Tournament time ticks on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

The long and winding road to Birmingham and a shot at a state basketball title begins this week for several area public and private schools.

Area AHSAA girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will begin their respective area tournaments, this week, while the AISA teams will open play in state tournaments in Montgomery.

AHSAA tournament finals will be played Monday night, while the AISA Final Four for each class will be set on Saturday.

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Three area public schools will host area tournaments this week. The list is headed by the Southside High School Panthers.

After compiling a 25-2 regular-season record, the Panthers will open the Class 4A, Area 4 Tournament Friday night against St. James. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Southside Lady Panthers will be on the road to open the playoffs. The Lady Panthers will begin their area tournament Thursday night at St. James High against Trinity. Tip-off is 6 p.m.

R.C. Hatch will host the Class 2A, Area 6 Tournament, beginning with the girls’ bracket Thursday night. The Lady Bobcats will face Billingsley beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

On Friday night, the Bobcats also will face Billingsley in the opening round of the boys’ bracket beginning at 7 p.m.

The Keith High School Bears and Lady Bears also will be at R.C. Hatch for the tournament. The Keith girls will play Thursday night, while the boys will see action Friday evening.

The Wilcox Central boys and girls both will begin Class 5A, Area 2 Tournament play Friday night. The Jaguars will host Citronelle beginning at 6 p.m. The girls will travel to Blunt High School and also take on Citronelle.

The Selma High Saints were scheduled to tip off the Class 6A, Area 4 Tournament Tuesday night at Carver High against Prattville. The Lady Saints received a first-round bye and will be at Jeff Davis High against the Lee-Lanier winner from Monday night. The Lady Saints will take the court Thursday night.

In other area AHSAA action, the Dallas County Lady Hornets will be at Greensboro East for the Class 4A, Area 6 Tournament beginning Thursday, while the Hornets will have their area tournament at Bibb County.

The Maplesville High School Red Devils and Lady Red Devils will be at Autaguaville for the start of the Class 1A, Area 7 tournament. The Maplesville boys were slated to tip off area play Tuesday night against Verbena. The Lady Red Devils will begin their tournament Thursday night against Autaugaville.

While the public school teams open area tournaments, the AISA schools enter their state tournaments this week.

The Central Christian Academy Warriors take the court for their Class 1A state tournament on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Huntingdon College. The Warriors’ first round opponent will be Lakeside. The winner will face Thursday night’s Dixie Academy-Marion Academy winner on Saturday.

The Class 1A, West Area I Regional Tournament gets underway Thursday at Faulkner Academy. The first round will feature the Marion Military Institute Lady Tigers facing Autauga Academy at 3 p.m. That game will be followed at 4:30 with the MMI Tigers battling Calvary Christian.

The Class 2A, West Area IV Regionals tip off at noon Friday with the Meadowview Christian School Lady Trojans going up against Pickens Academy.

The MCS Trojans will be in action Friday at 4:30 against Tuscaloosa Academy.

The Class 3A, Area IV West Regionals begin Saturday at noon with the Morgan Academy Lady Senators facing Edgewood Academy. The Morgan Academy Senators will take the court at 4:30 p.m. against Bessemer Academy.