E.A. Sports Today

County tourney opens at Piedmont

Because of a conflict at JSU, the first round of the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament will be played at Piedmont; White Plains, Weaver games Monday moved up

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Mark your calendars. Because of a scheduling conflict with Jacksonville State, the opening-day games of the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament Jan. 19 will be played at Piedmont High School. The event will move to JSU for the remainder of the schedule Jan. 21.

The remote site isn’t a new concept for the tournament. Last year’s first-day games were played at Oxford.

The county tournament seeding meeting is Sunday at Piedmont and given the way the first half the season has gone it should provide some interesting debate, especially on the boys side.

Here are the teams that appear to be the leading contenders for the highest seeds, in alphabetical order so not to make anybody think we’re playing favorites.

Alexandria (2-1 in county) – Beat Piedmont, Saks; lost to Jacksonville.

Anniston (3-1) – Beat White Plains, Saks, Jacksonville; lost to Sacred Heart.

Jacksonville (4-3) – Beat Alexandria, Pleasant Valley, Wellborn, Ohatchee; lost to Anniston, White Plains, Piedmont (plays Piedmont Saturday).

Oxford (0-1) – Is 13-4 overall, but its lone county game was a loss to White Plains; split with Plainview. Do you seed on county record or overall strength? And then, depending on the answer to the previous question, how do you justify out the rest of the field?

Piedmont (4-1) – Beat Wellborn, Pleasant Valley, White Plains, Jacksonville; lost to Alexandria (plays Jacksonville Saturday).

Sacred Heart (2-0) – Is loaded with talent, but like Oxford doesn’t play much in the county. Beat Anniston, Ohatchee (area game); lost to Plainview.

Weaver (4-1) – Beat Donoho, Pleasant Valley, Saks, Wellborn; lost to White Plains (plays White Plains Friday in its first home game of the season after renovations on the gym).

White Plains (4-2) – Beat Oxford, Saks, Weaver, Jacksonville; lost to Anniston, Piedmont.

The debate Sunday may become more which teams do you want to avoid in the bracket as opposed to where you want to fall in line.

The top of the girls seedings is expected to be among Anniston, Sacred Heart and Weaver.

Here is the Jan. 19 schedule at Piedmont (teams to be determined, of course):

Girls No. 13 vs. No. 12, 9 a.m.
Boys No. 13 vs. No. 12, 10:30 a.m.
Girls No. 14 vs. No. 11, noon
Boys No. 14 vs. No. 11, 1:30 p.m.
Girls No. 10 vs. No. 15, 3 p.m.
Boys No. 10 vs. No. 15, 4:30 p.m.

AVOIDING THE BIG GAME: In an effort to avoid any conflict with Monday’s national championship football game, two county teams have upped the start times of their basketball games. White Plains will start its girls game with Cleburne County at 3 p.m. (followed by the boys), while Weaver will start its games with Wellborn at 2.

SPEAKING OF FOOTBALL: The expectation is Oxford assistant and former Glencoe head coach Lee Ozmint will be named Arab’s head football coach at a board meeting later this week.

On the cover: Oxford coach Joel VanMeter conducts last year’s Calhoun County Tournament boys seeding meeting.

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