AAAA basketball blog: Marist girls begin busy week with big victory

Marist’s girls team got off to a good start on what is perhaps its most important week of the regular season when it beat ninth-ranked Redan 52-29 on Tuesday.

It was the fifth consecutive victory for Marist, which is 10-2 overall and 6-1 in tough Region 6-AAAA, which has about seven teams with legitimate shots at qualifying for the region’s four state tournament berths.

Marist finishes the week with a home game on Friday against perennial playoff contender Mays and a road game Saturday at Tucker, which beat Redan 51-38 last Friday. The War Eagles also were scheduled to play eighth-ranked Miller Grove this week, but that game has been moved to Feb. 9.

Marist’s two losses this season have come against third-ranked Chamblee (55-33 on Dec. 2) and Hendersonville, Tenn. (56-50 on Dec. 29).

*Hunt’s big night: North Clayton’s Marcus Hunt scored 41 points and recorded a triple-double in the Eagles’ 85-72 victory over Mundy’s Mill on Tuesday that snapped the team’s two-game losing streak. It was the third career game of 40 points or more for the Georgia Tech signee, who also finished the night with double figures in rebounds and assists. Hunt already has broken the school’s all-time career scoring record and is closing in on 1,700 points.

*Glad to be home: The Miller Grove boys team completed its month-long trek into national competition on Monday with a 60-48 loss to St. Anthony of Jersey City, N.J., the No. 4 team in ESPN’s national rankings. St. Anthony outrebounded Miller Grove 32-19, held the Wolverines to 22 second-half points and limited Tony Parker to six points and three rebounds. UCLA signee Kyle Anderson led St. Anthony with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Miller Grove finished 1-8 against out-of-state opponents in the past month, beating St. Rita of Chicago in the first round of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions last week for its only victory. The Wolverines, three-time defending state champions in Class, remain undefeated against Georgia teams and return to region play this week with games against Chamblee (away, Friday) and Dunwoody (away, Saturday).

*Ladies’ night: Six Class AAAA teams will be among the 19 teams participating in the Girls Night Out Showcase, to be held at Starr’s Mill High School. The event begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, with Upson-Lee taking on Class AAAAA East Coweta. Starr’s Mill will play Locust Grove (AAA) at 7 p.m. Friday. Tenth-ranked Rockdale County will face McIntosh at noon on Saturday, to be followed by Habersham Central against North Clayton at 1:30. The event concludes with Norcross, currently ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAA and the two-time defending state champ, facing Center Point, the No. 2-ranked team in Alabama’s Class 5A, in a 7:30 p.m. game Saturday. All proceeds from the event go to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

*Coming up: Brunswick will host Richmond Hill on Friday in a pair of games that will determine the Region 2-AAAA Division A front-runners in both the boys’ and the girls’ races. Brunswick’s boys entered the week 4-0 in the region (13-2 overall), followed by Richmond Hill (11-4, 2-1) and Ware County (9-4, 2-1). The Brunswick girls began the week 9-5, 4-0, while Richmond Hill is 13-1, 3-0. The top-ranked teams from the region are the No. 5 Effingham boys and the No. 2 Statesboro girls, but both play in the other subregion.

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