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Rockdale finishes ranked second

File photo . Rockdale's boys basketball team, members of which are seen here at an appreciation pep rally last week, finished the season ranked second in the state.

File photo . Rockdale's boys basketball team, members of which are seen here at an appreciation pep rally last week, finished the season ranked second in the state.

The Rockdale boys basketball team, which lost to Miller Grove in the Class AAAA state championship game, finished the 2010-2011 season ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA by gaprepcountry.com coaches' poll.

The Bulldogs were ranked behind three-time state champion Miller Grove and ahead of No. 3 Fayette County, which Rockdale beat in the state semifinals, and No. 7 Southwest DeKalb, which they defeated in the quarterfinals to reach the program's first final four since 1987.

In Class AAAAA, the Newton boys finished the 2010-2011 campaign ranked sixth, behind No. 1 Norcross (24-9), Milton (29-3), Tift County (24-7), Valdosta (23-6) and Wheeler (22-6).

The Rams, coached by Rick Rasmussen, went 26-5 for the season, winning the Region 2-AAAAA tournament and defeating Hillgrove and Jenkins in the Class AAAAA state tournament before falling on March 5 to Valdosta 68-61 in the Elite Eight.

Heritage slips by Hab Central, 2-1

CONYERS -- Showing few ill effects from an 11-day layoff, the Heritage girls soccer team -- ranked No. 8 in Class AAAA -- defeated Habersham Central 2-1 on Saturday to improve to 6-2-1 overall and 4-1 in Region 8-AAAA.

The Lady Patriots' Courtney Hodges got the ball rolling early, scoring a goal in the eighth minute to put Heritage up 1-0. About 11 minutes later, Laura Zawadski scored off a corner-kick assist from Cate Reach to put the Lady Patriots up 2-0.

Habersham Central answered in the 33rd minute with its only goal of the game. Freshman goalkeeper Mady Carter recorded nine saves for Heritage.

"Coming into this match, I was a little concerned because we haven't played a game in 11 days," Heritage coach Chad Suddeth said. "The girls played tremendously in the first half and we looked really sharp, except for the ball Mady misplayed in the net. It's always nice to score first and take control of a game. Courtney Hodges has been doing that for us lately. ... Overall, (I'm) very pleased with (the) effort -- (it's) always nice to get a win in this region.

Heritage will play East Hall on Wednesday and Salem on Friday.

Salem tops Cedar Shoals for 4th straight win

CONYERS -- Salem's Eric Bechet pitched 52/3 innings, allowing only four hits to go with three strikeouts, and the Seminoles' offense pounded out 14 hits Monday to beat Cedar Shoals 12-2 in their first Region 8-AAAA South game of the season.

Salem, which has won four consecutive games, improved to 7-4 overall as Cameron Gibson led the team at the plate with four hits and five RBIs. Gibson was followed by Levi Bonilla (three hits), Zach Bailey (four hits, two RBIs), Jarrett Brown (three hits, including a home run, two RBIs), Garrett Needham (one hit, one RBI) and Reid Hill (one RBI).

"To me, we're rolling because the guys are coming to the park ready to play," Salem coach Chad Kitchens said. "Earlier in the season, they'd come ready to play but after three or four innings, they'd let off the gas. I hope we can continue to maintain this intensity throughout the year."

Salem will host Loganville at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will play at 6 p.m. on Friday at Habersham Central.