The beginning of February brings the end of high school basketball’s regular season, so teams have only a handful of games remaining before they get into their respective playoffs.
John Milledge and GMC Prep both went on the road Tuesday night for some region action to try and improve their standings.
Trojans take two at Westminster
The John Milledge boys and girls teams had a fruitful trip to Westminster as both came back with Region 4-AAA wins to add to their records.
The Lady Trojans (13-3 overall, 4-1 region), under head coach Tasha Gainous, had to work extra hard for their road victory. It took two overtimes to decide their ballgame against the host Lady Wildcats, but JMA came out on top 45-42. The Lady Trojans came out the gate hot before fizzling as the game wore on while Westminster started slow and improved its score to force the extra period. John Milledge, though, had what it took to finish and leave Augusta with the double overtime win.
JMA junior Olivia Rhodes tied a game-high with her 19 points while senior Sutton Eady finished with 15, a majority of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime periods.
The Lady Trojans hold a one-game lead over Augusta Prep in the region standings. Prep easily defeated Bethlehem Christian Tuesday night, which is the team JMA will close out its region schedule against Feb. 4. A win there would lock up the regular season region championship for the Lady Trojans.
Later on in boys action, John Milledge (12-3 overall, 5-1 region) completed the regular season sweep over the Westminster Wildcats by winning 53-46. The game was close through three quarters, but the Trojans were able to finish off their opponent with a 17-13 advantage in the final period.
The two teams’ performances could not have been anymore different. Westminster relied on top scoring threat Devin Story, who finished with a game-high 27 points, whereas the Trojans had four different players score in double figures. Sophomore Marcus Prestwood led the way with his 13-point, 11-rebound double-double while senior sharpshooter Parker Blenk had 11 points. Both Landen Burney and Javien Tucker finished with 10 points apiece and fifth starter Patrick McDonel pitched in seven points and seven rebounds in the winning effort.
The road win puts a lot of weight on this Friday’s matchup between head coach David Gallagher’s Trojans and Loganville Christian Academy as both teams have one region loss. The Trojans’ lone loss came in a 44-39 decision at Loganville earlier this month. They will try to get both even and ahead Friday when they host the Lions inside the Trojans Center for a night of boys-only action. Junior varsity boys will tip at 4:30 p.m. with varsity set to follow at 6.
GMC Prep swept in Sparta
Both the Lady Dogs and Bulldogs had a tough time over at Hancock Central Tuesday night.
The GMC Prep girls (16-4 overall, 12-1 region) suffered their first loss in Region 7-A play when they fell to Hancock 45-37. Head coach Shawn Dennis’ team still has the top seed on GMC Prep’s side of the region locked up though, even if the Lady Dogs were to fall at home Saturday against Aquinas. The first quarter was pretty much the difference in Tuesday’s girls matchup as Hancock won the opening period 15-8 and held off GMC Prep from there. The host Lady Bulldogs of Hancock Central were led by Amber Strother’s 20 points and Jarlexia Hargrove’s 10. GMC Prep was once again led by junior standout Deandria Stephens who finished with 12 points on the night.
In boys action, Hancock Central (19-3 overall, 11-1 region) solidified its hold on the top spot on its and GMC Prep’s side of the region. Coach James Lunsford’s Bulldogs (13-6 overall, 9-4 region), however, have dropped to fourth in the region standings behind Lincoln County, a team they beat twice this season. GMC Prep was able to hang with Hancock’s firepower through one quarter down only 23-20, but that was not the case later as the home team won the final three periods 54-35.
The top four seeds on each side of Region 7-A advance to the region tournament, and the GMC Prep boys are not in any danger of falling out of those ranks since they hold a four-game lead over the next closest team.
The GMC Prep basketball teams will close out their regular seasons at home Saturday against Aquinas. Junior varsity boys are set to tip at 3:30 p.m. inside the Cordell Events Center with varsity girls to follow at 5 and boys at 6:30.