Prep Basketball: Playoff atmosphere expected for tonight's East Coweta-Newnan games

From Staff Reports
sports@newnan.com
John Thrower Gym may have had a playoff feel tonight even without former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox expected in the building to help out with a fundraiser for East Coweta’s boys program.
Both ECHS lineups host Newnan to close the regular season —but maybe not the book on this year’s rivalry between county schools.
Regardless of tonight’s girls outcome starting at 6:30 p.m., both the Lady Indians and Lady Cougars are locked into a first-round matchup in next week’s Region 3-AAAAAA tournament, also to be played at East Coweta.
Next week’s winner, however, advances to the Class AAAAAA state tournament while the loser ends its season.
East Coweta (4-18 overall, 3-6 Region 3-AAAAAA) knocked off Newnan’s girls (2-20, 2-7) 50-40 in the first meeting of the year between the two rivals.
The Lady Indians clinched the No. 4 seed in the region tournament and Newnan will finish fifth.
East Coweta’s girls are hoping to extend the career of head coach Paula Jones, who will retire at season’s end after a 40-year career that has produced 516 victories.

Cox, who retired with 2,504 of his own while leading the Braves to a World Championship in 1995 and a string of NL East Division titles, will participate in a pre-game fundraiser from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fans can receive one autograph for $15 with proceeds going to the Indians’ basketball program. Items must be brought to the game to be autographed.

East Coweta’s boys, however, are locked into the No. 6 seed in next week’s host region tournament, but can shake things up with seeding with a win.

Thanks to a double-overtime victory over Langston Hughes on Tuesday, Newnan’s boys can force a tie for third place with a victory tonight.

Junior Doniel Dean scored the game-winning shot in a 62-61 victory over Langton Hughes in the final seconds of Tuesday’s double-overtime game.

Should the Cougars (14-9, 4-5) win tonight and vault over Hughes (10-12, 5-4), Newnan and East Coweta will also open the region tournament in boys as well, with the winner advancing to state and the loser ending the season.

The Indians, who earned an elusive Region 3-AAAAAA victory last Friday in a thrilling one-point win at home over Tri-Cities, is coming off Tuesday’s 108-75 loss to Douglas County.

In the first meeting this year between boys teams at Newnan, the Cougars earned a 67-58 victory.

Northgate’s teams head to Region 4-AAAAA Tournament: The Northgate boys and girls basketball teams will open region tournament play on Saturday against the squads from Mundy’s Mill.

This year’s region tournament will be played at Ola High School in McDonough.

The Lady Vikings (5-16, 2-12) begin tournament play against Mundy’s Mill (13-12, 6-9) at 3 p.m. Northgate’s boys (7-15, 3-11) team plays the Tigers (8-17, 5-10) at 4:30.

Teams need just one win to get to the state tournament.

Northgate head coach Mack Cain is hoping to get one last chance to coach his squad into the state tournament. Cain is retiring at the end of the year.



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