James Jones column: Dallas County schools ready to make postseason splash

Published 7:15 am Monday, February 5, 2024

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Five public schools in Dallas County begin push towards winning a state basketball championships next week with the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) when Ellwood Christian Academy, Keith, Dallas County, Southside and Selma high school all play Area tournaments in their respective classes.

Keith will host both the boys’ and girls’ Area 6, Class 1A Tournaments at the Bears’ Den in Orrville. The Bears and Lady Bears won the regular-season titles and are favored to complete the sweep. At worst, the Lady Bears and Bears can qualify for the 1A Sub-regional tournament on Feb. 12 by finishing first or second.

I will be shocked if either Keith team fails to hoist championships to kick off Super Bowl weekend. Nobody has Trey Tisddale and Jakayla Moore in that region all year long and their dominance continues.

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Southside girls, to me, are dangerous. If LaTerika Edwards is healthy, she forms a potent one-two punch with Shamaya Allison. The Panthers are athletic, but Derick and Erick Smith have battled injuries all season long. Admarion Smith and MJ Reese need help.

Dallas County can potentially sneak its way into the Area 5, Class 4A Tournament. The Lady Hornets struggled during regular season play, but could take second place. They play Wilcoxi Central at 5 p.m. Saturday in Prattville Christian Academy (PCA). A win will put them up against Booker T. Washington or Prattville Christian for the area title.

The Hornets knocked off Selma on Jan. 30 and can definitely punch a Sub-Regional ticket. The Hornets face PCA on Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. at Wilcox Central. A win puts the Hornet against Booker T. Washington or Wilcox on Feb. 7.

Of course, our eyes are on Ellwood Christian Academy in 1A. The Lady Eagles face Calhoun in Autaugaville at 5 p.m. Monday. The boys’ squad visits Calhoun at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

As far as Selma, I believe the Saints and Lady Saints will make deep runs into the postseason.

I always give Lady Saints head coach Willie Morgan “the business” about his squad. Morgan always pulls the same thing former Alabama football Nick Saban did and is never satisfied after an unbeaten or one-loss start to the season.

“We haven’t done anything, we have a long way to go,” Morgan said during the season.

I expect the Lady Saints to make the drive into Brewbaker Tech in Montgomery and avenge their only loss on Feb. 9. My outlook for the Saints is the same, winning the Area 5, 5A Area title.

We will be rooting all five of our area teams in the tournaments next week.