gmc prep girls vs warren

GMC Prep junior Logan Mitchem gets ready to shoot a left-handed layup in her team’s 63-35 home victory over Warren County Tuesday. The Lady Dogs have a pair of road contests scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but will be back on their home floor Feb. 1 versus Aquinas.

The GMC Prep Lady Dogs (15-2 overall, 11-0 region) took care of business on their home floor Tuesday night. 

There they completed the regular season sweep of the Warren County Lady Screaming Devils, winning the Region 7-A matchup running away 63-35. Ten different Lady Dogs scored in the blowout as GMC Prep head coach Shawn Dennis was able to get at least some playing time for his entire bench. Early on though it was a familiar trio handling the scoring duties for the home team. Junior Deandria Stephens led the way with 18 points while senior guard Kennedy-Paige Davis and junior DeAisha Stephens finished with 13 and 10 respectively. In short, the Lady Dogs were just too much for the visitors from Warrenton to handle. 

“We did a better job offensively in the halfcourt,” Dennis said of his team’s performance. “That’s a good thing because we’ve been trying to work on that, especially against zone teams. We sometimes struggle to get good shots against zone defenses. We saw the open people tonight and moved the ball to get better looks.”

That improved was apparent early on as Deandria Stephens found teammate Emma Lewis open down in the post for an easy bucket. Lewis had a knack for finding the open spot in the Warren County defense and was rewarded with a few more open looks on the night. The game was close for the first four minutes, but a Davis three-pointer gave the Lady Dogs some breathing room and they really ran away with the region contest after that. They carried a 23-10 advantage into the second quarter where they put forward their best defensive frame of the night. 

GMC Prep continued to pour in the points in the second period, but the other end of the floor is where Dennis’ team really shined. Warren scored around the six-minute mark, and those would be the only points they would get in the entire frame. The Lady Dogs’ dominance bled over into the second half where they took a 55-21 lead into the final quarter, which was shortened to six minutes. The wide margin allowed the team to get into one of its less-often utilized defensive looks.

“Defensively, we got to work on our zone,” said Dennis. “We’ve been playing man most of the year, but I think we’ll need that zone sometime down the line. Tonight was a good chance to work on that.”

Even without taking Tuesday’s win into account, the GMC Prep Lady Dogs have put together yet another strong regular season with the region tournament now only a couple weeks away. Region 7-A is divided into sub-regions and the Lady Dogs’ perfect 11-0 mark has them standing atop their side of the region while reigning champ Stratford holds the other side. The GMC Prep girls have a big in-division game at second place Lake Oconee Academy Saturday. A win there would all but lock up one of two top seeds entering the eight-team region tournament.

Looking at the bigger picture, Dennis’ Dogs hold the eighth spot in the latest GHSA power rankings, the tool used to determine seeding for the state playoffs. The top eight slots receive a first-round bye in the state tournament, an honor the GMC Prep girls have earned before. 

Before Saturday’s short trip to Lake Oconee Academy in Greensboro, GMC Prep girls basketball will make a long trek to Calhoun County in south Georgia for a Friday night showdown. Region 1-A Calhoun County held the fifth spot in the GHSA Class A-Public power rankings Wednesday, so the matchup should prove to be a good test for both squads. 

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