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Baldwin’s Tamia Smith goes up for a shot in the lane against Putnam County earlier this season. The Bravettes are set to return to the floor Friday to host Spalding in what should be a good matchup.

Many thought high school basketball would not continue past the holiday break, but here we are a handful of days into the new year with play set to resume this week. Here’s where local teams stand as they get ready to compete throughout this busy month of January. 

Baldwin boys and girls undefeated

The Braves (2-0 region, 4-0 overall) and Bravettes (2-0, 5-0) both looked strong in the opening weeks of the season. Both squads should also be very well rested heading into this grueling stretch of competition as neither has played since the Dec. 15 blowouts against region opponent Howard. The Baldwin girls are averaging 58 points per game offensively led by junior Tamia Smith and freshman Madison Ruff. Defensively the Bravettes have only been surrendering 34.4 points a night. While there was some decent competition mixed in among those early games, Coach Kizzi Walker’s team can expect a step up Friday when it hosts Spalding High School. The Lady Jags have a couple of trips to the state finals on their resumé and one state title in recent years. They are 9-3 this season heading into their scheduled contest tonight against Westside-Macon. 

The Baldwin boys have been equally impressive compared to their female counterparts. The Braves are putting up 67 points a night through four contests while allowing opponents just 47. Their closest games came as eight-point wins over Putnam County and Dublin. BHS so far is led in scoring by Jermyus Simmons, Will Freeman and Jacobi Nixon, but many more players are pitching in. Friday’s game against the visiting Jaguars should not be as tough a test as the Bravettes are expecting since the Spalding boys are just 2-7 this year. If the Braves can win Friday then Tuesday, Jan. 12 against West Laurens and against Jan. 16 versus Rutland, they will have beaten every team in the region once.

JMA teams have been busy

The John Milledge varsity boys and girls were definitely the busiest of the local teams over the break by traveling to two tournaments. The Trojans under head coach David Gallagher kept their so-far perfect season intact with wins over Southland Academy and Brookwood before taking down GHSA private school teams Savannah Christian and Calvary Day. Marcus Prestwood and Will Rutland kept up their hot play for the JMA boys in leading the team to the four holiday tournament wins, moving the team to 6-0. 

The Lady Trojans (8-2) suffered one loss in their tournament games to Southland Academy in a low-scoring affair. They bounced back though to blow out Brookwood (52-22 final), Bulloch Academy (55-31) and Savannah Christian (68-20). 

Region play is not scheduled to begin for JMA until Tuesday, Jan. 12 against Westminster. This week the Trojans and Lady Trojans are scheduled to travel to Brentwood today before hosting Trinity Christian on Saturday. 

GMC Prep squads facing schedule changes

GMC Prep basketball was scheduled to host Hancock Central tonight in what would have been big region matchups for both the boys and girls teams. Those games have been moved to Jan. 14 due to Hancock’s need to quarantine.

The GMC Lady Dogs are 4-1 this season after a couple of holiday tournament wins in the week leading up to Christmas. Scoring has been hard to come by beyond the outstanding duo of Deandria Stephens and DeAisha Stephens (no relation). The GMC girls have been totaling only 36.4 points per game so far this season, but that has been enough to get the job done on almost every occasion.

The GMC Prep boys under first-year head coach Lee Coleman are currently searching for their first win after having lost to FPD and Tattnall. The team got a later start than the girls due to having to wait on some players and their head coach to come over from the football field. 

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