Friday, December 2, 2016

Grovetown visits Cross Creek* in rematch of last season's region title game

After sailing through the first ten games of last season before finally being challenged by North Augusta in a Christmas tournament, Grovetown coach Jamie Echols fundamentally changed the pre-region portion of the Lady Warriors' schedule this season. Last Saturday's 79-78 overtime loss to Johnson, a class 3A state title contender, started a 10 game stretch in which Grovetown (4-1) will face 8 state tournament teams. And this weekend's back-to-back games against Cross Creek and North Augusta will be the most difficult 24 hour stretch I can imagine. It's a good thing coach Echols has such a competitive group of girls!

Too competitive at times, it seems. Star player Destiny Marshall sat out the Johnson game as well as Tuesday's 60-57 home win over Burke County after picking up two technical fouls against Effingham County in an 83-52 win. But the College of Charleston signee will return in time for the big weekend, and she is no doubt happy to know her teammates are ready for the task at hand. Junior Ayanna Collins and freshman Morgan Millhouse each scored 15 points in Tuesday's win, and senior Elizabeth Metress made the go-ahead three with 1:14 remaining Tuesday after scoring 27 points in the overtime loss to Johnson Saturday.

Marshall appreciates the value of her teammates: "We have good chemistry, and I'm glad because last year we had to develop that," the high scoring lefty told me after Grovetown's 70-39 season opening win over Richmond

I bet she also appreciates their resilience. And she is certainly eager to rejoin them for tonight's rivalry game, a rematch of former region foes who most recently squared off last February in this 5A region tournament championship game, which Grovetown won before both teams advanced to the state tournament's second round:

*Expect @AugBball Bonus Coverage of this "prime time" matchup!

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