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February 17, 2014

NORTHWEST REGIONAL TOURNEY PREVIEW: Five of state’s six No. 1 girls teams set to take stage at Wallace State

(Continued)

CULLMAN — Class 2A

No. 3 Cold Springs (27-6) vs. No. 5 Tanner (19-7), Wednesday at 3 p.m.

% Sulligent (18-7) vs. No. 7 Red Bay (29-3), Wednesday at  6 p.m.

% Cold Springs: Tammy West and the Blue and Gold have just about made Wallace State a second home in February. They’ve now made 11 straight regional tournaments following a ho-hum area crown and 78-20 sub-regional win over Vincent. In the last two seasons, the Eagles have come up short in their bid for the state tournament with losses to the Rattlers. Seniors Haley Freeman and Chloe Harbison have stepped up in the clutch for Cold Springs this season, while Caitlyn Hall has been dominant in the post. Bailey West isn’t to be overlooked, either.

% Tanner: Last year’s Northwest Regional champion has returned to Tom Drake Coliseum following a dominant game and 62-26 triumph over Colbert Heights. The Lady Rattlers are a tough, highly skilled rebounding squad — using those coveted attributes to make the Final 48 Tournament a season ago.

% Sulligent: After losing in their area finale to Cold Springs, the Blue Devils picked up their slack with a 54-37 hammering of Fultondale on Friday.

% Red Bay: At 29-3, the Tigers enter Thursday’s play with all the confidence in the world. With their slow-it-down, corners 0, Red Bay stifles its opponents on defense before running them through the gauntlet on the other end of the floor. The Tigers have won 19 of 20, including a regional-clinching 52-41 victory against Lexington.

Class 1A

% Falkville (19-7) vs. No. 8 Tharptown (20-8), Tuesday at 3 p.m.

% No. 10 Lynn (26-2) vs. No. 1 Covenant Christian, Tuesday at 6 p.m.

% Falkville: The Blue Devils have quietly enjoyed a good season. Falkville picked up an easy area crown before destroying its sub-regional opponent, Brilliant, by 32 points at home.

% Tharptown: The Wildcats have no issue putting up points, as they usually eclipse the 60-point mark with little trouble at all over their 20 wins.

Tharptown easily dispatched R.A. Hubbard — last year’s Northwest Regional champion — 70-54 to earn a berth in this year’s big showdown at Tom Drake Coliseum.

% Lynn: Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! The latter is back and ready to defend their regional title from a season ago. The Bears have only lost two games this season by a combined nine points. Lynn has held 23 of their opponents under 30 points, including Friday’s 43-37 sub-regional victory.

% Covenant Christian: Tuscumbia’s finest — the No. 1 Eagles — enter Tuesday’s matchup ready to do some serious damage.

They’ve won 15 straight — all by double digits. However, the only loss was to Tharptown, a potential finale opponent.



% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.

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