Guide to AHSAA’s area tourneys
Published 7:57 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017
The Alabama High School Athletic Association’s basketball playoffs will begin this week in gymnasiums all around the state. With so many games going on, it can be difficult to keep up with who’s where, who’s eliminated and which teams are still playing for state titles.
Here’s our best attempt to simplify it for you:
• The host of each area tournament is determined by regular season play. The team with the best regular season area record hosts each tournament and the rest of the teams are seeded based on the regular season standings.
• In each area tournament, first round games are elimination contests, where the losers will see their seasons end. Every team that reaches an area championship game will move on to play in the sub-regional round of the playoffs. Teams that win area championships will host sub-regional games, while the runner-ups will play on the road during the sub-regional round of the playoffs.
• Two local girls’ teams will host area tournaments (Keith, Selma) and Dallas County will host on the boys’ side. The Selma girls play in a three-team area, so the Saints are automatically guaranteed a spot in the class 6A, area 5 championship game and into the sub-regional round of the playoffs. The other nine local teams will have to win at least one game this week in order to achieve that.
• Once teams reach the sub-regional round, the tournament becomes single elimination. Any teams that advance past that round from Dallas County will move on to play in the Central Regional Montgomery at Alabama State University in Montgomery. It’ll take two wins there to move on to Birmingham, which hosts the state semifinals and state championship games.
• Dallas County as a whole has sent a team to Birmingham the last five years. The Southside boys (2013), Dallas County boys (2014, 2015), Keith girls (2013, 2015, 2016) and Keith boys (2016) have all played in Birmingham in that time frame.
Here’s a breakdown of each upcoming area tournament:
Class 1A, area 5 (Girls)
Ellwood Christian will play tournament host Isabella Monday at 7 p.m. in the first round. The Eagles lost their two games to Isabella this year in lopsided fashion. Maplesville and Autaugaville will play in the other semifinal. The championship will be Thursday at 6 p.m.
Class 1A, Area 5 (Boys)
Ellwood Christian lost a coin flip after tying for the area crown and has to play at Autaugaville, site of one of its losses this year. The Eagles will play Maplesville in the tournament’s first round at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Ellwood beat Maplesville twice this year. Autaugaville and Isabella will play in the other semifinal. The championship game will be Friday at 6 p.m.
Class 2A, Area 7 (Girls)
Keith won a three-way coin flip and will host the area 7 tournament. The Bears will play Aliceville Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the first round. Keith won both games against Aliceville this year. Francis Marion and R.C. Hatch will play in the other semifinal. The championship game will be Friday at 6 p.m.
Class 2A, Area 7 (Boys)
Keith lost a coin flip three-way coin flip for the No. 2 seed and will be the fourth seed in the area 7 tournament. The Bears will play against tournament host R.C. Hatch in the first round of the tournament on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. R.C. Hatch is ranked No. 1 in the 2A rankings and beat Keith twice this year. Aliceville and Francis Marion will play in the other semifinal. The championship game will be Saturday at 6 p.m.
Class 3A, Area 5 (Girls)
Southside finished third in area 5 and will play Montevallo in the first round Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Southside lost to Montevallo in both meetings this year. The tournament is being played at Montgomery Academy, who will play Prattville Christian in the other semifinal. The championship game will be played Thursday at 7 p.m.
Class 3A, Area 5 (Boys)
The Southside boys finished fourth in area 5 and will play tournament host Montevallo in the first round of the tournament Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Panthers lost both games to Montevallo this year. Montgomery Academy and Prattville Christian will play in the other semifinal. The championship game will be Friday at 6 p.m.
Class 5A, Area 6 (Girls)
Dallas County is the No. 3 seed in area 6 and will face Marbury in the first round of the tournament Monday at 5:30 p.m. The Hornets split two meetings with Marbury this year. Tournament host Calera and Jemison will play in the other semifinal. The championship game will be Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Class 5A, Area 6 (Boys)
Dallas County will host the area 6 tournament starting Tuesday in Plantersville. The Hornets will face Marbury, a team they’ve beaten twice this year, in the first round at 7 p.m. Jemison and Calera will play in the other semifinal. The championship game will be Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Class 6A, Area 5 (Girls)
Since area 5 includes only three teams, tournament host Selma receives a first round bye and will automatically play in the area championship game. Stanhope and Chilton County play at 6 p.m. Monday. The winner will move on to face Selma at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Class 6A, Area 5 (Boys)
Selma lost a three-way coin flip for first place, so the Saints will play Chilton County in the first round Tuesday at 6 p.m. The winner of that game will play Stanhope Elmore, the tournament host, at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.