CONYERS - With tonight's Region 8-AAAA South basketball games marking the midway point of the subregion slate, area hoops teams find themselves jockeying for position in preparation for the last stretch run of the regular season.
Both the Heritage boys and girls sit atop the subregion standings. The boys earned a 50-48 key road win over Cedar Shoals on Friday, moving them to 3-1 in subregion play. Rockdale is also 3-1, but the Patriots currently have the tiebreaker from beating the Bulldogs on Jan. 11.
Meanwhile, the Lady Patriots are a perfect 4-0 in subregion play, including a win over the Salem girls, who are currently tied with Cedar Shoals in second place at 3-1.
Tonight's subregion matchups include Alcovy at Heritage, Rockdale at Eastside and Cedar Shoals at Salem.
Heritage boys coach Ron Bradley noted that although Alcovy might not have the best subregion record, he's very impressed with their ability - especially guard Worrell Clahar.
"It's a big game for us," he said. "They (Alcovy) have maybe the leading scorer in the region. It's going to be a lot of fun to go against him and his team and see where we stack up. Our kids are getting more and more confident, and it's going to be interesting to see what happens."
Bradley said the road win over Cedar Shoals on Friday was a big step in the right direction.
"That was a big win," he said. "I understand they haven't beaten Cedar in several years. We did something that we haven't done lately: make free throws. We made free throws down the line, we made very few mistakes down the stretch, and that was a big win for us.
"Cedar was one of the early season favorites and were ranked at one point, so it was a nice win for us to get on the road. Any wins on the road are big in the region."
Rockdale will travel to Eastside to take on the Eagles as the Bulldogs try to stay even with the Patriots in the subregion standings.
"We set our goals high at the beginning of the season, and we still feel like we can win the subregion title," Rockdale boys coach Mitchell Harris said. "What we've tried to do is concentrate on what we do and be the best at what we do."
Rockdale and Heritage play each other again Jan. 29 at Rockdale.
On the girls side, Heritage will be looking to go 5-0 in subregion play as they entertain a one-win Alcovy girls team tonight.
The Salem girls have a slightly tougher task at hand as they play host to Cedar Shoals.
"I think Cedar (Shoals) is a lot like us," said Salem girls coach Bill Roberts. "They like an up-tempo game. They like to run and press and play a transition-type game. I really feel like it could be a high scoring affair because of the style of play. We match up with each other real well."
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.