PREP BASKETBALL: Area tournament action kicks off next week for local teams

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Holly Pond's Devyn Tankersley (14) (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN COUNTY – Postseason basketball is right around the corner, but first, area tournaments have to be settled next week. Several local squads will be the top seeds in their respective brackets and playing on their home courts. Cold Springs and Holly Pond will host both the boys’ and girls’ tournaments in their respective areas while Hanceville’s boys, Fairview’s girls and West Point’s girls will host as well. The remaining local teams will travel for their area tournaments next week.

Girls

Class 1A, Area 13 – St. Bernard, Meek

The Lady Saints and Lady Tigers will be traveling to Decatur Heritage for their area tournament matchups next week, but they’ll be tipping off their first games on different nights. St. Bernard will take on Lynn Monday night at 6, and Meek will face Falkville Tuesday night at 6. The Lady Saints are 1-1 against Lynn this season and they won their most recent meeting with the Lady Bears 38-31. The Lady Tigers dropped both of their previous matchups with Falkville, the most recent being a 38-35 game in late December. Outside of the top-seeded Eagles of Decatur Heritage, the bracket is wide open, and both St. Bernard and Meek will have a chance to clinch a sub-regional spot.

Class 2A, Area 13 – Addison 

The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Red Bay High School Monday night for the opening round of their area tournament and they will face Winston County at 6. Addison is 0-3 against the Lady Yellow Jackets this season so the Lady Bulldogs will have to put together one of their best performances of the year to get past Winston County. 

Class 2A, Area 12 – Cold Springs

The Lady Eagles will be hosting a four-team area tournament next week and will face Southeastern Monday night at 6:30 after the matchup between West End and Cleveland. Cold Springs finished with a perfect 6-0 record in area play this season including two wins over the Lady Mustangs of Southeastern by a combined score of 162-38. The Lady Eagles collected impressive wins over West End and Cleveland throughout the season as well, and if they continue to play the way they have most of this season, they’ll certainly be the favorites to make it through as your winner.

Class 3A, Area 13 – Holly Pond, Vinemont

Not unlike Cold Springs, the Lady Broncos enjoyed a dominant run in area play this season in order to secure a chance to host their area tournament. Holly Pond is slated to face Vinemont Tuesday night at 7 in the opening round and the Lady Eagles have had trouble with the Lady Broncos up to this point. Holly Pond defeated Vinemont 55-27 in December and 49-7 in their most recent matchup on Jan. 17. If the Lady Broncos can continue to play well against their area foes, they’ll have a great chance to advance to sub-regionals.

Class 4A, Area 12 – Fairview, Good Hope

A coin toss was needed to break the tie between Fairview and Oneonta last week and the Lady Aggies came out on top, sending the 4A, Area 12 Tournament to Fairview High School. As the top seed, Fairview will square off against the Good Hope Lady Raiders in the opening round after defeating them twice earlier this season. The Lady Aggies topped Good Hope 62-39 in early December and 61-24 in January. If Fairview is able to make it 3-0 against the Lady Raiders when they face them Monday night at 7:30, they will likely face the Oneonta Thursday night for the area tournament crown. The Lady Aggies fell in their first matchup with the Lady Redskins but defeated them soundly later in the season to settle the score. The opening rounds will have heavy favorites in this area tournament, but the finals could be very interesting.

Class 5A, Area 14 – West Point

The Lady Warriors compiled a perfect 6-0 record against their area foes this season and will look to collect a couple more wins against them next week. West Point will host Russellville Monday night at 7 and the Lady Warriors plan to pick up their third win of the season over the Golden Tigers. West Point won their first two matchups by a combined score of 132-62, but the most important game between them will tip off Monday night. The Lady Warriors are coming off of a Cullman County Tournament Championship and if they continue to play well, they’ll collect even more hardware before the end of the season.

Class 3A, Area 12 – Hanceville

The Lady Bulldogs will be traveling to Susan Moore for the opening round of their area tournament Tuesday night to take on Glencoe. Hanceville split their regular season matchups with the Lady Yellow Jackets, falling 66-43 on the road in December but defeating them 55-52 at home in January. If the Lady Bulldogs can move ahead in the series against Glencoe, they’ll clinch a spot in the sub-regional round, but they have to handle the Lady Yellow Jackets first.

Class 6A, Area 14 – Cullman

The Lady Bearcats had a chance to force a tiebreaker with Hartselle earlier this week but were defeated on the road, securing the host spot for the Lady Tigers. Cullman will square off against Decatur in the opening round Tuesday night at 6 and because it’s a three-team area, a win will clinch a sub-regional appearance for the Lady Bearcats. Cullman is 2-0 against the Lady Red Raiders this season, and if they can make it 3-0 Tuesday night, they’ll get another crack at Hartselle for the area tournament title.

Boys

Class 2A, Area 13 – Addison 

The Bulldogs will travel to Red Bay for area tournament competition and they'll square off against the Patriots in the opening round Tuesday night at 7:30. Addison has dropped both of its previous matchups with Red Bay but can still clinch a sub-regionals appearance with an upset over the top-seeded Patriots. 

Class 2A, Area 12 – Cold Springs

The Eagles compiled a 6-0 record in area play this season and as a result, they’ll be hosting the area 12 tournament next week. Cold Springs will open with a matchup against West End Tuesday night at 6:30 after Southeastern and Cleveland tip things off at 5. The Eagles knocked off the Lions 55-35 in December and made it 2-0 with a 56-30 win on Jan. 11. Cold Springs will be favored to advance past West End and clinch a sub-regional spot as long as the Eagles don’t get caught looking ahead.

Class 3A, Area 12 – Hanceville

After putting together a 6-0 area record this season, the Hanceville Bulldogs will play host to this year’s area 12 tournament and will be the favorites to make it through to the sub-regional round. Hanceville will face Susan Moore in the opening round Thursday night at 7 and will try to collect its third win of the season over the opposing squad of Bulldogs after defeating them twice earlier in the season.

Class 3A Area 13 – Holly Pond, Vinemont

The Broncos will host their upcoming area tournament after finishing as the top seed in area 13 and they’ll begin the opening round with a matchup against the Vinemont Eagles. Holly Pond has defeated the Eagles twice this season by a combined score of 145-77 so the Broncos will be the favorite when the game tips Tuesday night at 8:30, but Vinemont could clinch a sub-regional appearance with an upset.

Class 1A, Area 13 – St. Bernard, Meek

The Saints and Tigers will be traveling to Decatur Heritage Monday night for the opening round of the area 13 tournament and both will face familiar foes. St. Bernard will play Falkville at 4:30 and Meek will follow with a matchup against Lynn at 7:30. The Saints are 2-0 against Falkville, including a 47-23 win over the Blue Devils in January, while the Tigers split their series with the Lynn Bears. Meek defeated the Bears 70-37 in their first December meeting but fell in a close one, 51-49, in their rematch. The Saints will be favored to advance past their first opponent and the Tigers will look to take a 2-1 advantage in their series with Lynn to clinch a sub-regional appearance.

Class 4A, Area 12 – Good Hope, Fairview

Both the Raiders and the Aggies will hit the road to Oneonta Tuesday night to square off against one another in the opening round of the area 12 tournament. Good Hope is 3-0 against Fairview this season, including a 70-51 win in the semifinals of the Cullman County Tournament. Whomever can make it through round one at Oneonta High School next week will secure a spot in the sub-regional round, and with a County Tournament Championship in their pocket already, the Raiders will be the favorites to advance to the area tournament finals. However, the Aggies still have a chance to extend their season and turn the tables on the Raiders if they can play well Tuesday night.

Class 5A, Area 14 – West Point

After posting a 4-2 record in area play, the Warriors will be forced to travel to Hamilton High School for the area 14 tournament Tuesday night for a showdown with the Russellville Golden Tigers. West Point’s series with Russellville has been as tight as any two teams’ in the state this season, with both teams taking a game apiece. The two previous matchups were decided by a combined three points. The Warriors took the first one on the road 70-69 after a dramatic comeback, and the Golden Tigers won their road contest 87-85 on a buzzer-beating layup. When these two teams play one another, you know you’re in for a thriller and there’s no way of knowing who will end up on top. 

Class 6A, Area 14 – Cullman

After falling at Hartselle Monday night, the Bearcats will head back up the road to Hartselle High School for an opening round matchup with Decatur Tuesday night. In a three-team area, a win over the Red Raiders would secure a spot in the sub-regionals for Cullman and give the Bearcats a chance face the Tigers again. The Bearcats are 1-1 against Decatur this season, losing to them 63-45 in their first game and responding with a 62-39 win in the rematch. Judging by those results, it’s nearly impossible to predict what will happen when the game tips off at 7:30 Tuesday night, but a strong showing from Cullman will extend its season into the sub-regional round.

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