High School Basketball

Round two: Winter weather puts schedules on hold ... again

by Doug Gorman

It looks like wintry weather is going to get the best of high school basketball games for the second time this year.

After most teams were forced to play four games last week, including contests postponed by snow that crippled most of Atlanta two weeks ago, it appears Mother Nature is about to strike again with two waves of ice and snow between Tuesday night and today.

The forecast for the wintry mix of rain and snow has forced officials to delay the start of the Region 3-AAAAAAA basketball tour- nament at Tri-Cities High School in East Point.

Instead of starting Tuesday, the six-team region tournament will begin on Friday and continue on Saturday and Monday.

The Georgia High School Association agreed to postpone the start of state basketball tournaments one day to allow region tournaments to be completed by Monday.

Local GISA schools have also been affected again by weather cancellations. The Heritage School had Region 1-AAA home games against Holy Spirit and Loganville Christian Monday and Tues- day postponed.

The Holy Spirit doubleheader has been rescheduled for Friday at 6 p.m., while there were tentative arrangements to have the Loganville games moved to Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m.

When action finally gets under way in the 3-AAAAAA tournament with its first round on Friday, teams will need just one victory to advance to the state level.

At least one of 3-AAAAAA’s local girls teams will move on when East Coweta and Newnan meet in a first-round game Friday at 7 p.m.

It will be the third meeting this year between the county rivals. During the regular season contests, No. 4 seed East Coweta and No. 5 Newnan split their region meeting, each winning on the other’s home court.

The rubber game will be winner takes all, however. The loser will have its 2013-14 season come to a close.

The Lady Indians (10-14, 3-7) and Lady Cougars (6-19, 2-8) each come into the tournament off losses on Saturday. East Coweta closed out its regular season falling to third-seeded Langston Hughes 59-31 to snap a two-game winning streak in region play. The Lady Panthers (21-4, 7-3) and Westlake are both state ranked, but Hughes’ girls missed out on a first-round bye and automatic state berth with an extra region loss.

Douglas County (20-3 8-2) claimed second place and the

HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER

No. 2 seed in the tournament with help from its win over Westlake on Jan. 7.

Instead, Hughes, ranked 10th in Class AAAAAA, will play No. 6 seeded Tri-Cities in one girls semifinal while Coweta rivals battle it out in Friday’s other game.

Newnan’s girls are coming off a 65-48 loss to No. 1 seed and seventh state-ranked Westlake and need to win for the first time since Jan. 18 in order to keep its season alive.

The Cougars, meanwhile, fought through a rollercoaster January to finish with the No. 4 seed in the 3-AAAAAA tournament and will face a Langston Hughes boys lineup that pulled off a 47-45 win the last time the teams met.

Newnan (17-7, 5-5) closed the season with a 3-4 record over its last seven region games, but also has wins in two of its last three 3-AAAAAA contests coming into this week.

East Coweta’s boys will need its best performance of the season to avoid being knocked from state tournament contention. Facing third-seed Douglas County for the third time in 2013-14, the Indi- ans (3-21, 1-9) have lost two meetings to the Tigers by an average margin of 47.5 points.

Region 3-AAAAA is well represented in state polls led by top-seeded and top-ranked Westlake (24-2, 9-1). Douglas County is ranked ninth in the classification despite missing out on a first-round bye and an automatic state berth.

The Tigers (18-5, 6-4), however, have proved capable of making a run in the postseason tournament. The team bounced back from a two-point loss to Newnan by routing second-seed and tournament host Tri-Cities 80-55 to close the regular season.

The Bulldogs, who won last year’s 3-AAAAAA champion as an underdog, enter with a 13-11 overall record while finishing 7-3 in region play during the regular season.



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