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Georgia HS Playoffs: Rd. 3 Previews and Predictions

ATLANTA -- 11Alive takes a look at Georgia's high school playoff games and their predicted outcomes with Atlanta.HighSchoolSports.net and Massey Matchups.

Class 5A

Family Returns From Search For Missing Boater.

   Angie Cushwa and her parents emerge from the Avondale MARTA station Wednesday night with an emotional heaviness that one does not normally see from those coming back to Atlanta from the Bahamas.

   They literally hold hands to hold each other up.

   The exhaustion and strain on their faces show that this was no vacation.  In fact, it was a desperate mission to find Angie's sister, Laura Zekoll, who disappeared more than a week ago when the sailboat she was on capsized.

Hillgrove Looks to Win Third Road Playoff Game

POWDER SPRINGS, GA -- Hillgrove entered the postseason on a four-game winning streak, but as Region 4-5A's number three seed, the Hawks had a tough draw ahead of them. The Cobb County school would have to go on the road to face 9-1 Stephenson in the first round and then have to play at nationally-ranked Camden County in Round Two. So, despite their 8-2 record, many people wrote off the Hawks. Clearly, that was a mistake.

First, Hillgrove beat Stephenson, a team that started the season 9-0, by a score of 28-23.

Then, the Hawks had to travel six hours down to Kingsland (GA) to take on the two-time defending 5A champion Camden County Wildcats. Hillgrove won that game 28-26.

Family Ends Search for Missing Atlanta Boater

Lawrenceville, GA -- Family and friends of Laura Zekoll will return to Atlanta Wednesday night after finding no signs of her in the Bahamas, where she is considered lost at sea.

"We did an extensive, exhaustive and massive search for Laura by both boat and on land," said Angie Cushwa, Laura's sister.

Zekoll was last seen on November 13 clinging to a capsized sailboat near the Bahamas. She was wearing a life jacket at the time.

Her sister, parents and best friends flew to the Bahamas over the weekend to work with local expert and warden Brent Bass, who was referred to the family by the U.S. Embassy.

"We will be forever grateful to Brent Bass!" Cushwa said in a statement released by a close friend. "He helped our family do everything humanly possible to help us locate Laura. He is a wonderful man."

Zekoll's family began private search efforts after the U.S. Coast Guard called off the official search last week.

FBI Looking For Serial Bank Robber

ATLANTA (AP) - The FBI is searching for a suspected serial bank robber who has struck three banks in the last week.

Authorities say the same woman who robbed bank branches in Lilburn and Redan Village also stuck up a Wells Fargo Bank branch Monday in Snellville. But they say she wasn't able to get any money during that heist because a dye pack exploded.

The robber is described as a black female who is between 25 and 35 and wearing a white bandage on the right side of her face as a possible disguise.

Wells Fargo is offering a reward of up to $5,000 leading to the suspect's capture and conviction.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI at 404 679 9000.

Private Search for Atlanta Boater Begins in Bahamas

Lawrenceville, GA -- The official search is over, but family and friends are determined to find Laura Zekoll, an Atlanta woman last seen a week ago clinging to a capsized sailboat near the Bahamas.

Laura's sister, Angie Cushwa of Lawrenceville, flew to the Bahamas on Sunday to begin a private search for Laura. Her parents and four friends are joining the effort.

"We just hope and pray that we can find her," said Mike Cushwa, who's keeping tabs on the family through their Facebook page, "Laura Zekoll-Bring Her Home." 

Laura was one of four people on a sailboat that capsized off the coast of the Bahamas on Saturday, November 13. Everyone else on board survived.

But after three days, the U.S. Coast Guard called off the search for Laura, who was wearing a life jacket.

Lighthouse Retreats Aid Cancer Families

Atlanta- - It is a remarkable idea that helped more than 700 families families deal with childhood cancer.

The Lighthouse Family Retreat founded in 1999 serves children with cancer and their families at Seaside and other beaches along 30-A.

Lighthouse has a simple directive helping kids and their parents to laugh, restore family relationships and find hope in spirituality.

The 2010 Patron's of Hope Dinner was held inside the Doubletree Buckhead-Atlanta Hotel.

Entertainer Jeff Foxworthy was among those in attendance.

The event also recognized the efforts of Atlanta businessman Charles Renfroe who has been a driving force behind the organization.

Each retreat is comprised of approximately 12 retreat families and 30 volunteers who serve the families by cooking, cleaning and taking care of daily responsibilities so that the retreat families can focus on having fun together.