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Lions coach sees areas of concern
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
January 29, 2013 03:55 PM | 1159 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lithia Springs’ Myles Howard, right, defends Jahmeek Bettis prior to a recent away game.
Lithia Springs’ Myles Howard, right, defends Jahmeek Bettis prior to a recent away game.
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With five regular season games to go, the Lithia Springs boys’ basketball team was 16-4 last week after defeating Villa Rica 60-57 in a region game Jan. 22 to keep the Lions atop the 5B-AAAAA standings.

According to head coach J.W. Cantrell, that’s exactly where he felt his team should be.

“I thought we were one of the teams to beat in the region,” said Cantrell. “That being said, we have to finish off and make the state tournament or the season will be a disappointment.”

While it did not count against the Lions in the region standings, their 74-64 loss to Alexander Jan. 19 was not the outcome they preferred, but one Cantrell said was a result of a prior game.

“We played a huge region game on Friday against Hiram. We gave a lot of energy into that game. I thought we looked tired for most of the game against Alexander. Alexander was just the better team Saturday night,” said Cantrell.

Top scorers for the Lions this season are seniors Beau Carter and Neil Phillips, averaging 12 and 17 points respectively.

With the postseason drawing near, the topic is sure to come up on occasion, but Cantrell said his players are keeping their eyes on the rest of their scheduled games.

“The postseason is getting close, but we are focused on winning the rest of the regular season games right now. These seniors have been to the state tournament three times; they know not to look ahead,” Cantrell said.

Lithia Springs is 10-1 in the region, with the only loss coming to Allatoona. Allatoona is the top team in the 5A-AAAAA subregion, although both teams are 16-4 overall.

As the Lions finish up the regular season and get ready for the postseason, Cantrell said his team needs to improve in a few areas.

“All five guys have to rebound. We have to have better shot selection during the fourth quarter. We have to go out in transition and play fast,” said Cantrell.
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