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Region basketball gets started

Jan. 6—VALDOSTA — With 2023 behind them, area basketball teams are now heading into the games that truly count towards the postseason. Valdosta started region Friday on the road and district games for Valwood.

Relatively quiet this week, Lowndes is soon to be back in town for big Winnersville matchups.

Lowndes' boys are taking an extended Christmas break. Nothing is on the schedule for the Vikings until Jan. 13, when they make their Region 1-7A season debut at arch-rival Valdosta. The Vikettes, who have already been to New York over the holidays play this weekend in the She Got Game Classic, split between sites in McEachern and Powder Springs.

Both Vikettes games are scheduled be at Emerson's LakePoint Complex, against out-of-state opponents. Friday, they were facing John Marshall (Virginia) and Saturday the contest was against lift for Life Academy of St. Louis. Going into the New York tournament, Lowndes sported an undefeated record.

Meanwhile, the Vikes are 5-7 for the season after a Christmastime loss to Berkeley Prep.

Valdosta went on their longest region road trip to start 1-7A, playing at Richmond Hill Friday. The Wildcats and Lady 'Cats have a big weekend coming up Jan. 12-13, home contests versus Camden County and Lowndes.

The Wildcats were favored over Richmond Hill, entering with a 12-4 mark to the 1-13 of their opponent. After convincingly sweeping their Christmas games in Thomasville, the Lady Wildcats entered Friday at 14-3, two of the losses to Class 6A No. 10 in Score Atlanta's poll, Tift County.

Valwood opened 2024 with non-district games against Southwest Georgia Academy, then jumped into conference contests Friday at Southland Academy. The Valiants are to play their first 3-AAA home games Tuesday against Deerfield-Windsor.

The Valiants started well, 5-2 before the break, with Mike Patrick's Lady Valiants up to three wins.

In other Lowndes County private schools, Highland Christian hosted Fullington Academy Friday and have another home game Jan. 12 against Crisp Academy. Both are Class A, District 3 opponents. Georgia Christian was to host public school Atkinson County Friday night.

The Generals are still two weeks from their district debut against SGA.