While some region basketball tournaments may be spread out over five days, the Region 7-AA postseason proving ground is coming up on a full week since it began.
But now there is at least some confidence that the tournament, which decides the region’s top four boys’ and girls’ teams for the GHSA Class AA state playoffs, will wrap up Monday night at Chattooga High School.
Action will begin at 4 p.m. with the girls’ consolation final between Gordon Central and Dade County, followed at 5:30 p.m. with the boys’ consolation final between Coosa and Model.
The championship games will both feature Chattooga taking on Rockmart, with the girls’ tipping off at 7 p.m. and the boys getting underway at 8:30 p.m.
The 7-AA tournament, hosted by Chattooga, started Monday, Feb. 3 and was postponed twice last week, both times because of weather.
First, the semifinals were moved from Thursday to Friday after heavy rains led to flooding in parts of the area, especially near creeks and streams. Then Saturday morning’s snowfall raised concerns about teams and fans traveling on the roads, forcing organizers to postpone the final four games to Monday.
All eight teams playing Monday did have at least a first round bye in the tournament, with the teams in the consolation finals starting last Tuesday and the teams in the championships not playing until Friday’s semifinals after earning the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.
Chattooga girls’ coach Alvah Beasley said the weeklong layoff for his team prior to their 58-55 semifinal win over Gordon Central was tough.
“You feel like you’re getting rusty. And there’s no experience like game experience,” Beasley said. “You can manipulate a practice to be high intensity, but there’s nothing that can replicate the fan experience, the energy that’s in the building.”
Rockmart’s girls had similar problems with Dade County in their semifinal but were able to pull out a 47-44 win to give them a shot at back-to-back region championships.
The Lady Jackets are led by junior Keyarah Berry, who scored 33 points in Friday’s game and surpassed 2,000 points in her career earlier this season.
Chattooga’s boys, meanwhile, will try to win their fourth region title in a row when they match up with the Jackets for the third time this season.
Region 7-AA is one of several regions who have yet to complete their tournaments, and the GHSA issued a statement Saturday stating that all region tournaments must be completed Monday.
Rain is expected to move into Northwest Georgia in the afternoon Monday and continue into the night. A flood watch that includes Floyd, Chattooga and Polk counties is set to start at 1 p.m. and not end until 7 p.m. Tuesday.