The Butler girls basketball team has raced to the top of Region 3-AAAA without the benefit of playing on a home court.
The Bulldogs, whose gym is being renovated this year, improved to 8-1 in the region Friday with a win over Lakeside. Butler, without playing a game Saturday, earned a share of first place in the region when Josey handed Glenn Hills its first region loss.
"I'm tired, but other than that we are just trying to keep fighting," Butler coach Keisha Stewart said. "We're going to deal with the cards that have been dealt, and that's one thing I tried to explain to them: Don't let this get to you."
The Bulldogs are practicing at the Bernie Ward Community Center on Lumpkin Road near the school, but they still must get on a bus to go to every game. They are playing home games at Glenn Hills and Cross Creek.
By the end of the season, Stewart figures, the Bulldogs will have accumulated nearly 30 bus trips. For now, Butler is playing like a team unaffected by the hardship.
"You get on a bus 25 games a season, that can wear on you," Stewart said.
In Region 3-AAAA boys, Richmond Academy survived an upset bid to beat Westside by one point Friday and leads the standings by at least two games over the other 10 teams.
ON THE AGENDA: The Georgia High School Association will vote today on proposals that will finalize its new region classifications. The association is expected to change this reclassification cycle to two years instead of four.
Teams can officially finalize contracts on nonregion football games once the meeting is complete.
New region alignments will take place at the beginning of the next school year. The South Carolina High School League has already approved its reclassification, which also will begin next fall.
TONIGHT'S BIG GAMES
Screven County at Laney, 7:30 p.m.: Despite a 19-win regular season, Laney did not make the state playoffs a year ago because Screven County upset the Wildcats in the first round of the Region 3-AA tournament. Laney won twice over the weekend by 43 and 64 points and has won 11 in a row since losing to Swainsboro at home.
Silver Bluff at Wade Hampton, 6 p.m.: Silver Bluff coach Robbie McKenzie said his team would face its two toughest region opponents right away. The Bulldogs lost by five at Ridgeland on Friday and will try and rebound tonight at Wade Hampton.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or email@example.com.
BASKETBALL STATISTICS DUE EVERY WEDNESDAY
Individual player statistics are due at 4 p.m. Wednesday, no exceptions.
The Augusta Chronicle will publish a listing of area leaders in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots. Area leaders will be listed in averages per game in all applicable categories.
Nominations for area player of the week for both boys and girls will be due at this time. Please include any applicable statistics to support the nomination. The weekly stats and area players of the week will run each Friday.
Stats can be faxed to (706) 823-3408 or e-mailed to Prep Sports Writer Matt Middleton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call (706) 823-3425 with any questions.