Sports Columns

January 14, 2013

What's Going On: Hoops hot, but plenty more going

The prep basketball scene is still in full swing, but there’s a lot of other high school sports with a big Saturday coming up this week.

After not-so-great showings in their respective area duals tournaments, three local wrestling teams will compete in the Murray County Invitational Saturday in Chatsworth.

The host Indians will be joined by Dalton and Coahulla Creek. None of the three teams placed in area — Murray County in Area 3-2A, Coahulla Creek in Area 2-3A and Dalton in Area 7-4A — but are looking toward next month’s area traditionals as a new opportunity for some of the individual wrestlers to gain accolades.

There will be duals competitions on Friday starting at 5:30 p.m., but the main crux of the invitational will be the traditionals-style format starting Saturday at 10 a.m. Calhoun, Coosa, Dade County, Gordon Central, Ridgeland and Ringgold round out the nine teams sending wrestlers to the event.

Also on the docket Friday and Saturday is the North Georgia Regionals swim meet, held at Dalton and starting Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. The top-12 finishers of each event’s preliminary races will return at 4 p.m. Saturday for the finals.

Northwest Whitfield and Coahulla Creek join the Cats as the three local squads competing in the 15-team field. The Colts are in their first season competing in the sport, and both them and the Bruins practice at Dalton High.

* The National Collegiate Wrestling Association returns to the trade center for the two-day National Duals Championships, and one local team will compete in the high school division.

Southeast Whitfield will join six schools from three states — Alabama’s Auburn High and defending champs Thompson High, Kentucky’s Fort Campbell and Wayne County and Tennessee’s Pigeon Forge and Siegel. The field will wrestle four matches in round-robin format. It begins wrestling at 6 p.m. Friday and concludes with each team’s final match at 5 p.m. Saturday. The event’s website, www.nationalduals.com, sets the goal of 12 teams for the 2014 field and 24 teams in 2015, hoping to create one of the best national high school duals tournaments.

The 21-team college field begins at 2 p.m. Friday and finishes with the finals scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. It was a fun experience covering this event last year, when Liberty University won it. The squad returns, and is joined by nearby colleges East Tennessee State University, Georgia Southern University, Mercer University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Temple University, the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, there will be a free youth clinic conducted by NCAA, NAIA and NCWA coaches for anyone interested. This is a new addition to the event.

* We’re going to find out a lot more about the Raiders’ basketball squads, particularly the Southeast girls, this week.

The Lady Raiders are 3-0 in Sub-region 7B-4A play after winning just one game last season. They are tied for first with Dalton and face the Lady Cats at 7 p.m. Friday in the Cats Den. The boys game — a matchup of two teams currently 2-1 in sub-region play — will begin right after. However, Southeast’s girls have another rivalry matchup earlier in the week. The Lady Raiders and Northwest’s Lady Bruins face at Southeast at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Northwest’s side is coming off a disappointing loss to Dalton on Friday and is 2-1 in sub-region. The boys begin right after.

* While only playing one Region 5-3A hoops game this week, it’s still a big one for the North Murray boys.

The team head south to take on Cartersville, ranked No. 2 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Class 3A rankings. The Mountaineers are 5-1 in region, while the Purple Hurricanes tout a 6-0 region record, according to Ga.PrepCountry.com.

* For a complete list of this week’s high school events, check out the prep schedule above and find it always online at www.daltonnow.com/events.

Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. From being at the Dalton-Northwest basketball game, it seems Bruins quarterback Silas Ledford’s airplane celebration is becoming a county-wide sensation. Contact him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com

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