girlPhoto/Seth Chapman

In two huge matchups on Thursday, one team in Region 7-3A could advance to a region title and one girl’s region title will be determined.

The ninth-ranked Cherokee Bluff girls in Class 4A (12-3, 9-0 Region 8-4A) will visit No. 4 North Oconee (10-2-1, 8-0 Region 8-4A) in an attempt to win their second region title in three years and their first overall in Region 8-4A. The victor will receive the No. 1 seed and the area championship in the next state playoffs. The Lady Titans were the only team the Lady Bears lost against in the 2023 area.

Considering that senior star Kaitlin Cook, a Georgia Southern signee, suffered a knee injury early in the season and has seen limited action, the Lady Bears’ nine-game winning streak—all of which have come in area play—has been even more remarkable. But from head to toe, their lineup is talented. Eva Martin is going to play at the next level at Georgia State, Carson DeMars at Wofford, Ellie Sutulovich at Mars Hill, and Anna Gessner at Colorado School of Mines.

“Kaitlin is a player who is not easily replaced. Her strength and ability to score have been recognized for over three years. But we still have Kaitlin Cook!” Heath Padgett, Bluff girls coach, remarked.

On our roster, there are 22 other girls who have worked hard to achieve our current status. There are those who make the headlines and those who are the reason behind their inclusion. Regardless of the player on the field, this has been an incredible run for any squad.”

The Lady Titans will be their toughest region opponent, having outscored their opponents 60-2. Led by freshman sensation Bristol Kersh, they have demolished their region opponents, outscoring them 66-7.
But in the last two weeks, North Oconee has only played three games and has a meager 1-1-1 record during that time.

Padgett stated on Thursday, “We just need to play our game,” in reference to the crucial element. “Our defense has been beyond impressive, and our senior group plays every game like it is their last.”

The game will start at 5:30 p.m. in Yonah Field.

With first place on the line, No. 4 Lumpkin County (9-0-1, 4-0 Region 7-3A) visits No. 2 Wesleyan (10-1-1, 3-0 Region 7-3A) in Region 7-3A. The Lady Wolves would still need to defeat Gilmer or White County in the upcoming two weeks in order to secure the title if the Lady Indians triumphed.

By admin