Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

February 12, 2013

Eight area basketball teams start region tourney play this week

Cordele — Eight of the area’s 10 basketball teams will be involved this week in region tournament competition — an action that Wilcox High’s squads will avoid completely under the new GHSA power rankings system.

Locally, Crisp County High, which has the No. 3 girls and boys seeds, is hosting today Region 1-AAAA’s second round that begins with a 4 p.m. game between Westover, a 53-32 winner over Worth in Monday’s opening round, and Americus-Sumter, which had a first round bye.

At 5:30, the Dougherty boys, who beat Cairo 51-45 in the first round, go up against Albany High’s Indians.

Crisp County (12-9) takes the floor at 7 p.m. against a Cairo team that whipped Albany’s Squaws 62-42 on Monday. The defending champion Lady Cougars narrowly defeated the Syrupmaids twice by scores of 47-43 and 46-42 during the regular season.

Closing out the evening in an 8:30 p.m. battle will be 9-14 Crisp and 13-13 Worth which eked out a 51-49 first-round win over Americus-Sumter. The teams split their regular season battles, with the defending champion Cougars winning here 56-50 and losing in Sylvester 54-47.

All of today’s winners here not only advance to Thursday’s semifinals to be played at Monroe of Albany but also automatically qualify for a trip to state. The title tilts and consolation clashes will be played Friday at Monroe.

Also playing today are Crisp Academy’s boys and Fullington Academy’s girls who are entered in Region 3-A GISA competition at Georgia Christian School in Dasher.

The 8-13 Wildcats of Crisp hit the court at 5:30 against Highland. The teams split their regular season meetings, with Crisp winning 50-49 on its own floor two weeks after it had lost to the xxxxx 54-51 in Valdosta.

The 6-15 Lady Trojans Fullington tip off play at 7 p.m. against Randolph Southern, an opponent that it lost to 51-48 in Shellman and then later spanked 75-53 in Pinehurst.

Crisp’s defending state champion Lady Wildcats (25-2) make their first tourney start at 7 p.m. Thursday vs. either Highland or Grace Academy. The local private schoolers swept both during the regular season, heating Highland 29-18 and 57-14 and downing Grace 70-34 and 74-24.

Fullington’s 10-9 Trojans, who won region a year ago, take on at 5:30 p.m. Thursday either Grace Christian (a team it beat  78-65 at home and lost to 60-45 on the road) or Randolph Southern (a foe it swept 59-55 and 65-52).

Dooly County’s 6-15 Lady Bobcats begin Region 4-A GHSA action at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Buena Vista where their first-round foe will be a Pacelli squad they thrashed 55-26 at home and lost to 58=53 in Columbus.

Dooly’s 15-6 Bobcats, who drew a first-round bye, make their first tournament start at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Buena Vista against either Schley, Central Talbotton or Hawkinsville all of which they beat twice during the regular season.

Wilcox High’s 20-3 Patriots and 3-17 Lady Patriots, meanwhile, will close out regular season competition on Friday at Turner County where the boys will be vying for the Region 2-A crown and girls will be playing their final game, period.

The final power rankings that will determine the 16-team field for public schools qualifying for state will be revealed at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16 with the region champions automatically qualifying.

Wilcox’s boys are currently ranked third at 14.03 behind Wilkinson (15.28) and Mitchell (14.09) counties while Dooly’s boys are fifth at 11.98 behind the top three as well as No. 4 Seminole (12.56).

The current girls public school power rankings are headed by Randolph-Clay, Gordon-Lee, Towns County and Irwin County. Dooly’s girls are 34th and Wilcox’s are 42nd meaning neither will be making it to state unless they win their region crown.

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