With the region tournaments ending this week, and teams preparing for the state playoffs, more than half of the county’s teams have already wrapped up their seasons. In fact, only three of the 12 teams have advanced to the state playoffs by finishing in the top four of their respective regions.
On the boys side, only River Ridge and Woodstock are still playing.
The Knights (9-5) aren’t just alive — they are in the hunt for a state title after defeating Dalton 3-2 to win the Region 7AAAAA championship. While their record is far from perfect, coach Lynn Freeman said she wanted to challenge her players during the regular season so they would be prepared for a playoff run.
As the No. 1 seed, River Ridge had a bye into the region quarterfinals, where it defeated Southeast Whitfield 3-0 and clinched a state playoff berth. Winning their matches were Jeremy Mims, Ben VanHout and Jake Hicks.
From there, the Knights went on to defeat Dalton.
Mims won his match 6-3, 7-5, and VanHout won 6-0, 6-2, but Hicks fell 3-6, 4-6 at No. 3 singles. River Ridge was saved by a comeback performance by Gabe Mims and Clay McIntyre, who dropped the first set 2-6, only to rally 6-2, 6-4 for the victory.
Freeman now hopes to bring the first state title back to River Ridge.
“It sure would be nice,” she said. “I think that, if we are going to do it, this is the year.”
In Region 5AAAAAA, Cherokee (2-10) lost to Walton 3-0 in the opening round of the region tournament to end its season, while Etowah (11-8) also made an early exit when it lost to Lassiter 3-0.
Woodstock (10-7-1) is still playing. The Wolverines defeated Roswell 3-2 in the opening round of the tournament before falling to Milton 3-2 on Tuesday. Woodstock was playing Thursday night to determine if it would be the third or fourth seed going into the state playoffs.
Both Region 7AAAAA teams were quickly eliminated in their tournament. Creekview (5-11) swept Sequoyah (2-8) 3-0 in the opening round before losing to Northview 3-0 in the quarterfinals.
In girls tennis, River Ridge made an early exit from the Region 7AAAA tournament.
Sequoyah placed third in Region 7AAAAA and will play at Dunwoody on Monday in the opening round of the state playoffs. Creekview advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Riverwood 3-2 in the opening round, but it fell to Pope to end its season.
Much like the boys teams, the girls squads of Region 5AAAAAA couldn’t compete against the schools from Cobb and Fulton counties.
After defeating Milton 3-2 in the opening round, Etowah (7-6) was swept by Walton in the quarterfinals. Cherokee (4-9) met Roswell in the first round and lost 3-0.
Woodstock (13-3-1) appeared to have the most playoff potential after a strong regular season, but the Lady Wolverines ran into Roswell in the second round and fell 3-1.