HANCEVILLE - For the basketball season, the third week of January is what many look forward to.
The Cullman County basketball tournament.
The local sports spectacular is again at the best venue it can be, Wallace State's Tom Drake Coliseum.
From Monday through Saturday, it will be hard fought competition.
Sportspage is providing analysis on the varsity divisions.
From the Sportspage analysis, basketball in 2018-19 has seen a lot of good results. Teams have peaked at certain times. It's been the result of hard work and taking it into a game situation where they hit center stage this week.
Playing at the Coliseum raises the level of the tournament, only other county nearby that can experience a similar situation is the Marshall County Tournament at Snead State Community College. Plunkett-Wallace Gymnasium has seen an upgrade that brings plenty of inspiration for one week of county tournament excitement.
Parity has been seen in varsity play for this season. From analysis, half a dozen teams have the potential to put together three good nights of hoops and take home the huge hardware on the evening of January 26.
This is how Sportspage will analyze the 2019 Cullman County Varsity Tournament:
GOOD HOPE: # 1 seed
Raiders have variety of weapons with Cole Maddox and Drew Maddox the primary people. Hard efforts from Michael Lowe, Noah Fendley, Zach Phares and Matt Dixon help. So does a couple of youngsters in freshman Tanner Malin and sophomore Dawson Turner.
Good Hope is tempo, create from defense by forcing a quicker pace, getting the ball down the floor and go for drives to the hoop, or three-point shots.
Concern for Drew Adams' unit is consistency on offense, unforced mistakes and staying out of foul trouble to maintain proper rotation.
Good Hope has not been a 1 seed in some time. Can Raiders deal with everyone looking at them for being at the top of the mountain going in?
HANCEVILLE: # 2 seed
Bulldogs are one of several that is capable of coming out to be the best. Experience leads Hanceville. First-year coach Stephen Chandler has been around these guys when he was an assistant and also coached them in recent seasons in the JV.
Winning on a big stage has been something Fred Ellis, RJ Evans, Raiden Morgan and Zeke McDonald endured last season. Depth is provided by Damien Johnson and Romeal Simmons, plus newcomers in Ty Bellmon and Romain Ponchon from the backcourt to sprinting down the floor in fast break opportunities.
What Hanceville has to avoid is sloppy ball handling and play hard with a big lead, not pulling off the throttle. Good Hope took advantage of late game mistakes January 8 and soared above them to take the top seed.
Playing away from Lane Horton Gym will help. Hanceville has not lost a game as a road team so far this season in nine decisions.
WEST POINT: # 3 seed
Tough start for the Warriors has been re-routed with better performance and victories. A five-game losing streak got stopped right before Christmas. The Warriors have won six of their last eight games, including a 70-69 thriller at Russellville.
Kolton Sapp provides the scoring punch from deep range. Rylan Jones is steady at 6'4" for ball handling, scoring at times, plus his play in rebounding and defense. But Jones had his kneecap to pop out last Friday in a loss at the buzzer on the home floor to Russellville. His status for the quarterfinal game is questionable
Kobe Bowers and Tyler White have been on a steady dose of outside weapons, then the effects of Aubry Cleghorn and Tyler Thompson in the post.
Playing smooth is the quest for the Warriors as they were able to come out of a 3-way tie for the draw with Fairview and Holly Pond as the 3 seed, not having to be in the same bracket with Good Hope. But Randy Jones' Warriors still have potential road blocks in their side of the bracket.
Playing the 2nd half without Jones against Russellville served well for the Warriors overcoming a 10-point deficit to start the 4th quarter and take the game down to the final play of the evening.
FAIRVIEW: # 4 seed
New coach David Martin has put the Aggies on the floor of playing hard. The Aggies have fought through some injuries and head to the tournament with confidence.
Defeating Holly Pond on Tuesday has the Aggies understanding the process. Fairview was mired through a slump. The Aggies will utilize balance in the play of Luke Yarbrough, Dow Nichols, Austin Jackson, Zane Miller, Zane Miller, Conner Tipton and Sawyer Daniel.
The Aggies will need another game of balance in execution from offense, prevent easy opportunities for the opponent and take the momentum from the Holly Pond victory, knowing the Broncos will want to settle the score on the 1st day of the tournament.
HOLLY POND: # 5 seed
Winning is something the Broncos have seen for a good stretch in recent years. They are the defending county champion. Kyler Chaney has been as productive as any varsity player in the county, night in, night out.
He plays with determination of not being denied, no matter if he has the ball or defending his basket.
Tyler Boatright, plus Cooper Jones, Garrett Rowell and Devyn Tankersley have followed his lead and the Broncos have gone 8-3 in their last 11 games.
A loss on Tuesday to Fairview can serve a purpose for Mitch Morris' Broncos with the opportunity to rewrite a few items from the contest. Playing at a neutral site will fuel the intense drama of which team from the East side of the county, will head on to a semifinal encounter with top seed Good Hope.
COLD SPRINGS: # 6 seed
Certainly the 6th seed is not the makeup of the Cold Springs Eagles. The Eagles have knocked off Hanceville, Fairview and Holly Pond. The addition of Landon Freeman provides the Eagles a scoring threat every time he touches the ball. Adam Hill works hard in the post. The Eagles need to display consistency in shooting from different locations of the floor and cut down on turnovers.
They play a control brand of basketball and with 14 victories going into the tournament, Tim Willoughby has seen his Eagles soar again, after suffering through a challenging 2017-18 season.
VINEMONT: #7 seed
With new coach Preston Boyd, the Eagles are still dealing with an uphill battle. A young team that lost guard Jack Hill before the season to a torn ACL was not good news.
Katch Johnson is a weapon that can deliver from long range and attack the defense with short range effectiveness. But having plenty of scoring punch to go with Johnson is an item Boyd is working on and will for the rest of the season.
Vinemont can't let the opposition get into a scoring run, something that has been a part of the picture for Boyd's first season as a varsity coach.
Up-tempo teams have went right at Vinemont in recent games. The Eagles must start well in order to stay with No. 2 Hanceville and try to upset the extremely-talented Bulldogs.
WEST POINT: # 1 seed
Experience in different positions is a boost to the Lady Warriors' success this season. But losing PG Brooke Brownfield and F Olivia Ball to ACL injuries, has created a change in the personnel.
Molly Pendley moved into Ball's starting position, while the ball handling has been under the direction of Micah Oldacre. Her sister Miriam, plus Lexi Shadix and Mackenzie Carter, key the offense. Youngsters like Sydney Smith, Sheridan Bowers and Maci Hamby provide depth to this unit that has not lost to a county school all season.
Having a game with a strong Deshler team at Wallace on Monday will allow the Lady Warriors to get their game plan set for a Thursday semifinal. The Monday game will not throw the timing of John Welborn's squad off. If they didn't play ojn MLK Day, the Lady Warriors would not be on the floor for a game situation in six days.
FAIRVIEW: # 2 seed
Justin Billings has stepped into directing the Lady Aggies for the first season with good results. An early season victory against Cold Springs and a win vs. Hanceville vaulted the Lady Aggies near the top.
Fairview came into 2018-19 with limited playing experience. Payton Golden was the lone one back from last season's county championship unit.
The rest of the team plays hard and is growing in varsity experience every time out. Katie Ball, Daisy Manasco, Isabella McGukin, Maddie Yeager and Molly McKelvy deliver in different phases of the game.
Quality non-county wins in recent weeks over Brewer and Oneonta allows the team to go into the county with spirit and belief. A close win last Tuesday against Holly Pond sends a message, they are in business to win by keeping the battle close when the game enters crunch time.
Good play in the backcourt and shooting well from the foul line will be items the Lady Aggies seek to utilize in the quest of working their through their side of the bracket to a championship appearance for the rookie coach.
HANCEVILLE: # 3 seed
Good fortunes ride on the shoulders of the Lady Bulldogs, now that Cassidy Campbell has returned from torn ligaments last summer.
That gives the Lady Bulldogs another weapon to take plenty of pressure off PG Kelly Pickett. Pickett has been seeing plenty of double teams and box and one defense on her in recent weeks.
Pickett still has ability to split defenders, drive to the basket, score, or head to the foul line. Pickett was 9 of 11 at the stripe in a recent upset of No. 8 Glencoe in 3A, Area 12 play.
Supporting these two are Kierra Merriweather, Malia Howell, plus good play from youngsters Jessica Thompson and Victoria Stanley in shooting the long ball.
Coach Christina Watson must have her team cut down on unforced mistakes on offense and keep opponents from displaying spurts that forces the Lady Bulldogs to play catch up ball.
COLD SPRINGS: # 4 seed
They are seeded fourth in this year's county tournament. Many do believe they can and will make a statement in the event. Their strength is consistency from the three-point area, led by Camryn Crider, with help from Toni West and Elizabeth Hill. West is very mature in her sophomore season at point guard, which allows Crider to roam the corners and set up her shooting stroke.
Hill is a challenge for her ability to score from the perimeter and good skills on drives to the hoop 15 feet away.
Neely Ellison is back after ACL surgery, missing the second half of last season. Kinley Campbell provides the team depth from the wing and on defense, plus the presence of 6'1" Lina Liekfield can force teams to change their shots in the paint and try to go to war with her in the art of rebounding.
Cold Springs knows the value of playing at the Coliseum, having wins against Lauderdale County December 21 and Phillips January 5.
This is familiar territory for Tammy West's team. A one step at a time approach is how the Lady Eagles see it in the opportunity of returning to the championship round.
HOLLY POND: # 5 seed
Progress has been witnessed for the Lady Broncos in their second season under Andrew Kelly. Experience is more displayed this season with the results of an improved win total and a competitive attitude.
Balance carries the Lady Broncos while operating on offense with Kirsten Campbell, Kara Hollis, Maddie Heatherly, Tess Duke and Elizabeth Miller. Campbell attacks from the top, Heatherly and Miller work in side while Hollis and Duke provide scoring from the outside.
Fairview saw what Holly Pond can do last week in almost upsetting the Lady Aggies at Joe Shults Gym. Holly Pond has been competitive with the likes of Hanceville, Cold Springs and has a pair of victories over Good Hope.
Taking care of the opposition in 3A, Area 13 motivates the Lady Broncos in showing potential of reaching the final four, while in the same bracket with Cold Springs and West Point.
GOOD HOPE: # 6 seed
Seeing a bulk of the talent leave by graduation, Good Hope has done what it can to keep the head above the water. Limited starting and game experience has been the story for the squad this year.
Coach Amanda Swann has good floor leader in Savanna Derrick, while her sister Rudi, works the # 2 guard position. Young on the front line and lack of depth is the trial and tribulation for the Lady Raiders.
Avoiding a slow start and having very few miscues on offense, plus getting back and defending the basket will be keys for the Lady Raiders in their quest to upset No. 3 Hanceville in the quarterfinal round.
VINEMONT: # 7 seed
First-year coach James Brown has personnel with game experience. But inconsistency has slowed the process in seeking to raise the number of victories from very few in recent seasons.
Bailey Priess sparks the offense from the point guard slot, Sadie Stanley can deliver from the perimeter, Kanasta Daniel and Madysen Hacker work hard in the low post.
Getting shots to fall with the depth perception of Tom Drake Coliseum will be something the Lady Eagles will have to display once tip off begins with a Fairview team that will try to create tempo against them from pressure defense and transition.
Trying to prevent scoring lapses and multiple turnovers will determine the fate of the Lady Eagles, seeking a victory vs. a county opponent for the first time this season.
Fairview vs. Vinemont 6:45 p.m. (G)
Fairview vs. Holly Pond 8:00 p.m.
Hanceville vs. Good Hope 6:15 p.m. (G)
West Point vs. Cold Springs 7:30 p.m.
Cold Springs vs. Holly Pond 6:15 p.m. (G)
Hanceville vs. Vinemont 7:30 p.m.
West Point vs. Cold Springs or Holly Pond 6:15 p.m. (G) (SF)
Fairview or Vinemont vs. Hanceville or Good Hope 7:30 p.m. (G) (SF)
Good Hope vs. Fairview or Holly Pond 6:15 p.m. (SF)
West Point or Cold Springs vs. Hanceville or Vinemont 7:30 p.m. (SF)
Championship (G) 5:30 p.m.
Championship 7:00 p.m.
All games will be carried live on WKUL-FM (92.1) and the WKUL app.
Admission to the tournament is $6.00 per day.
Sportspage file photo of Cold Springs vs. West Point in 2018 girls semifinal.
Photo by Johnny Thornton
It's the stretch run for local high school basketball.
The seven teams in the Cullman County school system will be looking to next week when the county tournament convenes at Wallace State's Tom Drake Coliseum.
The pairings are set for the sports spectacular that occurs regularly during the third week of January.
All teams will look to this week as a chance to tune up from all aspects in quest of to be the best on the local hardwood for 2019.
Beside focusing on the county, the locals are locked in with area tournament competition. That is their quest when postseason play begins the week of February 4-9 with area tournament games.
The area champion and runner-up in all classes will head to the Sub Regional on February 11 for girls and 12th for varsity. Regional tournament will be February 14-20 with the Northwest at Wallace State and the Northeast to be played at Jacksonville State University.
As far as the area standings are concerned, the Cold Springs Lady Eagles and Eagles have clinched home court for 2A, Area 12. Both are 6-0, finishing area play by winning at West End in Walnut Grove this past Friday.
Holly Pond Broncos and Lady Broncos have 4-0 records in 3A, Area 13. A win by the pair at Vinemont Thursday will send them into the postseason as area hosts.
Fairview Lady Aggies and the Oneonta Lady Redskins have completed 4A, Area 12 games and are 5-1. Both split the series with Fairview upsetting Oneonta last Tuesday at home 66-45. A coin flip will be determined to see who will get the opportunity of hosting the area tournament.
Hanceville Bulldogs need to win Friday in Blountsville to claim the regular season crown in 3A, Area 12. Hanceville is 5-0 after a hard fought 71-53 victory over Susan Moore January 11. J.B. Pennington stayed on the heels by getting past Glencoe 62-59. The Tigers have a 4-1 record in the area.
West Point Lady Warriors buried the Hamilton Lady Aggies with 20 field goals from three-point range last Friday, tying a state record. West Point won 82-42 to go 4-0 in 5A, Area 14.
A win Monday night for the Lady Warriors in Moulton against Lawrence County will eliminate everyone else from contending for the regular season area title.
These are the squads in the Sportspage coverage area that are in position of hosting the first round of the playoff segment, area tournament competition.
Lady Eagles 18-5, 3-3 county, 6-0 area
Eagles 14-7, 2-4 county, 6-0 area
Lady Bearcats 17-6, 0-1 area
Bearcats 15-7, 0-1 area
Lady Aggies 12-7, 5-1 county, 5-1 area
Aggies 4-13, 3-3 county, 1-5 area
Lady Raiders 2-14, 1-5 county, 0-5 area
Raiders 15-5, 6-0 county, 3-2 area
Lady Bulldogs 10-8, 4-2 county, 2-3 area
Bulldogs 16-4, 4-2 county, 5-0 area
Lady Broncos 9-10, 2-4 county, 4-0 area
Broncos 11-8, 3-3 county, 4-0 area
Lady Saints 2-14, 0-5 area
Saints 8-6, 2-3 area
Lady Eagles 4-17, 0-6 county, 1-4 area
Eagles 4-17, 0-6 county, 0-4 area
Lady Warriors 17-3, 6-0 county, 4-0 area
Warriors 9-11, 3-3 county, 1-3 area
RECAP OF EXCITEMENT FROM WEEK OF JANUARY 8-11:
Cullman Bearcats 79-77 win over Athens in 2 OT.
Good Hope Raiders edge Hanceville 60-55 to claim No. 1 seed for county tournament.
Fairview Lady Aggies upset Oneonta in 4A, Area 12 play.
St. Bernard Saints win at Falkville to go 8-5 on season.
Hanceville Bulldogs post back to back wins against schools from Blount County Jan. 10-11.
West Point Lady Warriors nail 20 treys against Hamilton, go 4-0 in 5A, Area 14.
WILL NOT PLAY IN THE MARTIN LUTHER KING CLASSIC:
HANCEVILLE - Fairview Lady Aggies were scheduled to play Deshler in the Martin Luther King Classic January 21 at Tom Drake Coliseum.
But coach Justin Billings told Sportspage at the draw of the Cullman County Tournament, the Lady Aggies will bypass that assignment, due to playing Monday evening vs. Vinemont in round one of the county tournament.
There has been no report on if a replacement has been found to play Deshler, or the Classic will have one less game on the schedule.
THIS WEEK ON THE HARDWOOD (January 14-19):
Cleveland at Good Hope (HC)
West Point at Lawrence Co
West End at Vinemont
Southeastern at St. Bernard
Cullman at Decatur
Holly Pond at Fairview
Hanceville at Vinemont
St. Bernard at Lynn
Hartselle at West Point
Arab at Cullman
Good Hope at Cold Springs
Holly Pond at Vinemont
Russellville at West Point (WKUL-FM)
Ashville at Good Hope
Cullman at Jasper
New Hope at Holly Pond
Hanceville at J.B. Pennington
Photo of opening tip between Good Hope (red) and Fairview January 3 at Fairview.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
With the holidays out of the way, local basketball teams can begin to focus on two following tasks, the upcoming Cullman County High School tournament and area play.
Entering the first full week of January, we have 11 teams covered by Sportspage regularly with winning records.
From the past weekend, success was well garnished by our local teams against outside competition. Through games on Friday and Saturday, the county displayed an 11-4 record for a winning percentage of .733.
Cold Springs, Hanceville, Holly Pond and West Point swept the competition in girls and varsity play Friday evening. On Saturday, wins by Cold Springs girls, Cullman, Cullman girls in playing at neutral sites carried plenty of momentum for the ball clubs to the new week.
Good Hope was the only school to not achieve a victory Saturday. But playing No. 1 Decatur Heritage from 1A is no easy task, whether your school is in the small classifications, or playing in the higher level of 5A and above.
This week will be the pairings for the Cullman County Tournament. That is Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. inside the Board of Education Central Office (for coaches, administration and media only).
Before the draw, some unfinished business must be taken care of.
The No. 1 seed in the varsity is up for grabs with Good Hope going to Hanceville Tuesday.
Good Hope is 5-0 in county games, Hanceville has a 4-1 mark. The winner takes the top seed, the loser is the 2nd seed.
Entering the draw, Holly Pond, Fairview and West Point are 3-3, beating up on one another. That will have to be settled with a probable coin toss to be the process for the tiebreaker.
As far as the girls pairings, they are locked in with West Point 1st, Fairview 2nd, Hanceville 3rd, Cold Springs 4th, Holly Pond 5th, Good Hope 6th and Vinemont 7th.
Sportspage will have all of the pairings posted Wednesday evening, once they are drawn inside the county board office.
What's ahead for week of January 8-11:
CULLMAN: 6A, Area 14 games Friday at home vs. rival Hartselle. This is the area opener for the Lady Bearcats and Bearcats. A solid tune up for the Cullman teams will be Tuesday on the home floor vs. the Athens Golden Eagles.
COLD SPRINGS: 2A, Area 12 games at Southeastern Tuesday, West End Friday. The Lady Eagles and Eagles are 4-0 in area play and on the verge of wrapping up the top spot for the tournament in which they will both host in closing out as the No. 1 team in area play.
FAIRVIEW: Lady Aggies and Aggies will try to slow down Oneonta at home Tuesday in 4A, Area 12. Lady Aggies stand 3-1 in the area, trailing Oneonta who is undefeated in area games. Aggies are 1-3, but optimistic of a possible upset in the making.
GOOD HOPE: Raiders deal with a game in Hanceville Tuesday for top seed to the county tournament, then at Oneonta Friday in 4A, Area 12. Raiders are 2nd in the area standings to Oneonta and have to win, or the Redskins are probable regular season area champs.
HANCEVILLE: Bulldogs Good Hope to visit Tuesday with No. 1 seed in the county hanging in the balance. Then the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs have back to back assignments against teams from Blount County at Lane Horton Gym.
Locust Fork will face them on Thursday and Susan Moore comes a calling for Friday. The Susan Moore games are 3A, Area 12 with Hanceville on top in the area and the Lady Bulldogs tied with Glencoe in 2nd place at 2-2, behind undefeated Susan Moore.
A Hanceville varsity victory, along with a Glencoe win over J.B. Pennington, will give the Bulldogs the regular season area title. Hanceville is 4-0 in the area, Pennington is 2-1 entering the week.
The Susan Moore-Hanceville games will be carried live on WKUL-FM (92.1) Friday at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30.
WEST POINT: Lady Warriors and Warriors have one game for the week, a trip to Hamilton on Friday for 5A, Area 14 action. West Point Lady Warriors 3-0 after romping Russellville last Friday. The Lady Warriors are now having to play without Olivia Ball, who is out for the remainder of the season, recovering from ACL surgery.
West Point is still in contention for the top spot in the area, despite a 1-2 record. The Warriors must win out in order to strengthen their chances of hosting in the playoffs.
Lady Eagles 16-5, 3-3 county, 4-0 area
Eagles 12-7, 2-4 county, 4-0 area
Lady Bearcats 17-4, 0-0 area
Bearcats 14-6, 0-0 area
Lady Aggies 10-7, 5-1 county, 3-1 area
Aggies 4-11, 3-3 county, 1-3 area
Lady Raiders 2-11, 1-4 county, 0-4 area
Raiders 13-4, 5-0 county, 3-1 area
Lady Bulldogs 9-6, 3-2 county, 2-2 area
Bulldogs 14-3, 4-1 county, 4-0 area
Lady Broncos 7-8, 2-4 county, 4-0 area
Broncos 11-7, 3-3 county, 4-0 area
Lady Saints 2-11, 0-3 area
Saints 6-5, 1-2 area
Lady Eagles 1-16, 0-6 county, 0-3 area
Eagles 4-15, 0-6 county, 0-3 area
Lady Warriors 16-3, 6-0 county, 3-0 area
Warriors 9-10, 3-3 county, 1-2 area
IMPACT GAMES THIS WEEK:
Good Hope at Hanceville 6:00 (G), 7:30
Athens at Cullman 6:00 (G), 7:30
Oneonta at Fairview 6:00 (G), 7:30
Holly Pond at Good Hope 6:30 (G), 7:45
Locust Fork at Hanceville 6:00 (G), 7:30
Vinemont at St. Bernard 6:00 (G), 7:30
Hartselle at Cullman 6:00 (G), 7:30
Susan Moore at Hanceville 6:00 (G), 7:30 (WKUL-FM)
West Point at Hamilton 6:00 (G), 7:30
Decatur Heritage at St. Bernard 6:00 (G), 7:30
Photo of Hanceville's Fred Ellis (0) at the foul line January 4 in 65-51 win over Glencoe.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
Holiday hoops had teams from Sportspage at various locations across North Alabama the final weekend of December.
The weekend was enjoyable for the Good Hope Raiders in going home with the championship hardware from the West Point Christmas Classic. Jim Boyd Gym was the last place where defeat had been seen by the Raiders, a 65-58 setback to West Point on December 28.
Victory was hard earned for the Raiders in round one, a 69-67 triumph over Brewer as Drew Maddox landed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Raiders then outlasted the Hayden Wildcats 65-55 in the semifinal round. A day later, Good Hope got revenge on West Point, a 59-52 victory.
It has been a good beginning for Drew Adams' Raiders with 12 victories in 15 decisions. Now the Raiders look ahead to the second week of January, trying to nail down the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Cullman County Tournament if the Raiders can defeat Hanceville January 8.
Good Hope was the only squad that went through a 3-game post Christmas schedule. Holly Pond had a 2-0 record in the Glencoe Holiday Classic. The Broncos posted wins over Cedar Bluff (70-36) and Ohatchee (72-65), breaking a two-game losing streak.
Plenty of teams took in 2-1 records.
Cold Springs: Lady Eagles defeated Red Bay, Holy Spirit, lost to Danville in Winfield Tournament.
Cullman: Lady Bearcats defeated Homewood, Athens, lost to Austin in Decatur Orthopedic Classic.
West Point: Warriors defeated Priceville, Cullman, lost to Good Hope in West Point Christmas Classic.
Cullman: Bearcats defeat Cold Springs, Hayden, lost to West Point in West Point Christmas Classic.
West Point: Lady Warriors defeated Ider, Plainview, lost to Sand Rock in Etowah Christmas Tourney.
Cold Springs put away a slight slump in knocking off Danville in the West Point Classic Saturday. That stopped a four-game losing streak. Cullman County teams went 4-2 vs. out of county opposition in the three-day event at Jim Boyd Gym.
Good basketball in Lauderdale County:
Lauderdale County was the site Sportspage spent for three days in a high quality holiday tournament, the Keith Davis Girls Memorial Classic.
Seeing 20 varsity teams, 17 from the Alabama High School Athletic Association and three out of the state of Tennessee. Twelve competed in the upper division with eight going to war for three days in the lower division.
The tournament, honoring Davis, who passed away three years ago from a stroke, is recognized for having good ball clubs throughout Northwest Alabama and across the line in Tennessee.
Lower division champion Susan Moore had three exciting wins, getting by Central Florence 62-53, Phil Campbell 73-64 in OT and Lauderdale County 53-52. The Lady Bulldogs are now 14-1.
Rogers, the runner-up in the upper division to Loretto, Tennessee is 11-3. Rogers fell to Loretto 45-36 after victories over East Limestone and Deshler in the first two rounds.
Deshler squeezed out a 61-60 victory against Priceville in the third place game in the upper division. The Lady Tigers downed the No. 1 team in Class 4A to move to 8-3. Priceville lost two close games in the semis and consolation and has dropped to 13-3.
Phil Campbell bounced back from the semifinal loss to Susan Moore in the lower division, taking down Giles 61-47 in the third place contest. The Lady Bobcats end December with an 11-2 record.
Lauderdale County, who lost two games the previous week in the Wallace State Christmas Challenge, regained momentum and tallied three consecutive wins before the championship game loss vs. Susan Moore. A team that is in development, is 8-9 after the Keith Davis Classic.
A noteable item is Deshler, Rogers, Wilson and Central-Florence compete in 4A, Area 16. Two of these very competitive teams will be left out of postseason play from not able to get to the finals of the area tournament.
Other teams that caught Sportspage's attention with some good outings were West Limestone (14-3), East Limestone (11-4), Phillips (9-6), Mars Hill (9-4) and Hatton (12-5).
Current overall record of local teams:
Cold Springs: Lady Eagles 14-5, Eagles 11-7
Cullman: Lady Bearcats 16-4, Bearcats 13-4
Fairview: Lady Aggies 9-7, Aggies 4-10
Good Hope: Lady Raiders 2-10, Raiders 12-3
Hanceville: Lady Bulldogs 8-6, Bulldogs 13-3
Holly Pond: Lady Broncos 6-8, Broncos 9-7
St. Bernard: Lady Saints 2-11, Saints 6-5
Vinemont: Lady Eagles 1-14, Eagles 3-14
West Point: Lady Warriors 15-3, Warriors 8-10
Next week on the hardwood:
THURSDAY: Cullman at Pleasant Grove Invitational, Good Hope at Fairview, Winston Co at Vinemont.
FRIDAY: West Point at Russellville, Glencoe at Hanceville, Brindlee Mountain at Holly Pond, Cleveland at Cold Springs, Cullman at Pleasant Grove Invitational, Vinemont at Falkville.
SATURDAY: Good Hope vs. Decatur Heritage at WSCC, Cold Springs (G) vs. Phillips at WSCC.
Cullman at Pleasant Grove Invitational, Cullman (G) vs. Buckhorn at WSCC.
Photo 1: Susan Moore coach Natasha Smallwood during championship game vs. Lauderdale County at Keith Davis Memorial Classic Dec. 28.
Photo 2: Deshler's Chloe Seigel (22) guards Priceville's Kathleen Wheeler in the upper division 3rd place game at the Keith Davis Memorial Classic Dec. 28
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Sportspage has experienced a very productive week of seeing prep basketball, prior to each team taking off for a brief break with the coaches, players and other members to celebrate Christmas on Tuesday.
Five consecutive days from regular season games at West Point (twice) and tournaments at Wallace State, James Clemens and Decatur, the performances have been solid for many with a good percentage of them now locked in on having steady play with January right around the corner.
Heading into the holiday break, the Hanceville Bulldogs have the current longest winning streak of seven games. The Bulldogs claimed two wins in the Corner Christmas Tournament, then got revenge on Holly Pond December 20, outscoring the Broncos 85-73 at Felton Easterwood Gym.
Rookie coach Stephen Chandler has his Bulldogs at 13-3 and have not lost a game away from Lane Horton Gym in eight decisions.
The win against Holly Pond broke the Broncos' six-game victory streak. Holly Pond then lost on Friday at Arab and will look to regroup next weekend when they play in the Glencoe Tournament.
Now playing with plenty of momentum is the Cold Springs Lady Eagles. Cold Springs pauses for the Christmas break with six wins in a row, the latest being a 51-36 triumph over Lauderdale County in the Wallace State Christmas Challenge. The Lady Eagles are currently 3rd in the 2A state prep poll.
West Point Lady Warriors saw their seven-game streak get stopped last Monday in Hartselle 58-50. Now the Lady Warriors have started a new series of winning, dominating county foes Fairview 60-29 and Good Hope 66-36 on December 18 and 21.
But the Lady Warriors are facing uncertainty heading toward January. Starting forward Olivia Ball is scheduled to receive an MRI on her leg she injured in the Fairview game. West Point clicked on all cylinders in the victory over Good Hope, playing for the first time without the talented senior.
Revenge is sweet:
While Hanceville got things even in winning at Holly Pond 85-73 on December 20, the West Point Warriors had a similar outing the following night at Jim Boyd Gym vs. the Good Hope Raiders.
The Warriors, who fell to the Raiders 66-58 on December 11, turned the tables on a hot ball club by the score of 65-58. West Point ended a five-game slide last Tuesday by romping against Fairview 73-40 and had fresher legs than the Raiders when they tangled ion the Friday prior to Christmas.
Good Hope was like an NBA team this week. The Raiders were making up early season postponed contests with Danville and West Point, while having regular season home games against West Morgan and Cold Springs the 18th and 20th.
Four games in five days became a concern for Drew Adams' unit, with the Raiders struggling in the third period vs. West Point, scoring only seven points and hitting two field goals in a span of 8:00.
Seeing plenty of teams for the first time:
While focusing on the local teams, Sportspage also had the opportunity of watching teams that don't come to the area often.
Wallace State Community College presented its annual Christmas Challenge with a total of 16 games in three days.
Eight games involved varsity girls teams, seven were varsity and a JV girls encounter between Cold Springs and Lauderdale County.
In ranking the Top 4 games per division, Sportspage list the following:
# 1 - Southside 50, Handley 48 (Dec. 20)
# 2 - Cold Springs 51, Lauderdale Co 36 (Dec. 21)
# 3 - Athens 44, Lauderdale Co 38 (Dec. 20)
# 4 - Albertville 53, Mortimer Jordan 38 (Dec. 20)
# 1 - Covenant Christian 77, Oneonta 71 (Dec. 20)
# 2 - Moody 59, Oneonta 58 (Dec. 20)
# 3 - Moody 52, Elkmont 50 (Dec. 20)
# 4 - Vincent 59, Marion Co 52 (Dec. 19)
Sportspage took in a couple of games in the Huntsville Hospital Sports Center Girls Classic Saturday at James Clemens School. Austin was the winner in the fifth place game 40-37 over Bob Jones while Henry County, Georgia ran past Muscle Shoals 56-34 in the third place contest.
No. 1 Hazel Green from Class 7A claimed the crown in a 54-44 victory over Madison Academy.
From the new facility at Decatur High School, the Pepsi Classic completed its three days of activity. On Saturday, No. 1 from the 1A poll, Decatur Heritage, knocked off Bob Jones 51-40, Austin toppled Madison Academy 47-37 and James Clemens held off Guntersville 56-54.
Decatur Heritage will be visiting Wallace State's Tom Drake Coliseum on January 5 in the New Year's Rumble. The Eagles will meet the Good Hope Raiders with tip off scheduled for 10:30 a.m. The game will be carried live on WKUL-FM.
Current Cullman County standings:
G: 1. West Point 6-0, 2. Fairview 5-1, 3. Hanceville 3-2, 4. Cold Springs 3-3, 5. Holly Pond 2-4, 6. Good Hope 1-5, 7. Vinemont 0-6.
V: 1. Good Hope 5-0, 2. Hanceville 4-1, 3. West Point, Fairview, Holly Pond 3-3, 6. Cold Springs 2-4, 7. Vinemont 0-6.
Overall records as of 12/22/18:
COLD SPRINGS: Lady Eagles 12-4, Eagles 10-5
CULLMAN: Lady Bearcats 13-3, Bearcats 11-3
FAIRVIEW: Lady Aggies 8-6, Aggies 4-10
GOOD HOPE: Lady Raiders 2-10, Raiders 9-3
HANCEVILLE: Lady Bulldogs 8-6, Bulldogs 13-3
HOLLY POND: Lady Broncos 6-7, Broncos 7-7
ST. BERNARD: Lady Saints 1-10, Saints 6-5
VINEMONT: Lady Eagles 1-11, Eagles 3-13
WEST POINT: Lady Warriors 13-2, Warriors 6-9
Where are the teams playing after the Christmas holiday?:
COLD SPRINGS: Lady Eagles at Winfield Tournament Dec. 27-28
Eagles at West Point Classic Dec. 27-29
CULLMAN: Lady Bearcats at Decatur Orthopedic Classic Dec. 26-28
Bearcats at West Point Classic Dec. 27-29
FAIRVIEW: Lady Aggies at Mortimer Jordan Classic Dec. 27-29
Aggies are idle
GOOD HOPE: Lady Raiders are idle.
Raiders at West Point Classic Dec. 27-29
HANCEVILLE: Lady Bulldogs are idle
Bulldogs are idle
HOLLY POND: Lady Broncos are idle
Broncos at Glencoe Tournament Dec. 27-29
ST. BERNARD: Lady Saints are idle
Saints are idle
VINEMONT: Lady Eagles at Winston County Tournament Dec. 27-29
Eagles are idle
WEST POINT: Lady Warriors at Etowah Tournament Dec. 27-29
Warriors at West Point Classic Dec. 27-29
Next week for Sportspage:
Sportspage will take in the annual Keith Davis Girls Memorial Classic Wednesday through Friday at Lauderdale County High School in Rogersville. The tournament was once known as the Northwest Alabama Christmas Tournament, then renamed in honor of Davis, a reporter and broadcaster for radio in the Florence area.
Davis passed away three years ago at his home in Lexington, Alabama.
The tournament features eight teams in the lower school division and 12 in the upper division. The lower division includes Hatton, Giles County (TN), Phil Campbell, Mars Hill, Lauderdale County, Tharptown, Central Florence and Susan Moore.
In the upper division, Deshler, Phillips, Wilson, Alexandria, Loretto (TN), West Limestone, Haleyville and East Limestone have games in the opening round. Priceville, Muscle Shoals, Lawrence Co (TN) and Rogers drew a first round bye.
The finals in both divisions will be at 6:00 p.m. (lower) and 7:30 p.m. (upper) Friday in the main gym of Lauderdale County High School.
Photo 1: Opening tip of Austin (orange) vs. Bob Jones in the Huntsville Hospital Sports Center Girls Classic Saturday at James Clemens School in Madison.
Photo 2: Bob Jones attacking Decatur Heritage's defense in the Pepsi Classic at Decatur High School Saturday afternoon.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Another week of local basketball has wrapped up. On Friday, a total of 14 games involved teams covered by Sportspage on a regular basis were participating.
Gymnasiums in Cold Springs, Cullman, Fairview, Good Hope, Vinemont and West Point were active during the evening time. Holly Pond was the lone school who had to get on the bus and travel outside of the county. Eight local teams achieved the taste of victory, with six unable to claim triumph, setting up plans to regroup.
Looking ahead to the upcoming week, the teams will have games from Monday through Friday, also mixing in a few days of attending school, concluding exams before being out for the Christmas and New Year's holiday.
JUST THE FACTS:
The following are on winning streaks entering the third week of December:
COLD SPRINGS - Lady Eagles and Eagles have won 3 straight. Lady Eagles 9-4, 3-0 in 2A, Area 12, Eagles 10-3, 3-0 in 2A, Area 12.
CULLMAN - Lady Bearcats have rolled off 5 in a row. Lady Bearcats now 12-1 after 60-30 victory over Huntsville.
HOLLY POND - Broncos have delivered 6 consecutive wins, following a 1-5 start. Broncos 7-5, 3-0 in 3A, Area 13.
HANCEVILLE - Bulldogs are on 4-game winning streak, Lady Bulldogs have won 2 straight. Bulldogs 10-3, 3-0 in 3A, Area 12, Lady Bulldogs 7-6, 1-2 in 3A, Area 12.
WEST POINT - Lady Warriors have the current longest streak of 7, Lady Warriors 11-1, 2-0 in 5A, Area 14.
Winning streaks were broken with losses on Friday evening:
CULLMAN - Bearcats fell 47-35 to Huntsville, ending 8-game winning streak. Bearcats 11-2 on season.
GOOD HOPE - Raiders suffered 69-65 home loss to Oneonta. Raiders 6-2, 2-1 in 4A, Area 12.
Teams trying to break out of a slump.
WEST POINT - Warriors have lost 4 in a row. Warriors 4-8, 0-2 in 5A, Area 14.
VINEMONT - Eagles in 6-game slide, Eagles 1-13, 0-3 in 3A, Area 13.
VINEMONT - Lady Eagles have lost 8 in a row. Lady Eagles 1-10, 0-3 in 3A, Area 13.
ST. BERNARD - Lady Saints currently in 8-game losing spell. Lady Saints 1-10, 0-3 in 1A, Area 13.
Making an impact:
HOLLY POND - Broncos scored 70 in win over Vinemont during the week, 76 vs. West Point and 84 in OT win Friday at New Hope.
WEST POINT - Lady Warriors defeated Good Hope 62-36, Holly Pond 76-40, Lawrence 80-39 with all games having a hot clock in 4th quarter on 30-point leads.
COLD SPRINGS - Lady Eagles converted 14 three-point FGs in 76-22 win over West End, a week after they tied a state record with 19 in a 78-54 victory at Cleveland.
HANCEVILLE - R.J. Evans recently scored his 1,000th career point with the Bulldogs defeating J.B. Pennington and Corner on the week in games played at Lane Horton Gym.
HANCEVILLE - Point guard Kelly Pickett earned her 1,000th point recently and was honored this week as the Lady Bulldogs got a pair of wins on the home floor over J.B. Pennington and Corner.
CULLMAN - Shooting guard A.K. Eastman is the third player to achieve 1,000 points in her career. Eastman has been a solid shooter and scorer all season for the 12-1 Lady Bearcats.
CURRENT STANDINGS IN CULLMAN COUNTY GAMES:
1. Good Hope 4-0, 2. Hanceville 4-1, 3. Fairview 3-2, 4. Holly Pond 3-3, 5. West Point 2-3, 6. Cold Springs 2-3, 7. Vinemont 0-6.
1. West Point 5-0, Fairview 5-0, 3. Hanceville 3-2, 4. Cold Springs 2-3, 5. Holly Pond 2-4, 6. Good Hope 1-3, 7. Vinemont 0-6.
Pairings for the county will be drawn on January 19. County Tournament is January 21-26 at Wallace State.
THIS WEEK'S PREP SCHEDULE:
MONDAY: West Point at Hartselle, Cold Springs at Holly Pond, Good Hope at Danville, Hanceville at Corner Tournament.
TUESDAY: Fairview at West Point, Cullman at Brewer, West Morgan at Good Hope, Vinemont at West End, Hanceville at Corner Tournament.
THURSDAY: Cold Springs at Good Hope, Cullman (G) at Spain Park Tournament, Arab at Fairview, Hanceville at Holly Pond, Vinemont at St. Bernard Tournament.
FRIDAY: Good Hope at West Point, Holly Pond at Arab, Cullman (G) at Spain Park Tournament, Vinemont at St. Bernard Tournament, Cold Springs (G) vs. Lauderdale Co at Wallace State.
Photo of Holly Pond Broncos during a timeout against West Point on December 13.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton.
One week of prep hoops for the month of December has been accomplished by our local teams.
Several made strides from it, eager to resume playing with Christmas two weeks away.
They were the last to begin because of football, but the Good Hope Raiders have caught plenty of attention for early season success.
A 3-0 record for the week has the Raiders at 5-1, 2-0 in 4A, Area 12 and 3-0 vs. county opponents. That's good enough for the Raiders to currently lead in both categories.
Good Hope shot past Vinemont 70-40 on December 3, outgunned Fairview 66-48 December 4 and three nights later, pulled off a 59-48 victory in Ashville.
Drew Adams' Raiders were expected to be solid this season, with the likes of Cole Maddox, Drew Maddox, Michael Lowe, Noah Fendley and Matt Dixon providing the team valuable experience. It has been displayed for the past two weeks with the Raiders at full depth following several getting out of the football playoffs.
Hanceville Bulldogs continue to show an interesting scenario. The Bulldogs remain undefeated on the road after crushing Glencoe 77-36. New coach Stephen Chandler's squad is 5-0 away from Lane Horton Gym and now 2-0 in 3A, Area 12.
Only one game took place for Cullman the past week. The Bearcats had to fight back from an early 8-point deficit against Haleyville, defeating the Lions at home Tuesday 63-55. This was eight days following a 66-51 win against the Lions in Haleyville. Bobby Meyer's Bearcats have won six straight and go into next week 9-1 overall.
Getting into a groove from this past week was Holly Pond. The Broncos claimed three victories, beating Hanceville 91-86 in OT, a 68-67 buzzer beater against Randolph and 72-61 on Pearl Harbor evening at Brindlee Mountain. Mitch Morris' Broncos have found momentum, improving to 4-5 and 1-0 in 3A, Area 13.
Right now in girls' play, West Point has won eight of nine and Cullman is 9-1. West Point went to Muscle Shoals Friday night and returned from Colbert County a 59-47 winner. John Welborn's Lady Warriors are 7-0 vs. teams from the AHSAA. Their only loss was to Henry County, Georgia on Thanksgiving Eve down in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Cullman romped over Haleyville 59-30 in its only assignment for the first week of December. Josh Hembree's Lady Bearcats have won two straight after suffering their lone defeat at the hands of Brewer on November 29.
Fairview Lady Aggies' six-game winning streak for new coach Justin Billings was stopped in a 59-51 Class 4A, Area 12 loss to Oneonta. The Lady Aggies fell to 1-1 in the area and are 7-3 after 10 games.
With shooting guard Camryn Crider tieing an AHSAA record of 13 treys in one game, the Cold Springs Lady Eagles bounced back from a 66-58 loss at West Point December 4, winning 78-54 at Cleveland Friday for a 2-0 record in 2A, Area 12. Tammy West's crew has a 7-4 record and is averaging over 70 points a game in area contests.
CURRENT COUNTY STANDINGS:
Good Hope 3-0, Hanceville 4-1, West Point 2-1, Fairview 3-2, Cold Springs 2-3, Holly Pond 1-3, Vinemont 0-5.
GIRLS: Fairview 5-0, West Point 3-0, Hanceville 3-2, Cold Springs 2-3, Holly Pond 1-3, Good Hope 1-2, Vinemont 0-5. Pairings for county tournament will be drawn January 9.
THIS WEEK IN PREP BASKETBALL (Overall team record listed with girls record first)
Cullman (9-1 G, 9-1) at Lawrence County
West Point (8-1 G, 4-5) at Jasper
Addison at St. Bernard (1-8 G, 5-3)
Fairview (7-3 G, 3-7) at Cold Springs (7-4 G, 7-3)
West Point at Good Hope (1-4 G, 5-1)
John Carroll at Cullman
Vinemont (1-8 G, 1-11) at Holly Pond (4-4 G, 4-5)
J.B. Pennington at Hanceville (5-6 G, 8-3)
Winston County at St. Bernard
Brindlee Mountain at Vinemont
Hanceville at Corner
Huntsville at Cullman
Holly Pond at New Hope
Oneonta at Good Hope
Lawrence County at West Point
West End at Cold Springs
Ashville at Fairview
Photo of Cold Springs-West Point girls December 4, courtesy of West Point High School.
Prep basketball for 2018-19 is now one month into the record books.
Teams are trying to gain an identity with December now here. A combination of regular season games, plus area games will take place for the next three weeks prior to a short time off in celebrating Christmas.
Then on the day after Christmas and the following day, plenty will get back on to the hardwood, using that time to tune up in order to make a strong run through the month of January.
Some teams are already in a groove after playing for three weeks of November. Others are just getting started as some had to wait for football to end in order to have a full varsity lineup to play.
Sportspage takes a look at each school on what has happened thus far in girls and varsity play. These are their records through November 30.
COLD SPRINGS: Lady Eagles 6-3, 1-0 in 2A, A 12 Eagles 7-2, 1-0 in 2A, A 12
Lady Eagles have 4-game winning streak, Eagles have posted 5 consecutive wins.
CULLMAN: Lady Bearcats 8-1, 0-0 in 6A, A 14 Bearcats 8-1, 0-0 in 6A, A 14.
Lady 'Cats started the season 7-0. Bearcats finish November with 6 straight victories.
FAIRVIEW: Lady Aggies 6-2, 0-0 in 4A, A 12 Aggies 3-5, 0-0 in 4A, A 12.
New coach Justin Billings has Lady Aggies playing well with a 5-game winning streak.
Aggies edged Vinemont Friday for 3rd win of season under new coach David Martin.
GOOD HOPE: Lady Raiders 0-3, 0-0 in 4A, A 12 Raiders 2-1, 0-0 in 4A, A 12.
Raiders played 1st regular game Thursday, defeated Holly Pond 80-67.
HANCEVILLE: Lady Bulldogs 3-5, 0-1 in 3A, 12 Bulldogs 6-2, 1-0 in 3A, A 12
Bulldogs are 4-0 on road, 2-2 at home.
Lady Bulldogs have lost last 3 after a 3-2 start prior to Thanksgiving Eve.
HOLLY POND: Lady Broncos 2-3, 0-0 in 3A, A 13 Broncos 1-5, 0-0 in 3A, A 13
Broncos gone through a 3-game losing streak. Lady Broncos split last 2 games.
ST. BERNARD: Lady Saints 1-6, 0-2 in 1A, A 13 Saints 4-3, 0-2 in 1A, A 13
Saints have lost 3 of last 4 after a 3-0 start.
VINEMONT: Lady Eagles 1-5, 0-0 in 3A, A 13 Eagles 1-8, 0-0 in 3A, A 13
New coaches James Brown (girls), Preston Boyd (varsity) have their first victory.
WEST POINT: Lady Warriors 6-1, 1-0 in 5A, A 14 Warriors 3-4, 0-1 in 5A, A 14.
Lady Warriors go to December 3-game winning streak. Warriors 2-1 in last 3 games.
COUNTY STANDINGS: Pairings for county tournament to be announced January 9:
GIRLS: Fairview 4-0, West Point 2-0, Cold Springs 2-2, Hanceville 1-2, Holly Pond 1-2, Good Hope 0-1, Vinemont 0-3.
VARSITY: Hanceville 3-0, Good Hope 1-0, Fairview 3-1, West Point 1-1, Cold Springs 2-2, Holly Pond 0-3, Vinemont 0-3.
Based on regular season games only and first meeting between each school. Each will have a total of 6 games to determine their position when pairings are announced.
BASKETBALL THIS COMING WEEK:
Good Hope at Vinemont, West Point at Deshler, Holly Pond at Hanceville.
Cold Springs at West Point, Haleyville at Cullman, Vinemont at Hanceville, Randolph at Holly Pond, Fairview at Good Hope, Falkville at St. Bernard.
Cold Springs at Cleveland, Fairview at Oneonta, Good Hope at Ashville, Holly Pond at Brindlee Mountain, Hanceville at Glencoe, St. Bernard at West End, New Hope at Vinemont, West Point at Muscle Shoals.
Photo 1: Fairview's Katie Ball (12) attacks the Hanceville defense.
Photo 2: Hanceville's Zeke McDonald (3), Fairview's Dow Nichols (22).
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Football for Sportspage ended on the night after Thanksgiving for the 2018 season with the Good Hope Raiders being defeated by Oneonta 29-8 at Gilbreath Stadium and the Addison Bulldogs taking it on the chin to Aliceville 38-22 at A.G. Hicks Stadium.
Both teams enjoyed a good run of getting to the quarterfinal round. The opposition prevented the Raiders and Bulldogs from further advancement.
In reviewing the quarterfinal round of other AHSAA playoff games near by, there were teams expected to win that did and teams that were not expected to lose.
Hoover out of the playoffs:
Hoover Bucs are a team that is known for deep runs into the playoffs. Playing in the largest classification in the AHSAA, the Bucs season ended in a 31-28 heartbreaking loss in the 7A semifinals at the Hoover Met to the Thompson Warriors, featuring Tua's younger brother.
Thompson put on a last minute comeback and avenged a regular season loss to the Bucs. They are on to the 7A championship at Jordan-Hare Stadium December 5 against Central Phenix City who edged Lee-Montgomery 34-27.
Addison's playoff elimination takes place at home:
In the past two seasons, the Addison Bulldogs ended the season with playoff losses on the road. This time, the Bulldogs were taken out of the playoff picture at A.G. Hicks Stadium in falling to Aliceville 38-22.
A six-game winning streak at home was ended. The other time the Bulldogs fell in front of the home crowd was in the opener August 31 in a 32-20 setback to the Piedmont Bulldogs.
Jasper's strong run cut off by Mortimer Jordan:
Jasper and Mortimer Jordan shared something in common, entering their matchup in 5A on Friday. Both started the season with a loss, then conquered 11 consecutive opponents.
Jasper's bid for a 12-game winning streak was denied with Mortimer Jordan paying a visit and going home a 41-21 victor.
The Vikings were a program that went from 3-7, getting a new coach in Bryan Moore and being the best in 5A, Region 5. The Vikings were sent out of the playoffs by the champion of Region 6.
Undefeated no longer:
Etowah had a 12-0 record going into the quarterfinals against Central Clay County. The Blue Devils were run off the field by the Volunteers in the 5A contest 35-13.
A battle of undefeated teams in 2A took place in Dekalb County. The Fyffe Red Devils went to 13-0 in a 21-13 victory over Ohatchee from Calhoun County.
Westminster Christian of Huntsville was perfect coming into the 3A quarterfinal at Piedmont. They returned to the Rocket City dejected in a 27-26 loss, with a missed extra point the difference in the contest.
Mars Hill Bible went from Florence into the town of Millport and eliminated previously undefeated South Lamar 41-27 in the 1A quarterfinals.
From the South Region in 4A, American Christian out of Tuscaloosa came up short to state champion UMS Wright in Mobile 21-19. ACA missed a field goal in the closing seconds and lost for the only time this season.
Home field not a true advantage:
The old cliche of home field advantage did not serve to full status Friday in quarterfinal play in the AHSAA playoffs.
Seven games played in the North region were won by the road team. The most notable was in 7A with Thompson getting by Hoover 31-28.
All but Class 3A had at least one road team to carry on their season to the following week.
Deshler has the worst record of a semifinalist at 8-5. The Tigers were 5-5 in the regular season, but 2nd in 4A, Region 8. Deshler stunned Hokes Bluff 20-14 in Etowah County Friday and will have the home field for the semifinal game this week vs. Oneonta.
Hoping to play at home:
Mortimer Jordan has posted three victories in the 5A playoffs, all on the road. Two were not scheduled to be that way. Poor field conditions forced the Blue Devils to move the first round game from Jimmie Trotter Field in Kimberly to Dora Stadium. The 2nd round for MJ was played at Clay-Chalkville.
Mortimer Jordan is to play Central Clay County in the semifinals as a home squad. The game is currently set to be played on the MJ campus. That could change pending on field conditions as wet weather was reported in the area on Friday evening.
AHSAA State Football Playoffs Semifinal Pairings (Nov. 30)
CLASS 1A :Maplesville (11-1) at Linden (12-0) &
Pickens County (9-4) at Mars Hill Bible (12-1)
CLASS 2A Luverne (12-1) at Highland Home (12-1) &
Aliceville (11-2) at Fyffe (13-0)
CLASS 3A Providence Christian (12-1) at Flomaton (10-3) &
Randolph County (12-1) at Piedmont (11-2)
CLASS 4A Andalusia (9-4) at UMS-Wright (12-0) &
Oneonta (10-3) at Deshler (8-5)
CLASS 5A Vigor (12-1) at Greenville (11-2) &
Central-Clay County (10-3) at Mortimer Jordan (12-1)
CLASS 6A Saraland (12-1) at Wetumpka (11-2) &
Clay-Chalkville (12-1) at Pinson Valley (11-1)
CLASS 7A (Finals, Dec. 5, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn) Central-Phenix City (13-0) vs. Thompson (12-1)
AHSAA scoreboard - 2nd round:
4A: Good Hope 27, Jacksonville 12
2A: Addison 26, Ranburne 15
1A: Pickens Co 34, Falkville 15
3A: Piedmont 41, J.B. Pennington 16
4A: Oneonta 56, DAR 20
5A: Jasper 41, Southside Gadsden 14
6A: Clay Chalkville 35, Hartselle 7
NO. 1 AND NO, 2 IN 4A FALL IN SECOND ROUND:
Good Hope took care of No. 2 ranked Jacksonville 27-12 at James Shabel Stadium. Hokes Bluff ended the season of No. 1 ranked North Jackson by the score of 33-13. The win by Good Hope was its second against a ranked 4A opponent in the last four games.
On October 26, the Raiders upset No. 4 Fayette County 27-22 with a TD pass from Bailey Quick to Matt Dixon in the final 23 seconds.
Hokes Bluff accomplished the huge upset of North Jackson on the road. The Eagles will get Deshler in the quarterfinals who eliminated Fayette County 42-21 Friday night.
ADDISON MAKES ANOTHER TRIP TO THE QUARTERFINALS:
For three consecutive years, the Addison Bulldogs are an Elite Eight team. In their 26-15 win over Ranburne with a TD in the closing moments to seal their 10th win of the season in 12 games, Addison will play on Thanksgiving weekend for the third straight season under David Smothers. The Bulldogs will face Aliceville at A.G. Hicks Stadium in the Elite Eight next Friday. In the last 3 years, the Bulldogs have gone 33-6 and among the top eight in their respective class. Addison is in 2A this year after being a 1A school for 2016 and 2017.
UNDEFEATED TEAMS NO LONGER:
While Jacksonville saw defeat for the only time this season Friday in a 27-12 setback at Good Hope, two teams from Morgan County were eliminated from the postseason.
Falkville was taken down at Burl Vest Stadium by a strong Pickens County team 34-15. Up the road in Hartselle, the Tigers were soundly defeated by Clay Chalkville 35-7. All three wrapped up 11-1 records, but have to deal with the effects of being ousted in the Round of 16 in their respective class.
SETTING THE TONE IN WINNING ON THE ROAD:
In Class 4A second round play, four teams came out victorious as road squads. In the South region, UMS Wright (defending state champion) romped over Trinity 48-7.
From the North region, Oneonta ran past DAR 56-20, Hokes Bluff stunned No. 1 North Jackson 33-13 and Deshler hammered out a 42-21 victory at Fayette County.
SEASON CONTINUES FOR THE JASPER VIKINGS:
How things have turned around for the school that used to be known as the Walker Vikings. Now called the Jasper Vikings, they have posted 11 consecutive victories for coach Bryan Moore after they lost the opener to the Cullman Bearcats 28-27 on August 23 at Oliver Woodard Stadium.
Jasper toppled Southside Gadsden 41-14 Friday evening. The Vikings were 3-7 in 2017 and had a change in the coaching staff. Moore came from Eufaula and the Vikings are now in the Elite 8 of 5A, hosting Mortimer Jordan in the quarterfinal round.
HOME VICTORY AWAY FROM HOME:
Mortimer Jordan had to play a home game on the road for the second straight week due to poor field conditions at Jimmie Trotter Field in Morris. Mortimer Jordan routed East Limestone 41-9 in playing the game at Clay Chalkville High School. The Blue Devils will officially be a road team in the quarterfinals when they head to Jasper. Jordan is like Japser, losing the season opener, then rolling off 11 straight and taking plenty of momentum into the quarterfinal round.
THEY HAD A TOUGH SCHEDULE:
Cullman wound up taking on seven schools that appeared in the 2018 AHSAA playoffs. The first two opponents the Bearcats played in late August for new coach Matt Plunkett, meet each other in the quarterfinals. Jasper will play host to Mortimer Jordan. Cullman edged Jasper in the final seconds on opening night 28-27 and lost in the final seconds a week later on a field goal to Mortimer Jordan at home 18-16.
FOOTBALL OVER IN MORGAN COUNTY:
Three teams that had momentum from Morgan County going into the second round, saw their season end in defeat on Friday night. Falkville was taken down at home by Pickens County in 1A, Hartselle fell at home to Clay Chalkville and Decatur was shut out in Oxford, a week after the Red Raiders upset Jackson-Olin in Birmingham.
QUARTERFINAL GAMES ON THANKSGIVING WEEKEND:
4A: Good Hope (11-1) at Oneonta (9-3) - Raiders have never defeated the Redskins in 4 meetings all time. This will be the third time they face each other in the postseason. Oneonta has posted road wins against Brooks (43-34) and DAR (56-20) to earn a home game in the round of eight. Raiders take a 6-game winning streak to Gilbeath Stadium.
2A: Aliceville (10-2) at Addison (10-2) - First ever meeting for the Yellow Jackets and the Bulldogs will happen the day after Thanksgiving at A.G. Hicks Stadium. Aliceville has won three in a row while Addison is on a 5-game winning streak and will play in front of the home fans for the third consecutive week in the playoffs.
5A: Mortimer Jordan (11-1) at Jasper (11-1) - Vikings lead the all time series vs. Mortimer Jordan at 8-2. They have not faced one another since 2013 when Jasper, then known as Walker, won 28-21.
This will be the third straight game at Ki-Ro/Gambrill Field for Jasper, with Mortimer Jordan playing on the road for the third straight playoff game.
All games Friday will be at 7:00 p.m. Good Hope vs. Oneonta will be on WKUL-FM (92.1)