County teams make playoffs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Just five dollars will get you a ticket to the best show in Shelby County.

That’s the admission price for Friday’s sub-regional basketball game between Calera and Keith at Calera High School.

The George Drake show.

It was the most exciting thing playing Monday night as the Eagles downed Altamont in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A, Area 8 championship game.

Drake was quiet most of the first half. Altamont, who has become a regular adversary for the Eagles on the basketball court, was no stranger to Drake’s talent. And the Knights sure didn’t want to see Drake put on a sequal to some of his past stellar performances.

So Altamont set up a zone defense geared toward taking Drake out of the game.

Trey Russell and a handful of other Calera players proved the supporting cast at Calera can be just as dangerous.

When covering, Russell and company became too difficult, Altamont was forced to go back to man-to-man coverage.

That’s when Drake exploded.

The senior forward, a Vandberbilt University signee, lit up the Knights in the second half of play on his way to 15 points, 12 rebounds, five blocked shots and three patented George Drake bring-the-house-down dunks.

Expect Friday’s fireworks to be just as exciting as the Eagles (26-5) host Keith in a sub-regional game to decide who moves on to the regional tournament at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, a precurser to the AHSAA Final Four.

If you are a little burned out on the male action hero genre and would rather watch a leading lady take charge, try Thursday night at Calera High School.

That’s when Shanavia Dowdell will lead the Lady Eagles (22-1) against Keith in girls sub-regional play.

Dowdell was dominant in the Area 8 championship game as well, scoring 36 points to lead Calera to the win over Shades Mountain Chrisitian.

Calera and Thompson were

the only schools in Shelby County to send a boys and girls team to the sub-regional round.

A total of nine county teams made it, four boys teams and five girls teams.

In AHSAA boys competition: Calera will host Keith n the southwest sub-regional in Class 2A, Shelby County will host Briarwood in the 5A southeast sub-regional, Oak Mountain travels to Carver-Birmingham and Thompson travels to Huffman in the 6A northeast sub-regional.

Boys games will be played Friday night.

In AHSAA girls comptetion: Calera hosts Keith in the 2A southwest sub-regional, Montevallo hosts Bibb County and Chelsea travels to Greensboro in the 4A southwest sub-regional, Thompson travels to Clay-Chalkville and Spain Park hosts Carver-Birmingham in the northeast sub-regional.

Girls games are held Thursday night.

The southwest regional will be held at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, the southeast at Troy University, the northeast at Jacksonville State University and the northwest at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Regional games are scheduled for Feb. 22-26.

Ashley Vansant is the sports editor at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at