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franklin county times
Kaitlyn Simmons leads Tharptown in scoring against Sheffield.

Basketball postseason action begins

It is that time of the year: The basketball postseason.

It’s a challenging time for a weekly newspaper. By the time this week’s paper reaches publication, area tournaments will already be in the finals. Semifinal action took place Feb. 6-7; the paper deadline is Monday morning for Wednesday distribution – a little “inside baseball” for you.

The same thing will happen next week when subregionals are played. Girls subregion games are Feb. 13, and boys subregion games are Feb. 14. By the time the Feb. 15 paper is distributed, those games will be concluded; some teams will be headed to the Northwest Regional at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, while for others, the season will be over.

There is one five-team area involving Franklin County teams: Class 2A Area 16, which includes Tharptown. The Wildcats, therefore, played in the quarterfinals Saturday night.

Both the varsity girls and boys played Sheffield at Mars Hill. The girls beat Sheffield to advance to the semifinals Monday night to play the host school, Mars Hill.

Kaitlyn Simmons led the way for the Wildcats with 18 points, going eight-for-10 from the free throw line. She was followed by Autumn Montgomery with seven points, Savannah Romans with four, Kyndall Morgan and Sarah Mansell with three each, Harleigh Borden with two and Alyssa Abbott with one.

The Tharptown boys lost to Sheffield, ending their season.

A LITTLE FORECASTING

Because of the oddity in the way tournament schedule falls versus our print deadlines, I am going to do a little forecasting.

This is a dangerous thing to do, picking overall winners and losers before the preceding games are played – but on to the predictions.

Class 5A Area 15

Varsity Boys Finals

at Russellville, Friday at 6 p.m.

Expect Russellville to easily advance out of the semifinals to play Lawrence County. Russellville will win the area championship and host East Limestone in the subregion Tuesday, where they will win a close one and advance to the regionals at Wallace.

Class 5A Area 15

Varsity Girls Finals

at West Point, Thursday at 6 p.m.

Russellville has a young team and will have to play exceptionally well to beat top seed West Point. West Point is likely to win and end the Golden Tigers’ season.

Class 3A Area 15

Varsity Boys Finals

at Colbert County, Friday at 6 p.m.

The Phil Campbell boys are athletic and erratic. They can look great at times and not-so-great at others. The Bobcats play the Danville Hawks in the semifinals – a team they lost to early in the season but beat later in the season, the same as when they played Colbert County.

The X-factor, senior guard Cam Habada, was recuperating from an injury before Christmas but has played key roles in area wins after Christmas.

I’m predicting Phil Campbell beats Danville in the semifinals. The home court advantage will give Colbert County the win in the finals. The Bobcats will travel to Lauderdale County in the subregion Tuesday, where their season will end.

Class 3A Area 15

Varsity Girls Finals

at Phil Campbell, Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Phil Campbell girls have had a hard time scoring in January. In big games, they’ve rarely gotten out of the 30s. With only two major scoring threats, defenses have learned how to defend the Bobcats.

This won’t be an issue in the semifinals. Colbert Heights is just not very good. Phil Campbell wins this game easily and will face Danville in the finals.

This will be a tight one, but I think the Bobcats will win a close one and host a subregion game Monday, where they will play Clements. The Bobcats’ season will end at home to the Colts.

Class 2A Area 16

Varsity Boys Finals

at Mars Hill, Friday at 7 p.m.

The Tharptown boys lost to Sheffield in the quarterfinals Saturday, so their season is over – but if you want to go watch Mars Hill and Lexington in the finals Friday night, have a blast!

Class 2A Area 16

Varsity Girls Finals

at Mars Hill, Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Tharptown beat Sheffield to advance to the semifinals and play Mars Hill. The Panthers are one of the top girls teams in the state, so it would take a very good night for the Wildcats – plus an off night for the Panthers – for Tharptown to have a chance. I say the Wildcats’ season comes to an end Monday night.

Class 2A Area 10

Varsity Boys Finals

at Red Bay, Friday at 6 p.m.

The Red Bay boys are well coached, have a lot of scorers and play solid defense. They will easily beat Lamar County in the semifinals and beat Sulligent in the finals Friday.

The Tigers will host Lexington in the subregion Tuesday and win that game easily to advance to the Northwest Regional at Wallace.

How deep can Red Bay go?

Class 2A Area 10

Varsity Girls Finals

at Sulligent, Thursday at 6 p.m.

Red Bay has been playing well in spurts.  It really depends on how Kaylie Lindley can put the ball in the hoop. The Tigers will beat Lamar County in the semifinals and fall to Sulligent in the finals. The Red Bay girls will travel to Mars Hill in the subregion Monday, where their season will come to an end.

Class 1A Area 14

Varsity Boys Finals

at Phillips, Friday at 6 p.m.

Vina and Belgreen have both struggled this season. Their area tournament matchups will be difficult to navigate.

The Red Devils’ season will come to an end, but veteran coach Marty Cooper will find a way to get the  Bulldogs past Hackleburg and into the area finals. Their season will come to an end, however, on the road in subregion play.

Class 1A Area 14

Varsity Girls Finals

at Belgreen, Thursday at 6 p.m.

Vina can shoot the three if left open and they get hot. Hackleburg has a pesky defense and will find a way to limit the Red Devils’ shooters. Vina’s season comes to an end in the semifinals.

The Belgreen girls, on the other hand, should have no problem winning their area. They easily beat Phillips in the semifinals and Hackleburg in the finals. The Bulldogs will host Sumiton Christian in the subregion Monday. The Bulldogs win that game and advance to Wallace.

Again, these are just educated guesses. The dates, times and host sites of the area finals are real, however. We hope all of our local teams can advance to Wallace. Good luck!

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