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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Lithia Springs sophomore Anthony Hardy will help lead the Lions in a key Region 6-AAAAAA contest against Grady tonight.

Lithia Springs coach J.W. Cantrell is hopeful that some bumps and bruises have heal with a 21-day layoff over the Christmas break.

The Lions take to the court tonight against Grady in a Region 6-AAAAA game.

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was pushed back until today since both the Douglas County and Atlanta Public School systems were out of school on Monday.

Both coaches wanted a day of practice on Tuesday before the game.

Lithia Springs started the season with seven straight wins before dropping a pair of region games.

The Lions lost their last two region games and has dropped to 8-4 overall and 3-2 in the region. After region losses to Jackson (69-64 in overtime) and Banneker (88-82), the Lions are sitting in fourth place in the region standings.

Grady is 4-11 and 3-3 in fifth place.

Sophomore point guard Anthony Hardy is expected back after missing five games with a knee injury. During his absence, the Lions dropped four games.

“He should be ready to go,” Cantrell said. “The injury was not as bad as we thought. We started the season off hot but then Anthony got hurt. Everybody should be back for us.”

With the Lions fighting for a high seed for the region tournament, this is a key game.

After the loss to Jackson, the Lions dropped a ‘heartbreaker’ at Banneker when the home team made 37 of 44 free throws. The Lions only went to the free throw line 20 times.

“They got us at their place,” Cantrell said. “Hopefully we can return the favor when they come over here. Right now, we are just focused on Grady. They are real young, but they have a lot of talent.”

The other concern for Cantrell has been the long layoff.

“I know we will be a little rusty,” he said. “We had a full scrimmage the other day. Overall, I think everybody is ready to go.”

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