By Jonathan Deal
With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, area seeds and tournament sites are becoming clearer in Alabama High School basketball. In Limestone County, eight teams are in contention to host postseason area tournaments.
On the boys side, Tanner is the only team to have clinched a regular season area title. The Rattlers will host the 2A Area 15 Tournament the first week of February.
Athens and East Limestone are both in good position to host 5A area tournaments. East is 5-0 in Area 15 and travels to Cullman (4-1) tonight for the final area game for both teams.
A win would earn East the right to host the area tournament while a loss would force a coin flip to determine the host.
Athens is tied with Lawrence County for first place in Area 16 with two area games remaining. AHS (3-1) plays Russellville tonight and faces Muscle Shoals in its final area game Monday, Jan. 27.
LCHS (4-1) plays its final area game against Muscle Shoals Saturday. Should both teams win out, the area tournament site will be decided by a coin flip.
In 3A, Elkmont will travel to No. 3 ranked Madison Academy for the Area 15 tournament while the Area 14 Tournament involving Clements would take place at either Colbert County or Lauderdale County. Ardmore will compete in the 4A Area 14 Tournament at No. 1 ranked J.O. Johnson.
West Limestone has the most to gain in its remaining games and is in the most competitive four-team area of all Limestone teams. The Wildcats played a pivotal area game at Rogers (2-2) after press time Thursday.
Entering the game, West Limestone was 3-1 in area play with its only loss to Wilson (2-2). Central (2-2) is the other team in contention.
On the girls side, Tanner (4-1) will play for a regular season area title tonight when it hosts No. 4 Lexington (5-0).
In 5A, East Limestone (5-0) is in the same situation as the boys team and will host the area tournament with a win at Cullman (4-1). Athens (3-1) is currently in first place in its region, but will be challenged by Muscle Shoals (2-1), which still has three games to play.
West Limestone is also in a similar position to its boys team. The winner of Thursday’s game between West and Rogers took poll position in 4A Area 16.
Ardmore, Athens Bible, Clements and Elkmont will all travel for their area tournaments.