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Lady Raiders prep for top teams
by Chase Wallace
cwallace@neighbornewspapers.com
January 09, 2013 12:05 PM | 1928 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray -- Alpharetta’s senior point guard Lauren Brown defends the ball from her team mates during a scrimmage last week.
Staff / Erin Gray -- Alpharetta’s senior point guard Lauren Brown defends the ball from her team mates during a scrimmage last week.
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Through 13 games this season, the Alpharetta Lady Raiders have proven to be the class of north Fulton, established themselves as the front runner in Region 6AAAAAA and are sneaking their way into conversations regarding state title contention.

In the coming weeks they’ll get a chance to see how much merit those conversations hold when they square off against a pair of nationally ranked teams in non-region play — hosting third ranked North Gwinnett on Saturday and playing No. 17 ranked Shades Valley (AL) next weekend.

“We are very pleased with where we stand right now,” said Alpharetta head coach Mike House, whose team is 11-2 in his first season at the program’s helm.

“We have had some big wins against some ranked opponents, have put W’s on the board and keep improving with each week.”

Alpharetta’s big wins include their first one to open the season, knocking off defending state champion McEachern in November — a victory that propelled them on a 9-game winning streak. The Lady Raiders followed with a convincing win over Rockdale County, have cruised to 4-0 in region play and beat a pair of state-ranked teams in Alabama during their holiday tournament in Montgomery.

“The girls have done a great job of picking up on our concepts and principles,” said House, who has pushed the team to play at a higher tempo on both ends of the court.

“We still have some areas to improve, especially when it comes to toughness, and we’ll get a good idea of where we are in those areas when we play these two teams coming up.”

North Gwinnett (13-0 overall) is Georgia’s top-ranked team according to MaxPreps and has run out to a perfect record in impressive fashion — beating each in-state team by at least 13 points and going a perfect 4-0 in out-of-state games.

Shades Valley (17-1), from Birmingham, is the top-ranked team in Alabama according to MaxPreps. The Lady Mounties are winners of 15-straight games and their only loss is to a top-10 ranked Oakland (Tenn.) team.

Alpharetta will square off with Shades Valley at the “Girl’s Night Out” tournament at Starr’s Mill High School Jan. 19.

“These are two really good measuring sticks for us to see where we are and where we have to improve. I’m excited to see if this group can step up to the challenge,” said House.

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