The new year means setting new resolutions and local basketball teams will seek to carry momentum from the midseason into 2013; the second half of the season will undoubtedly set the tone for who will see their name on the bracket come February.
Jackson County Comprehensive High School
The Lady Panthers are 6-6 overall and 1-2 region play. Victoria Fontana has shown consistency in her leadership and is a reliable shooter. The Panthers’ next test will be at home against North Oconee High School. The Warriors are 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the region. However, the biggest challenge for JCCHS will be down the road when they face Elbert County High School. ECHS is also undefeated in the region and has already achieved double digit wins. Jackson County suffered a 20-point loss to Elbert County on Dec. 11.
The season has begun to worsen on the boys’ side that have had just two wins on the year. The Panthers have had Mo Wade back in the lineup but with limited play; without the services of Wade full time, Jackson County may not be able to finish those games they continue to lose by just a few points. They will battle against North Oconee tonight at 8:30 p.m.
The Panthers need all the wins they can get, but can make a statement if they take down Morgan County High School. The Bulldogs are 6-2 and undefeated in region play prior to competing in the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament. The Bulldogs went 25-5 overall last year and carried its season into March where they fell in the Elite Eight.
Jefferson High School
The Lady Dragons continue to uphold a winning record despite going 1-2 in the Walnut Grove Christmas Tournament. They will take on Oglethorpe County High School at OCHS tonight where they’ll seek to stay undefeated in the region. The Patriots were held to just 18 points when the two met back on Dec. 4 of 2012. Kellie Goza can be a force in the paint but must do so on a consistent basis. Jefferson’s next challenge will be against a Rabun County High School team that earned a 23-6 record a year ago. The two currently have the same record at 8-5.
On the boys’ side, sitting just under .500 isn’t comfortable yet the Dragons have punished themselves with inexcusable losses. Tyler Patrick, who was named to the All-Tournament Team in the WGCT, is relentless fighter but will need support from everyone on the court when it comes to second chance points.
The Dragons are 1-0 in the region and will travel to Oglethorpe County High School tonight for a conference showdown. The first match between the two earlier this season left Jefferson with a 4-point loss. This will be a pivotal weekend for Jefferson as they will have to face their biggest foe, Commerce High School, tomorrow at CHS. The frenzy is set for 7:30 p.m.
Mill Creek High School
MCHS is 7-4 prior to the Peach State Invitational. The results of the tourney will either give the Hawks a little bit of cushion or discomfort. They have just one loss in their conference but will face a strong North Gwinnett High School team tomorrow night at home. This would be a true upset for the Hawks if they pull out a win over a team that is undefeated on the season. Nadiya Miller will anchor the team in shooting, especially from the 3-point line. Showtime is set for 6 p.m.
The boys’ team will also test their luck against a strong Bulldogs club who sits 10-2 overall. Mill Creek is a team who usually defines their outcome in the first half; Trevon Shaw has had struggles shooting and will need help from TJ Christopher and Elijah Bryant for a powerful surge in the first two quarters.