The second season begins Monday for teams throughout the state when region tournaments start.
Teams in Region 5-AAAAAA are gearing up for another competitive tournament.
“We have the best region in the state and every game is going to be tough,” Tri-Cities coach Omari Forts said. “You better be prepared to play each night.”
Although his team is seeded fourth, Forts is cautious about playing a lower seeded team. The Bulldogs will play Mays on Wednesday at 4:40 p.m. with the winner advances to the semifinals to play defending state champion Langston Hughes.
“We were a sixth seed last season and we reached the region championship game,” Fort said. “All our teams did well in the state playoffs and we have the defending boys and girls champion.”
By virtual of finishing first in the region in the regular season Langston Hughes boys and Douglas County girls have already clinched a berth into the state playoffs.
Both teams received a bye into the region semifinals, which will take place at Douglas County High on Friday. The finals will also be at Douglas County on Saturday.
The Douglas County girls only loss was at Mays while Alexander handed Langston Hughes its only loss. Langston Hughes played the game without leading scorer and McDonald’s All-American nominee Landers Nolley, who was serving the second game of a two game suspension after being ejected from the Douglas County game.
Douglas County will play the winner of the Creekside against Northgate game while Alexander takes on the winner of the South Paulding against New Manchester contest.
Douglas County defeated both Northgate and Creekside twice during the regular season.
“It’s going to be an interesting tournament,” Douglas County coach Hollis Bethea said. “Every team has to take care of business if they want to get to state. It is going to be a fun tournament.”
New Manchester will play at 7:30 p.m. on Monday as it looks to advance to the 6 p.m. Wednesday game against Alexander. During the regular season, Alexander swept both teams.
“Nothing is going to be easy in this tournament,” said Mays coach William Faulkner, whose team is coming off a win at Alexander in Thursday’s regular season finale.
On the girls side, which will hold its tournament at Mays on Monday and Wednesday, New Manchester will take on the the Langston Hughes against Tri-Cities winner. Alexander will await the Northgate against Creekside winner.
Douglas County will play the South Paulding against Mays winner on Friday at home.