If this year’s records and winning percentages are any indication, then county basketball fans should be in for one heck of a tournament on both sides.
The Cherokee County Lady Warriors (13-4) and the Cedar Bluff Tigers (9-7) were tabbed the top seeds by the county basketball coaches Wednesday night at the Gridiron restaurant.
The Lady Warriors will be going for their third straight county championship, while the Tiger boys will try to earn their second county title in the past three seasons.
The county tournament begins next Thursday and continues through next Saturday at the Gadsden State-Cherokee Arena.
“It’s going to be an interesting tournament,” Cherokee County coach Travis Barnes said. “Any team can win it, that’s for sure, and that’s good. We need to have that for our county. It’s going to be who’s hot those nights I think. We’re just happy to be a part of it.
“We’re 13-4 and Sand Rock’s right behind us at 12-4. We’re happy to be the one seed, but one thing about being at the top is everybody’s after you. It’s going to be a very competitive tournament, and we know that.”
The Lady Warriors will play the winner of Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. matchup between No. 4 Cedar Bluff (9-8) and No. 5 Gaylesville (5-8). The winner advances to face Cherokee County on Friday at 4 p.m.
Second-seed Sand Rock opens tournament play against No. 3 Spring Garden (9-8) next Friday at 7 p.m. The winner of that game earns a berth in next Saturday’s title game, which is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Tiger boys await the winner of next Thursday’s matchup between No. 4 Cherokee County (4-13) and No. 5 Gaylesville (2-11). The winner takes on Cedar Bluff next Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Spring Garden (9-8) earned the boys’ second seed and will play No. 3 Sand Rock (8-9) next Friday at 8:30 p.m. The winner earns a berth in Saturday’s championship, which is set for 7:30 p.m.
“I think this year the seed is just a number. I think everybody’s on a pretty even playing field,” Cedar Bluff coach Joe Carpenter said. “We beat Cherokee County once (this season), and they’ve gotten better. Spring Garden and Sand Rock both have beat us. Gaylesville’s a good ball team, too. We’ve struggled with them at times, so it’s anybody’s game this county tournament. It should be really interesting. I don’t think anybody’s a favorite going in. I think it’s going to be who plays the best for three nights. If you have a bad night, then you’re going to be out.”
EDITOR’S NOTES: The schedule for the junior high boys, junior high girls, eighth grade boys and seventh grade boys is as follows:
Cedar Bluff (11-0) earned the top seed in the junior high boys tournament and will play the winner of Spring Garden (10-10) and Gaylesville (1-9) this Saturday at Cedar Bluff at 3 p.m. The Spring Garden-Gaylesville game is set for 8 a.m. Saturday.
Spring Garden (18-2) earned the top seed in the junior high girls tournament and will face the winner of Saturday’s 9 a.m. game between Gaylesville (7-4) and Cedar Bluff (2-7). Sand Rock (12-6) and Centre Middle (14-7) is the other junior high girls semifinal, which is set for noon on Saturday. The junior high girls championship is scheduled for Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
Centre Middle School (20-1) will face Sand Rock (12-6) this Saturday at 1 p.m. for the eighth grade boys county championship.
In the seventh grade boys tournament, top seed Cedar Bluff (7-2) takes on No. 4 Spring Garden (3-11) at 10 a.m. Saturday at Cedar Bluff. Centre Middle (17-4) battles Sand Rock (12-6) in the other semifinal at 11 a.m. Saturday. The seventh grade boys championship is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Cedar Bluff.
Admission to the tournaments is $5.