By Rory Sharrock
From the opening tip through the first five minutes of the game, the fan base for Jonesboro and Forest Park appeared on edge, as both schools traded shot-for-shot.
However, at the start of the second quarter, the Lady Cardinals received a sigh of relief after going on a 14-6 run.
From there, Jonesboro never looked back en route to a 71-49 blow out over the Lady Panthers.
Jonesboro junior point guard Drameka Griggs, who led all scores with 16 points, created havoc on both ends of the floor in her team's lopsided victory.
"We started out slow in the first quarter, so I just tried to get my team pumped," Griggs said. "We came out later and played hard. We got a big lead on them and kept it the whole game."
Senior shooting guard Bobbi Boyer, who had her volleyball jersey retied Friday night, followed behind Griggs on the stat sheet with 13 points.
Jonesboro's entire roster joined in on the scoring party, as the game got out of hand midway through the third quarter and coach Jamie Horton emptied his bench.
"They came ready to play tonight (Friday)," said Horton. "We had a good week of practice, and hopefully, we'll carry this over into the next game."
With this win, Jonesboro improves to 7-2 overall. The Lady Cardinals still remain in first place in Region 4-AAAA at 3-1.
In the nightcap, the boys kept the blow out theme over Forest Park in tact by cruising to a 78-53 win.
Jonesboro, which is ranked ninth in Class AAAA, led from start to finish, with its smallest margin being 10 points at the end of the first quarter with the Cardinals up 21-11.
The Cardinals' senior backcourt duo of point guard Antonio Bell, who scored 19 points with six assists, and shooting guard Brandon Hosley, who dropped 10 points, made it difficult for Forest Park to keep pace when Jonesboro ran free on the floor.
"It was a good day at the office," said Bell.
"Brandon (Hosley) was sick today, so I had to step up and play good for the team."
Although the game's outcome was never in question, Bell isn't phased by the rout, but rather keeps his team's win in its proper perspective.
"The game was never in doubt, but I don't want to get cocky. I just think my team played well and we won the game."
Friday's victory improves the Cardinals record to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in league play.
Neither team will have long to celebrate their wins, as they return to the hardwood Saturday on the road at Morrow.