Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman expects another tough battle tonight when his team plays at Forest Park in a key Region 4-AAAA contest.
Dan Maehlman knows that records can be deceiving.
That’s why the Jonesboro coach is not paying much attention to Forest Park’s 10-6 overall record.
Maehlman is convinced that the Panthers will not be a pushover tonight for his ninth-ranked Cardinals in a key Region 4-AAAA contest.
“I don’t ever care what Forest Park’s record is, I know they are going to give you a game,” Maehlman said. “Coach (Antonio) Wade is going to have his kids ready to play. They are one of the best teams in our region. They have good guards, and their coach runs a very good system.”
Jonesboro players knows that Maehlman is not just offering coach speak in his high praise of Forest Park. The Cardinals escaped with a 55-53 win over Forest Park at home on Dec. 2.
Maehlman expects another close contest for the 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
Forest Park is 7-5 in the region and fifth in the standings while Jonesboro is tied with Lovejoy for the region lead. Lovejoy holds the tie-breaker if the teams finish the season tied because of the Wildcats’ win in the teams only meeting this season.
The Panthers have won five of their last six games, including a win over a then-ranked North Clayton team. Forest Park’s only loss was a two-point setback to Lovejoy.
“I’m sure they are going to be all geeked up for this game,” Maehlman said. “It is a rivalry game, and they have a good team.”
Junior guard Cameron Sutton agreed.
“Forest Park never quits,” he said. “We are definitely not looking past them.”
Jonesboro has yet to lose in 2012 as the Cardinals bring a seven-game winning streak into the contest. The defending region champions’ last loss was 54-44 to Centennial on Dec. 31.
“We have been coming together as a team,” Sutton said. “I like the position we are in right now.”
To maintain that position, the Cardinals will have to win on the road during the closing stretch of the season. Of the team’s remaining six games, four are on the road.
“We have to take care of business,” Maehlman said. “There are no give aways in this region. We have to work towards winning on the road and hope that someone knocks Lovejoy off.”