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Ranked local teams return to the court tonight

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

Twelve high school boys and girls basketball games are on the docket Friday night in the Southern Crescent, including games that will renew some long-time rivalries.

The doubleheaders feature several teams ranked in the gasports.com coaches' poll.

Among the top contests on tap tonight is Forest Park traveling to Jonesboro.

The Forest Park girls come into the region matchup with a 11-5 record overall and 9-0 in region play and ranked No. 10 in the gasports.com Class AAAA Coaches' poll.

It will be a rematch from a game earlier this year.

In the first meeting between the two teams, the Lady Panthers beat Jonesboro 82-28.

The Jonesboro boys (13-3 overall, ) are ranked 10th in the most recent Class AAAA poll.

Jonesboro finished second in a holiday tournament in Puerto Rico during the Christmas break, but lost a game to North Clayton before last week's ice storm sent all high school basketball teams into an unwanted hiatus.

The Cardinals are coming off a 57-40 victory against Tri-Cities Tuesday. Jonesboro has won seven of the last nine games.

Other ranked teams playing tonight include the Lovejoy boys (14-2), who are third in the Class AAAA poll. They take their show on the road for a game at Mt. Zion.

The Wildcats pulled out a 47-43 victory Tuesday night against Morrow.

Still head coach Rick Francis wasn't happy with the intensity shown by his team. He promised everything would change tonight.

"I'm looking for consistency, and these guys need to understand the pressure is on - that means executing in every facet of the game," said Francis after the Wildcats' last outing.

Eagle's Landing is ranked ninth in the Class AAA poll.

The Golden Eagles (11-3) hit the road against Eastside, but will play the game without the services of Desmond Ringer, who is expected to be out at least for the rest of the regular season after suffering a knee injury.

Henry County, which beat Eagle's Landing 84-68 Tuesday night, is ranked seventh in the Class AAA poll. The Warhawks are off until Saturday when they host ELCA.

The Warhawks benefited from the fact the Ringer didn't play or ELHS, but Warhawk head coach Vince Rosser was still happy with the way his team played.

"Desmond (Ringer) was a big part of their offense and defense," Henry County coach Rosser said Tuesday, "but I was just proud of our guys stepping up and playing

"Desmond (Ringer) was a big part of their offense and defense," Henry County coach Vincent Rosser said, "but I was just proud of our guys stepping up and playing

Ola travels to Union Grove tonight in another matchup of rivals. None of the teams are ranked, but the two Henry County Schools are meeting in important Region 3A-AAAA meeting.

It's the second time the two schools have played. Union Grove is going for the sweep after winning both the boys and girls games in the first meeting earlier this year.

Stockbridge travels to Locust Grove for a girls and boys doubleheader in Region 4-AAA action. It's the second meeting between the two region and county foes. The Tigers won both the boys and girls games the first time the two schools meet.

Also at home ELCA takes on Greenforest and Tri-Cities visits Riverdale.

Elsewhere, Woodland travels to Jones County, Strong Rock plays at Whitefield, Luella heads to Stephenson, and Drew goes to Spalding.