Prep Sports: Break nearly over, local teams prepare for 2013 stretch

By DOUG GORMAN
dgorman@newnan.com
With the holidays over, winter high school sports seasons are about to hit their very important stretch drive.
For basketball teams, it means jockeying for position in their respective regions.
Through the first half of the season, the Newnan boys basketball team appears ready to contend for a Region 3-AAAAAA title. The Cougars went 2-1 in tournament play at New Manchester, beating Henry County 77-68 and Mays 41-38 before falling to North Atlanta 60-58. They took an 8-3 record into Tuesday’s game against North Florida Christian in a game played at Centennial.
East Coweta’s basketball teams hope to get back on track in January after posting losing records in the first month of the season.
At the Brookwood Deep South Classic, the Indians dropped games to Brookwood (93-59) and Harrison (67-62) to fall to 2-7. The Lady Indians fell to 1-6 following last Thursday’s tournament loss to Brookwood, 54-25.
East Coweta returns to the court Friday with a non-region game against Sandy Creek at home.
Also on Friday, Northgate begins Region 4B-AAAA play at McIntosh. The Vikings are 3-7 after a 81-34 loss to Hillgrove last Thursday. The Lady Vikings, at 3-8, were off during the holidays.

In GISA play, Trinity Christian’s boys wrapped up its holiday schedule with a 90-65 loss to Griffin Christian despite 14 points from Glen Whisby, 13 from Avery Braxton and 10 from Christian Downs at The Heritage School’s Christmas Tournament. Both Whisby and Braxton were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Lions enter Saturday’s trip to LaGrange Academy at 2-8 overall.

The Heritage School resumes play on Thursday at home against new region opponent The Weber School while maintaining an 9-0 record.

WRESTLING: An intense stretch run for county wrestlers begins with this weekend’s area duals, the GHSA’s team-oriented championship format. That will be followed in two weeks by both area and state traditional tournaments bracketed by weight class among schools.

Newnan and East Coweta first travel to the Area 3-AAAAAA duals at Douglas County, while Northgate travels to the 4-AAAAA duals.

The top two teams from each region advance to the state duals on Jan. 12.

SWIMMING: County lineups have made a solid dent in qualifying times for this year’s GHSA Championships at the halfway point of the season. East Coweta’s girls are qualified in all three relays while Lady Indians seniors Kelsey Taliaferro and Ashley Delgado have added individual state marks in four and three events, respectively.

Indian Nick Hogsed leads the way with seven individual state times locally to go with the boys 400-meter freestyle time. East Coweta’s boys will be looking to add relays in the 200 medley and freestyle over the final month of the season.

Northgate has qualified boys and girls relays in the 200 medley and freestyle, needing only to add state marks in the 400-freestyle relay. Individually, sophomore Justin Moore has earned state times in four events and senior Andrew Wheeler one among Viking swimmers. The Lady Vikings have been led by sophomore Delaney Wallace’s three state times.

A young Newnan lineup continues to close in as the season progresses and will join East Coweta on Jan. 12 in LaGrange. County schools will follow with the Clarke-Oconee Invitational on Jan 19 before the annual Tribal Challenge Meet hosted by ECHS.

The swim state meet is set for Feb. 8-9.



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