Region 1-AAAA is a football league, huh? That’s what it’s reputation is, but on Thursday, two teams from the region will be playing in Class AAAAA state semifinal basketball games.

Tift County reached the state Final Four with a 70-56 victory over Savannah on Saturday at Fort Valley State and will meet Milton in one state semifinal.

Freshman Tadric Jackson led the Blue Devils with 26 points.

Thursday’s other state semifinal will feature Valdosta playing Norcross.

The Wildcats scored 24 points in the third quarter to defeat Newton 68-61 on Saturday in another quarterfinal game.

The state semifinal and finals will he held at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth.

Of this and that:

• The Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball team will make its first NCAA tournament appearance when it plays the University of Montevallo in a Southeastern Regional game at Augusta State at noon on Saturday.

The third-seeded Hurricanes, who are 20-8, defeated Montevallo twice during the regular season.

Former Packer Dannie Hunt has played in all 28 games for the Hurricanes this season.

• The Johnson C. Smith University women’s basketball team, coached by former Moultrian Vanessa Taylor, fell to Shaw 62-56 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament champinship game on Saturday at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.

The Lady Golden Bulls defeated Chowan 71-52 and Bowie Stae 69-64 in their first two tournament games.

After going 24-4, best in the JCSU women’s basketball history, the Lady Golden Bulls, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Atlantic Regional Championship.

 JCSU enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 Glenville State College  of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) at 2:30  p.m. Friday.

The JCSU-Glenville State winnerwill play the West Liberty-Millersville winner at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The regional championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m Tuesday, March 14.

The tournament will be hosted by Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa.

• Kambria Blakely scored an 8.95 on vault to finish ninth and a 92 on floor to finish fourth for the Hamline University gymnastics team in its recent meet at UW-Stout.

The Pipers fell 182.90-180.225.

• The Samford University football team opened spring practice on Monday.

Among the returning starters is former Packer receiver Quin Roberson, who caught 31 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2010.

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