Keith girls win coin flip to determine host of area tournament

Published 8:43 pm Monday, January 30, 2017

Keith girls basketball coach Cecil Williams had luck on his side Monday morning. Boys head coach Tommy Tidsale could’ve used a little more. The Keith girls won a coin flip Monday at R.C. Hatch High School to determine the host of the class 2A, area 7 tournament. Keith won the coin flip over Francis Marion and R.C. Hatch to win the tiebreaker and will host an area tournament for the sixth consecutive year.

“It’s more comfortable to play at home, where you’re comfortable and you’re used to,” Williams said. “You’d rather play at your own house instead of somebody else’s.”

Keith, R.C. Hatch and Francis had all tied with 3-3 area records. Hatch, the two seed, and Francis Marion, the three seed, will play in the other first round game.

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Williams then handed the coin to Tisdale, whose Bears were involved in a three-way tie for second, third and fourth with Francis Marion and Aliceville.

“I won with the coin and he asked for the same coin and I think I took all the luck out,” Williams said with a laugh.

Tisdale flipped twice – losing both tosses – and will be the No. 4 seed, meaning a first round matchup with area champion R.C. Hatch, who is hosting the tournament. R.C. Hatch also happens to be the No. 1 ranked team in class 2A in the Alabama Sports Writers Association rankings.

R.C. Hatch has won both meetings with Keith this year, including a 60-47 win in Orrville Friday night.

“In our area honestly, it doesn’t matter who you play because you’ve got play good basketball every night,” Tisdale said.

Francis Marion is the two seed and will play Aliceville, the third seed, in the first round of the tournament.

The girls area tournament will start Feb. 8 in Orrville and the championship game will be played Feb 10. The boys tournament will be played Feb. 9 at R.C. Hatch with the championship game on Feb. 11.

During the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s area tournament play, the winners of first round matchups play in area championship games. Both teams in the championship game move on to the sub-regional round of the playoffs.

Both Keith teams have advanced deep into the playoffs in recent years.

The Keith girls have made it to Birmingham for the state semifinals or finals three of the last four years and the Keith boys played in Birmingham last year. Both teams have routinely made it to Montgomery for the Central Regional over the last five years. Both teams have three games left in the regular season before area play – vs. Central Tuscaloosa Jan. 31, Feb. 2 vs. Southside and Feb. 3 at Wilcox Central.