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Area teams must win on the road tonight

KEVIN PEARCEY

The future will be a lot clearer after tonight as far as the boys’ side of the Alabama State playoffs goes.

With the girls ironing out all the kinks in their Sub-Regional brackets last night and the only local team, the Charles Henderson Lady Trojans, winning the Area Tournament and earning the right to host, now it’s the guys’ turn.

All three boys’ teams from the Pike County area are still hanging around with first round wins in their respective Area Tournaments, but in order to obtain the right to host one of the upcoming Sub-Regional games starting this Friday, each of the three will have to pull off huge wins on the road.

Charles Henderson

The Trojans have definitely had their ups and downs, even in their past few games.

In what could have easily turned into a complete embarrassment in the first round of the Area Tournament, CHHS defeated the Wetumpka Indians 61-45. They had to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit, which they did with flying colors, but if they get caught in a simular situation against Stanhope on their home floor, things might turn out a little differently.

Nobody wants to go on the road for a Sub-Regional and it looks more and more like the lucky team from Area 6 that posts a runner up showing will make a visit to No. 4 ranked Shelby County (24-1).

The two teams split their regular season meetings, each team losing on the road, but in their 80-63 loss to the Mustangs back on Jan. 18 the Trojans were without the help of starters Corey Gillis and Marcus Williams. Those two, especially with Williams hitting his stride lately, could be the difference.

Still, the Mustangs played CHHS very close at Troy in a 51-47 win by the Trojans. Thanks to some hot shooting by Stanhope the Mustangs were only down by one at the break and Charles Henderson never pushed their lead above single digits in the second half.

Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Stanhope gym.

Goshen

You want some intense, high-flying, 3-point draining, basketball action? Come to Calhoun High School tonight.

The Goshen Eagles will seek to avenge last year’s loss in the Area Championship game to Calhoun, a game that saw the Tigers hold a 24-point lead going into the fourth quarter, before the Eagles stormed back to tie the game in the closing seconds and send it into overtime. The Tigers eventually won 76-70, regulating Goshen to second place and sending them on the road for a sub-regional loss to Clayton.

Calhoun defeated the Eagles in the two team’s first matchup this year 79-75, at Calhoun. But the second game at Eagles Gymnasium was an entirely different story. The Tigers still scored 79 points, but Goshen out-did the Tigers, scoring 93 points, their highest offensive point total of the season.

Goshen head coach Major Lane said Friday night, after his team had defeated Luverne in the opening round, that he felt his team would be ready come tonight.

"This is for the area championship and this is what it’s all about," he said.

A win over the Tigers tonight sends Goshen home for the sub-regionals, where the Eagles are 8-2 this season.

Pike County

The Bulldogs took care of business in the first round of the Area Tournament and head coach David Buehler and his young team will be rewarded with a berth in a Sub-Regional come Friday. They wouldn’t mind playing that game in the friendly confines of PCHS gym however.

Their 55-40 win over Dale County gave PCHS was their third of the year over that team and they will be trying to keep from dropping their third of the year to Area regular season champs Daleville. It will be a tall order, but with the Bulldogs playing probably their best ball of the year, not out of the question.

PCHS lost their first and second Area games of the year to Daleville, but finished up strong winning their remaining four. In the second at Pike County the Bulldogs were never out of the game until the closing minutes when the Warhawks defensive pressure took its toll.

Hopefully Buehler and his Bulldogs will be able to break the press successfully tonight with the hopes that one of their players will put this team on his shoulders down the stretch.