MOULTRIE -- The Colquitt County High basketball teams will return today to the site of their most-recent games when they open play in the CNS-Reebok Holiday Hoopfest at the Thomasville High gymnasium.
Colquitt's girls hope to repeat their last performance in Thomasville when they meet Cairo in the tournament opener at 9:30 this morning.
The Lady Packers defeated Thomasville's girls 53-45 last Friday, avenging a season-opening, one-point loss to the Lady Bulldogs.
Colquitt's girls are 4-3 overall, but have won four of five since losing their first two games of the season.
If the Lady Packers win this morning, they will play the Valdosta-Thomas County Central winner at 4 p.m. Friday. A loss would send them to a 9:30 a.m. Friday meeting with the Lady Cats-Lady Jackets loser.
Colquitt's boys, on the other hand, will try to forget their last trip to Thomasville.
The Packers were defeated 66-55 by the Bulldogs, a team they had whipped by 17 several weeks earlier.
And the competition will be even stiffer today. The Packers' 5:30 p.m. opponent is Mitchell-Baker, ranked No. 2 in the state in Class AA.
The Packers are 3-4 after successive losses to Worth County and Thomasville.
Against the Bulldogs, the Packers ran into a hot-shooting Antoine Garland, who scored 33 points.
"They are very capable of playing like that," Packers coach Keith Hall said of Thomasville. "And nobody shot the ball well for us."
The Packers have struggled with their outside shooting throughout the early part of the season.
"We've got to be able to play well when we are not scoring from the perimeter," Hall said.
The Packers are being forced to use some players they had not originally counted on.
Two starters from last year expected to contribute this year will not suit up in Thomasville.
Keith Troupe is trying to get academically eligible for the second half of the season and Cedric Richardson has been suspended.
Returing starters Renoto Wright and Robert Thompson have filled their roles well and have been the team's most consistent players.
Thompson, the 6-foot-1 forward, has been scoring and rebounding. He is averaging 12.6 points a game and has been in double-figures in five of the seven games.
Wright has been running the offense flawlessly and is averaging 9.4 points a game. His 15 points against Thomasville on Friday led the team and were a season-high for the three-year starter, who led the Packers in scoring last year.
"He was very, very aggressive against Thomasville," Hall said of Wright. "He really did a great job in the second half of that game."
John Michael Hall leads the team is scoring with a 14.3 average.
Junior Darryl Slaughter has moved into the starting lineup this season and has teamed with Thompson under the boards.
The Packers will have their hands full with Mitchell-Baker, which generally has one of the top teams in the state, regardless of classification.
"They've got a couple guys who are tremendous scorers," Hall said. "And they are a pressure team. They've got some weapons.
"But we've made decision to play against good people like Westover and Mitchell-Baker to get ready for the region."
If the Packers win today, they will play the winner of the Thomas County Central-Lowndes game at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
A loss would send them to a 2 p.m. Friday game against the Wildcat-Jackets loser.
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