Weather still affecting schedules

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

Sooner or later, Westover's girls basketball team is going to play Peach County.

The game, which will decide where the final two rounds of next week's Region 1-AAA tournament is held, has been postponed twice -- first from Friday to Saturday and again from Saturday to Monday because of the snow.

Hopefully, the two girls teams will finally meet at 5 p.m. Monday at Westover.

The Westover-Peach County boys game was canceled, because it has no affect on the region standings. Westover has already nailed down the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will open play in the semifinals on Friday.

But the girls game will not only determine who wins the regular season and wins the top-seed in the Region 1-AAA tournament, but will also determine which school hosts the tournament.

"I know everyone in Albany wants us to win and keep this thing in Albany,'' said Westover girls coach Lewis Smith, whose team lost to Peach County, 55-50, on Jan. 9. Westover has won nine in a row since and is tied with Peach County (both teams are 11-2 in Region 1-AAA) for first place.

Westover (21-3) is now ranked No. 6 in the Georgia Sports Writers Association state poll, but Monday's game will be the biggest of the year for the Lady Patriots, who can secure the home court for both the girls and boys team with a win.

The play-in games to the Region 1-AAA tournament, originally scheduled for Monday, will hopefully be played Monday as well, according to Dougherty County athletic director Johnny Seabrooks. Then, the rest of the tournament will be held at Crisp County on Tuesday, followed by the semifinal and final rounds held Friday and Saturday at either Westover or Peach County.

STRAIGHT TO STATE: The area high school wrestlers who were planning to compete in the sectionals in order to qualify for the state wrestling tournament in Atlanta can forget about it.

They're all going to state.

That's right, the Georgia High School Association has canceled the sectionals, which had been postponed because of inclimate weather and added another round to the state wrestling tournament, which begins Thursday at the Gwinnett Arena. Wrestlers will weigh in on Wednesday and compete in the opening round on Thursday. The AAAAA, AAAA, AAA and AA tournaments will have 32 wrestlers in each weight class instead of 16, and the Class A meet will have 16 instead of eight. The tournament will run through Saturday.

"It's good for the kids,'' said Westover wrestling coach Kevin Fretwell, who is taking 12 wrestlers to the AAA state meet. "Out of the 12 we have, I think four to six of them probably would not have gotten out of the sectionals. Going straight to state will be good for them. It will be good for them to see it in person. It will motivate them for next year.''

The extra round of wrestling means the tournament will last longer, and it also means first-round losers will be eliminated with no chance at wrestle-back rounds.

MEET POSTPONED: The GHSA swimming and diving championships, which were postponed until Monday and Tuesday, will now begin Tuesday at the Westminster School in Atlanta. The AAAAA finals are Tuesday, and the rest of the classes begin with prelims Wednesday and finals on Thursday.

"My only concern is that they have been out of the pool for a few days,'' said Lee County swimming coach Kelly Futch, who will send six girls and a boys relay team to the state meet. "But I guess it's that way for everybody. It's just that we were so hyped up and ready to go (last Thursday) and then it got postponed and postponed. But it's like this for everyone, and I think we'll be fine.''

MORE CHANGES: Georgia Southwestern's baseball doubleheader against West Alabama today is canceled. Also, Darton's baseball games Saturday against Wallace and Chipola were canceled, and the Cavaliers will host Chipola at 1 p.m. today.

-- mike.phillips@albanyherald.com