Prep Basketball: Newnan plays Tri-Cities for region title tonight

By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
cgoltermann@newnan.com
Newnan’s boys basketball team has an opportunity tonight to achieve a goal that not even the program’s heralded 2008-09 Class AAAAA semifinalists failed to accomplish.
A region championship.
Tonight, this year’s Cougars have suddenly gone from the underdog to the favorite when they play a surprising Tri-Cities lineup for the Region 3-AAAAAA boys title at 6:30 p.m., at East Coweta’s John Thrower Gym.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs followed a victory over No. 4 Langston Hughes with an even more impressive one late Thursday night when they knocked off state-ranked and top-seeded Westlake 73-71 with a buzzer-beating shot in the last of two region semifinal games.
Earlier, the third-seeded Cougars (17-9) earned a trip to the finals by defeating No. 2 seed Douglas County 65-58. They now look to be the favorite against an 11-14 Tri-Cities team that had dropped five of its last six regular season games, including a buzzer-beating loss to East Coweta, before catching fire in the region tournament.

Both teams split two victories during the regular season, however, with Tri-Cities winning 59-50 on Jan. 8 and Newnan returning the favor at home in a 62-51 win on Jan. 25.

With a victory, the Cougars have a chance for home-court advantage for at least the first-two rounds of the Class AAAAAA tournament. Regardless, Thursday’s win over Douglas County guarantees at least one more game in the Max Bass Athletic Center next week.

Both Newnan’s boys and East Coweta’s girls will try to improve its seeding for next week’s state tournament after earning berths on Tuesday. The Lady Indians will face No. 3 seed Westlake in today’s 4 p.m., girls consolation game, which will act as head coach Paula Jones’ last at John Thrower Gym prior to her retirement.

East Coweta’s girls gave its coach another trip to the state tournament with a 34-25 victory on Tuesday over Newnan.

Region 3-AAAAAA lineups open the state tournament against teams from 2-AAAAAA.

VIKINGS FINISH FOURTH IN 4-AAAAA: Northgate’s boys were forced to settle for the No. 4 seed from Region 4-AAAAA following a roller-coaster week that began with an upset victory over B-subregion champion McIntosh to reach the state playoffs for the first time in program history.

Subregion foe Creekside defeated the Vikings 64-51 in Northgate’s second game over consecutive nights. The Seminoles jumped out to a 37-18 lead at halftime and maintained a 14-point lead to open the final period en route to the win.

Whitewater, which defeated Northgate in Thursday’s semifinals, captured the boys championship with a 50-32 win over Starr’s Mill. Forest Park won the Region 4-AAAAA girls title by beating McIntosh 34-30.

Seven of the eight state playoff berths among boys and girls in 4-AAAAA were claimed by B-subregion teams.



More Sports

High School Softball

Five standouts earn All-State honors from GACA

‘Tis the season for presents and gifts. But earning All-State softball honors from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association wasn&rsquo ... Read More


High School Wrestling

Vikings continue busy week at Norseman Duals

Just two days after winning this year's Coweta County Championship, the Northgate Vikings rolled the wrestling mats back out Friday at home ... Read More


Heritage lineups sweep Harvester

Heritage School lineups dominated opposing lineups on Thursday at Harvester Christian while earning a sweep in non-region play while getting ... Read More


Tied up in knots

County championships provide excitement

Since retiring as a varsity wrestling coach following a career that included over 300 victories, Adrian Anderson had been happy to stay in t ... Read More


Coweta Wrestling Championships

Vikings create own ‘breaks’ to claim title

Northgate is sitting on top of the Coweta County wrestling world again. The Vikings captured the annual county championships in their own gy ... Read More

Northgate leads All-Region cheerleading squad

Northgate’s competitive cheerleading squad led this year’s All-Region 4-AAAAA team with eight selections. Earning honors for the ... Read More