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franklin county times

Future looks bright for FC hoops

By Staff
Kim West
Franklin County Times
The 2007-08 hoops season was one to remember as the Russellville boys made it to the Class 5A championship game and brought back a Red Map trophy.
The second-ranked Golden Tigers will lose senior starters Cory Trapp, Siran Winston and Jordan Hammond but they will return 6-9 post Nate Dunstan and versatile forwards Terence Smith and Jermaine Bates, along with athletic junior Micah McCulloch and rising sophomore Brent Calloway, who practiced with the team but couldn't play due to the transfer rule.
The Phil Campbell and Russellville girls each had up-and-down years but went down fighting at the end of the season. The Lady Bobcats stormed back from a huge first-half deficit in the Class 2A, Area 16 tournament and nearly upset area runner-up Mars Hill, while the Lady Golden Tigers upset fifth-ranked Athens in the Class 5A, Area 16 tournament before falling in the sub-regionals. Russellville loses only senior point guard Victoria Taylor and returns rising sophomore Tasha West, the area's leading scorer, and sophomore Erin Reynolds, along with a handful of junior varsity players who won the highly-competitive Deshler Invitational tournament.
The questions for next season are whether or not the Russellville boys can dominate area rivals Athens, Muscle Shoals and Decatur again and make another run to the title game, and if Belgreen, Phil Campbell, Tharptown or Vina can end the Red Bay boys and girls' tight grip on the county championship trophy.
In county boys hoops, youthful Vina and Tharptown will return a majority of their starters, while defending county champion Red Bay, Belgreen and county-runner-up Phil Campbell must replace at least three senior starters.
In girls hoops, defending area champion Belgreen will be loaded next season with junior Amber Smith and the senior backcourt of Deborah Billingham and Martha Billingham, while Red Bay, which loses three of five starters off a team that won its tenth straight county title and the area championship and advanced to the Northwest Regional tournament, always finds a way to reload and will depend on the senior backcourt of Morgan Duncan and Britan Bolding. Meanwhile, Phil Campbell will return rebounding machine Jessica Taylor and welcome the return of all-around star Caitlin Stancil, who tore her ACL in the season opener, and Tharptown and Vina will be lurking in the wings as the Lady Wildcats return their entire rotation and the Lady Red Devils must find a way to replace leading scorer Heather Holland.
Basketball won't officially tip off for another five months but I'm already looking forward to what the 2008-09 season has in store for Franklsportsin County.
Kim West is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. She can be reached at kim.west@fct.wpengine.com or (256) 332-1881, ext. 30.