Photo by Derrick Mahone
Junior Isaiah Dennis has been one of the reasons that third-ranked Eagle’s Landing is 22-2 heading into its regular season final tonight at Spalding. The Golden Eagles will host the Region 4-AAA tournament next week.
The Eagle’s Landing boys basketball team didn’t have much of a blueprint to follow coming into this season.
It was the first time in school history that the Golden Eagles had come off a final four appearance. Last season’s team also recorded a school-record 26 wins en route to the Region 4-AAA championship.
Eagle’s Landing proved that it could handle success.
The third-ranked Golden Eagles will complete their season tonight at Spalding, a team it defeated 78-35 at home on Jan. 13. Eagle’s Landing is 22-2 overall and 14-1 in the region.
Drew, the only team to defeat the Golden Eagles in region play, is currently in second place as it closes the regular season tonight against Stockbridge. If Eagle’s Landing were to lose and Drew were to win, the Golden Eagles would still get the top seed in the region tournament next week at Eagle’s Landing because of the region’s tiebreaker format.
“We’ve been playing well as a team,” Eagle’s Landing coach Clay Crump said. “We have been shoring up some of the areas that we needed to improve and putting in a few new things. We had a real good Senior Night the other day, and we look forward to the region tournament.”
Crump said his team has handled the pressure of being the region favorite well. The team’s only other loss was by seven to top-ranked Columbia in a Christmas tournament.
“Our guys are solid kids that make good grades and have good families,” Crump said. “I wasn’t too worried about how we would handle last year’s success this season. We didn’t have to battle arrogance. Our main focus was to get better as the season went along.”
FIRST SENIOR NIGHT: Chances are the emotions will run high tonight at Drew, which will celebrate its first “Senior Night” in school history.
Drew, which opened three years ago, will host Stockbridge in the final regular-season game of the season. The girls team needs a win to stay tied with Sandy Creek for the lead in the region standings.
Since the teams split during their two-game series this season, they will hold a coin flip on Saturday morning to determine the top seed in next week’s region tournament at Eagle’s Landing High.
Drew is the defending region girls champion, which was the first in the history of the school of any of the its sports teams.