Teams battle for playoff seeding

Published 9:07pm Monday, January 16, 2012

With the new year underway, local high school basketball teams are shifting their focus to the heart of their schedules—the all-important area games that will determine their postseason fate.

For Alabama High School Athletic Association teams, area games carry so much significance because they determine the seeding and the site of the area tournament, which could give a team an advantage as they seek to advance to sub-regionals, to regionals and on to the Final 48.

Areas, usually made up of four or five teams, are set up where the team with the best area record at the end on the regular season and start of the area tournament on Feb. 9 hosts the area tournament at its school.

The top two teams in the area tournament will play the two lower seeds, and in the case of five-team areas, get the first day of the three-day tournament off, and the winner and runner-up of the area tournament will move on to the sub-regional tournament, while the other teams are eliminated from postseason play.

The Keith High School Bears boys basketball team is currently ranked No. 6 in the state in Class 1A and are 13-9 overall and 5-0 in the area.

The Bears are on pace to host the Class 1A Area 5 tournament for the second straight year, after last season in which they advanced all the way to the state final four in Birmingham.

The Lady Bears also sit atop their area at 12-5 overall and 5-0 in the area.

Both Keith teams have six overall games remaining, four against region foes—Autaugaville, Maplesville, Akron and John Essex—opponents that both teams have already beaten earlier in the season.

The Selma High School Saints boy’s team (12-9, 2-2) and the Lady Saints (15-3, 4-0) have two games remaining against area opponent Greenville.

The Lady Saints can clinch Class 5A Area 5 with a win Tuesday against Greenville, while the Selma boy’s team would need to win and get a little help, as they’ve already dropped two games this season against area-rival Wilcox Central.

The Dallas County High School boys (13-4, 3-1) and the Lady Hornets (6-5, 2-2) have two games left against teams in their area—one against Bibb County and the other against Calera.

The Hornets’ boys are tied in first place of Class 4A Area 6 with rival Southside, as both teams have played twice this season with each winning once.

The Southside Panthers boys (10-8, 2-1) and the Lady Panthers (9-6, 3-0) still have area games remaining against Jemison and Bibb County.

While the Lady Panthers have already defeated Jemison and Bibb County earlier in the season and are on pace to host the Class 4A Area 6 tournament, the boy’s team’s only loss was to area-foe Dallas County and the area would have to be decided through a tiebreaker if both teams win out.

As for the local Alabama Independent Schools Association teams, the Ellwood Christian Academy boy’s (9-6, 2-0) and girls (0-12, 0-2) of Class 1A have games remaining against area opponents Crenshaw Academy and South Montgomery before the start of AISA region tournaments on Feb. 3, which are hosted by the team with the best record in each region. The Morgan Academy Senators boy’s are 10-8, 2-2 while the girls are 5-13, 2-2 going into Monday’s game at non-area opponent Kingwood.

Both Senators’ teams have Class 3A area games remaining against Wilcox Academy, East Montgomery Christian Academy and Eastwood.

The Meadowview Christian School boy’s (4-10, 2-2) and girls (2-10, 0-3) have two games remaining against Evangel Christian-Montgomery and one game remaining against Marengo and another against Restoration Academy.

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