Staff Photo: John Bohn Greater Atlanta Christian's Brianna Cummings (5), passes the ball while covered by Wesleyan's Brittany Stevens (5) during the second period of Friday's game played at GAC.
Who: Greater Atlanta Christian at Wesleyan basketball
When: Tuesday, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wesleyan School
There is no rest for the Greater Atlanta Christian girls basketball team. Just another test.
The Spartans just finished a tough portion of their schedule, but it won't get any easier Tuesday night when they play powerhouse Wesleyan for the programs' second meeting of the season.
GAC recently finished a stretch of four games in five days, which began with a 62-32 win over defending Class AA state champion Lovett. It was followed by three close losses to top teams Southwest DeKalb, Carver (Ala.) and Southwest Atlanta Christian.
The Spartans got a brief schedule break last Friday with a 58-20 win over Hapeville Charter, but their game at Wesleyan will return the play to a much higher level.
"I think that stretch (of four games in five days) will be a key piece to our season," GAC girls coach Cal Boyd said. "I think it will help a lot in getting us ready for the home stretch and the playoffs."
GAC (16-5) lost a tough home game with Wesleyan when the two teams met on Jan. 11, renewing an old rivalry that existed before the Georgia High School Association split them into different classifications. The game was intense, expected when two teams with that kind of tradition meet.
Wesleyan's victory was led by Katie Frerking and Nikki McDonald, who combined for 45 points in a 74-63 win, as well as a pack of turnovers that GAC must clean up before Round 2 with the Wolves.
GAC used only seven players in the first meeting, while Wesleyan goes much deeper to its bench, but Boyd didn't think his team was worn down at the end of that loss.
"(Wesleyan girls coach) Jan (Azar) does an excellent job and she has a pretty deep bench," Boyd said. "She'll play 11 to 12 players and obviously the two key players are the point guard (Brittany Stevens) and Katie. Those two are important and we have to limit those two as much as we can.
"We have to handle the ball well. The last time we handled the ball well against their press but we ended with turnovers just when we got across half court. We made bad decisions and took poor shots. That's exactly what they want you to do."
Cosette Mahre had 17 points to lead GAC in the first Wesleyan matchup, while Brianna Cummings and CiCi Buford added 14 points each. Sydni Means had eight assists and five steals.
Stevens had 13 points and six assists for Wesleyan, which hasn't faced an easy schedule of late, either.
The Wolves (18-4) won their annual showdown with the Buford girls last Saturday, 44-40. They have just one loss to a Georgia opponent this season — a 49-46 loss to Southwest Atlanta Christian on Jan. 12.