E.A. Sports Today

Oxford wins toss, hosts both

Oxford draws byes to subregion; updates with all county teams’ area pairings

Oxford boys coach Joel Van Meter gives his team instructions during a timeout. On the cover, Oxford girls coach Tonya Peoples is doing the same.

Oxford boys coach Joel Van Meter gives his team instructions during a timeout. On the cover, Oxford girls coach Tonya Peoples is doing the same.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Oxford has won the toss — both of them — and will receive.

The Yellow Jackets won both coin tosses to break the ties for their Class 6A Area 10 champion and will host the boys and girls area tournaments starting next Thursday. They haven’t hosted an area tournament at least since current athletics director Larry Davidson left the bench in 2006.

“The girls will be excited,” Oxford girls coach Tonya Peoples said. “They were asking me in the locker room last night when we would find out. I’m really excited for the guys. This is just good for basketball in Oxford in general. That’s going to be a cool thing hosting both of them.”

The boys tie was between the 9-15 Jackets and Chelsea, while the girls tie was between the 11-11 Jackets and Pell City, to whom they lost Tuesday night. Both races ended 3-1.

Pell City called the girls’ toss and the 1997 quarter Davidson flipped in the air Wednesday in the school’s Media Center came up heads. Chelsea called the boys’ toss, insisting it hit the floor first, and it rolled a few feet away before coming up tails.

Had she been given the choice, Peoples would have called heads at the suggestion of her sons. Boys coach Joel Van Meter would have called tails on his.

Now, Chelsea and Pell City will play the two area semifinals at Oxford Feb. 5 at 6 and 7:30 p.m. The Yellow Jackets will meet the respective winners the next night at the same times.

“For me, I was thinking I didn’t have to play that extra game; you can’t talk about being in the finals, you don’t need to because you have to play that first one,” Peoples said. “Now, we know where we’re going to be and that is the game and so you can go ahead and start talking about it and building it up and getting them ready and studying film. That’s an exciting place to be.”

Most importantly, winning the coin toss in a three-team area gives the Jackets a pass into the subregion tournament given two teams from each area advance. If they win the area title game next Friday they will host the subregional against the runner-up from the area that includes Albertville, Scottsboro, Fort Payne and Southside.

“After the first semester, before the start of the second, we wrote some things on the board that we’ve always talked about throughout the year what we wanted to do,” said Van Meter, running down the litany of goals. “Now we get a chance to check another one off. And we get to do it on our home floor, but I think what’s key is there’s not a ton of pressure on you because you are going to the next round already.

“We’ve played good enough teams on the road if we had to go on the road we could compete with them. If you can win and get to play at home it’s a huge deal.”

Van Meter said in the run-up to the coin toss he wasn’t a big fan of leaving such an important outcome to chance. His opinion changed just “a little” after Wednesday morning’s outcome.

“Two years ago we flipped a coin in a three-way tie and I called the right one and was odd man out, so I guess it comes full circle,” he said. “You hate for something what we deem as important as that to be decided on a coin flip when you have the two teams that are that competitive against each other.

“I think two teams who battled each other on the floor are short-changed a bit when being named area champ comes down to a coin flip. I just wish there was a better way of settling it based on what you do on the floor.”

The Chelsea boys and Pell City girls are probably thinking the same thing right about now.

Class 6A Area 10
All games at Oxford
Feb. 5 – Chelsea vs. Pell City, 6 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Oxford vs. Chelsea-Pell City winner, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Chelsea vs. Pell City, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Oxford vs. Chelsea-Pell City winner, 7:30 p.m.

Class 1A Area 12
Boys at Sacred Heart
Feb. 3 – Appalachian vs. Donoho, 5 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Sacred Heart vs. Appalachian-Donoho winner, 5 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Ragland vs. Faith Christian, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 – Championship, 7 p.m.
Girls at Appalachian
Feb. 2 – Sacred Heart vs. Donoho, 5 p.m.
Feb. 4 – Faith Christian vs. Ragland, 5 p.m.
Feb. 4 – Appalachian vs. Sacred Heart-Donoho winner, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Championship, 6:30 p.m.

Class 1A Area 13

Game at Cedar Bluff
Feb. 2 – Coosa Christian vs. Gaylesville, 5:30 p.m.
Games at Spring Garden
Feb. 3 – Spring Garden vs. Coosa Christian-Gaylesville winner, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Cedar Bluff vs. Jacksonville Christian, 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Championship, 7 p.m.
All games at Cedar Bluff
Feb. 2 – Jacksonville Christian vs. Gaylesville, 7 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Cedar Bluff vs. JCA-Gaylesville winner, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Spring Garden vs. Coosa Christian, 7 p.m.
Feb. 7 – Championship, 7 p.m.

Class 3A Area 12
All games at Piedmont
Feb. 4 – Wellborn at Piedmont, 6 p.m.
Feb. 4 – Pleasant Valley vs. Wellborn, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Championship, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Pleasant Valley at Piedmont, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Wellborn vs. Weaver, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Class 3A Area 11
All games at Glencoe
Feb. 3 – Ashville vs. Ohatchee, 4 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Westbrook Christian at Glencoe, 7 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Championship, 6 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Westbrook Christian vs. Ashville, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Ohatchee at Glencoe, 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Class 4A Area 11
Girls at Jacksonville
Feb. 4 – Cleburne County at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Feb. 4 – Saks vs. White Plains, 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 6 – Championship, 6 p.m.
Boys at Saks
Feb. 5 – Cleburne County at Saks, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 – White Plains vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 – Boys championship, 3 p.m.

Class 5A Area 12
All games at Anniston
Feb. 3 – Alexandria vs. St. Clair County girls, 3:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Alexandria vs. Lincoln boys, 5 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Anniston vs Lincoln girls, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Anniston vs. St. Clair boys, 8 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Girls championship, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 – Boys championship, 7:30 p.m.

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