0

Jonesboro teams remain undefeated; Eagles, Raiders earn state rankings

By Rory Sharrock

rsharrock@news-daily.com

Although this season is still in its infancy, the action on the court thus far has generated enough energy to ignite the fuse of the state tournament powder keg.

In the Southern Crescent, the elite boys' and girls' teams have carried their super-charged enthusiasm during warm-ups and throughout the entire game as they continue to climb up the state and regional standings.

Each squad showcases an abundance of talent that is well-known in their backyard and in various parts of the metro area.

*****

Tournament tested: Last weekend's holiday festivities featured a side dish of tournaments in Clayton and Henry County.

Down at Union Grove High School, the Joneboro Cardinals and Lady Cardinals pulled off a championship sweep at the McIntosh Bank Thanksgiving Classic.

The boys defeated host school Union Grove 60-50, while the girls beat Salem 63-53.

On Tuesday, both teams knocked off Gwinnett Central in their home-opener to improve to 4-0.

At Morrow High School, eight schools, including three from Clayton County (North Clayton, Lovejoy and Morrow), competed in the 18th annual Brown Arrowhead Classic Thanksgiving Tournament.

The North Clayton Lady Eagles beat Heritage 43-37 to take home the trophy.

The next highest finish for either team, boys or girls, were the Lovejoy Lady Wildcats - who placed fourth overall.

*****

State-ranked: After one week in the books, North Clayton and Riverdale boys still remain amongst the top in Georgia.

The Eagles are currently ranked No. 5, while the Raiders fall one spot behind at No. 6 in Class AAAA.

During the tourney at Morrow, North Clayton suffered two crushing defeats, but closed out by beating Lovejoy 68-56.

This Saturday, the Eagles play Sandy Creek at Philips Arena prior to an Atlanta Hawks' game.

The Raiders came out smoking at the Morrow tourney with a 70-40 blow out over Mill Creek.

Riverdale recently fell against South Cobb, losing 73-71 in overtime.

*****

Also receiving votes: Rounding out the top-heavy teams of the Southern Crescent are the boys from Stockbridge (2-0), Mt. Zion (2-1) and Union Grove (2-1).

Perhaps the most well-rounded program of the bunch is at Mundy's Mill High School.

During their last game, the Tigers ran a clinic against Southwest Atlanta Christian to the tune of a 61-47 victory.

Earlier this month, senior forward Dennis Harris accepted his scholarship offer to attend Louisiana State University. Harris is ranked by rivals.com as one of the premier players in the country.

The Lady Tigers are perfect thus far at 4-0 and are averaging 58.5 points per game.

Both teams play host to Riverdale Friday with the girls tipping at 6 p.m. and the boys beginning at 7:30 p.m.