With the Georgia High School Association’s realignment of schools this year, Columbia County basketball teams in Region 2A-AAAAA took it upon themselves to play each other three times instead of just twice this season, and it’s working out perfectly.
Unlike last year for the boys, this year there shouldn’t be a coin flip to decide seeding for the region tournament. The seeds will be determined by play on the court, as it should be.
It could be argued that those three extra games take away from playing tougher outside teams that help prepare for the region and state tournaments, but this year that argument wouldn’t hold water. That’s especially true for the girls, where three teams will enter tournament play Tuesday at Jones County with 13 wins or better.
Evans will be the only boys team entering with a record above .500, but the other sub-region teams had better not discount the rest of the county, especially if a game is tight coming down the stretch.
With Grovetown entering the fold with Lakeside and Greenbrier, competition has been fierce among the county teams for both the boys and the girls.
I know, because just about every doubleheader I’ve covered this year – and usually while on a tight deadline – has involved one or both games going down to the wire or into overtime.
The GHSA should get high praise for aligning the Columbia County schools, with the exception of Harlem, into one sub-region. Some might dispute this, but I don’t think there really is a home-court advantage this year. If it were last year and South Effingham was coming into a county gym, then I would say there was, but most games have been filled with about the same and equally vocal number of fans for the home and visiting teams.
When Region 3-AA opens its region tournament, does it officially start Monday or Tuesday?
There are four teams in Harlem’s 2B sub-region, and just three in 2A, so to allow everyone the experience of playing in a tournament, the powers that be determined that the two bottom teams in Harlem’s sub-region will have a play-in game Monday.
And as luck would have it, Harlem is the No. 3 seed. Despite the fact the Bulldogs thrashed Screven County twice, the teams will meet up at the tournament site at Laney High School Monday at 6:30 p.m. This gives the winner the right to sap some energy from their legs before facing a yet-to-be-determined foe in the tournament on Wednesday.
The play-in game works the opposite for the Lady Bulldogs, who face Screven County at 5 p.m. Monday as the No. 4 seed.
If the regular season games aren’t going to count, then what’s the point in having them?