Coming from Savage, who guided the Crusaders to a state runner-up finish last year in Class AAA, that means a lot.
“I feel like the guys are ready,” he said. “We’re prepared for anything we might see.”
The No. 4 state-ranked Crusaders (23-7), fresh off their first region championship in the modern history of the school, open against Region 2-AA fourth-seeded Brentwood (12-14).
While Griffin Christian has won six in a row and 16 of its last 17, including the aforementioned region championship in its last outing, the Brentwood School has struggled losing two in a row on the heels of a season-best, three-game win streak.
“They have two good guards and a few scrappy players,” Savage said of Brentwood, which is based in Sandersville. “They are a man-to-man team, but I don’t know if they will do that against us — I expect to see a zone or a junk defense, a triangle and two perhaps.”
Neither team is known for dominating play inside. However, both have strong guard play.
Savage is counting on better athleticism and a quality depth.
“They are methodical, very systematic,” he said. “They like to control the tempo and be patient on offense.”
Expect the Crusaders to do anything but comply.
“Of course we want to jump the tempo up and bring some speed to the game,” he added. “I know they’ve watched film on us, but I think they roll the dice against us if they play man.”
The winner of Thursday’s opening-round game advances to a state quarterfinal-round game 4 p.m., Saturday also at Middle Georgia College against the winner of Region 1-AA second-seeded Monsignor Donovan (20-8) and Region 3-AA third-seeded Southwest Georgia (18-11).
The semifinal and final rounds are next week at Mercer University in Macon.