When it comes to the regionals, three prides of Panthers call Pete Mathews Coliseum their home away from home.
The Spring Garden Lady Panthers (18-12) are making their 11th appearance at JSU. The Lady Panthers went to the regional tournament 10 consecutive years from 2002-2011, but missed out last year.
Overall, Spring Garden’s girls are 18-2 at Pete Mathews Coliseum with eight regional championships (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010).
The Spring Garden boys (18-13) are making their eighth regional appearance and their first since 2008. They have an overall record of 5-6.
This is the fourth time since 1994 that both Spring Garden’s boys and girls teams have made the regional tournament together (2005, 2007 and 2008 were the other three years). In 2005, both Panther squads advanced to the state tournament in Birmingham.
The Class 1A, No. 2 Collinsville boys (27-3) are making their 12th appearance in the Northeast Regionals, including their third straight appearance and their sixth in the last seven years (2010 was the only year in that span they didn’t make it).
Collinsville has a 6-10 record at JSU with one regional championship (1995).
Cedar Bluff coach Joe Carpenter has guided the Cedar Bluff Lady Tigers (15-15) to their first-ever Northeast Regional appearance. Carpenter has led the Lady Tigers since the 1993-94 season, posting 227 wins in his 20 years with the Cedar Bluff girls basketball program.
Carpenter has also coached the Tiger boys since the 2003-04 season, including a pair of Class 1A state runner-up showings in 2011 and 2012. Carpenter, who began his coaching career at Ragland in 1984, has over 500 wins for his career.
Three of The Herald’s five area girls teams who have qualified for this year’s regional tournament all have 20-win seasons: the Class 4A Cherokee County Lady Warriors (24-6), the Class 2A Sand Rock Lady Wildcats (21-8) and the Class 3A Piedmont Lady Bulldogs (26-6).
The Lady Warriors are making their seventh appearance in Jacksonville, and their second trip in three seasons. Cherokee County has a 6-4 overall record at Pete Mathews Coliseum with two regional championships in 1995 and 1998.
Sand Rock is making its sixth appearance, and also their second trip in the past three seasons. The Lady Wildcats have a 5-4 record at JSU with a regional title in 2006.
Piedmont is making its third appearance, and its first since 2008. The Lady Bulldogs are 1-2 at JSU.