Crystal Ball: Sweet 16 Predictions

It was an incredibly perfect Friday last week, as all 5 of our local programs played – and won – in the opening round of state. The stakes are higher this week, but so are the rewards!

THE LOCAL GAMES

Matchups for HOME games among local programs are listed first
*Rankings next to team name are seedings from respective region

#1 Rabun County vs #2 Toombs County

#1-ranked Rabun County (11-0) takes on an 8-2 Toombs County team that has a solid offense and shut-down defense. The good news for the Bulldogs is that they are not fazed by ranked opponents (2-1 this season), but the bad news is they haven’t seen anything like the Wildcats’ offense or defense. Plus they have a LONG bus ride to Tiger. WE PICK RABUN

#1 Jefferson vs #2 Appling County

Colby Clark the Dragons (9-1) are looking to get back into the quarterfinals for the sixth time in 8 years if they come away with a win over Appling County (9-2), who is 2-1 over ranked opponents this year. This pits #8 Appling and #3 Jefferson for a top-10 matchup. WE PICK JEFFERSON

#2 Union County @ #1 Metter

The #8-ranked Panthers (10-1) got the monkey of their back with the school’s first-ever playoff win. Now Union turns its attention to #1-seed Metter on the road. Metter is #9-ranked in the state, making this a top-10 matchup. A tough draw for the Panthers, as Metter (10-1) has an elite defense that’s only given up 9.8/game, and have only 3 times given up more than 14 points in a contest. But…we have a feeling. WE PICK UNION

#10 Commerce @ #7 Lincoln County

The Tigers (9-2) take to the road for Lincoln County (8-2). This is a top-10 matchup as Commerce is #6 and Lincoln ranked #8, which is odd that the Tigers as the higher-ranked team is seeded lower than Lincoln. Lincoln’s defense is one of the best in the state, allowing just 7.6 points per game (never more than 14) and only 4 times gave up more than 10. WE PICK LINCOLN

#3 Dawson County @ #1 Jenkins

Dawson County (8-3) recorded an historic win over Westminster, and now must go down to Jenkins (10-1), which has allowed just 6.9/game and only allowed 10 or more in 2 games (the first couple of the season). Oh, and the offense scores 40.2 per game. With the Tigers on the road, it will be a monumental task (though not impossible). What we love about this group, is that they could care less about the other team’s rankings or seeding. WE PICK DAWSON


THE OTHERS

Predicted winners are in bold

#2 Buford @ #1 Ware County
#2 North Hall @ #1 Crisp County

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