Seven county basketball teams prepare quickly for state playoffs
by Emily Horos
February 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 2241 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Coming off their Region 5AAAAAA title, Ashton Sutton and her Woodstock teammates will be one of four Cherokee County programs staying at home for their first-round state playoff games.
<BR>Staff photo by Kelly J. Huff
Coming off their Region 5AAAAAA title, Ashton Sutton and her Woodstock teammates will be one of four Cherokee County programs staying at home for their first-round state playoff games.
Staff photo by Kelly J. Huff
State championship hopes are still alive for the seven Cherokee County basketball programs that finished in the top four of their respective regions.

Playing first-round state tournament games today are the girls programs from Woodstock, Sequoyah and Creekview.

Region 5AAAAAA champion Woodstock (17-12) will host Mountain View today at 7 p.m.

Lady Wolverines coach Julie Crowe has seen Mountain View play, and she compares them to Woodstock’s region rival, Wheeler.

“They are athletic,” she said, “but I think we have a shot at them.”

Sequoyah (21-7), the Region 7AAAAA runner-up, will host Hiram.

Lady Chiefs coach Derrick Dewitt likes his team’s chances.

“They have some speed, but we have some fast teams in our region, too,” Dewitt said. “If we take care of the ball and share the ball on offense, I think we have a chance to be successful.”

After watching Hiram play Wednesday, Dewitt likened the Lady Hornets to Kell or Sprayberry, both of which Sequoyah faced in region play.

“They spread the court and try to create problems, but we match up well as far as height,” Dewitt said. “It should be a good night for Sequoyah basketball.”

Meanwhile, Creekview (22-6), the third seed from Region 7AAAAA, will be on the road at Villa Rica at 7:30 p.m.

Lady Grizzlies coach Roger Nolan took some time to see Villa Rica play Wednesday and feels his team will match up well.

“Villa Rica has some little, quick girls, and a taller one that sees the floor well and shoots well, but they basically slow their offense down and press a lot,” Nolan said. “I feel pretty good about our chances. I think we can play man or zone against them and do pretty well.”

The River Ridge girls also qualified for the state playoffs, but won’t play until Saturday. The Lady Knights (21-7) won the Region 7AAAA title Wednesday night, just before the River Ridge boys (20-8) won a region title as well. Athletic director Mike Baker said the school will play a doubleheader Saturday, with the girls hosting Sandy Creek at 6 p.m. and the boys hosting Carrollton at 7:30 p.m.

Sequoyah and Etowah also saw their boys teams qualify for the state playoffs, but neither will be hosting. Sequoyah will travel to Allatoona on Saturday, while Etowah plays at North Gwinnett.

Sequoyah (13-15) and near-perfect Allatoona play at 6 p.m. Chiefs coach Jeremy Adams said there is no denying that a team with just one loss all season will be a tough opponent.

“They are real good,” he said. “They are going to be a great challenge for us. They are very good. We just need to play our best game.”

Etowah (15-13) and North Gwinnett will tip off at 7:30 p.m. Eagles coach Don Hurlburt said it’s a late start, but he’s just happy to be one of the few teams still on the court.

“You know what, we are glad to be playing,” Hurlburt said. “We will play them anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t matter.”

Like many of his coaching counterparts, Hurlburt had a chance to see North Gwinnett play for its region title Wednesday. He said he was able to obtain some film of North Gwinnett, which he’s studied.

“We went through some of that stuff (Thursday) morning with the boys in practice,” he said. “We will practice (today) pretty hard and then do a walkthrough on Saturday. We’ll be ready on Saturday night.”

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