Douglas County faces an important two-game stretch, and the Tigers will be without one of its key opponents in one of those games.
The Tigers face Mays tonight in an important Region 5-AAAAAA contest without starting point guard Michaela “Kay Kay” Cope. The junior is nursing a leg injury sustained on Jan. 15 against Fayette County.
She is expected to play on Saturday against South Paulding.
In Cope’s absence, freshman Alana Gibbs will likely start tonight against Mays, the defending Class AAAAAA champions.
Gibbs has played in all 20 games, and made her first start at point guard in a blowout win over Northgate last week. She had nine points in that win.
“She has been stepping up doing what she has to do,” Tigers coach Chet Forsh said. “We are adjusting to the different situations.”
Another freshman Jada Richards will also see a lot of time in the rotation.
Forsh has a few options at the lead guard position with Gibbs, Richards and also senior Sayah Brooks.
If need be, Forsh could use junior forward Amari Robinson at the lead position. Robinson is one of the top players in the state with a 25.2 scoring average and 11.2 rebounds per contest.
“If we want to go big, we can use Amari,” he said. “The only thing it will take away from what we get in the paint.”
Cope has been third on the team in scoring with a 6.7 average.
Regardless of the lineup, the next two games are big for the Tigers, who are on a 43-game regular-season region winning streak.
“These games are crucial as we try to continue the momentum,” Robinson said. “We want to maintain our position in the region standings. I think Alana has been able to step up and help this team.”
Douglas County enters the game at 16-5 overall and 12-0 in the region with a four-game lead over second place South Paulding, which defeated Mays on Wednesday.
South Paulding and New Manchester met on Friday as Alexander plays at Tri-Cities. Alexander and Mays are tied for the No. 4 spot in the region standings.
Because of last week’s closing of school because of snow, teams in the region have been scrambling to complete games by the end of next week. Douglas County will play on Tuesday (vs. South Paulding), Wednesday (vs. Creekside) and Thursday (at Northgate).
“It’s an NBA type schedule,” Forsh grinned. “For a rookie, Alana has done well for us. We have had rookie point guards before. This is a big week because a lot of teams are close in the standings. Obviously we are trying to focus and take care of the basketball.”