The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

March 2, 2014

COLUMN: Banner year for Limestone basketball

— Tanner’s boys basketball team found itself in an unfamiliar position Tuesday afternoon at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. Every other time the Rattlers played at the BJCC, they left with a state championship trophy in tow.

Sure, Tanner lost other games this season. And, a third of those losses were to East Limestone, a team that failed to advance to the Regional Tournament.

So, the fact the Rattlers even made it to Birmingham speaks volumes to the level of talent in Limestone County this season.

Over the last four years, Tanner’s boys team won two state championships and were the top team in Limestone County most of that time.

Not this year.

While this Tanner team was less experienced than the previous three, Athens and East Limestone had two of its best teams in school history.

With a school-record 24-game winning streak, Athens was the undisputed top team over the last four months. Athens beat East Limestone three times, winning by an average of 16 points per game. The Indians beat Tanner three times, winning by an average of eight points.

Tanner, the third best team in the county was still good enough to make it to the Final 48, while Athens and East Limestone stayed home. While it doesn’t seem right, it’s an example of how good Athens and East Limestone were.

The Indians were dominant over county teams with a perfect 10-0 record on the way to winning a second county championship in four years.

As dominant as East was over all other county teams, Athens was dominant over everyone.

After starting the season 2-3, the Golden Eagles reeled off 24-straight victories on the way to the Northwest Regional championship.

And, what about Parker, the team that finally knocked them out?

Parker held No. 1 Faith Academy to seven points in the first half on their way to playing in the 5A championship game Saturday. Only Cullman, a team that East Limestone took to double-overtime in a sub-state playoff game, came within single digits of Parker over the last month.

The success of Limestone County boys basketball should come as no surprise, however. Just look at the players.

The Potts brothers at Athens formed the best 1-2 punch in the state. East Limestone’s Jordon Gandy might be the best player in school history and Tanner will most likely have at least one more all-state performer this year.

There might not have been any state champions, but this was a banner year for Limestone County basketball.

Text Only
Local News 2
  • Prep Football Preview: Clements

    The school turned to 28-year-old Cody McCain to turn around the program that made four straight playoff appearances from 2006-2009. McCain will become the Colts’ third head coach in as many years and the youngest varsity head coach in Limestone County.

    August 1, 2014

  • Prep Football Preview: Elkmont

    The Red Devils return 15 starters with more than two-dozen juniors and seniors who have played significant minutes on the depth chart.

    July 31, 2014

  • West Limestone’s Siniard picks Southern Miss

    Siniard committed to the Golden Eagles Saturday after visiting the campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound offensive and defensive tackle has started for the varsity since he was a freshman.

    July 30, 2014

  • tractor*pull!2!.jpg TRACTOR PULL: A new generation takes over in Tanner

    One of the first families of the Tanner pull is the Haneys. Horace Haney, along with brother, Shirley, co-founded the event in 1976 that draws thousands to the county each year. The sons of those pulling pioneers now run the show.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay! Haney!.jpg Clay Haney follows in father’s footsteps

    After watching his dad pull for the past 20 years, Clay finally got his chance. Although he has pulled multiple times over the years, this will be the first year to compete for points in the Mid-South Pullers Association.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • North win streak improves to 12

    The South last won 85-76 in in 2002.

    July 24, 2014

  • Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep

    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

  • Davidson helps North tie

    She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game

    Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
    Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

    Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.

    July 19, 2014



Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee