Postseason basketball is finally here.
Harlem's girls basketball team will hit the court at Cross Creek at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the first round of the Region 3-AAA Tournament.
It'll be the first postseason game of the year for Columbia County basketball.
The bigger question is: When will the last one be?
Both Harlem basketball teams must win two games to make it to the state playoffs. Greenbrier and Evans need only one.
Of course, the Greenbrier girls have to be the favorite this year to not only make the state playoffs but also to last the longest. They've got the easiest road to the state tournament with the only home region game in the county. The Lady Wolfpack will play Tuesday at home against either Brunswick or Wayne County.
After that, could they make another run all the way to the state semifinals again? Their key players are a year wiser, but the height issue that plagued them in the state semifinals last year has only gotten worse, and the shooting hasn't looked as good lately.
Then again, it's hard to question the ability of a team with a 25-0 record.
Greenbrier's opponents this year have yet to really give them a challenge. May I suggest a possible state playoff warm-up game? Greenbrier girls vs. the junior varsity boys champion Lakeside Panthers. If Tiffany Blackburn's hitting the 3-pointer, I'll give it to Greenbrier by five points.
The other teams with the best shot at making the state playoffs are on the boys side of the court. Evans, the Region 3B-AAAA three-seed, and Greenbrier, the four-seed, will each play in win-or-go-home games on the road to open up region tournament play.
Considering the competition this year, an optimistic Columbia County fan can make a good argument that the north subregion will sweep the south in the first round of the tournament much like the baseball region tournament last year.
A pessimist would throw out the reminder that the boys public school basketball season in Columbia County could be over before Wednesday.
Let the games begin.
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