The Cherokee girls (18-1), who are dominating their schedule and currently lead Region 5AAAAAA with a 9-0 mark, will be the team to beat over the next two weeks. The Lady Warriors have region games with Woodstock, Roswell, Walton, Wheeler and Milton.
Not far behind Cherokee is Woodstock. The Lady Wolverines (14-5, 8-1) suffered their lone region loss to Cherokee and will be looking to even the score when they meet again Friday.
Cherokee coach Matt Cates said it’s always nice to win, but each game is of equal importance at this point in the season.
“You still have to win in the region tournament to get to the state tournament, so all your regular season does is prepare you for the region tournament,” he said. “Every game is equally important at this point.”
Etowah (9-10, 5-4) has earned victories when it’s needed to and sits third in the region.
The Lady Eagles have a favorable schedule down the stretch even though they will be on the road for most of it. Etowah plays at Milton, Wheeler and Roswell — all with losing region records — before wrapping up its region schedule at home against Lassiter.
Creekview (16-4, 9-1) sits atop the Region 7AAAAA (A) standings followed by Northview and county rival Sequoyah (8-12, 4-6).
The Lady Grizzlies haven’t lost since early December, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone untested. Creekview edged Osborne 35-33 a week ago and was challenged by Sequoyah earlier this week.
The Lady Chiefs have a few players coming back from injury, which might bolster them down the stretch.
At least that’s what coach Derrick DeWitt is hoping.
“We are coming together,” he said. “We still have a little ways to go, but we plan to be ready when (the region tournament) gets here.”
Class AAAA River Ridge has faced each of its larger county rivals, and the Lady Knights feel they were battled-tested early. Their 13-8 overall record reflects some of the challenges, but with a 3-1 Region 7AAAA (A) mark, they are sitting second behind Pickens.
River Ridge will get another chance against Pickens on Friday before finishing the season out with Gilmer, Cedartown and Cass.