Marietta, McEachern, Allatoona and Walton in good position entering meat of region schedules
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
January 06, 2014 08:13 PM | 2063 views | 2 2 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta’s Cameron Jordan eyes the basket for a shot attempt against Harrison last month. The Blue Devils are currently on an 11-game winning streak and are sitting atop Region 4AAAAAA. However, Marietta isn’t the only team off to a fast start this season. Allatoona, Walton and region rival McEachern are among others that have put itself in good position as the meat of the region schedules arrive.
Marietta’s Cameron Jordan eyes the basket for a shot attempt against Harrison last month. The Blue Devils are currently on an 11-game winning streak and are sitting atop Region 4AAAAAA. However, Marietta isn’t the only team off to a fast start this season. Allatoona, Walton and region rival McEachern are among others that have put itself in good position as the meat of the region schedules arrive.
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Marietta boys basketball team is currently on an 11-game winning streak. This is after the Blue Devils won just seven games all of last year.

Marietta is off to one of its most impressive starts in program history, and it’s not alone. Allatoona, Walton, and Region 4AAAAAA rival McEachern are all trying to make the 2013-14 season one for the record books, and the four teams are combined 47-3.

Marietta (13-1) returned two thirds of its roster from last year’s team, which provides experience, but that’s not the main reason it turned things around so quickly.

All it took was simplifying its style of play on both sides of the court.

With a forward-laden roster, the Blue Devils are playing more zone defense than it has in the past.

Offensively, Marietta tried to run up to 10 different sets. Now the Blue Devils only run one.

“We do run a lot of options off of it,” Marietta coach Matt Lyons said. “It’s a flex offense. There are no play calls. We know what we’re doing. We try to take advantage of what defenses take away from us. We have one offensive set. Not a lot of people can say that. It’s been a great success.”

Having a lack of guards on the team also changes the way the Blue Devils attack the basket. Marietta

doesn’t score as much from the perimeter as it used to. Now, it scores the bulk of its points on layups or mid-range jumpers.

More importantly, players this season understand their roles, and they have taken advantage of situations when given the opportunity.

Six-foot-6 center Raynere Thornton averages a double-double in points and rebounds. Sophomore guard Cameron Jordan has matured into his role as a guard since earning a starting spot at the end of last season. Thornton’s younger brother Raveon, who is a freshman this season, is ahead of schedule in his progression as a starter and reserve.

Like Marietta, the Indians (10-2) are loaded with experienced players, especially at guard, behind senior guards Logan McIntosh and Freddy Brown. Sophomore guard A.J. Jones has improved since the tail end of last year when he got most of his playing time. With help from their guards as well as 6-6 forward Lawrence Castor, the Indians are on a four-game winning streak.

“Our guard play as been good,” McEachern coach Mike Thompson said. “Those guys have some experience.”

Allatoona is off to a perfect start with a 13-0 record and is in control of Region 5AAAAA (A) with a 6-0 subregion mark.

For the Buccaneers, it starts with defense, and they have been keeping opponents scoring in the 40s. This season, they’ve held teams to an average of 37 percent from the field.

In its win over North Cobb Christian in the finals of the Lake City Classic last week, the forced the Eagles to take shots from deep in the perimeter. The Eagles often came up short and Allatoona won 58-47.

Allatoona is also a stellar free throw shooting team and has a knack of getting to the foul line.

“We normally make more free throws than our opponents shoot,” Allatoona coach Markus hood said. “On defense, I’m excited. If you hold high school teams in the 40s, you’re going to win games. Our goal is to control the tempo with our defense.”

Walton has yet to lose this season after 11 games and is tied with arch-rival Wheeler for the Region 5AAAAAA lead. The Raiders have been successful with their pressure defense and consistently get most of their players involved in the scoring department.









Comments
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Concerned Cobb
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January 06, 2014
Nice article, Adam. Now, when are you going to write something about the McEachern girls? It has been over a month since they were reported to Cobb HR and still we have heard nothing from the MDJ. I understand that Cobb HR isn't going to announce anything, but how about you look into it and let us know what is going on. From what I heard, the Kell coaches weren't even interviewed during this investigation and they wanted to talk. It would be nice to know how the investigation was handled so we can put this to rest and move on with the season either knowing that all the allegations against Caliya Robinson and Omar Cooper are legitimate or not. Please help.
Concerned Not
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January 07, 2014
Concerned Cobb, the allegations are not legitimate. People move all the time into school districts with friends, family, and associates for a better situation. She is with people who are concerned about her being a better person and player. At Kell she wasn't doing well in school and wasn't playing well either. Find something to do better with your time. If I had a daughter and she played basketball, she would go to McEachern. If she played volleyball, she would be at Walton.
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