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Previewing the first round of the girls basketball state tournament
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Sarah Myers and South Forsyth enter the Class AAAAAA tournament coming off a Region 6-AAAAAA championship. - photo by Brian Paglia

CHEROKEE AT SOUTH FORSYTH

When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Records, rankings, seedings: Cherokee is 17-11, unranked in Class AAAAAA and the No. 4 seed from Region 5; South is 24-4, No. 4 and the No. 1 seed from Region 6.

Coaches: Matt Cates, Cherokee; Keith Gravitt, South.

Stats: Cherokee – 46.1 PPG, 42.2 PAPG; South – 62.1 PPG, 44.9 PAPG.

Playoff history: Cherokee – 32 appearances, 14 Final Fours, 6 state titles; South – 7 appearances, 1 Final Four.

What to know: After something of a rough week and a half that included losses to West Forsyth and North Forsyth and a shaky win in the first round of the Region 6-AAAAAA tournament, South seems back in top form. The Lady War Eagles blasted Lambert then defeated North to claim the region title, and now they’re hosting a first-round playoff game for the second straight year. It’s against a familiar opponent; South and Cherokee met Nov. 22 in the War Eagle Classic, a game South won 65-52, and Lady War Eagles junior guard Sarah Myers was unstoppable, scoring 29 points on 8 of 12 shooting.

What’s next: The winner faces the Douglas County-McEachern winner.

ETOWAH AT NORTH FORSYTH

When, where: Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Raider Arena.

Records, rankings, seedings: Etowah is 17-11, unranked in Class AAAAAA and the No. 3 seed from Region 5; North is 23-4, No. 6 and the No. 2 seed from Region 6.

Coaches: Bob Westbrook, Etowah; Eric Herrick, North.

Stats: Etowah – 48.4 PPG, 45.3 PAPG; North – 55.8 PPG, 40.2 PAPG.

Playoff history: Etowah – 16 appearances, 5 Final Fours, 1 state title; North – 8 appearances, 1 Elite Eight.

What to know: The Lady Raiders missed out on a second straight region championship, falling 51-48 to South Forsyth, but they get to host a first-round playoff game for the fourth straight year. As always, North will be led by its accomplished senior guard duo of Caroline Bowns and Lochlain Corliss, seniors Okwunne Ogbogu and Sydney Pefanis and junior Morgan Grindle. Etowah is led by senior guard Tori Janos, a first-team All-Region 5-AAAAAA selection.

What’s next: The winner faces the Campbell-Osborne winner.

LAMBERT AT POPE

When: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Records, rankings, seedings: Lambert is 15-13, unranked in Class AAAAAA and the No. 4 seed from Region 6; Pope is 24-4, unranked and the No. 1 seed from Region 5.

Coaches: Jaime Fisher, Lambert; Courtney Harris, Pope.

Stats: Lambert – 45.3 PPG, 43.6 PAPG; Pope – 56.5 PPG, 41.4 PAPG.

Playoff history: Lambert – 3 appearances; Pope – 10 appearances, 3 Final Fours, 1 state title.

What to know: Credit Lambert for a great turnaround from last season with first-year head coach Jaime Fisher. The Lady Longhorns get it done on defense and play 10 to 12, but you’ll see most of the damage done by Ashley Johnson, Kara Kidwell and Molly Williams. Lambert can be tough to figure out, though: One day, they can defeat West Forsyth then score just 19 points (against West Forsyth in the region tournament). Pope, meanwhile, just ended Woodstock’s undefeated run to claim the Region 5-AAAAAA championship, so confidence shouldn’t be an issue for the Lady Greyhounds.

What’s next: The winner faces the Harrison-Langston Hughes winner.

WEST FORSYTH AT WOODSTOCK

When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Records, rankings, seedings: West is 21-5, ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAAA and the No. 3 seed from Region 6; Woodstock is 26-1, unranked and the No. 2 seed from Region 5.

Coaches: David May, West; Julie Crowe, Woodstock.

Stats: West – 52.6 PPG, 37.6 PAPG; Woodstock – 58.0 PPG, 39.8 PAPG.

Playoff history: West – 3 appearances; Woodstock – 5 appearances.

What to know: The Lady Wolverines were certainly disappointed not to play in the Region 6-AAAAAA championship, falling to North Forsyth in the semifinals, but they rebounded nicely with a 49-19 victory over Lambert in the region consolation game. It was the same old formula: dominance by junior center Jenna Staiti (24 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) and staunch defense by Abby Quincy and others. Their reward is a meeting with previously undefeated Woodstock, who was upset in the Region 5-AAAAAA championship by Pope. Woodstock is led by Region 5 Player of the Year Devyn Lowe, a sophomore.

What’s next: The winner faces the Hillgrove-Westlake winner.

*Stats according to MaxPreps, the Georgia High School Basketball Project (ghsbp.com).