The high school basketball season always heats up after the holidays and this season is no different.
Several teams have put together good seasons so far and the race for the area title – and the right to host the area tournament – is now taking shape.
Here’s a quick look at each race involving Blount County teams: 1A Area 11
Girls – Dusty Dean’s Lady Eagles are 8-2 overall, 2-1 in the area. Appalachian lost to Coosa Christian (56-51) in December but have posted wins over Ragland and Southeastern. The pivotal rematch with Coosa is set for Jan. 19 in Gadsden. Southeastern is 4-8 overall, 1-2 in the area. The Lady Mustangs blasted Ragland but lost to Coosa and Appalachian.
Boys – this is a competitive race, led by Appalachian and Southeastern at the top. The Eagles are 12-1 on the year but 2-1 in the area with the lone loss coming at Southeastern (78-67) on Dec. 15. Southeastern is 7-5 overall, 2-1 in the area, with the loss a 71-66 setback at Coosa on Dec. 1. Coosa is also 2-1 in the area and the Mustangs hosted Coosa last night. Appalachian hosts Southeastern Friday and goes to Coosa on Jan. 19. 2A Area 11
Girls – Heather Washburn has led the Lady Panthers to a 3-0 mark in the area and an 8-6 record overall, including a big win (49-46) at Winfield last week. The Lady Panthers took care of Altamont (57-51) last week but still have a game at Altamont (2-1 in the area) to play.
Boys – As expected, Justin Henley’s first Panther squad has been a bit up and down but he has now righted the ship a bit and has his team 4-10 overall and 2-1 in the area. The lone loss was at Tarrant (68- 64) on Dec. 1 and the Panthers will look to even the score with the Wildcats this Friday. 3A Area 11
Girls – Locust Fork and Susan Moore met last night and one of the teams was guaranteed to see its unbeaten area run come to an end. Locust Fork entered last night’s game at home with a 14-2 record, 3-0 in the area. Susan Moore came into last night’s contest at 14-3, 3-0. J.B. Pennington and Holly Pond are the other two teams in an area that is very tough at the top.
Boys – Holly Pond, fresh off an appearance in the Final Four last year, is comfortably on top of the area standings with a 4-0 record (and an overall record of 14-2). Behind the Broncos, Locust Fork is 5-12 overall, 2-1 in the area, under first-year head coach Brad Deaver. J.B. Pennington (4-9, 1-3) and Susan Moore (4-11, 0-3) aren’t out of the race but each has some work to do to get back into the playoff hunt. 4A Area 9
Girls – David Elrod’s Lady Redskins are 12-7 overall and 4-0 in the area. Oneonta easily took care of Leeds and Childersburg on their first pass through the league but held off Ashville 33-32 in St. Clair County in December. The Lady Redskins had no problem with Ashville last week, taking apart the visitors 55-42.
Boys – just like the girls, the Redskins are turning the area into their own personal playground. Oneonta, under first-year head coach Brandon Crews, is 19-1 overall and 4-0 in the area after walloping visiting Ashville 70-40 last Friday. Oneonta hosted Leeds last night and closes area play with a trip to Childersburg Friday. 5A Area 12
Girls – John Simmons has a solid team and the Lady Wildcats are 6-7 overall, 1-1 in the area. Fairview is the leader in the area race at 3-0, 12-5 overall, with West Point (14-6, 2-2). Hayden traveled to Fairview last night and goes to West Point Friday.
Boys – Stephen Glover’s Wildcats have been a schizophrenic bunch with several big losses sprinkled in with a couple of big wins. The Wildcats picked up a big win over visiting Curry last week (73-64) to improve to 7-6 overall, 2-1 in the area. Hayden hosted Fairview (9-9, 2-2) last night and travels to West Point (9-10, 2-1) Friday.