By Brian Howard
Although the high school basketball season has already tipped off in Henry County, three Clayton schools begin the march toward a state title tonight.
Jonesboro travels to Cedar Shoals to begin the season tonight, while Paideia takes on Forest Park at Mt. Zion High School and Riverdale plays Newnan at Mt. Zion High School Saturday.
The Lady Cardinals went 28-3 overall last season and captured the Region 5E-AAAA title, going 9-2 and advancing to the Elite Eight.
Jonesboro coach John Kovzel, in his eighth year with a 120-49 record, has four key returning players back - Jasmine Duffey, Jawanda Duffey, Kala Smith and Laytona Jackson.
Some of the newcomers that will look to keep Jonesboro a top the region standings are Shanicka Reddick, Bobbi Boyer, Chase Morgan, transfer from New Orleans Lonnika Thomas and Joi Holifield.
"We need to find a point guard," Kovzel said. "Shade' Smith gaduated and there is a need to find depth at all positions. We graduated six seniors last year."
Lady Cardinals volleyball coach Dan Maehlman takes over as the Joneboro boys basketball coach.
The Cardinals went 8-17 a year ago and 4-12 in the region, and didn't qualify for the postseason, finishing sixth in the region.
"The preseason is going well and we are working hard," Maehlman said.
Some of the top returners include Brandon Lucas, Hendrick Clark and Brandon Hosley. Some of the fresh faces for Jonesboro will be Christian Smith and Warren Lee.
The Forest Park girls basketball team went 5-10 overall and 2-7 in Region 5W-AAAA.
The Lady Panthers lost in the region tournament to Columbia.
The Panthers' boys team went 2-15 overall and 1-8 in the region, losing to Stone Mountain in the region tournament.
The Riverdale girls basketball team went 20-7 last year and 12-4 in Region 2-AAAAA, finishing third behind Redan and Stephenson.
The Lady Raiders concluded their season with a loss in the state tournament to Stephenson.
The Riverdale boys team didn't enjoy much of the success of the girls squad, going 9-12 overall and 6-9 in region. The Raiders lost in the region tournament to Tri-Cities.
No other information was given from Forest Park and Riverdale high schools.