Griffin High will travel to face Jonesboro; Spalding High will hit the road to play Riverdale and Griffin Christian will travel to face LaGrange Academy. All the girls games will start at 6 p.m. today.
Griffin (6-6 overall, 3-2 Region 4-AAAA) at Jonesboro (incomplete record of 4-3, 1-2):
Griffin Lady Bears head coach Veronica Lee said the season is about to get tougher and it all starts with today’s game at Division B foe Jonesboro. The Lady Cardinals of Jonesboro have a good team with playoff experience — they made it to the Class AAAA state Final Four last season with a 25-6 record. Lee knows her team, which is an improved version from last year’s 9-16 team, will have its collective hands full with Jonesboro.
“They have a couple of big girls who play very well inside. We’re going to have to deny them the ball. Jonesboro also has a pretty good guard who runs the show so we’ll have to try and put pressure on here and get her out of her game,” Lee said.
Lee said the key for her Lady Bears is to do like they’ve done all year: Push the ball up the court, get aggressive on defense and make the other team uncomfortable and that will give them a good shot to win.
“We’ve played better this season and I’m trying to get the best out of my girls. They get upset when they make mistakes, but I tell them to relax and play,” Lee said. “We’ve played a pretty tough schedule so far and I hope it pays off now that we are in Division B play.”
Spalding (8-4 overall, 2-2 Region 4-AAAA) at Riverdale (7-8, 4-1):
The Lady Jaguars of Spalding are on a roll right now, having won four straight games and the Meriwether County Holiday Tournament title last weekend. Spalding will see if it can remain road warriors today as it faces Division B foe Riverdale, the first-place team in the subregion. The Lady Raiders of Riverdale haven’t made the state playoffs since the 2009-10 season, but they are always a tough out.
“Riverdale is very big and very athletic and they like to press the whole game,” said Spalding head coach Chad Hubbard. “We will have to execute well, pressure the ball and make our free throws to win this game.”
Hubbard said he’s hoping his three seniors — Veronica Anderson, Grenishia Daniel and Shaquoria Reid — will keep up their excellent play on the court and lead his team to a road win to start the second half of the season.
“When the seniors play well, the others tend to follow suit,” he said. “All we’ve got to do against Riverdale is work hard and play hard and we’ve got a shot to win.”
Griffin Christian (7-6 overall, 1-1 GISA Region 4-AA) at LaGrange Academy (4-3, 0-0):
The Lady Crusaders of Griffin Christian have more than tripled their win total from last season and currently sit in fourth place in the standings. If the season ended today, GC would qualify for its first-ever GISA state playoff berth in girls basketball. GC head coach David Hammond said his team played its best game of the year last Saturday — a 47-44 win over Trinity Christian in the finale of the Heritage Holiday Tournament.
“We rebounded well and broke their press and got some easy baskets against Trinity, who beat us by 25 at our place in November,” Hammond said. “We have to play the same way against LaGrange Academy.”
Hammond said GC will try and break the press with guards Leyah Brown and Katy Hammond and then push the ball for easy baskets and that should allow GC to compete with a good LaGrange team, which hasn’t played a region game yet. He said another key is to limit turnovers for easy baskets.
“When we’ve lost it’s been because of turnovers leading to easy scores for our opponents,” he said.