Thursday’s area basketball tournamnet schedule

Here’s a look at tonight’s prep basketball schedule:

Class 6A, Area 15 girls tournament, at Bob Jones:

Austin vs. Florence, at 6 p.m.

Bob Jones vs. Decatur, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 5A, Area 13 girls tournament, at Brewer:

Cullman vs. Hartselle, at 6 p.m.

Brewer vs. West Point, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 5A, Area 16 tournament, at Athens:

Lawrence County vs. Russellville, at 6 p.m.

Athens vs. Muscle Shoals, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 4A, Area 13 tournament, at Good Hope:

Priceville vs. Fairview, at 6 p.m.

Good Hope vs. East Lawrence, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 4A, Area 15 tournament, at West Limestone:

West Limestone vs. Butler, at 6 p.m.

Ardmore vs. Pope John Paul II, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 3A, Area 15 tournament, at Clements:

West Morgan vs. Danville, at 6 p.m.

Clements vs. Elkmont, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A, Area 15 tournament, at Westminster Christian:

Westminster Christian vs. Cleveland, at 6:30 p.m.

Tanner vs. Falkville, at 8 p.m.

Class 2A, Area 16 tournament, at Mars Hill Bible:

Hatton vs. Lexington, at 6 p.m.

Mars Hill vs. Cherokee, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 1A, Area 16 tournament, at R.A. Hubbard:

Shoals Christian vs. Covenant Christian, at 6 p.m.

R.A. Hubbard vs. Decatur Heritage, at 7:30 p.m.

Class 1A, Area 15 tournament, at Woodville:

Athens Bible vs. Skyline, at 6 p.m.

Woodville vs. Whitesburg Christian, at 7:30 p.m.

Decatur’s Martin remains uncommitted

One local high school football standout will take at least one more official visit before choosing where he will play in college.

Decatur High offensive tackle Andrew Martin is scheduled to take an official visit at Louisiana Tech this weekend.

According to Decatur coach Jere Adcock, Martin, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound senior, has offers from Louisiana Tech, Navy, Tennessee-Martin and North Alabama. Martin remains uncommitted, but Adcock believes the former Decatur standout will make a decision before the NCAA football signing period begins Feb. 1.

Lawrence County tournament

The annual Lawrence County basketball tournament is set to begin Thursday at A.W. Todd Coliseum in Moulton. Here’s a look at pairings:

  • Thursday: R.A. Hubbard girls vs. East Lawrence at 6 p.m.; East Lawrence boys vs. Hatton at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday: Lawrence County girls vs. Hatton at 6 p.m.; Lawrence County boys vs. R.A. Hubbard at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: Varsity girls championship at 6 p.m.; Varsity boys championship at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

First week in January: What we learned

The first week of the new year is officially in the books. Prep basketball teams from across the area took the floor to begin their stretch runs, and plenty of interesting storylines is what we got in return. Here are a few things we learned from the first week of 2012:

  • No seed is safe in the Class 6A, Area 15 boys standings. Decatur beat River City rival Austin 52-45 on Friday, which now means the Black Bears’ only hope for the area tournament’s top seed is with a three-way tie. It also means that Decatur has emerged as a prime player in Area 15. And let’s not forget about No. 7 Florence. They’ve got skills, too.
  • The Athens girls are pretty good. Don’t let the 11-7 record fool you. Eddie Murphree’s Lady Golden Eagles have played one of the toughest schedules in the area, and they’re better because of it. With a 6-foot-2 center in Alliyah Smith and a great all-around player in Destany McLin, Athens is going to be a tough out come tournament time. And that Class 5A, Area 16 win at Russellville on Friday may also be an early indicator that this Athens team will be an area champion.
  • Speaking of Athens, coach Stace Teford’s boys team is enjoying the perks of that tough schedule, too. The Golden Eagles appear poised to win the Class 5A, Area 16 title after a sound win at Russellville.
  • Don’t sleep on the Class 1A Decatur Heritage boys. The Eagles picked up a signature upset on Friday by beating No. 3 R.A.. Hubbard. If anything can boost a team’s confidence, it’s a win over Hubbard.

We learned a lot, but there’s still a lot of basketball to be played. Watching it unfold will be interesting.

Upset shakes up Class 5A, Area 13 girls standings

One of the season’s first significant upsets has officially occured, and the Class 5A, Area 13 girls standings have been shaken up because of it. No. 8 Cullman went to Florette and beat No. 2 Brewer 73-21 Tuesday night, creating a tie for the top spot in the Area 13 standings.

Brewer, which returns almost everyone from last season’s Final Four team, beat Cullman 62-50 in December. Both teams are now 3-1 in the Area 13 standings.

What does this mean? Well, if both teams win their final two Area 13 games against Hartselle and West Point, then the tiebreaker for the top seed in the area tournament will likely be decided by a coin flip. The win also gives Cullman a confidence boost since this is the first time the Lady Bearcats have beaten their rival in years.

Both teams are talented. Both were Northwest Regional participants last season, too. This little shake-up should make for an interesting February when tournament time rolls around.

Brewer-Cullman girls: Round 2

There are plenty of regular season games left to play, but none may be more important to the Brewer girls basketball team than tonight’s meeting with rival Cullman.

Cullman is one of the few Class 5A teams that has challenged second-ranked Brewer this season. The Lady Bearcats actually carried a lead into halftime. That fact isn’t lost on the mind of Lady Patriots coach Ricky Allen, either.

Brewer won the first meeting, and the Lady Patriots are the frontrunner in the Area 13 standings, but Cullman isn’t far behind. A win tonight would seperate Brewer from the pack. But a loss? Well, that could mean tougher road to the Northwest Regional.

Let the games begin

The holiday tournaments are in the books, capping what was an entertaining first half of the high school basketball season. There was no shortage of quality basketball played right here in the tri-county area during the past two months. We have surprise teams that are on the rise, and we have great teams that are primed to contend for regional and state titles.

It was an exciting start, but the real fun begins now with the start of the second half of the season. Here’s a few things to keep an eye on as our local teams begin their stretch runs:

  • Will any of the boys teams seperate themselves from the pack in Class 6A, Area 15? This is arguably the toughest area in the state from top to bottom. No. 1 Bob Jones, No. 7 Florence, No. 10 Austin and unranked Decatur all have talented teams capable of going far in the postseason. Austin is currently 2-1 against Area 15 opponents, but the Black Bears looked out of sync while going 0-2 in the Huntsville Times Classic. Decatur, on the other hand, appears to be on the rise, and the Red Raiders’ lineup will be getting a huge boost in the coming weeks  when starting post player Kendrick Cowan returns from a hand injury. Keep an eye on this race, because the two teams that advance out of the Area 15 tournament could very well be playing in the Northwest Regional final.
  • Contenders, contenders and more contenders. That’s what we have with our local girls teams. The area is rich with talented teams this season. The unfortunate part is that several of these teams are in the same classification. In Class 5A, Brewer, Athens and Lawrence County all have teams capable of making it to the Final Four. There’s a similar situation in Class 3A, where Clements, West Morgan and Danville all reside in the same brutal area. Which teams will break through? Who knows? There’s not a wide gap between these teams. But one thing is certain, though. The odds that there will be a local team representing both classifications in the Final Four are very good.
  • The quality girls basketball doesn’t stop in the classifications mentioned above. Class 6A No. 5 Austin is having its best season since 2005-06, while R.A. Hubbard, led by junior superstar Alex Gholston, appears primed to compete for a second straight Class 1A state title.
  • Speaking of state title contenders, how about the Tanner boys? Currently going about 10 deep, the Class 2A No. 1 Rattlers cruised through December. Matthew Hines, Greg Maclin and company practically have everyone back from last season’s championship team, and the Rattlers have lived up to the preseason hype.
  • A couple surprise teams emerged in the area during the first half of the season. On the boys side, Class 4A Priceville (14-2) and Class 3A Elkmont (9-5) are off to their best starts in years. Class 4A West Limestone (12-4) has done the same thing on the girls side. Will these remarkable runs continue? I wouldn’t bet against them, so don’t be surprised when these three are playing in the Northwest Regional in February.
  • Speaking of the Northwest Regional, two local Class 4A boys teams have that week circled. These two teams also feature two of the best players you’ve probably never seen. East Lawrence guard Orlando Davis is fantastic. Averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds per game, he’s definitely one of the most entertaining players in tri-county area. West Limestone forward Preston Herring, an Austin Peay signee, isn’t too shabby himself. If you’ve never seen this kid play, then head to a local gym and check him out. You won’t be disappointed.

So many storylines. So much good basketball. Watching all of this play out is going to be entertaining, and that’s a gurantee.