It has been a crazy season in 6A, and I doubt anyone's pre-season picks looked quite like this Semis lineup. But there is no doubt that all four are peaking at the right time, so that should make for a very interesting evening.
We've been getting great reader input this week... keep it up. As always, your positive comments, analysis and predictions are welcome in the comments section below each post. Let's keep it positive... no running down any players, coaches or programs... we've had to moderate comments in the past at this point in the season. Honor The Game!
Here are the previews of today's action... your GLB reporter is a bit pressed for time, so give us your insights:
-- Harrison (11-8) @ Centennial (17-3) - 7:30 @ Centennial
These two have had very different seasons: Harrison got off to a very shaky start while Centennial looked like the frontrunner from the start. But both teams rolled through their respective Area scheds unscathed and powered through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The playoff path for the Hoyas started with wins over Johns Creek 12-7 and Walton 8-6, both of whom had beaten them earlier in the regular season. After starting the season 2-5, Harrison persevered and gained enough good form to go on a playoff run. They really didn't have quality wins until beating Toona in late April and those playoff wins.
Centennial opened the playoffs by steamrolling E. Coweta 21-5 and passing a stern test from Lassiter 13-12. The Knights opened the season with a win over Harrison and never looked back. Their only loss to a GA team was to Milton 16-18. Their prolific offense has not been held to single digits this season and they are averaging 16.5 goals per game.
The Hoyas defense is going to really have to come up big to stifle the Centennial offense at home.
-- Roswell (12-6) @ Lambert (14-6) - 8pm @ Lambert
The GLB research staff is checking the archives to verify this, but this GLB reporter feels certain that this is the first time a #3 seed has faced a #4 seed in the Semis. That is a real testament to the strength of competition in 6A... and proof that Area alignments leave a lot of shaking heads in 6A. But both of these teams have clearly earned their spots, and this should be a very entertaining tilt.
Roswell has really been tested by good teams in their opening playoff games, beating Mill Creek 7-6 and Hooch 14-13 in OT. Roswell opened their season with a 3-7 loss to Lambert, so they would love to end the Longhorn's season tonight. The Hornets best wins during the season were over Harrison and Etowah to lock up the #4 seed, so they will have their work cut out for them.
So this is what a rebuilding year looks like for the Longhorns... losing a strong Senior class, moving up to 6A and making the Semis. After looking somewhat vulnerable earlier in the season, the Longhorns have peaked at the right time. After trouncing Hillgrove 14-1 in the opening round, they bested Milton 11-10 to gain their Semis berth.
I'd give the edge on quality of schedule and quality of wins/losses to Lambert, but this game could go either way. Look for this to be relatively low scoring, likely in single digits.