GHSA postseason brackets take shape

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

Everyone in GHSA Region 1-AAA is still holding their breath waiting to find out where the semifinals and finals will be played this week. That will be decided tonight when the Westover girls meet Peach County at 5 p.m. at Westover. The winning team gets to play host to the semifinals and finals for both boys and girls tournaments.

"I hope the delay doesn't hurt us. We were ready to go on Friday,'' Westover girls coach Lewis Smith said when the game was first delayed from Friday to Saturday because of the snow. The game was delayed again until tonight. The long drive from Peach County might just give the Lady Trojans more motivation, because if they win they know their next game will be at their home on Friday night.

The top two teams get byes until Thursday's semifinal round. That's when Monroe's top-seeded boys and Westover's second-seeded boys play their first games. If they both win, that would set up a rubber match for the region title between the two city rivals, which have split two games this season. But Westover's boys might first be facing third-seeded Cairo, which upset the Patriots, 67-64, last week.

"We'll probably see them again in the semifinals,'' Westover boys coach Dallis Smith said after that loss.

The Region 1-AAA tournament actually starts today at Dougherty, where the Lady Trojans will be host to Worth at 5 p.m. The winner advances to the second round at 7 p.m. at Crisp County against Monroe. Dougherty's boys get a first-round bye and play Tuesday against the winner of today's Worth-Crisp game, which is being played at Cairo. If the Trojans win Tuesday, they face Monroe on Thursday.

Bainbridge's boys and girls both won the top seed in their half of the Region 1-AAAA race, but will have to win region titles at Westside, Macon, which will host everything but today's play-in games. Bainbridge's girls open play Tuesday against Upson-Lee, and the Bearcats open Wednesday against Harris. Lee County's girls open play Tuesday against Jones County, and Americus-Sumter's boys open Wednesday against Upson-Lee.

Lee County's boys open today at 3:30 p.m. at Americus-Sumter against Jones County in a play-in game, and Americus-Sumter's girls play at 2 p.m. in a play-in game against Harris.

All roads lead to Thomasville in the Region 1-AA tournament for the semis and finals. Early County's boys meet Fitzgerald and Early's girls face Berrien at home in play-in games today. If they win, both would face Albany's teams on Tuesday at Mitchell County, where the Mitchell girls will be at home against the winner of today's Fitzgerald-Cook game. The second-seeded Mitchell boys don't play until Thursday in the semifinals in Thomasville, and will likely meet Albany for the third time.

You need a GPS for the Region 1-A tournament, which has 28 teams playing at six sites, including Randolph-Clay, which will host the girls quarterfinal, semifinals and finals for both girls and boys.

"It's kind of crazy. We had a team go to the wrong place last year on the first day, so I called everyone personally this year,'' said Magnet Ware boys coach Robert Douberly, who oversees the region tournament.

Randolph-Clay's girls went unbeaten in the region, and coach Jennifer Acree is glad to have the home court Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

"We had to travel three times last year,'' said Acree, whose team will be at home Wednesday against the winner of today's Calhoun County-Lanier game. "It wears a team down. And this could really help our boys team. If they win two games they're at home.''

Randolph-Clay's boys open against Clinch County today at Calhoun County, where Calhoun County plays Ware Magnet and Pelham plays Echols County

Baker County plays Atkinson County, Miller plays Irvin County and Seminole's boys play Bacon County at Bacon County.

Seminole' girls host today's first-round games: Miller County vs. Irwin County, Terrell County vs. Echols County and Seminole vs. Atkinson County. Calhoun's girls open against Lanier, and Pelham plays Ware Magnet at Clinch County today.

Terrell County's boys went unbeaten in the region and will be host to Thursday's boys quarterfinal round and play the Bacon County-Atkinson winner.