.
Harlem had beaten perennial power Hephzibah in both regular season matchups, but came up short in the region tourney championship game. The Lady Bulldogs must put that loss behind them and prepare for a visit from Mt. Zion of Jonesboro Friday night.
It has been quite a while since Harlem has played host in a state playoff game on the hardwood, so let's pack the gym at Harlem to support the Lady Dogs.
Evans on the road
Evans' boys will be on the road in the first round of the state playoffs. The Knights dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to Cross Creek in the Region 3-AAAA tournament semifinals, then were blown out, 54-29, by Glenn Hills in the consolation game.
The Knights opened the season 16-1, but have lost seven of their last 11 games. However, of the seven losses, five have come to teams playing in the state playoffs. Evans will be facing a solid Jonesboro team, which is 18-10 overall, but an impressive 13-5 in Region 4-AAAA.
Also, Jonesboro has advanced to the Elite 8 each of the past two seasons with records of 24-6 in 2007-08 and 24-8 in 2006-07. While the Knights come in struggling a bit, Jonesboro has been hot winning seven of their last eight contests.
Greenbrier at Valdosta
Greenbrier (10-18, 5-9) at Valdosta (26-1, 15-1)
The Wolfpack earned a spot in the Class AAAAA state tourney by virtue of their thrilling win over Newton in the Region 2-AAAAA tournament. Senior guard Bryan Andrews heaved up a 30-footer at the buzzer as the 'Pack finally won a close game after losing many heartbreakers this season.
Greenbrier will have its hands full in the state playoffs as they open on the road at Valdosta. The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the state and have a phenomenal 26-1 record.
Valdosta is led by talented sophomore, Jay Rome. The post player is averaging 21 points per game. However, Valdosta is far from a one-man show. They have had five different players lead them in scoring in their past six games, and none of them were named Jay Rome.
Also, Valdosta avenged its only loss of the season versus Tift County with a 64-33 win over the Blue Devils two weeks ago.
The college baseball season opened this past weekend and players from Columbia County had solid games.
(Greenbrier), Junior, Georgia
UGA swept three games from Youngstown State (12-8, 14-0, 15-2) and Poythress got off to a great start. The cleanup hitter batted .462 with a team-best two homers and seven RBI.
Jeff Rowland (Greenbrier), Sophomore, Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech also achieved a three-game sweep this weekend as the Jackets took three from Lipscomb (9-0, 13-3, 5-3). Center fielder Jeff Rowland helped key the Jackets offense by going 5-for-12 at the plate, posting a .417 batting average, including a double, triple, homer, and three RBI. Rowland also added a pair of stolen bases.
Brandon Cumpton (Greenbrier), Sophomore, Georgia Tech
Cumpton earned a no-decision after working six innings in one of Georgia Tech's three wins in its sweep of Lipscomb. He allowed five hits, two runs, struck out six and walked two batters in his first start of the season.
Nolan Belcher (Greenbrier), Freshman, South Carolina
Belcher started the second game of the Gamecocks' three-game set with Duquesne. The lefty yielded just one hit and allowed no runs in his first four innings, but was pulled after giving up a single to the first batter he faced in the fifth. That player came around to score, so Belcher's line looks like this: four innings pitched, two hits, 1 run allowed, four strikeouts and four walks.
The four walks were certainly not very Belcher-like, but I can personally attest that it was downright frigid Sunday in Columbia. Belcher left the game with a 4-0 lead, but had to settle for a no-decision in South Carolina's 8-4 win.
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