The biggest headline last week within Class 4A was the Region 5 showdown between No. 1 McDonough and No. 2 Pace Academy. The top-ranked Warhawks scored a 70-61 victory in that contest and the team’s will faceoff again this Saturday at Pace Academy. This weekend, there are big-time matchpus ahead on the girls side and today’s blog will preview the next two days with the top games to watch for.
On Friday, No. 5 Baldwin will host No. 1 ranked Griffin in a key Region 2 rematch of their previous meeting on Jan. 3. In the first time the teams met, Griffin emerged with a 53-52 victory. That victory has kept the Bears’ flawless record in Region 2 at 7-0 and also leaves them undefeated against Class 4A opponents. Baldwin carries a 7-1 Region 2 mark and its one-point defeat to Griffin is its lone loss within the classification this season. Baldwin not only has home court in its favor this Friday, but the team has rebounded from the Griffin game with an 8-game win-streak and has compiled a 13-7 overall record after opening the year 0-4 and 5-7 after the Bears’ loss. Additionally, Baldwin has been dominant over the course of its active win-streak, defeating Westside (64-24), Washington County (68-21 and 65-31), West Laurens (53-17), Perry (73-28), Dutchtown (60-32), Howard (50-23) and Spalding (71-20) on Tuesday in its last outing. As a result, Baldwin’s 8-game win-streak has seen a whopping 36.25 average margin of victory. As for Griffin, The Bears bounced back from a 55-47 loss to Class 7A Grayson with a 56-37 win over West Laurens and an 84-36 win over Spalding this past weekend to improve to 16-3 overall.
The biggest thing to watch for in Friday’s matchup will be Griffin’s three-point shooting. The Bears’ struggled uncharacteristically with an 0-14 night from beyond the arc in in its 53-52 win over the Braves, while Baldwin went 3-of-7 from three-point range. It was an edge in rebounding, steals and assists that helped Griffin prevail in spite of the shooting woes the team experienced that night. On the other hand, Baldwin very easily could’ve gotten the win if not for a rough second quarter where it was outscored 17-9 and a 5-of-13 team shooting at the foul line.
Friday will also showcase a Region 5 battle with No. 4 Luella and No. 10 Stockbridge. Both teams enter the matchup with 14-6 records and Luella previously earned a 66-62 victory over Stockbridge back on Dec. 9. Stockbridge is 8-1 in region play and Luella is 10-0, so this is a big test for both teams ahead of the region tournament. On Saturday, the top matchup will be No. 3 ranked Westminster against Class 6A Marist—who carries a 14-game win-streak into the showdown. Westminster features 6-foot-1 senior Courtney Ogden, who is averaging 21.8 ppg this season. Odgen was recently announced as one of the four Georgia players that were invited to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game and poured in a game-high 29 points and 11 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 67-54 loss to Holy Innocents’ last weekend.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com