E.A. Sports Today

Flippin’ fun

Piedmont girls, Glencoe boys, Weaver girls all win coin tosses to earn top seeds and hosting rights to area tournaments, plus spot in subregional

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GLENCOE – Finally something good happened for the Piedmont girls basketball team.

The Lady Bulldogs haven’t had much luck this season, but their fortunes changed Thursday when they won a three-way coin flip to determine the host team and No. 1 seed in the upcoming Class 3A Area 10 tournament.

“It’s the best thing that’s happened to the team,” coach Terrace Ridley said. “This will be something really exciting and good for them. They needed something like this to happen for them.

“We’ve had some games we’ve come up really short, we’ve played some teams we know we should beat and we know we have a good team. Last night talking to the girls they said ‘Coach, we just want to be in.’ This is very exciting to be able to take this back to them and let them know they still have a chance.”

The three teams all finished 2-2 in their area with Piedmont sweeping Glencoe, Pleasant Valley sweeping Piedmont, and Glencoe sweeping Pleasant Valley.

The Piedmont boys weren’t so lucky. They lost their coin toss to Glencoe and will have to play winless Pleasant Valley (at Glencoe) to keep their season alive.

“We’re not good gamblers,” Bulldogs coach Tommy Lewis said.

Lewis let assistant coach Matt Glover call the toss and he chose heads. Glencoe principal Charlton Giles did the honors, the coin hit the floor and settled at the base of a nearby bookcase tails up. Yellow Jackets coach Jason Gilley was relieved.

“It’s a big difference playing in our gym,” Gilley said. “I’ll be honest with you, us going to Piedmont, we have never shot good in that gym. Even if we had to go to Piedmont to play Pleasant Valley first, I’d be worry about how we’d turn out with that.”

Meanwhile, back in Anniston, Weaver girls coach Gary Atchley, who has never had much luck in coin tosses, deferred the choice to call to Wellborn and won that flip to host the 3A Area 9 tournament. The Weaver boys had already clinched hosting rights on their side.

“I wasn’t trusting my lucky ability; I practice all night and didn’t like my odds,” Atchley said. “I asked (Wellborn coach Shanese Morgan) if she wanted to call and she said yes. She called it and I closed my eyes.”

Tails won all three flips.

Last year Ridley lost the toss calling tails. The first year she had to flip she was going to call head, but Pleasant Valley made the call, chose heads and it came up tails.

Getting the No. 1 seed is nice, but the bonus to winning the coin tosses in these three-team areas is the winner automatically qualifies for the sub-region tournament. For Weaver, it’ll be the first time the Lady Bearcats have played beyond the area tournament since winning it in 2004.

“That’s huge for our basketball program here at Weaver; we just guaranteed ourselves at least two more games,” Atchley said. “We’re like everybody else when the season starts: this all leads up to one game — the area tournament — and we’re lucky enough to get to bypass that one game.”

The Class 3A Area 10 coaches selected their all-area team at the meeting. The tournament MVP will be considered Player of the Year.

Boys – Glencoe: Cole Holbrooks, Justin Barkley, Dylan Billingsley; Piedmont: Austin Brazier, Easton Kirk, Taylor Hayes; Pleasant Valley: Reid Hightower, Josh Faucett.

Girls – Piedmont: Breanna Brazier, Sydney Prater, Kaitlyn Ridley; Glencoe: Anna Giles, Ashley Morgan, Lauren Cole; Pleasant Valley: Mikala Simpson, Atleigh Brannon, Mac Parris.

Here are the schedules of the Class 3A area tournaments involving Calhoun County teams.

Class 3A Area 9
At Weaver

Feb. 7
Wellborn boys vs. Ohatchee, 5:30 p.m.
Wellborn girls vs. Ohatchee, 7 p.m.
Feb. 9
Weaver girls vs. Wellborn-Ohatchee winner, 5:30 p.m.
Weaver boys vs. Wellborn-Ohatchee winner, 7 p.m.

Class 3A Area 10
Girls bracket
At Piedmont

Feb. 6
Glencoe (12-9) vs. Pleasant Valley (10-10), 7 p.m.
Feb. 9
Piedmont (7-12) vs. Glencoe-Pleasant Valley winner, 7 p.m.

Boys bracket
At Glencoe
Feb. 7
Piedmont (9-12) vs. Pleasant Valley (0-17), 7 p.m.
Feb. 10
Glencoe (13-11) vs. Piedmont-Pleasant Valley winner, 7 p.m.

Note: Area 9 winner plays Area 10 runner-up, and Area 10 winner plays Area 9 runner-up in the sub-regionals.

On the cover: The girls basketball coaches from Piedmont, Glencoe and Pleasant Valley prepare to toss a coin to determine the No. 1 seed and host team for their upcoming area tournament.

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