ECHS begins area tournament this weekend
By By Paul Keane
Escambia County High School's boys and girls basketball teams will be vying for an eventual slot in the Class 5A Final Four in Birmingham when the Blue Devils and Lady Blue Devils open play in area tournaments this weekend.
The boys squad will travel to Wilcox-Central High School on Saturday to face Charles Henderson in a first round game. Tipoff for that contest is slated for 6 p.m.
Winners from that game will advance to the championship game, to be played at Wilcox-Central on Tuesday night. Both of the winners from Saturday night's contests will automatically advance to sub-regional contests, with the area tournament champion hosting that game on either Feb. 13 or 14 and the loser of the title game having to travel.
For the girls squad, Greenville High School awaits ECHS on Friday night when those two schools face off in first round action. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Greenville High School.
The championship game of that tournament is scheduled for Monday night, with the two participants in the championship game advancing to sub-regional action.
Winners from the sub-regional games will then advance to the Southwest Regional Tournament Tournament, to be held at the University of South Alabama Feb. 18-22. A total of 16 teams will compete in four regionals in each classification during that same time.
Game times for the boys regional tournament will be at 1:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, with the championship game set for 2:15 p.m. on Feb. 22. Girls contests will follow a similar time line on the same days.
At the Class 5A Final Four at the Birmingham-Jefferson County Civic Center, the boys semifinals will be at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, with the championship game at 8 p.m. on March 1. For the girls, semifinals will be at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Feb. 28, wtih the title game at 6 p.m. on March 1.