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Crazy 8: Eight local teams seek Elite 8 bids

8 seek Elite 8!

Last week, 16 of our local teams opened state playoff action in hopes of making a deep run. Fast forward to this week, and that list has shrunk in half to eight, which is still amazing. Two of those programs square off against each other (Dawson/Jefferson girls)

Here are your second round previews.

CLASS 6A

Habersham Central Raiders @ Pope

The Raiders (13-3-2) got a well-earned 1-0 win over South Paulding in the opening round at home. Habersham won’t reflect on that for too long, as it now turns its attention to #4-ranked Pope (13-3-3), who earned a 3-1 win over Sprayberry in the first round.

Pope is accustomed to bending, allowing 27 goals this season. Habersham can exploit that, but will need to play as good as defense as they did in round one.

WHEN? Thursday, May 2 / 6 PM

CLASS 3A

Dawson Co Lady Tigers vs Jefferson Lady Dragons

This one is a big-time matchup. #2-ranked Dawson (13-1-1) and #7-ranked Lady Dragons, both in our local realm. Dawson has 71 total goals after a 7-0 blowout in the first round win over Sonoraville, and still have only allowed 8 goals.

For Jefferson (12-4-1), it was a close 1-0 win over Pace Academy, winning 7-6 in PKs to advance. The Lady Dragons also rarely allow scores (9 allowed this season). The offensive edge goes to the Lady Tigers, but this one could come down to PKs easily.

WHEN? Wednesday, May 1 / 5:30 PM

Jefferson Dragons vs East Hall

The #6-ranked Dragons (15-2) shut out Stone Mountain 2-0 in the first round to advance here, stretching the win streak to 9 games. There have been 61 goals for Jefferson, and just 10 against. That kind of balance will be tough for a #4-ranked East Hall group (14-3-1), who is coming off a 3-2 dramatic win over North Murray.

The Vikings have allowed 22 goals this season, but also find the back of the net quite often (91 total goals). Can Jefferson’s defense withhold that kind of attack? Or better yet, can East Hall get many opportunities against this elite Dragons defense? This one will be very good!

WHEN? Thursday, May 2 / 6:30 PM

Lumpkin Co Lady Indians @ Westminster

The 11-6 Lady Indians are ranked #8 in the state, and opened the playoffs on the road with an easy 4-1 win over Adairsville. That runs the goals total to 76 against just 28 surrendered. Westminster will be the epitome of “to be the best, you have to beat the best.” Westminster is the #1-ranked team in the land (15-2-1), and are fresh off a 10-0 win over East Jackson. They now have 99 goals on the season, and have only allowed 11.

Lumpkin has the firepower to test Westminster though, especially if the defense can hold them at bay.

WHEN? Wednesday, May 1 / 5:30 PM

CLASS 2A

Union Co Lady Panthers vs Gordon Central

The #6-ranked Lady Panthers (11-2-1) cruised to an 8-0 win over Temple in the first round. 69-13 is their goal differential on the season, and they’ll put that to the test against Gordon Central (5-6-1). Our guess is it won’t be close, once again.

Gordon Central is a 2-seed coming off a 7-0 win over Therrell in the first round. They have 23 goals scored and 19 allowed on the season.

WHEN? Wednesday, May 1 / 6 PM

Union Co Panthers @ Gordon Central

Union County (10-4) had an incredible 2-1 win over #1-seed Lamar County, who has 37 total goals and 22 against this season. Gordon Central (13-6) had a 11-1 win over South Atlanta. They can flat out score to the tune of 86 goals, and the defense is pretty solid as well.

WHEN? Thursday, May 2 / 6 PM

CLASS 1A

Towns Co Lady Indians vs Ace Charter

Towns County (10-2-1) cruised past Bowdon 6-0 to get here. The Lady Indians have scored 64 times in 2019, and have allowed just 15. The victory is their second playoff win in school history following last season’s first round win. The 1A public bracket is smaller, so this second round is the quarterfinals for them.

The Academy for Classical Education (10-8-1) is a solid program that has found the back of the net 99 times. However, they’ve given up 55 goals. The question isn’t will Towns County score, but rather, how many times?

WHEN? Wednesday, May 1 / 5 PM

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