Published Friday, February 01, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
Local basketball teams are nearing the end of the regular season.
With only a handful of games remaining before teams begin turning their attention to the postseason and region tournaments, teams still face some key contests.
The Northgate Vikings travels to Starr’s Mill Friday before closing out the regular season Saturday afternoon at home against Pike County on Senior Day.
Vikings fans will have the chance to celebrate the career of boys coach Mack Cain, who is retiring after more than two decades patrolling the sidelines.
The game against Pike will match Cain against friend and coaching colleague Mark Andrews. The two developed a coaching rivalry starting back in the 1990s when Cain coached at Jonesboro and Andrews coached at Stockbridge.
Northgate (6-14 overall, 3-10 Region 4B-AAAAA) has struggled at times this year and have been unable to finish off teams in the fourth quarter. That was the case Tuesday night against Whitewater in a game that changed hands several times before the Wildcats took control in the final period for a 65-54 victory.
Cain promises his team is going to play hard until the end.
“We are going to keep working,” he said. “Our players are going to keep working and our coaches are going to keep working.”
Northgate has lost four of its last five games.
The Northgate girls (5-15, 2-11) also hope they can get back on track in the last two games. The Lady Vikings head to Starr’s Mill with hopes of ending a three-game losing streak.
In Region 3-AAAAAA action, both Newnan and East Coweta are home for league games. East Coweta takes on Tri-Cities, while Newnan entertains Westlake.
The Lady Indians (3-16 overall, 2-5 Region 3-AAAAAA) are trying to snap a four-game losing streak. They haven’t won since beating Newnan earlier this month. One of the team’s victories earlier this year came in a 14-point win over Tri-Cities.
The East Coweta boys (3-16, 0-7) are looking for their first win against region opponents. In the last meeting between the Indians and Tri-Cities, the Bulldogs knocked off the Indians 73-54.
“We’ve lost a couple of guys during the season, so it’s been tough for us,” said East Coweta head coach Ronnie Vandiver.
Newnan’s boys (13-8, 3-4) are trying to move up in the region standings, but face first-place Westlake tonight and second-place Langston Hughes on Tuesday before facing rival East Coweta in Sharpsburg to close the regular season on Feb. 8.
In its last game, Newnan lost to Douglas County 79-73 in overtime.
To beat Westlake they are going to have to be on top of their game. In the last meeting between the two teams, Westlake won 73-49.
Newnan’s girls (2-18, 2-4) are coming off a 66-38 win over Tri-Cities.
The Heritage School boys (15-4, 5-3) take on Holy Spirit (3-12) in what should be a tuneup for Monday’s game at Loganville Christian. Loganville leads the GISA Region 1-AAA standings, but were beaten by the Hawks for its only region loss.
Heritage School's girls (10-6, 5-2) sit in second place in the region and takes on a Holy Spirit team that has already won the league title with a 8-0 region mark.
(Sports writer Chris Goltermann contributed to this story.)