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Jonesboro peaking at right time

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro coach Michael House says his team is “starting to peak” at the right time as the region tournament is only three weeks away.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Jonesboro coach Michael House says his team is “starting to peak” at the right time as the region tournament is only three weeks away.

Jonesboro girls coach Michael House has mixed up his starting lineup some this season, starting several combinations.

The last few games, starter Victoria Florence has been coming off the bench for the eighth-ranked Lady Cardinals.

In a come-from-behind win over North Clayton on Tuesday, the junior point guard had her best performance in a Lady Cardinals’ uniform.

Florence scored 16 of her game-high 33 points during a two-minute span as she rallied the team to a victory with a 19-0 spurt.

“Oh my goodness, that was incredible,” House said Thursday night. “Talk about being in the zone. It was great to see her team keep feeding her hot hand.”

Lately, the entire Jonesboro squad has been hot.

The Lady Cardinals have won three straight, including a 52-39 upset win over No. 9 Forest Park. Jonesboro has won nine of its last 11 games to pull to second place in the Region 4-AAAA standings.

“We are peaking,” House said. “All the girls are stepping up. They are playing to each other’s strength. We are looking to finish strong with our region schedule.”

Jonesboro has missed the state tournament the last two seasons since reaching the Class AAAA semifinals in 2009.

HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE: The Drew boys are chasing Eagle’s Landing for the top seed in the Region 4-AAA tournament.

Drew’s last five games will be at home. The Titans, who are 17-3 overall and 10-2 in the region, host Henry County tonight before closing the season at home against Langston Hughes (Saturday), Eagle’s Landing (Tuesday), Eastside (Feb. 3) and Stockbridge (Feb. 10).

The game at Stockbridge will mark the first Senior Night in the program’s history. Until this season, the third-year school never had a senior class.

RESTED AND READY?: After a seven-day hiatus from competition, second-ranked Eagle’s Landing will host county rival Stockbridge tonight. The Golden Eagles will turn around and host Henry County on Saturday.

“It’s a good break, with tough competition on the other side,” Eagle’s Landing coach Clay Crump said Monday. “Do you want to be rested or do you want to be sharp? Hopefully, we can do both.”

HUNT IS BACK: North Clayton coach Martisse Troup said that standout forward Marcus Hunt will play tonight against Creekside.

Hunt, one of the top players in the country, missed Tuesday’s key Region 4-AAAA game against Jonesboro with bronchitis.

“He is at about 85-90 percent,” Troup said.

Although North Clayton lost 71-60 to Jonesboro, Troup said he was pleased at the way his team played without Hunt, who has signed to play at Georgia Tech next season. The Eagles led 32-29 at halftime.

“I was excited about how we played,” Troup said. “I tell the players that we can’t just depend on one person. I thought we played well as a team.”

TONIGHT’S GAMES

Luella at Westlake

Jonesboro at Mount Zion

North Clayton at Creekside

Forest Park at Morrow

Mundy’s Mill at Banneker

Union Grove at Dutchtown

Woodland at Alcovy

Ola at Griffin

Stockbridge at Eagle’s Landing

Henry County at Drew

ELCA at Our Lady of Mercy

Strong Rock at SACA