What a season it has been for us here at WEIS Radio, and especially for me with this being my first year at the station and presenting the high school basketball action to you fine folks in our listening area. I’m forever grateful for this kind of opportunity, and with the regular season now out of the way for the 2016-2017 timeline, that can only mean one thing for the Boys and Girls teams of the 5 schools here in Cherokee County:
Postseason play, and specifically to start it off, Area Tournaments!
This year has seen many ups for our county teams, and even it’s fair share of downs, but now it is crunch time and this is when the players and even us as fans strap up and see if our team has what it takes to make their way through the grinding path all the way to Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham. Area Tournaments are where this path starts, familiar foes going against one another one last time, with the two teams that make it to the championship games in each tournament securing themselves safety into the next round with Sub-Regional action where they will meet opposing Area Champions and Runners-Up
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, so what is the path for each of our county teams?
1A Area 10 (Spring Garden)
Working our way up through each classification, what better way to start than with one of Cherokee County’s top basketball programs, the boys and girls of Spring Garden High School.
The defending 1A State Champions and #3 ranked Lady Panthers finished off the regular season with a 19-7 record, while their #9 ranked male counterparts ended off with a 15-8 record. In area form, their records against fellow 1A Area 10 foes resulted in Spring Garden securing the top seed and hosting priority on the girls side, while the boys just narrowly missed their chance to host, settling with the #2 seed and a trip to Sacred Heart.
The Lady Panthers will start their postseason path to defending their 1A title on February 7th @ 5:30PM when they take on the winner of the #5 Faith Christian-#4 Sacred Heart matchup from Feb. 6th/6PM. Also playing on February 7th will be #3 seeded Donoho & #2 JCA, with that game following the Spring Garden game at around 7PM on February 7th. The two winners will square off in the 1A Area 10 Championship on February 10th at 7PM.
Meanwhile, the Spring Garden boys will be travelling to the home of the #1 ranked and defending back to back 1A State Champions, Sacred Heart for their area tournament. Action starts on February 6th @ 6PM as #5 seed Donoho and #4 seed Jacksonville Christian square off, and the winner of that game will move on to take on top seeded Sacred Heart on February 9th at 5:30PM. Also playing that day will be the Spring Garden boys, who are seeded #2 and will take on #3 Faith Christian at 7PM on February 9th. The championship for the boys will occur on February 11th, with that game happening at 7PM.
1A Area 14 (Cedar Bluff & Gaylesville)
Next up on our area tournament list has two of our county schools making their way to Skyline High School for both the boys and girls side of the Class 1A Area 14 Tournament.
Starting with the Trojans, Gaylesville’s girls team ended off the regular season with a 6-17 record, while the boys ended up with a 9-14 mark. The Lady Trojans will enter the area tournament with a 5th seed, while the guys did manage to pull together the 4th seed for themselves with their efforts this season.
Cedar Bluff’s regular season on both the boys and girls side paid off with both teams holding the #2 seeds in the area tournament as they head to Skyline. The Lady Tigers have a 10-17 record heading into their final regular season matchup against Cherokee County on Saturday, February 4th, while Joe Carpenter’s boy squad will head into their Cherokee County Tournament Championship rematch with the Warriors on a 15-12 mark on the regular season as well as a #7 ranking in the Class 1A ASWA poll.
With both 1A Area 14 tournaments being held at Skyline, scheduling for both keeps everything pretty close knit, at the very least for both opening night games. Both boys and girls tournaments will start play on February 6th, as Gaylesville will see both of their teams in action. The #5 seed Lady Trojans will take on the #4 Woodville Lady Panthers on February 6th at 5PM, while the #4 seeded Gaylesville boys will see battle also on February 6th against #5 Valley Head at 6:30PM.
Tournament play continues with the girls, as top seed and #7 ranked Skyline will take on the Gaylesville-Woodville winner on February 7th @ 6PM. Following that game on February 7th at 7:30PM will be #3 Valley Head facing off against the #2 seeded Cedar Bluff Lady Tigers. The championship for the 1A Area 14 girls will be on February 10th at 7PM.
The boys side will get back to action on February 9th, as again the top seeded Skyline Vikings (#5 ranked) will start play against the Valley Head/Gaylesville winner on February 9th at 6PM. This will be followed by the #2 seeded Cedar Bluff boys taking on #3 Woodville at 7:30PM on February 9th, and the championship game for the boys will be on Feburary 11th @ 7PM.
2A Area 12 (Sand Rock)
With the three 1A teams now out of the way, we move now to our resident 2A powerhouse out of Area 12, the Sand Rock Wildcats.
Starting with the Lady Wildcats in particular, who are the #10 team in Class 2A according to the ASWA, they ended with a 20-8 record on the regular season and will enter the area tournament with a #2 seed. Meanwhile the Sand Rock boys team finished off regular season play with a 9-18 mark and they will go into the 2A Area 12 Tournament as the 3rd seed.
Holding the honor this time around in Class 2A Area 12 to host both the boys and girls tournaments will be the Collinsville Panthers, as both girls and boys teams enter as the top seeds, the Lady Panthers of Collinsville also finishing off the regular season ranked #8 in the 2A ASWA poll. As a result of Collinsville hosting both tournaments and the smaller 4 team field in 2A Area 12, both tournaments will be going through the same 3 days, February 7th, 9th, and 11th.
On the girls side, the action on February 7th at 5:30PM will see #1 seed Collinsville vs #4 seed Gaston, and on February 9th at 5:30PM #3 seed Westbrook will face #2 seed Sand Rock. The winners of those two contests will square off on February 11th at 5:30PM for the 2A Area 12 girls championship.
For the boys, February 7th at 7PM will see another top seed Collinsville vs #4 seed Gaston matchup, and February 9th at 7PM gets a flip as the #3 seeded Sand Rock boys will take on the #2 seed and #2 ranked Westbrook boys. The 2A Area 12 boys championship will occur on February 11th at 7PM following the girls championship.
4A Area 12 (Cherokee County)
4 teams in the county down, and that leaves only one left to discuss, and that is the Cherokee County High School Warriors out of Class 4A Area 12.
We had the privilege to broadcast our final regular season games from Cherokee County High School on Friday, February 3rd, seeing both Warriors teams get big Ws vs the boys and girls squads from Piedmont. With those wins, the #5 ranked Lady Warriors ended senior night with a 17-6 record, with one game to wrap up the regular season on Saturday, February 4th against Cedar Bluff. The Warrior boys also improved on their record on senior night, improving to 17-7 as they get set for their county tournament championship rematch with the Tigers of Cedar Bluff to wrap up the regular season. The Lady Warriors will head into their area tournament at 3rd ranked Hokes Bluff with the #2 seed, while the CCHS boys also hold the #2 seed and will be travelling to the #6 ranked team in the 4A ASWA poll, White Plains.
Starting with the 4A Area 12 Girls Tournament at Hokes Bluff, the action starts with top seed Hokes Bluff facing off against #4 seed White Plains on February 8th @ 6PM. Following this game on February 8th at around 7:30PM will be #3 seed Jacksonville vs #2 seed Cherokee County. The championship game will be on February 10th at 7PM.
And with the boys, #3 seed Hokes Bluff vs #2 seed Cherokee County will start action on February 9th at 6PM. Top seed White Plains opted for the later game and will face off against #4 seed Jacksonville on February 9th at 7:30PM. The tournament will wrap up on February 11th at 7PM with the 4A Area 12 Boys Championship.
Hopefully that gets you all some good information heading into the postseason, and make sure to keep up to date here on weisradio.com to know when and if we will be broadcasting any of the area games you read about here. At the very least, I personally will be travelling to these tournaments throughout the week and will be writing up articles covering the county team I do get to see on that particular night.
There is a lot to get through on this path to Birmingham, and we are going to be thrilled to bring you the coverage of your Cherokee County teams as they carve their ways there.