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Weekly Whatup, 2.10
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            It’s hard to believe the prep basketball season comes to a close this week. For some, it’s that last chance to make a strong push toward playoff play. For others it’s a chance to work out the kinks before the start of the region tournament. And yet for some it’s the harsh realization that their high school basketball careers are coming to a close.

            The region tournaments start next week with the top four finishers in the tourney receiving bids to the state playoffs. So today let’s take a look, region by region, at the final week of the regular season.


Region 3-A

            To understand Region 3-A is to understand that the region is split into two divisions, A and B. Unfortunately, only the top four teams in each region make the year-end tournament. Twelve teams — six boys and six girls — won’t have any shot at postseason play and some of them have known that for awhile now.

            We’ll start with Division A. The top three teams are in, Savannah Christian, Calvary Day and Savannah Country Day — likely in that order. The final spot comes down to Claxton or Portal, which meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. at PHS. The winner will move on, the loser says goodbye to the postseason. In a sense, the playoffs start now.

            In Division B, Metter must beat Montgomery County tonight to clinch the No. 1 seed. Amazing that the Tigers are 22-1 and still don’t have their own division of their own league sealed up yet. That’s how it goes sometimes, though.

            Whether Metter wins or falls tonight, the Tigers get the luxury of hosting the entire Region 3-A tournament at their place starting next week.

            On the girls’ side, Claxton and Portal have been eliminated for tourney consideration. Metter, Jenkins County and Emanuel County Institute are all in and have a good shot at a title, but they’ll all have to get by the Savannah schools.


Region 3-AA

            Region 3-AA is also split into two divisions, but unlike 3-A, all 11 teams make the region tournament which begins this weekend.

            The region will hold a play-in game this Saturday at the higher seed’s home court before moving to Southeast Bulloch next week.

            Laney of Augusta and Dublin are undoubtedly the teams to beat, but in reality the title is up for grabs. Even a couple of lower-seeded teams from Division A, our own SEB and Screven County, could make a run if they play to their capabilities.

            On the girls’ side, Screven County has the best chance of taking home a title out of anyone local. Dodge County and Laney will be the No. 1 seeds going in.


Region 2-AAAA

            The Region 2-AAAA regular season will come down to the final day. Statesboro faces Ware County Friday night at 7 p.m. If the Blue Devils knock off the Gators, SHS will earn the league’s No. 1 seed, earn an automatic berth to the state tournament and earn the right to host the 2-AAAA tourney next week. That’s a lot to have on the line.

            Before the rest of the league arrives at SHS, they’ll play on Tuesday, Feb. 17 for one of the final four spots. The semis will be played Thursday, Feb. 19th with the title game that Saturday night. Brunswick and Glynn Academy will be breathing down Stateboro’s neck until the final whistle.

            For the girls, the Lady Blue Devils of Statesboro are right in the middle of the region standings. No matter how they finish, they’ll need a win next Tuesday to be awarded a trip to Brunswick for the 2-AAAA final four at either BHS or Glynn Academy.


GISA Region 2-AA

            The GISA regular season has already ended and the Region 2-AA tournament starts this week at Bulloch Academy. That’s a big lift for both Gators teams, who, despite having fantastic seasons, are slight underdogs going into this week.

            The boys’ team is gunning for Memorial Day while the Lady Gators are shooting for Robert Toombs of Lyons. Both teams will be in action on Thursday night.

            The tournament starts today at BA and concludes with the title game on Saturday night.


Back to the national scene

            Since there wasn’t much going on last week, I was forced to pick the Pro Bowl. Did I watch? No. Did I get the pick right? Of course.

            So after a 1-0 week, the record looks nice and tasty at 115-91. This week, there actually is a big game to breakdown. The anticipation grows every hour, the promos on ESPN frequent the screen and just about everyone has chosen a side for this epic battle on Wednesday night.

            That’s right, chumps, it’s the U.S. vs. Mexico! What else would I have been talking about?

            The Americans haven’t lost to Meh-hee-coh in 10 years, and things have gotten so desperate for our neighbors to the south that a Mexico City promotion asked fans to redeem a coupon for voodoo dolls at the local Radio Shack in hopes of reversing the team’s fortunes.

            Hah! I laugh at your feeble attempts to destroy us: United States 3, Mexico uno