Class 5A blog: Playoff scenarios become clearer this week

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Only one regular-season winner has been determined, which leaves a lot of unfinished business for Class 5A teams throughout the state.

Here’s a look at how the playoff picture shapes up.

Region 1: No. 7 Coffee (8-1, 2-1) hosts No. 5 Warner Robins (7-1, 1-1) on Friday, with the winner earning the No. 2 seed. The loser will be on the road in the first round of the playoffs. No. 4 Ware County (6-1, 2-0) will clinch first place if it beats Veterans (2-6, 1-1) on Friday.

Region 2: Whitewater (7-1, 4-0) will be clinch the top spot in the region if Griffin (4-4, 3-2) beats Harris County (5-3, 3-1), which has won four straight games. If Harris County wins, it will play Whitewater for the championship next week. Starr’s Mill (5-3, 3-1) will be the No. 2 seed if it finishes the season with wins over McIntosh and Northside Columbus.

Region 3: No. 2 Creekside (7-1, 5-0) needs to beat Jonesboro (6-2, 4-1) this week to set up a showdown for the region title against No. 5 Woodward Academy (8-0, 5-0) on the final weekend. If Jonesboro wins, the Cardinals could climb into the second spot. Mundy’s Mill (3-4, 3-2) travels to Banneker (3-5, 2-3) in a game that could determine the final playoff spot.

Region 4: Dutchtown (6-2, 5-0) will play Jones County (6-2, 5-0) to decide the region championship next week. The contest for third place could be decided next week when Union Grove (5-3, 3-2) plays Woodland (4-4, 3-2). Ola (3-5, 2-3) isn’t out of the playoff picture and holds the tiebreaker over Woodland.

Region 5: No. 9 Decatur (8-0, 4-0) hosts Southwest DeKalb (4-4, 3-1) on Friday. A Decatur win means the Bulldogs will play St. Pius (6-2, 4-0) for the league championship on the final week. A win by SWD would leave the Panthers with a chance to finish second. Lithonia (2-6, 2-3) and King (1-7, 1-3) will play for the final playoff spot in the season finale.

Region 6: Villa Rica (5-2, 3-0) will try to dethrone defending region champion New Manchester (4-3, 3-0) on Friday in Douglasville. Lithia Springs (3-6, 2-2), which is off this week, will be the third seed with a win over North Springs. Maynard Jackson (2-6, 1-2) holds the tiebreaker over Chapel Hill (1-7, 1-3) for fourth place if they end up all-square.

Region 7: This week’s game between No. 1 Cartersville (8-0, 4-0) and No. 6 Calhoun (8-1, 4-0) will decide the region championship. That game will be televised live on Georgia Public Broadcasting. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will be determined when Blessed Trinity (5-4, 2-2) travels to play Cass (5-4, 2-2) on Friday.

Region 8: Clarke Central (6-2, 6-0) has won its last six games and last week clinched its third straight region title. The race for the No. 2 spot remains as clear as mud, with Eastside, Greenbrier and Apalachee all tied with 3-2 region records and Jackson County, Loganville and Walnut Grove all at 2-3. This week’s games include Greenbrier at Jackson County, Apalachee at Loganville and Eastside at Walnut Grove and could conceivably end up with six teams tied at 3-3 entering the final week.

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