AA basketball blog: Model wins 15th straight

The Model girls may not have a lot of Sports Center moments, but the Blue Devils find ways to win games. On Tuesday the No. 4-ranked team swamped rival Armuchee 50-35 to improve to 18-1 and 7-0 in Region 7-AA Subregion A.

Model has won 15 consecutive games since losing in the Darlington Thanksgiving Classic. Coach Sally Echols team is doing it with a balanced scoring attack and heavy emphasis on defense. Model stresses fundamentals and hitting the boards.

In the win over Armuchee it was Timia Reynolds and Kaylee Akin with 14 points and Carla Clemmons with 13 rebounds who led the way.

Pack gets tighter in Region 5

The goal for the teams in Region 5-AA is to avoid being in the first-round tournament game against No. 6 Jordan, which is 17-1 and has won 12 straight games, or No. 7 Manchester, which is 11-1 and has a 10-game winning streak.

Callaway helped its own cause on Tuesday by taking advantage of a short-handed Temple team to score a 79-62 upset and improved its standing in the region. Temple will be without the players again on Friday when it plays Manchester. Carver, Temple, Kendrick and Callaway now all have region losses.

Manchester plays at Jordan on Jan. 27 in a game that could determine first place. Manchester won the first meeting 72-69 in overtime.

Coosa clips biggest rival

Coosa may be making the kind of move that gets the Eagles into the state rankings. The boys beat their biggest rival Rome on Tuesday thanks to a big fourth quarter and rolled to a 67-50 win.

The win was the fifth straight for Coosa, which improved to 15-2. The Eagles are now tied with Model for first place in Region 7 Subregion A; both teams are 5-1 in league play. Model routed Coosa 77-56 in December and the rematch will be Jan. 27 at Coosa.

Coosa has three seniors who have been instrumental in their success: Tyler Bradley, Slade Shumate and Kaleb Moore. Each scored in double figures against Rome. They sparked the 25-9 run in the final period that enabled the team to win in a lopsided manner.

Buford boys drop two in a row

Buford coach Allen Whitehart tried to take most of the blame as the Wolves lost back-to-back games against Greater Atlanta Christian and Whitefield Academy. “We’re just not playing very well right now,” Whitehart told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “The things we pride ourselves on, I just don’t think we’re doing very well. I’ll take part of the blame for that. Maybe we need to refocus on some things we need to do better.” No. 3 Buford lost a 54-45 decision to GAC and followed it with a 74-64 loss to Whitefield, the No. 2 team in Class A. The Wolves were idle on Tuesday.

Rabun County loses its first

Banks County handed No. 7 Rabun County its first loss of the season. Banks played an inspired game before an enthusiastic crowd that responded to the plea to wear black to the game. The 58-54 win means Banks and Rabun are tied for second in Region 8-AA Subregion A. Banks took the lead 55-53 with 26 seconds left and Rabun missed a chance to tie by making only one of two free throws. Ashley Morris cinched it for Banks with a pair of free throws

Part 4: Region-by-region look at contenders

Today is the last of a four-part look at the state’s various regions. Today we’ll look at the girls teams from Regions 5-8.

Region 5: Heard County, Carver and Kendrick look like the cream of the crop in this equitable league. Heard still has road games against both teams. Carver defeated Kendrick the first time and meets against on Feb. 3. Jordan, which handed Carver its only region loss, could also get in the mix.

Region 6: This powerhouse league includes four state-ranked teams. In Subregion A, Buford, Decatur and Greater Atlanta Christian can play with anyone. In Subregion B, No. 1-ranked Lovett has lost only to powers Wesleyan and St. Pius, as well as Memphis Central of Tennessee. The Lions have won their subregion games by an average of 33 points. Lovett has already beaten No. 5 Decatur and No. 9 GAC from the other side and meets No. 3 Buford on Saturday.

Region 7: In Subregion A, No. 4 Model has won 14 straight games and travels to second-place River Ridge on Friday. Model beat the Knights by 13 points in early December, but River Ridge has not lost since returning from the Christmas break. In Subregion B, No. 8 Dade County remains undefeated and has already handed Calhoun its only subregion loss. The Wolverines host Sonoraville, the subregion’s third-place team, on Friday.

Region 8: In Subregion A, East Hall has a showdown with Rabun County on Friday in Gainesville. It was expected to be a showdown for first place, although that has changed since Banks County joined the conversation by upsetting Rabun. In Subregion B, No. 10 North Oconee has separated itself from the pack by winning its first five subregion games. The Titans have won five straight, with none of the opponents scoring more than 38 points and two scoring less than 20.

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