Class 2A blog: Top weekend games for Week 11

Credit: Stock image

Credit: Stock image

Therrell boys take on top 2; Union County, Elbert County girls seek redemption


Therrell Panthers (11-7) vs. No. 2 Pace Academy Knights (18-4) Friday; at No. 1 Columbia Eagles Saturday

Just three weeks ago, the Panthers made their debut in the rankings at No. 9. However, their stay was short-lived after a 55-45 loss to Lovett on Jan. 11. Ten days later, they lost 55-50 to South Atlanta. Both the Lions and Hornets were unranked.

Now, with possibly the toughest schedule of the weekend, the Panthers face both No. 1 Columbia and No. 2 Pace Academy in back-to-back games for a chance to redeem themselves.

Since their loss to the Hornets, the Panthers have won two in a row, including a 62-60 thriller against KIPP on Tuesday, which pushed their Region 6 record to 4-2. As of now, it appears they’ll be competing South Atlanta and KIPP for the final playoff spot after Columbia, Pace Academy and Lovett.

On Friday, the Panthers will host the Knights, who are 8-0 in league play including a 70-27 win over Therrell in their season opener. Though Columbia beat them 71-69 on Dec. 7, they’re in opposite sub-regions so the game doesn’t count toward the league standings.

The Knights haven’t lost since Dec. 20, when 1A Private’s No. 1 Greenforest beat them 56-50. Since then, they’re on an 11-game win streak, which includes six double-digit wins over Region 6 competition. Total, the Knights’ average margin of victory over 6-2A competition is 50.9 points — they beat McNair 110-21 on Jan. 18.

On Saturday, the Panthers travel to Columbia to face the Eagles in a region crossover game that won’t count toward the 6-2A standings. It will be the only regular season meeting between them. The Eagles are on a nine-game win streak that dates to Dec. 28.

If the Panthers can manage to win one game this weekend, it will reinforce that they’re capable of competing with anyone. Should they somehow win both, they stand to re-enter the rankings.


Union County Panthers (11-7, 1-1 Region 8) at No. 2 Rabun County Wildcats (15-3, 3-0)

These teams meet Thursday so, technically that’s no the weekend but close enough. The reason this will be a game to watch is the Wildcats barely won the last time they met on Jan. 11, escaping with a 74-73 win in Blairsville.

Though unranked, all but three of the Panthers’ losses have come to top 10 teams. On Tuesday, they lost 62-51 to top-ranked Fannin County — a significant improvement from their 67-45 loss to Fannin County on Dec. 11.

A win here might not be enough to get Union County into the rankings, but it will be more than enough to put the rest of Region 8 on notice.

The Wildcats are on a three-game win streak that includes toppling region rival and then-top-ranked Elbert County 51-47 on Jan. 21. That bumped the Blue Devils to No. 3 and moved the Wildcats up a spot to No. 2.

4A’s No. 1 Jefferson Dragons (18-1) at No. 3 Elbert County Blue Devils (17-3)

This Saturday game is a rematch from Dec. 20, when the Dragons won 57-46 at home. Senior guard-forward Natalia Bolden led the Dragons with 22 points in their final game before Christmas.

Now the Blue Devils will get their chance to even the series at home. They haven’t played since losing 51-47 to Rabun County on Jan. 21, but they’ll face Banks County (8-13, 0-3) on Friday. They beat Banks County 62-29 on Jan. 11.

The junior-heavy Blue Devils are led by Aaniyah Allen, who leads the team averaging more than 20 points and five rebounds.

The Dragons are on a six-game win streak heading into Friday’s game at Chestatee (15-6), last beating Flowery Branch 73-20 on Tuesday.