AHSAA area tournaments start tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2002

Sports Editor

AHSAA area tournaments will tip-off tonight for three public schools in Pike County.

For the second straight year, both the Charles Henderson High School boy’s and girl’s basketball teams will head to Eufaula for the Class 5A Area 2 Tournament.

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Both teams came out of Eufaula last season with area titles to their credit, however, a repeat performance may be difficult. The Lady Trojans (9-7) split two games with host Eufaula this season, but the Lady Tigers are currently ranked third in the state with a 23-3 record.

The Lady Trojans will also be without the services of starter Mary Gilbert, who tore a knee ligament in an earlier area game against Carroll High School. The CHHS girls open tournament play with the Lady Eagles tonight at 5 p.m. Eufaula awaits the winner on Tuesday in the championship game.

The Trojans (11-10) will also play Carroll, with play to start at 6:30 p.m. following the girl’s contest.

CHHS head coach Carl Hollis believes his team plays better on the road, but admits they can’t take the Eagles lightly.

"We have a good shot against Eufaula, but we can’t look past Carroll either," he said. "A team like that is dangerous because they have nothing to lose."

And although the tournament is away from Troy, neutral officials usually means the best team wins it all.

That’s something Goshen head coach Major Lane agrees with. Lane’s Eagles

will travel to Red Level for the Class 2A Area 2 Tournament on Saturday to play Georgiana. Straughn and Highland Home played on Thursday night for the right to face area champion Red Level, also on Saturday.

The Eagles’ game with Georgiana is scheduled for 6 p.m.

"We just have to go down there and play the ball we’re capable of playing," said Lane.

Goshen is 2-2 against both Red Level and Georgiana this season.

The Eagles finished the regular season 15-5 and ranked seventh in the state. Red Level is No. 10 with an 18-4 record.

At Highland Home, the Lady Eagles will take the court on Friday night against Straughn at 6 p.m. in the girl’s tournament.

Both Pike County teams will head to Calhoun for the Class 3A Area 2 Tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs finished the year 10-7 after a 43-40 win over Bullock County on Tuesday night. PCHS opens with Luverne at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

A win there would likely move Pike County into a rematch with area champ Calhoun, a team that’s handed the Lady Bulldogs two losses already this season.

Coach Leroy Bryant’s guards can match-up well with the Lady Tigers, but it’s on the inside is where Pike County suffers.

"That’s what beats me," he said. "I really don’t have any inside players to rebound and score inside. I’ve got one girl, Molly (Boykin), she’s strong, but she’s not that tall. Everybody we’ve played with has at least one big girl. That makes a difference."

The Bulldogs finished 9-12 overall and will play Elba on Saturday night.

"I think we’re definitely a better team then they are," said head boy’s coach Danny Suber. "We have to come out and play good ball. I expect a lot from these guys and I’ve seen them when they’ve played really great. I tell kids all the time to not show me you can do something, because if you show me you can do something one time, I’ll expect it all the time."