Road to Birmingham County teams brace for postseason play

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The road to the AHSAA state finals began for many high school basketball teams this week with the start of postseason play at area tournaments around the state.

Winners of the area tournaments will advance to sub-regional play where they can further advance to the regional tournament and possibly the state finals at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center.

The Calera Eagles made the trip to the BJCC last year, advancing to the finals before falling to R.C. Hatch in the Class 2A championship game.

Calera looks poised for a possible return trip to Birmingham this season after a 25-1 regular season. The Eagles’ only loss of the year came last Saturday at home against Altamont as Calera had its 24-game win streak snapped after being taken to overtime in three straight games.

&uot;Right now my biggest concern is our intensity,&uot; said Calera coach Robert Burdette. &uot;Our defensive intensity is not where it has been the rest of the season.&uot;

Burdette said the Eagles have a history of stepping up their play in the postseason.

&uot;Our kids have always responded to situations like this.&uot;

Calera will be led by its leading scorer, junior George Drake, and will get an extra boost, Burdette said, from the return of Dusty Downs.

Downs, a four-year starter who has missed much of the season with a shoulder injury, will be back in time for the Eagles first area-tournament game against Horshoe Bend on Thursday.

&uot;Downs will be back,&uot; Burdette said. &uot;I think that will be a huge emotional lift. What he can bring to this basketball team will be huge for us.&uot;

Tipoff is set for

7:30 p.m. at Calera High School, host of the Class 2A, Area 7 tournament. Vincent plays Lineville at 6 p.m. with the finals held Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Calera girls team played Horshoe Bend last night at Lineville, host of the girls Area 7 tournament, with Vincent girls taking on Lineville. Results were not available at presstime. Finals will be held Friday at 7 p.m.

Indian Springs will serve as host for both the boys and girls tournaments in Class 3A, Area 8. The boys team will play Leeds Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with the girls battling Munford yesterday (results not available). Girls finals will be held Friday at 7 p.m., boys finals Saturday at 3 p.m.

Montevallo will take on Dallas County Thursday in the Class 4A, Area 7 tournament. The Bulldogs will play at 7:30 p.m. at Dallas County, tournament host. Finals are Saturday at 7 p.m. The Montevallo girls played Dallas County last night (results not available) at Bibb County. Girls finals are Friday at 7 p.m. at Bibb County.

Shelby County High School will host the Class 4A, Area 9 tournament with Chelsea vs. Childersburg at 6 p.m. Thursday and the host Wildcats vs. Jemison at 7:30 p.m. Finals are Saturday at 7 p.m. The Chelsea girls played the Shelby County girls yesterday (results not available) in the girls tournament at Childersburg. Girls finals are Friday at 7 p.m. at Childersburg.

In Class 5A play, Thompson will meet Briarwood Christian at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Area 7 tournament at McAdory. Finals will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. Thompson hosts the girls tournament with the host Warriors playing the Brookwood-Northridge winner and Briarwood Christian playing McAdory. Both games were yesterday (results unavailable). Girls finals will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Thompson.

The Pelham Panthers were eliminated from the Class 6A, Area 6 tournament with a loss to Hoover on Saturday. Oak Mountain will face the Bucs Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Vestavia Hills. Finals are Saturday at 4 p.m., consolation at 2 p.m. Also at Vestavia Hills, the Oak Mountain girls faced the host Rebels yesterday (results unvailable) and the Pelham was eliminated with an opening game loss to Hoover on Friday. Girls finals will be held Friday at 7:30 p.m.


The Kingwood Christain girls team became the first in school history to finish the regular season and the area tournament undefeated.

The Lions (25-0) will head to the AISA Elite 8 with a No. 1 ranking in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll. Kingwood will take on Mobile Christian Friday at 6 p.m at Huntingdon College.

KCS earned a berth in the Elite 8 tournament by edging Meadowview in the region final.

&uot;It was a great ballgame,&uot; said Kingwood coach Jerry Stearns. &uot;In the long run I think it will be great for our girls to have played in such a close game and come out on top. We had already beaten (Meadowview) twice and they played their hearts out against us.&uot;

The Coosa Valley Academy girls claimed their second-straight Class 1A, Region 2 title with a win over Shelby Academy.

CVA (20-6) won all six of its area games this season and will play Crenshaw Friday in the Elite 8 at Faulkner University.

The Rebels came back from a 20-14 halftime deficit, outscoring the Raiders 23-8 in the second half to secure the win.

&uot;They played really good Friday night,&uot; Coosa Valley coach Kimbo Rutledge said. &uot;We like to run it up and down the court and we finally got going in the second half.&uot;

The Shelby Academy girls (14-8) also advanced to the Elite 8 and will also play Friday at Faulkner.

The Shelby Academy boys won the AISA state title last year but fell to Jefferson Christian Academy last Saturday in the area tournament.

Kingwood’s boys, Cornerstone Christian’s boys and girls, and Coosa Valley Academy’s boys were eliminated in area tournament play