Starting with today’s sub-regional round of the state basketball playoffs, the next loss means the end of the season.
A total of eight area teams play in sub-regional games this week. Four girls teams — Carbon Hill, Lynn, Cordova and Corner — play games today while four boys teams — Parrish, Dora, Carbon Hill and Walker — play on Friday. All sub-regional games are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.
Girls Sub-Regional Games
Bibb County at Carbon Hill
Carbon Hill is one win away from making the regional tournament for the first time in school history.
The only team standing in the way — Bibb County.
The two teams play at 7 p.m. Thursday in a Central Sub-Regional game at Carbon Hill High School. The winner advances to the Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery.
Carbon Hill has been on a roll since late December, winning 15 of its last 16 games heading into today’s contest.
This is the Bulldogs’ second straight trip to the sub-regional round of the playoffs. Last season Carbon Hill lost to Holly Pond on the road. This time around, Carbon Hill (25-6) is the heavy favorite against a Bibb County team that has won just six games.
"After getting beat at Holly Pond last season, I let the girls know how important it was to get this sub-regional game at home,” Carbon Hill coach Wade Tittle said. “We are 15-1 at home this year so obviously we are comfortable here. Bibb County is only giving up about 38 points a game and they are a physical team. We want to get up and down the floor and get some easy buckets. I expect my team to be a little nervous and excited, but at the same time, I think our effort will be great and we will see where we are at the end of the night.”
Decatur Heritage at No. 4 Lynn
Fourth-ranked Lynn (28-1) also plays a home game today.
Unlike Carbon Hill, the regional tournament has become the norm for the Bears, who are seeking their third straight trip to the Northwest Regional Tournament at Hanceville.
Lynn hosts Decatur Heritage (20-10). The Bears have reeled off 19 straight wins since losing to Good Hope in mid-December.
Lynn relies on its defense. Since the loss, the Bears have allowed more than 30 points just once.
Lynn has made the Northwest Regional Tournament each of the last two years, losing to R.A. Hubbard both times.
Decatur Heritage lost to Falkville 45-38 in the Area 14 championship game.
The Bears dismantled Marion County on their way to the Area 13 title game, taking a 30-0 lead before the Raiders got on the scoreboard. Lynn won the game 58-13.
Cordova at No. 10 Danville
Cordova’s girls hit the road for their sub-regional game.
The Blue Devils, who finished second to Winfield in the area tournament, travel to No. 10 Danville (24-8) today.
The Blue Devils (17-15) have already made a huge improvement from last season when they won just eight games in coach Randy Stracner’s first season as head coach.
Two Cordova starters were injured in the Blue Devils' 65-51 loss to Winfield. Stracner expects his daughter Kelsey, the lone senior starter on the team, to be ready for Thursday's game. Starting center Raigan Sherer suffered a knee injury against Winfield and is unlikely to play.
Corner at Calera
Corner travels for its sub-regional game. The Yellow Jackets placed second to Carbon Hill in the 4A, Area 8 Tournament last week and play at Calera on Thursday.
Calera (19-8), the Area 7 champion, has won five of its last six games and is 8-2 in its last 10 games. The Eagles are 10-2 against 4A competition this season, losing both games to No. 1 Oneonta.
Boys Sub-Regional Games
Decatur Heritage at No. 3 Parrish
Parrish draws a familiar foe in its Northwest Sub-Regional game on Friday — Decatur Heritage.
The teams met earlier this season in the 78 Classic at Parrish High School with the Tornadoes coming out on top 57-33.
Friday's game matches third-ranked Parrish (26-1), that has won 10 straight games, against a Decatur Heritage team, which has lost three of its last four games, including a 55-49 loss to Falkville in the 1A, Area 14 Tournament. Decatur Heritage (17-10) was the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
The Eagles are 11-2 against Class 1A competition with the losses coming to Parrish and Falkville.
Friday's winner advances to the Northwest Regional Tournament in Hanceville next week. Parrish head coach Heath Burns is looking to make his third trip to the tournament. He went twice as the head coach of Dora High School in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
Bibb County at Dora
Dora looks to continue its postseason run following an emotional 64-61 victory over Carbon Hill in the Class 4A, Area 8 Tournament at Dora High School on Monday.
The Bulldogs (18-7) host a sub-regional game for the second straight season. Last year, Dora got past Fairview to earn a spot at the Northwest Regional Tournament. This time around the Bulldogs hope to get to the Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery.
Dora's senior-laden team hosts a Bibb County (13-15) team that was upset by Calera in the Area 7 Tournament championship game.
No. 5 Carbon Hill at Calera
Carbon Hill's road to the regional tournament will have to go through Calera.
The Bulldogs (21-9) dropped the 4A, Area 8 Tournament championship game to Dora in a game that came down to a potential game-tying shot in the closing seconds. The shot missed the mark, putting Carbon Hill on the road Friday.
The game ended the Bulldogs' five-game winning streak — their longest of the season.
Carbon Hill is 12-3 since the start of January with two of the three losses coming to Dora. The third came to Parrish in the championship game of the Walker County Tournament.
Calera (11-18) won the Area 7 Tournament over Bibb County.
The Bulldogs have won regional titles each of the last two seasons.
Walker at No. 1 Wenonah
Walker has a tough draw in its Northwest Sub-Regional game on Friday.
The Vikings travel to top-ranked Wenonah.
Walker (6-16) placed second in Class 5A, Area 14 Tournament at Mortimer Jordan.
Wenonah edged Parker 61-59 for the Area 13 championship. The Dragons' (29-2) are undefeated against 5A foes this season. Their losses came to Gadsden City and Columbia High School out of Decatur, Ga.