PREP HOOPS NOTES: GAC, Wesleyan prepare for another showdown

A fierce former rivalry will begin a second act when Wesleyan girls play at Greater Atlanta Christian tonight.

The teams, who twice met for the state title, haven't played since 2008 -- the last season they were in the same classification.

Now both are in Class AA again and would like nothing better than to play four times like they did in 2006 and 2007.

A fourth game, of course, would be for the state title.

Wesleyan has won five state championships in a row -- one off tying the state record -- and eight of nine. The year they didn't win, GAC did.

That was in 2007, when the Spartans prevailed with a fourth straight victory over the Wolves. Wesleyan had won the fourth meeting in 2006 to take the state title.

After six seasons in Class AA together, Wesleyan was dropped down to Class A, where it won its past four state crowns. Coach Jan Azar's Wolves had a 14-6 edge when they were both previously in Class AA.

GAC, which won state titles in 2001 and 2002, can't match Wesleyan's success the past few years, but the Spartans should be a formidable obstacle to the Wolves this season in Region 6-AA as well as potentially the state tournament.

GAC is 13-1, with its only loss to unbeaten Class AAAAAA Parkview. Wesleyan is 12-3, with all the losses to out-of-state powers.

Auburn signee Katie Frerking leads Wesleyan, averaging 18.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. GAC junior Brianna Cummings averages 19.1 points and 9.7 rebounds.

Wesleyan's potential edge over GAC is a deeper bench. Both have talented starting fives.

"They are going to try to wear us down with their press and depth for sure," GAC coach Cal Boyd said.

The teams will play at Wesleyan on Jan. 29 and then likely again in the Region 6-AA tournament in February. A fourth game for the state championship in early March at Macon is also a possibility.

O'Donahue rounding into shape

The Norcross boys should be ready to get a significant boost and the timing couldn't be better. The Blue Devils host Mill Creek tonight and then have a showdown at North Gwinnett on Tuesday.

Terrance O'Donahue, who has signed with the College of Charleston, made his Norcross debut Tuesday against Collins Hill, although he played just a few minutes. The 6-foot-7 senior transfer is expected to be ready to go fulltime soon after recovering from knee surgery.

O'Donahue will bolster a Norcross front line that is already much stronger with the addition of rugged 6-foot-5 Lorenzo Carter after the end of the Blue Devils' state championship football season.

"We're not complaining, but it is almost like we've had three seasons," Norcross coach Jesse McMillan said. "We were a different team after we got the football players and now we'll be a different team again with Terrance. It's an adjustment. But we should be clicking when it counts at tournament time."

Norcross (10-5) is 6-1 in Region 7-AAAAAA along with North. Peachtree Ridge is 7-1.

Norcross has a second game with North at home on Jan. 23 and hosts Peachtree Ridge on Feb. 1. The Lions defeated Norcross 51-50 at home on Dec. 19.

The Blue Devils' annual Hilton Invitational showcase is Jan. 26 and they will play DeMatha Catholic of suburban Washington, D.C.

Another early game for rivals

After a parking lot brawl following a football game, Collins Hill and Peachtree Ridge are making a sportsmanship point at their Region 7-AAAAAA basketball games.

The schools played in the late afternoon on Dec. 4 at Peachtree Ridge -- the site of the melee in October -- and that will again be the case at Collins Hill a week from today on Jan. 18.

The boys varsity game will begin at 3 p.m., with the girls varsity game to follow.

"We were determined to make the point that what happened after the football game wouldn't be tolerated," Collins Hill athletics director Jason Dopson said. "I think we've done that. We had a good crowd at Peachtree Ridge and no incidents. We want to make sure that is the case again."

The Collins Hill boys won 52-44 at Peachtree Ridge in December, handing the Lions their only Region 7-AAAAAA loss.