Lower seeds surprise few with first-round victories

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WHO'S HOT : Upset city . State tournament underdogs from the Augusta area toppled their share of higher seeds in the first round of the Georgia High School Association's postseason soiree. Washington County (21-8) netted the biggest trophy win in knocking off Region 1-AAA champion Dougherty County.

Class AA Laney (19-9) and Class AAAA Richmond Academy (20-9) also went on the road and knocked off second-place region teams in first-round contests that shouldn't be seen as surprises given the considerable talent on each squad.


1. Jordan (27-1) at Glenn Hills (25-2) 7 p.m., today: The Red Jackets swarm on down to Deans Bridge Road in a game that stands as one of the bigger area state playoff battles since the Westside-Josey state final in 1995. Jordan is the defending Class AAA champion.

How big is this test? There is only one team with fewer than five losses (Blessed Trinity at 27-3) up ahead as a possible opponent before the state title game.

2. Josey (26-3) at East Laurens (27-1), 6 p.m., today: Bird watchers galore will be treated to a high level of play. The Falcons meet Josey's Eagles for the right to fly on to the state quarterfinals at Savannah State.

3. Hephzibah Lady Rebels (26-2) at Southwest Macon Lady Patriots (23-3), 6 p.m., Wednesday: Southwest Macon gave the Lady Rebels a rare early exit from the Class AAA tournament last year in the second round. It was a shock considering that Hephzibah has advanced to at least the quarterfinals nine times since 1996.

BEST WIN LAST WEEK : Washington County 57, Dougherty County 55.

Will the Hawks be this year's Thomson and stroll from a No. 4 region seed all the way to the Elite Eight?

BIG BIG GAME : Glenn Hills coach Richard Wallace has collected the scouting reports concerning tonight's clash with Jordan.

"I wish I hadn't made the calls," he said. "All I've heard are great things. They've got four senior starters back from last year's state championship team."

Wallace will not soft-sell the challenge to his team.

"I'm realistic," he said. "I'll lay it out to them. But I'm concerned mostly about what we do. I'm concerned about how we prepare and execute. If we do what we're capable of, I'm fine with letting the chips fall where they may."

TRUE STORY : Just how improbable has the Aquinas (15-10) season been so far?

The girls have a poster-sized to-do list in the locker room.

There's a few items on that list the Irish have added in after the fact. Earning a home state playoff game was one of those.

Freshman Ciara Morris scribbled a blue check next to the column for reaching the Sweet 16.

That list also has an entry on the to-do list entitled "Still love each other at the end of the season."

"We had some team fight problems at the end of last season," senior Georgia Brown said. "We didn't get along too well."

Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or jeff.sentell@augustachronicle.com.

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