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8-AAAA tourney tips off with play-in games
Salem boys, Rockdale girls in action tonight

CONYERS - Tonight the Region 8-AAAA basketball tournament begins with a pair of play-in games featuring both the Salem boys and the Rockdale girls.

Salem will face Loganville at 7:30 p.m. while Rockdale battles Monroe Area at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Loganville High School.

For the Seminoles (5-20), the time to shine is now. Their last win came on Dec. 23, and they have dropped 11 consecutive games.

"From day one, we talked about how the season is split into three parts, with the playoffs being the ultimate goal," Salem coach Darren Wilkins said. "So, we've been trying to get them to understand that right now everyone is 0-0 - it's all about what you do in these next few games."

In its first meeting against Loganville on Jan. 9, Salem lost 57-48. Eighteen days later, the Seminoles dropped a heartbreaker 67-61.

"The past two games (against Loganville) have been real close. It's come down to the last few possessions, so it should be a great game," Wilkins said.

But stopping Loganville (13-12) means stopping the 3-point shot, particularly open shots from the perimeter.

"One of the things (Loganville) likes to do is kick it across and shoot uncontested shots," Wilkins noted. "We can't allow that dribble penetration. If we do, it's going to be hard to stop them."

Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs (5-20) are seeking their first win since beating the Monroe Lady Purple Hurricanes (5-20) on Jan. 20 in overtime 44-39.

The Lady Purple Hurricanes prevailed 51-47 in Friday's regular-season finale against the Lady Bulldogs.

Jason Murdock can be reached at jason.murdock@rockdalecitizen.com.