The Glenn Hills Lady Spartans took everybody by surprise last season, getting off to a slow start before capturing their first region basketball title in school history and making an appearance in the state sectionals.
This year, the Lady Spartans, under coach Bernard Bowman, have done what everyone expected them to do - win.
Glenn Hills is off to a 17-1 start and is the only unbeaten team (11-0) in Region 3-AAAA. They are ranked No. 2 in the latest state rankings, compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
The Lady Spartans play host to Butler at 7 p.m. tonight in a Region 3-AAAA contest. On Saturday, Glenn Hills welcomes Laney in a 5 p.m. non-region game. Laney, which sits atop the Region 3-AAA standings, is the only team to beat Glenn Hills this season.
The Lady Spartans feature two of the area's top underclassmen in freshman center Tyhiesha Smith (13.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.5 blocks) and sophomore forward Marian Whitfield (13.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.1 spg).
Senior point guard MarQuita Lacey leads the area in assists, averaging 7.4 per game.
AROUND THE CORNER:
Georgia schools have two weeks before they can begin baseball practice. Although full practice isn't allowed until Feb. 19, teams can hold a one-week conditioning period beginning Feb. 12.
Opening day is March 5.
After starting the year 8-1, North Augusta has dropped its past two games. The Yellow Jackets lost a 72-43 non-region game to Lower Richland on Jan. 19, then lost to Irmo earlier this week.
North Augusta (8-3, 3-1 Region 3-AAAA) will look to take the sting out of region rival Aiken (7-10, 1-3) in a game that the Yellow Jackets and Hornets need to win to stay in the hunt for the regiontitle.
Tonight's game between Allendale-Fairfax and Barnwell will pit Region 6-AA's top two teams as the Tigers (14-8, 5-0) take on the Warhorses (17-2, 3-1) in Barnwell.
Allendale-Fairfax is looking to advance to the state playoffs, while the Warhorses are expected not only to return, but contend in the state playoffs.
BATTLE FOR SUPREMACY:
Tonight's matchup between Estill (14-2, 6-0) and the defending girls Class A state champ, Blackville-Hilda (14-1, 5-1), will be a battle for sole possession of first place.
The Lady Hawks are coming off a 44-point win over Region 4-A foe Denmark-Olar on Thursday. Keisha Jones scored a game-high 28 points, while Tiffany Hagood contributed 21 in the 77-33 rout.
The Lady Fighting Gators defeated Hunter-Kinard-Tyler 64-41 behind the 21-point performance of Sharonda Gordon.
Heading into tonight's game against Estill, Blackville-Hilda's Nick Thomas needs 100 points to reach the 1,000-point mark in his career. The Hawks' senior is averaging 24.5 points through 14 games.
McCormick (8-10, 2-1) will play host to Ridge Spring-Monetta (8-11, 1-3) in a Region 1-A contest, while Silver Bluff travels to Jasper County in Region 6-AA matchup.
Region 5-AAA will feature Newberry at Midland Valley and as Strom Thurmond travels to Lexington to take on White Knoll.
ON THE MATS:
Some of best high school wrestling in the area will take place this weekend in the Butler Duals. The action begins at 5 p.m. today and continues through Saturday.
Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Miguelangelo Hernandez at (706) 823-3304.