County still has 4 girls teams ranked

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Several Shelby County girls basketball teams continue to achieve excellence during the 2017-18 season and found themselves ranked in the latest ASWA girls basketball rankings on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Montevallo, Shelby County, Spain Park and Westminster at Oak Mountain all four found a spot in their respective top 10.

Now just two weeks away from the end of the regular season and the start of area tournaments, games are becoming more and more crucial, and while those four remain ranked, they will have to play their best basketball in the coming weeks.

Others such as Briarwood, Calera, Oak Mountain and Thompson also have some winning to do in the next two weeks to accomplish the goal of making it to the postseason.

Spain Park (19-4, 2-0) continued to be the county’s highest ranked team in both the boys and girls standings as the Jaguars came in at No. 2 in the 7A poll despite losing to 6A No. 1 Hazel Green on Monday, Jan. 15.

The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Jags, but the positive is that all four of their losses have come to the 6A No. 1 and No. 3 teams, having lost to Ramsay three times and Hazel Green once.

The Montevallo Bulldogs have also had a strong season and are trying to beat Spain Park to the 20-win mark.

Having not played in a while due to the weather, Montevallo still sits at 18-3 overall and 2-0 in area play, which was good enough to propel them up one spot to No. 6 in the latest rankings.

The Shelby County Wildcats have also had a strong season and still sit at 14-2 on the season after weather and a postponed game with Briarwood due to the flu has kept them off the court.

With a strong record this season, Shelby County was able to gather the No. 10 spot in the latest standings and looks to be the favorite to win the Class 5A, Area 8 title this season.

Westminster at Oak Mountain has started gathering steam over the last two weeks after a difficult schedule to start the season.

The Knights have won four consecutive games and now sit at 8-5 as they look for a repeat trip to the Final 4.  They still sit at No. 9 in the standings, but can only improve in the poll as long as the win streak continues.

Briarwood, Calera, Oak Mountain and Thompson are four teams not ranked or nominated, but that are still right in the running for a strong postseason.

Briarwood looks to be the best or second best team in Class 5A, Area 8 along with Shelby County. The Lions are 7-8 overall, but 2-0 in area play as they control their own destiny in the area.

Calera and Thompson are two other teams on the rise as well. Calera and Vincent (9-8) are the only other teams outside of the four ranked teams with a winning record.

The Eagles are now 13-8 overall and 4-1 in area play, with a strong chance at winning the area championship when they take on Marbury on Jan. 19.

Thompson is also playing extremely well at the moment having won two consecutive games to get to 8-12 overall and 1-1 in area play.

The Warriors overall record doesn’t jump off the page, but already having beaten Vestavia and a sub-par Tuscaloosa County team being part of the area, this team has a strong chance to finish second in the area behind 7A No. 1 Hoover.

Should they do that in the area tournament, Thompson gets an automatic spot in Regionals, where anything can happen.

Oak Mountain has started to struggle, not because they are a bad team, but because of an area that features three other top-10 teams in Huffman, Spain Park and Mountain Brook.

The Eagles are going to have to upset one of those teams to make it to Regionals this season, but this team has a strong enough defense that if they can start scoring some points, they’ll make it hard for those three in front of them.

CLASS 7A

  1. Hoover (21-1)
  2. Spain Park (19-4)
  3. Sparkman (20-4)
  4. Hewitt-Trussville (19-2)
  5. James Clemens (16-6)
  6. Huffman (11-11)
  7. Mountain Brook (16-5)
  8. Alma Bryant (18-5)
  9. Davidson (15-7)
  10. McGill-Toolen (13-8)

Others nominated: Huntsville (11-10), Lee-Montgomery (15-8), Murphy (12-9).

CLASS 6A

  1. Hazel Green (23-2)
  2. LeFlore (23-2)
  3. Ramsay (18-3)
  4. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (16-3)
  5. Southside-Gadsden (15-1)
  6. Blount (16-2)
  7. Hartselle (16-4)
  8. Brewer (15-4)
  9. Center Point (14-9)
  10. Austin (16-3)

Others nominated: Athens (13-7), Carver-Birmingham (16-6), Carver-Montgomery (12-5), Homewood (16-8), Muscle Shoals (11-9), Northview (11-6), Selma (15-4).

CLASS 5A

  1. Charles Henderson (22-4)
  2. Wenonah (16-7)
  3. Eufaula (17-4)
  4. Talladega (19-2)
  5. Scottsboro (18-3)
  6. Central-Tuscaloosa (15-5)
  7. Faith Academy (13-6)
  8. Sumter Central (17-5)
  9. Mae Jemison (8-8)
  10. Shelby County (14-2)

Others nominated: Alexandria (13-5), Brewbaker Tech (11-11), Fairview (15-6), Lee-Huntsville (12-10), West Point (17-7).

CLASS 4A

  1. Deshler (22-2)
  2. Madison Academy (18-5)
  3. Sipsey Valley (17-1)
  4. Priceville (15-5)
  5. Anniston (14-3)
  6. Danville (18-4)
  7. Hokes Bluff (15-5)
  8. Greensboro (13-3)
  9. Cherokee County (11-6)
  10. Madison County (15-7)

Others nominated: DAR (11-8), Jacksonville (13-5), Montgomery Catholic (12-5), Oneonta (14-8), Rogers (16-6), St. James (13-5).

CLASS 3A

  1. Lauderdale County (20-2)
  2. Pisgah (17-1)
  3. Midfield (18-8)
  4. Locust Fork (19-2)
  5. Clarke County (21-0)
  6. Montevallo (18-3)
  7. Plainview (17-5)
  8. Susan Moore (15-5)
  9. Glencoe (14-5)
  10. Prattville Christian (15-5)

Others nominated: Colbert County (13-7), Daleville (14-6), Geneva (14-5), Montgomery Academy (17-4), North Sand Mountain (12-5).

CLASS 2A

  1. Samson (20-2)
  2. Collinsville (15-5)
  3. Section (11-7)
  4. Fyffe (13-3)
  5. Mars Hill (16-5)
  6. Chickasaw (14-1)
  7. Geneva County (12-7)
  8. Phil Campbell (13-5)
  9. Abbeville (10-6)
  10. Ariton (9-2)

Others nominated: LaFayette (10-8), Lanett (7-4), Sand Rock (12-8).

CLASS 1A

  1. Spring Garden (17-2)
  2. Phillips (16-2)
  3. Pleasant Home (17-4)
  4. Linden (9-2)
  5. J.F. Shields (15-1)
  6. Notasulga (11-3)
  7. Loachapoka (12-3)
  8. Skyline (16-4)
  9. Westminster-Oak Mountain (8-5)
  10. Holy Spirit (12-1)

Others nominated: Appalachian (12-2), Cedar Bluff (11-9), Coosa Christian (14-7), Covenant Christian (14-5), Marion County (13-5), Vina (20-5).

AISA

  1. Glenwood (16-5)
  2. Tuscaloosa Academy (17-1)
  3. Lee-Scott (15-6)
  4. South Choctaw Academy (15-0)
  5. Springwood (14-4)
  6. Abbeville Christian (17-9)
  7. Sparta Academy (14-3)
  8. Northside Methodist (19-6)
  9. Wilcox Academy (10-2)
  10. Fort Dale Academy (11-4)

Others nominated: Lakeside (14-12), Macon-East (7-8), Pickens Academy (8-3).