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Keith High set to host area tournament

ORRVILLE — After escaping a three-way tie atop the 2A Area 6 standings, the Keith Bears claimed the title for themselves Monday night.

The win not only allowed the Bears (20-7) the chance to call themselves regular season area champions, but also gave them the right to host the area tournament starting next Friday.

“This was a big step going forward for our program,” said boy’s coach Tommy Tisdale. “I know that this is the first time in my four seasons here that we have been able to win the opportunity to host outright.”

Tisdale talked about what his team was doing to prepare for the upcoming game against St. Jude Educational Institute.

“We have tried to go almost back to square one, going over all the fundamentals again,” said Tisdale.

Although the Bears have already beaten St. Jude twice before, including a 40-23 drubbing in their most recent game, Coach Tisdale knows that this will be a tough game

“My coaches and I like to joke about our region being the Atlantic Coast Conference of High School Basketball,” said Tisdale. “There just aren’t any weak teams in our area.”

Now the Bears have to focus on being the same hard-nosed team that it has been all season

“We are going to approach this game like it is just a normal game. It may be a different situation, but we don’t want to look at it that way.”

Tisdale said that the will need everyone on their bench if they want to be the area champions.

“We are not very deep, have 10 people on this team and they are all contributors,” Tisdale said.

The games in Orrville will tip-off next Friday at 5:30 when R.C. Hatch will take on Francis Marion followed by the Keith and St. Jude game.

The winners will face off Monday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.