“Losing the eight games was tough,” Maehlman said. “I think all the teams that we’ve lost to have been ranked in their state. … It was good to get the kids out of Georgia. You get to see different brands of basketball because you don’t know what style you’re going to see in the state playoffs. And it helps with the bonding … they get to hang out together and there aren’t as many distractions.”
The Cardinals are led by three seniors -- wing Dakota Leffew, who averages 14.7 points, point guard DuShawn Ellerbe and Bruce Martin, a 6-foot-6 stretch forward who averages 9.8 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Quinn Thomas averages 8.8 points.
Jonesboro hosts reigning Region 3 champion Starr’s Mill (10-10, 5-3) on Tuesday at Clayton State. Jonesboro defeated the Panthers 58-55 on Dec. 11.
In other boys games scheduled Tuesday: No. 6 Lithonia (14-7, 8-1) carries a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's Region 5 contest against Columbia (10-7, 4-4). The Bulldogs prevailed 79-57 in their first meeting on Dec. 11 at Lithonia. Columbia coach Phil McCrary needs four more wins to reach 600 for his career. … No. 3 Southwest DeKalb (16-6, 8-1) hosts Chamblee (10-11, 4-5), a gritty team competing for the third seed in Region 5. …. In Region 2, Statesboro (18-4, 3-1) hosts Wayne County (16-4, 4-1) to determine a share of the region lead. (New Hampstead also has one region loss.) Wayne County beat Statesboro 57-44 on Jan. 8
Top girls games on Tuesday's schedule: No. 9 Carrollton hosts Rome in a game that could help determine the No. 2 seed in the Region 7 playoffs. Carrollton (15-6, 10-2) defeated Rome (13-7, 8-3) by 12 points when they met for the first time on Dec. 12. Both teams are chasing No. 2-ranked Villa Rica. … In Region 2, No. 4 Statesboro (21-1, 5-0) will host Wayne County (16-3, 4-2). Statesboro has won five straight, among them an eight-point win over Wayne County on Jan. 8.