By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
Six local teams entered area tournament play with home-court advantage and seven managed to leave with it, ensuring the road to regionals will travel through Cullman County for more than a handful of the state’s remaining prep basketball squads.
Both Cold Springs and Holly Pond teams earned hosting rights for Thursday’s and Friday’s sub-regional matchups by claiming their respective area championships, as did Fairview’s boys, Hanceville’s boys and Cullman’s girls. As area runners-up, Good Hope’s girls and the Bearcat boys will travel.
The Bulldogs, who have played a majority of their home games the past two seasons at Wallace State, the very place they’re trying to advance to for the Northwest Regional Tournament, are trading in the colossal Tom Drake Coliseum for the tighter confines their middle school gym in order to maximize their home-court advantage.
All girls games are scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m., while the boys will take their turn on Friday at the same time. Because both Holly Pond squads are welcoming Geraldine, however, the Bronco girls will hit the court at 6 p.m. on Friday with the boys following at approximately 7:30 p.m.
A sub-region victory would earn Cold Springs, Cullman, Fairview, Good Hope and Hanceville a berth in the Northwest Regional Tournament at Wallace State. If either or both Holly Pond squads advance, though, they’ll have to endure the lengthy bus ride to Jacksonville State University for the Northeast Regional Tournament.
Losing teams from here on out will be eliminated.
Here’s the full slate of Thursday’s and Friday’s sub-region action:
% Fultondale (12-8) at Cold Springs (20-7)
% Athens (15-14) at Cullman (17-10)
% Good Hope (19-13) at Winfield (23-6)
% Geraldine (15-14) at Holly Pond (25-5), girls at 6 p.m.; Geraldine (22-8) at Holly Pond (23-5), boys at 7:30 p.m.
% Altamont (11-10) at Cold Springs (17-10)
% Butler (14-11) at Fairview (22-9)
% Hamilton (16-11) at Hanceville (15-13)
% Cullman (19-11) at Athens (23-7)
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.