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Posted: Monday, January 20th 2014 at 3:00pm

Hall County swimming, wrestling teams battle for Hall supremacy; huge hoop contests abound

By staff
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Swimmers compete in last year's Hall County championships. The 2014 championships will take place this week.
We may have to wait an extra week for the Super Bowl, but there will be plenty to keep area sports fans occupied this week -- especially in Hall County.

There is the usual full slate of basketball games lined up -- including a mouth-watering encounter between the Buford and Johnson boys on Monday -- but beyond that wrestling and swimming will also feature intriguing tournaments this weekend.

The Hall County swim championships will take place on Friday at France Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville.

As the area’s best showed last year, swimming in northeast Georgia now features some of the best in the state, including one who is among the best in the world, as North Hall’s Paul Powers claimed two individual state championships and helped a relay team to a gold medal.

Yet Powers is far from the only standout in the area, as last year’s Hall County championships proved, with 11 different records broken on the night. Chestatee’s boys and Flowery Branch’s girls won the 2012 titles, as the sport continued to grow around the area.

Wrestling is also continuing its growth, and, as the state duals showed just two weeks ago, northeast Georgia’s teams are amongst the best in the state, as Buford, Commerce and Jefferson each won team titles. Banks County also finished second, while North Forsyth and Lumpkin County finished fourth. Chestatee and Flowery Branch also competed in the tournament, with the War Eagles making a deep run in the bracket, and both will be in action again this weekend, competing for a big bucket of pride in the Hall County duals.

The tournament will take place at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville. The War Eagles won their first ever Hall County title last season and will be amongst the favorited again this time around.

Meanwhile, the area’s hoops programs continue to battle for postseason position, though one game on Monday has no playoff bearing whatsoever -- and it might be the most exciting of the bunch.

Lanierland champs Johnson will take on sixth-ranked Buford at 1 p.m. Monday in the MLK Classic at Berkmar High in Gwinnett County. The non-region showdown features two teams that have dominated their region schedules so far and played a tough slate of non-region foes, with plenty of success to show for it. Both teams feature plenty of athleticism, and while the Wolves have the edge on size with UConn commit Rakim Lubin, the Knights have plenty of ability inside and out, with James Hodges leading the charge in the post.

Just a day later Johnson will take on one of the top programs in the state and Class in Athens Christian at home.

Meanwhile, the races for 8-A, 8-AA, 7-AAA and 8-AAAAA will continue unabated. And, in Region 6-AAAAAA, the North Forsyth girls will look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season to tighten their grip on a No. 1 seed for the region tournament.

It’s most definitely a week worth watching.


Monday, Jan. 20
MLK Classic – Johnson boys vs. Buford, 1 p.m. at Berkmar

Tuesday, Jan. 21
East Hall at North Hall
Buford at Banks County
White County at Dawson County
Fannin County at West Hall
Athens Christian at Johnson
Chestatee at Walnut Grove
Apalachee at Flowery Branch
Winder-Barrow at Gainesville
Lakeview Academy at Providence Christian
Commerce at George Walton
Lanier at Lumpkin County
Jefferson (boys) at Riverside
Jackson County at Franklin County
Habersham Central at Mill Creek
North Forsyth at South Forsyth
Towns County at Prince Avenue Christian
Union County at Rabun County
Eastside at Stephens County
Elbert County at East Jackson

Friday, Jan. 24
North Hall at White County
Dawson County at East Hall
Buford at Fannin County
West Hall at Banks County
Johnson at Eastside
Cedar Shoals at Flowery Branch
Gainesville at Heritage
Athens Christian at Lakeview Academy
Hebron Christian at Commerce
Stephens County at Lumpkin County
Social Circle at Jefferson
Oconee County at Jackson County
Habersham Central at Mountain View
Alpharetta at North Forsyth
Providence Christian at Towns County
Riverside Military at Oglethorpe County
Greene County at Rabun County
Washington-Wilkes at Union County
East Jackson at Morgan County

Hall County Championships

Hall County Duals at Riverside Military

Saturday, Jan. 25
East Hall at Gainesville
Johnson at West Hall
Flowery Branch at North Hall
Chestatee at Gilmer
Lumpkin County at Lakeview Academy
Buford at Wesleyan
Apalchee at Habersham Central
Riverside Military at Towns County

Hall County Duals at Riverside Military
Associated Categories: Sports News, High School Sports

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