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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Freshman Jordan Webster is part of a Lithia Springs starting lineup that features all underclassmen.

The Lithia Springs boys and girls basketball team host Maynard Jackson tonight in a key region 6-AAAAA contest tonight.

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, the game was pushed back a day in order for Lithia Springs to get one practice in.

Douglas County schools were out on Monday and only met for half a day last Friday because of inclement weather.

Lions coach David Mills said the push back in date was more so to help the boy’s team.

“It is a real big game for them,” Mills said. “They are in first place and they don’t want to lose any ground.”

Jackson boys are 8-0 overall and 2-0 in the region while Lithia Springs is 7-0 and 3-0.

It is also an important game for the Lions girls squad, who is 3-4 and 2-1 after last week’s region loss to Decatur. However, defending region champion Jackson is 5-0 and 2-0.

The Jaguars have been nearly unbeaten on the road with a 27-game winning streak against region competition.

This will be the first meeting between the teams since Jackson defeated the Lions 55-39 in the region tournament on its home court last season.

“This is definitely an important game for us,” Lions junior Sheryl Sarpong said. “They have been the leaders in our region. It should be a very interesting game. If we come with the right mindset, we will be able to play with them.”

Both teams haven’t in seven days because of the weather. Mills said he is less concerned about his team being rusty than its youth.

The Lions start three juniors, a sophomore and freshmen.

“We are trying to get better defensively, especially at the guard spot,” Mills said. “Our play has been up and down. We can easily be 5-2 overall but we have been hurt by some free throw shooting.”

Lithia Springs has also faced some tough non-region competition.

It will only get tougher over the Christmas break with games in New Manchester’s tournament against some higher classification teams.

“Traditionally, we usually play better after the Christmas break,” Mills said. “Our early schedule is tough to prepare us for February and March for the region and state tournaments.”

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