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New coaches collide as several region foes butt heads

New coaches abound when Selma and Keith face off on Friday in Orrville.

Both Selma boys’ coach Woodie Jackson and Keith coach Tommy Tisdale have experience coaching in the area, but neither knows what to expect. Jackson left Francis Marion to take over at Selma, and Tisdale — formerly the girls’ team coach — took over the spot vacated by Joseph Pettway.

“We’re going to have our work cut out for us when we go down there,” said Jackson. “We don’t really know what to expect when we go down there.”

The game holds special meaning for Tisdale, who coached most of Selma’s seniors when he worked under former Selma coach Willie Maxey.

“They’ve got a real good team,” said Tisdale. “They should be the team to beat in 5A. On our end, it’s basketball as usual.”

The Saints will be without senior starting point guard Jacoby Shannon, who injured his leg in a football game earlier this year. Senior DeAngelo Harris will try to fill the void.

That will give the Bears an advantage, but it’s not one Tisdale wanted.

“I hate that for them. I know the type of player he is,” said Tisdale. “It hurt me when they told me he couldn’t play.”

The Saints and Bears tip off at approximately 8 p.m.

R.C. Hatch (1-0) vs. Wilcox Central (0-0)

R.C. Hatch got off on the right foot with a road win over Livingston last week. Now the Bobcats want to get the home slate off on the right foot against rival Wilcox Central.

“It’s going to be a big test for us,” said R.C. Hatch coach Homer Davis. “It’s a great rivalry and a great test for both teams.”

The Bobcats are coming off their third consecutive Class 2A state title, but Wilcox Central coach Mark Dukes believes his team will not be intimidated.

“There won’t be any intimidation at all,” said Dukes. “We’re just ready for this day. We just feel like we’ve got what it takes to get the job done.”

R.C. Hatch does have one clear-cut advantage in the contest. With the first game out of the way, the Bobcats had the chance to work some of the early kinks out.

The Bobcats and Jaguars hit the hardwood at 7 p.m. on Friday in Uniontown.

Southside (1-0) vs. Francis Marion (0-0)

Southside kicked its season off in good fashion with an opening home win over Brewbaker Technical School last week.

But a tough road test awaits the Panthers on Friday when they travel to Francis Marion.

As the Panthers try to keep a good thing going, the Rams are just ready to play somebody else.

“ I’m just looking to get our feet wet and get started,” said Francis Marion coach Lee Hollis. “I’m looking to see how we perform with this being our first game at home.”

The Panthers and Rams tip off at 7 p.m. in Marion.

Girls basketball:

The R.C. Hatch Lady Bobcats (0-1) got off to a sour start in a 52-47 loss at Livingston last week.

But an improved team should be on the way as two of the Bobcats’ leading scorers — Da’Quicha Coleman Arailia Boddie — return to the lineup after sitting out of the Livingston game due to suspension.

Without Coleman and Boddie, R.C. Hatch reverted to a lineup of sophomores, freshmen and eighth graders.

The result? The Bobcats scored four first-quarter points.

“It hurt bad,” said Coleman. “I really wanted to play.”

With stability returning to the lineup, the Bobcats hope to fare better against a Wilcox Central (0-0) team that begins its season on the road.

The Bobcats and Panthers tip off at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Southside Lady Panthers (1-0) vs. Francis Marion Lady Rams (0-0)

The first game of the season is often one full of mistakes.

But Francis Marion will need to get its first-game jitters out of the way early to take down a Southside team that unloaded on Brewbaker Technical School in a 60-39 rout on Tuesday.

“Brewbaker Tech really just didn’t have the personnel to beat Southside,” said Francis Marion coach Michael Bedell. “They just forced turnovers and capitalized on them.”

The Panthers will try to spoil the Rams’ opener and continue their own success at 6 p.m. on Friday in Marion.

Also in action:

Selma Lady Saints (2-1) vs. Keith Lady Bears (0-0)