By Doug Gorman and Anthony Rhoads
The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals face perhaps their biggest test of the year starting tonight on the road at Mays High School.
Jonesboro brings its No.-1 state ranking into the Region 5-AAAA sub-region game with Mays. With its victory Saturday night against Lovejoy, Jonesboro improved to 16-0 overall. The Lady Cardinals are 4-0 in league action.
It will be Mays' first game since returning from Christmas vacation.
Jonesboro, which is 4-0 in league play, won twice over the weekend, beating Forest Park in a 5-AAAA cross-over game, and Lovejoy in a non-region game.
Jonesboro's senior Shade' Smith scored her 1,000th-career point in the victory against Lovejoy. Things don't get any easier on Friday for the Lady Cardinals as they travel to North Atlanta. North Atlanta was also ranked the most recent Class AAAA poll, which was released last week.
North Atlanta is 15-4 overall and 5-2 in region play.
It's the second meeting this year between the two teams. In the meeting at Jonesboro, the Lady Cardinals won 50-49.
Jonesboro head coach John Kovzel anticpates challenges in both games.
"I have never been to either place, but the games are on the road, and both teams are very good. It will be a challenge for us to go in there and win."
Pleased with the effort: When legendary coach A.C. McCullers took over the girls head coaching job at Union Grove this season, it was expected that the team would improve. So far in the season, the team has made steady progress with an 8-7 overall record and a 3-3 Region 4-AAAAA record.
"Our kids are improving," McCullers said. "I'm really pleased with the effort; they're working really hard. They're a great group of kids and they've come a long way."
McCullers came back to the high school ranks this season after spending the last five years at Clayton State. McCullers, who guided the Morrow girls to four state championships, have more than 700 victories in high school and college basketball.
McCullers has been busy this year as not only the girls' coach but he's the boys junior varsity coach and is an assistant on the boys' varsity team.
"It's been fun," McCullers said. "These guys (the j.v. team) play their hearts out. They might not be the most talented bunch out there but they play hard."
They're still unbeaten: Everything seems to be going right for the Lady Crusaders. In its last outing, Mt. Veron rolled to a 60-18 victory against Killian Hills. The easy victory kept the Lady Crusaders unbeaten with a 14-0 record.
They are unbeaten in region competition.
Jessie Bailey led the way with 22. Hope Weldon and Samantha Bailey added 10 each.