By DOUG GORMAN
Now that the 2018-19 high school basketball season has tipped off, the goal is the same for all six girls’ teams from Coweta County—competing and making it to the postseason.
For Newnan (8-17), East Coweta (6-20) and Northgate (7-18) that will also mean trying to put together winning seasons after struggling last year.
The Trinity Lady Lions enter new territory as they begin their first season in the GHSA.
Heritage enters the year (11-8) after losing in the first round of the GISA tournament last year.
It ended a long run that saw the Lady Hawks reach the GISA Final Four at Mercer in Macon,
The Central Christian Crusaders have won the GICAA state tournament three years in a row including back-to-back undefeated seasons and a are 69-1 over the last three years.
Here is a brief look at this year’s girls’ teams:
East Coweta: Second-year head coach Karen Frady returns to the bench for her second season at the helm of the Lady Indians.
“We were much more competitive and the girls always played hard,” Frady said. “We just want to keep working to get better.”
A year ago, East Coweta played some of its best basketball early in the season getting wins over Carver, Northside, and South Atlanta in November.
One of the Lady Indians big goals this season will be trying to break last year’s winless Region 2 7A streak
The Lady Indians opened the 2018-19 season with a hard-fought 51-47 loss to Fayette County on Saturday and played its second game of the season against McIntosh Tuesday.
Newnan: The Lady Cougars enter a new era as Earl Caruthers takes over for long-time head coach LaVarrett Pearson.
Pearson is now the defensive coordinator for the Northgate football team and the assistant basketball coach for the Lady Vikings.
Caruthers takes over a team that finished 8-17 overall and 2-9 in region play.
The Lady Cougars’ two victories came against region rival East Coweta.
The Caruthers’ era got off on a high note Saturday with a 60-48 win over Creekside.
Newnan fell behind 21-20 at the half, but used a third-quarter spurt to take control of the game. The Lady Cougars outscored the Lady Seminoles 23-10 in the middle quarter.
Last year, right before Christmas, the Lady Cougars won four games in a row, beating East Coweta, Callaway, Banneker and Hiram.
However, Newnan’s only won four games the rest of the way.
Northgate: The Lady Vikings come into the season trying to shake off a five-game losing streak to end the 2017-18 season.
Northgate opened the season Tuesday night against Pike County.
“We are looking forward to building on last year’s 8-18 campaign. Although we were hit hard by graduation last year, we are working hard and the future looks good for this young Lady Vikings team. We have a mixture of young guards and post players who are looking forward to working hard to develop their skills,” ead coach Marcellous Johnson said.
Despite winning just eight times, four of the wins came against Region 5 6A opponents, including Creekside twice.
The Lady Vikings opened the season Tuesday with a home game against Pike County.
Trinity Christian: The Lady Lions enter a new era in the 2018-19 season as they join the GHSA.
They closed out the GISA era with a region title, advancing to the state tournament before losing to Gatewood 42-41.
Trinity opened the 2018-19 season with a game Tuesday night at Jackson.
“Our hope is that we just continue to improve with each game, every week. We want our players to work hard every practice to improve individually and as a team. We want them to continue to love the Lord and each other and to grow in appreciation for each other,” head coach Joe Daniels said.
Daniels knows what it is going to take to make it a successful season.
“We will need to improve our rebounding and defense. We will not be the biggest team out there, so we are going to have to outwork the other team...every night. We have a spent a lot of time in the offseason preparing to play better defense. Offensively, we need to make sure that we pay attention to details and execute things well,” Daniels said.
Heritage School: The Lady Hawks open the season Tuesday against Furtah Academy.
The goal will be to try and improve on last year’s 11-8 season.
The Lady Hawks will have depth and experience on their side.
“We bring back girls who know what to do and what it takes to be a successful program. We bring back four starters and great role players that were making good strides towards the end of the season,” veteran head coach D.J. Clay said.
Heritage also will host the Heritage Tip of Classic starting Thursday.
Oak Mountain, Loganville Christian, Central Christian, Atlanta Girls School and Rock Springs Academy are also scheduled to compete.
Central Christian: The Central Christian Lady Crusaders come into the year with plenty of depth, losing only Ivy Shepherd, who signed a golf scholarship to Clemson.
The Crusaders played a challenging preseason schedule this summer, taking on Griffin and Greater Atlanta Christian from the GHSA.
They also will play a challenging regular season schedule against the Heritage School, the Hamilton Heights from Tennessee and Greenforest Academy.
“I like the way they practice, push and encourage each other,” head coach Justin Stephens said. “I like the way we fared in preseason scrimmages.”