Coaches and players say that the first part of the season is preparation for region play.
With the first half over, the public school teams dive into the first of their region contests Tuesday night.
In Region 2-AAAAA, the Evans High School boys and girls basketball teams are the defending sub-region champions and have had solid seasons thus far, but will face stiff challenges in region play.
The four teams in the sub-region will face each other three times to determine seeding for the Region 2-AAAAA playoffs in February.
The Lady Knights (8-2) open with Greenbrier’s Lady Wolfpack (10-3), who finished sixth at the third annual Carolina Invitational High School Girls Basketball Tournament in Charleston, S.C., on Monday. The Lady Knights enter coming off a third-place finish at their Monterrey Christmas Tournament. The Lady Wolfpack finished second behind the Lady Knights after losing two of the three region meetings a year ago and Tuesday night could set the tone for the rest of the month.
Looking to make some noise in the girls race, however, are the Lady Warriors from Grovetown, who finished second at the Monterrey Christmas Tournament and roll into region play with a 10-4 mark. They face Lakeside’s Lady Panthers (3-9) who finished 1-2 at the Monterrey Christmas Tournament.
On the boys side, the Panthers (9-2) enter as the county’s hottest team after beating Evans and Grovetown to win the Monterrey Christmas Tournament. The Panthers beat the Warriors (7-7) 61-58 in the final and will open play at home against the Warriors.
The Knights (8-4) lost the last two games of their tournament and will look to rebound against the Wolfpack (6-6).
In Region 3B-AA play, Harlem begins the region facing Laney. The Lady Bulldogs head into their six-game schedule 2-9 while the Bullldogs are 5-7.