Madison County’s basketball season starts next month with a schedule that includes the usual region wars as well as the return of Franklin County, the school’s fiercest non-region rivals.
“I just love that atmosphere — those old gyms when you go into Franklin County,” Madison County girls’ coach Dan Lampe said, “And, obviously, here we’ll draw a good crowd.”
Madison County takes on Franklin County Dec. 13 in Danielsville and Jan. 17 in Carnesville. The schools haven’t met in three years.
However, long before that, the Madison County teams will open up the season on the road against non-region foe, Brookwood, on Nov. 15.
Raider boys’ coach Steve Crouse notes that Madison County will scrimmage Hart County (Nov. 11) four days before opening with the Broncos.
“It’s really going to test us and I feel it will help us prepare for what we’re going to see in the region,” he said of the scrimmage and the opener.
Madison County’s annual pre-Thanksgiving tournament is Nov. 22 and 25.
Following a month of region cross over games, non-region affairs and holiday tournaments (notably, Madison County’s girls will play Mill Creek, a Final Four team from Class AAAAA, in the Dec. 19-20 Shoot For a Cure tournament in Grayson), subregion play starts Jan. 6 at Habersham Central.
When sizing up the girls’ 8A-AAAA subregion, Lampe said he’ll never count out nemesis Clarke Central, even though the defending champions lost a host of seniors from last year.
Lampe, who expects Loganville to be the top team on the other side of the region, said he likes his team’s chances in the region this year.
“I don’t want to discount the people in our region, because teams can improve considerably … But if we come out and play the way we should play, if we come out and are hungry this year and getting after it, we should do well in our region,” Lampe said.
On the boys’ side, Winder-Barrow and Cedar Shoals appear to be the top two teams in the subregion, while Clarke Central should be in contention for the state tournament as well.
“And I hope we are too,” Crouse said. “That’s our goal.”