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Stockbridge's great start ... Region leaders begin to emerge

Having two of the top scorers in Region 4 has helped propel Stockbridge into the state rankings.

The No. 6 Tigers are a fairly young team, but coach Rodney Latham has got the team's high-powered offense into gear behind seniors Kavonte Ivery and Terrynce Jackson. Ivery, a 6-7 forward who has signed with Georgia State, is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson, a 6-foot guard, is a transfer from Ola who led the region in scoring at 18.9 points a year ago.

"We're coming together," Latham said. "We like to play at a fast pace, shoot the 3, and our defense turns into our offense. We're doing a lot of good things right now."

The Tigers  had a nice win last week over Woodland, hitting a couple of key free throws down the stretch en route to a 76-69 win.

"We started off kind of slow, but right now we're playing together and finally start to hit our stride," Latham said.

The Tigers have a busy week. They host Locust Grove on Tuesday, host Jones County on Friday and travel to Eagle's Landing on Saturday. Stockbridge beat Eagle's Landing earlier this season and the winner will have a leg up toward nailing down the top see in the Region 4 tournament.

Sizing up the regions

With only three weeks left in the regular season, the leaders are starting to emerge in Class AAAAA. Most teams have played through the league schedule once and are beginning to make up games lost to the variety of weather issues.

Here’s a look at where the boys and girls races stand in each region.

Region 1: Girls – Harris County (17-2, 4-0) has a slight lead over Bainbridge (18-2, 3-1). The teams  again on Friday in Bainbridge. Harris County scored an easy 75-57 win over the Bearcats. Boys – No. 1-ranked Warner Robins (14-2, 4-0) is in first place, with Harris County (8-11, 3-1) in second. The Demons have won four straight games. They play Harris County for the second time on Tuesday. Warner Robins won the first meeting by 25 points on Jan. 5.

Region 2: Girls – Ware County (14-2, 2-0) and Wayne County (10-2, 2-0) are tied for first place. The two teams play for the first time on Tuesday night in Jesup. Ware County is one of the hottest teams, having won 14 straight games. Boys – New Hampstead (11-5, 3-0) and Statesboro (14-3, 2-0) are undefeated and share first place. They play each other twice over the last three weeks and meet for the first time on Tuesday in Statesboro. New Hampstead has a three-game winning streak and Statesboro has won its last two games.

Region 3: Girls –  Fayette County (12-4, 6-0) has a one-game advantage on Star’s Mill (13-5, 5-1) and a two-game edge on Griffin (9-6, 4-2). Fayette County has won three straight and has a big game at Griffin on Tuesday. The Tigers beat Starr’s Mill in overtime last week. Boys – McIntosh (11-4, 5-1) has surged to the front of a very solid league. Morrow (11-5, 4-2), Starr’s Mill (11-7, 4-2) and Fayette County (11-7, 4-2) are a step behind. The Chiefs have a big game with Starr’s Mill on Friday. Morrow hosts Riverdale on Saturday.

Region 4: Girls – Dutchtown (15-3, 10-1) has a half-game lead over Eagle’s Landing (12-6, 9-1), but Eagle’s Landing prevailed in their first head-to-head meeting last week. The two region leaders split their two regular-season meetings. Boys – Stockbridge (13-4, 9-1) and Eagle’s Landing (13-5, 9-1) are tied at the top, with Woodland (8-2, 12-5) in third place. Stockbridge plays at Eagle’s Landing on Jan. 20; the Tigers won the first meeting by a point.

Region 5: Girls – Arabia Mountain (14-1, 7-0) has zoomed through the first cycle without a loss and holds a one-game lead over Southwest DeKalb (9-10, 6-1). The Rams have won 13 straight games and well on their way to returning to the state playoffs. Arabia Mountain and SWD play again in the final game of the regular season on Jan. 30 at Southwest. Boys – The state’s toughest league has Miller Grove (12-6, 7-1) in the lead, followed by Southwest DeKalb (13-8, 5-2) and Lithonia (15-4, 4-2). Columbia (11-7, 4-4) and Arabia Mountain (12-8, 4-4) keep things interesting. Southwest lost an overtime decision to Miller Grove on Friday and faces a killer week: Tuesday vs. Lithonia, Friday vs. Miller Grove  and Saturday at Columbia. Lithonia hosts Columbia on Tuesday and is at Arabia Mountain on Friday.

Region 6: Girls – Jackson (9-4, 5-0) remains the only undefeated team in league play. The Panthers have the edge over Decatur (12-6, 7-1). They meet again on Jan. 30 at Decatur. Jackson beat Decatur 52-48 on Jan. 5. Boys – Jackson (17-1, 8-0) is in the middle of a special season. The Jaguars lead Riverwood (11-7, 6-1) and Lithia Springs (10-5, 5-2) after the first rotation through the league. Jackson plays at Riverwood on Tuesday; the Jags won the first meeting 66-58.

Region 7: Girls – Villa Rica (15-0, 10-0) is the only unbeaten team in the state. They have already beaten Carrollton (13-4, 7-1) and Rome (14-2, 6-1) in head-to-head meetings. The Wildcats have return matches against Carrollton on Jan. 23 and Rome of Feb. 2, both at home. Boys – Villa Rica (16-0, 9-0) has taken command of the league, with Kell (10-8, 7-2), Hiram (11-6, 5-2) and Carrollton (12-5, 5-3) playing catch-up. The Wildcats play at Hiram on Tuesday night.

Region 8: Girls – State champion Buford (15-2, 7-0) has made its first lap through the region without a loss. Flowery Branch (16-4, 6-1), a state semifinalist last year, is holding onto second place. The Wolves have won six straight and play Flowery Branch again on Jan. 23. Boys – The league is dead-even with Buford (15-3, 6-1) and Cedar Shoals (8-10, 6-1) all square after Cedar upset the Wolves in Athens on Friday. Buford and Cedar Shoals split their two regular season meetings. Clarke Central (14-4, 4-2) remains a dangerous team.


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