Will Douglas County be catching Westlake at the right time tonight when the Region 3-AAAAAA teams meet in Douglasville?
Westlake, which has spent time as the top-ranked team in Class AAAAAA, will be playing its third game in the last four days when the Lions travel to Douglasville for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
However, Douglas County coach Hollis Bethea is not buying any notion that that Westlake might be fatigued coming into the contest.
“They have been cruising in most of those games, so no I wouldn’t say its the right time,” Bethea said. “We just have to be ready to play our rivals in what should be a good game. We have to play hard and play well to beat them.”
The Tigers lost the earlier match up 65-59 on the road in what was a close game throughout. Both coaches are expecting another tight contest.
That win over Douglas County on Jan. 5 sent the Lions on a six-game winning streak.
Westlake’s winning streak was snapped on Tuesday in an 81-80 loss to Campbell at home. The Lions would rebound for a 75-49 win over South Cobb on Wednesday evening.
“I think when we are healthy that we play pretty good basketball as a team,” Rogers said. “We have been doing some things in practice to get the guys some rest. Playing four games in one week is tough. We have been doing a lot of walk throughs in practice.”
Campbell’s win over Westlake locked the Spartans in a two-way tie with Douglas County for third place in the region. Westlake and Pebblebrook are the region leaders with 9-1 records.
Douglas County was swept by Pebblebrook this season and will be trying to avoid the same thing against Westlake.
Both Douglas County and Campbell have 6-4 records and split during the regular season.
“We played well in the first meeting with Westlake but we didn’t take advantage of some opportunities,” said Douglas County guard Brandon Robinson, who had 21 points in the first game. “We are looking to play hard and focus on the things that we did do well.”
It will be a big night for the seven seniors on the Tigers’ roster who will be recognized during Senior Night ceremonies.
“You definitely want to win what could be your last home game in your career,” Robinson said. “You want to leave your mark at the school. This game would be a big plus for us as we try to keep momentum going into the final week of the season as we get ready for the region tournament.”
Westlake center Chuma Okeke had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting.
This has developed into a rivalry games because of the proximity of the schools and the close of the players and coaching staff. Prior to becoming the Douglas County coach, Bethea was an assistant principal at Westlake.
He also a one-time assistant coach under Rogers before starting his own head coaching career.
“Douglas County is coached by one of the best coaches in the state,” Rogers said. “They have one of the best players in the state. I expect it to be a good game between the teams. Every time we play it is a good game. They always play us hard.”