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Area basketball teams start on Monday

Drew basketball coach Candence Jackson said her team is looking forward to practice starting on Monday as the Titans have a combination of upper and underclassmen on the roster. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Drew basketball coach Candence Jackson said her team is looking forward to practice starting on Monday as the Titans have a combination of upper and underclassmen on the roster. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

JONESBORO — After months of preseason practice and practice games, teams can now start preparation for the upcoming basketball season.

Under Georgia High School Association rules, teams can start practice on Monday.

And many coaches have expressed their excitement about practice starting.

“We are looking very much to the start of practice,” Drew girls coach Candence Jackson said. “We have been going hard ever since the end of last season. We gave them a few weeks off to regroup, and then we started back at it.”

Last season, two teams in the county reached the semifinals of their classification. Jonesboro girls played in the Class AAAA semifinals while Forest Park reached the Class AAAAA Final Four.

“Every team’s goal is to make it to the state championship game,” Morrow boys coach Creswell Foy said. “If that is not your goal, I don’t know what you are playing for.”

Wrestling teams in the area will also start practice on Monday.

The county will welcome a few new basketball coaches. At Riverdale, Derrick Powell has taken over the girls program. He started out as the girls coach at the school before becoming the boys coach. A year ago, he stepped down from the boys program.

Several top players in the area return this season.

Drew girls are expected to challenge for the region title with several of its top players returning.

“We have been trying to develop some good team chemistry on and off the court,” Jackson said. “We have a good group of underclassmen that will contribute to the team.”

Teams can start playing games on Nov. 9 and the regular season ends on Feb. 15. The state finals will run from March 6 through 8.

“We have six seniors on the team that we are counting on,” said Foy, who is in his second season at the helm. “Of those six, five of them got significant playing time (last season).”