As the county basketball regular season heads into its final month, it isn’t winding down – it’s just starting to heat up.
That’s especially true in Region 2A-AAAAA, which promises to provide entertaining basketball each time county teams hook up. And that’s on both the girls and boys side of the ball.
On the boys side, Evans High School is the only 2A team with a winning record, but I can see as many as three teams from our half of the region advancing to the state tournament.
Before region play began, Evans head coach Kevin Kenny said he expected competitive games across the board, and he is finding out firsthand just how right he is. The Knights (13-3, 2-0) beat a two-win Greenbrier squad by three points in the region opener in a game that wasn’t decided until the final buzzer. Then they held off Lakeside (6-11, 1-1) 57-56 Tuesday night.
Tuesday night’s loss was the second consecutive one-point game for Lakeside after the Panthers opened with a 42-41 win over Grovetown. The Warriors (5-13, 1-1) evened their region record Tuesday with a 48-41 win over Greenbrier (2-13, 0-2).
The county girls teams appear to be the class of the entire region. After Tuesday night, Greenbrier was 12-4, Grovetown was 11-5 and Evans stood at 10-5. In the bottom half of the region, Warner Robins’ girls are the top team, sporting a 9-9 mark.
While county teams scheduled tough out-of-region competition in the first half of the year, the region games might be the ones that leave them battle-tested and ready for region and state tournaments.
In the region opener at Greenbrier in front of an overflow crowd, the Lady Knights (2-0 region) rallied from a double-digit deficit to down the Lady Wolfpack 47-46 on a late 3-pointer, then beat Lakeside (0-2) by 11 Tuesday night.
Greenbrier (1-1) rebounded from the Evans defeat to hand Grovetown (1-1) its first region loss Tuesday, beating the Lady Warriors 44-39. The Lady Warriors went into the game following a 44-38 win over Lakeside.
Entering their Jan. 12 game against Jefferson County, the Harlem Lady Bulldogs were 0-15 and 0-2 in Region 3-AA play. Jefferson County sank six 3-pointers, but behind the 28-point effort from Brandy Hardaway, the Lady Bulldogs walked away 42-33 winners.
It was also a big day for the Harlem boys. Sophomore Reggie Reid’s 25-points led a 66-58 over Jefferson County, improving the Bulldogs’ record to 11-8, 1-2, while Reid cracked the 1,000-point mark for his young career.