The Jackson County Basketball Tournament is one of the county’s top sporting events each year.
For one week each season, fans from all corners of the county and all points in between crowd into a gym and cheer on their team while watching others.
During my time covering the tournament for The Sentinel, I’ve witnessed a lot of memorable moments.
This year the tournament is at Woodville. The last two times the tournament was played at WHS, the varsity boys champion had a 50-point scorer. North Sand Mountain’s Cole Hicks (now NSM’s head coach) scored 50 points in a 2003 championship game win over Pisgah while Chance McCarver (now a Skyline assistant) scored 56 in a triple-overtime win over Pisgah in 2010. The latter game remains one of the most memorable I’ve covered in any sport.
Will we see another 50-point performance in the finals? There are certainly some players who are capable of filling it up.
This year’s varsity divisions have differing feels.
Section is a decided favorite on the varsity boys side. But as coach Jamie Pruett noted after his team received the No. 1 seed, being the favorite “doesn’t guarantee you anything.” Section has won 11 of its last 12 games, but the Lions are sure to draw the best efforts from opponents in the tournament.
The varsity girls division has wealth of strong teams, including three that are ranked (Pisgah in 3A, Skyline in 1A and Section is 2A) and another with a strong case to be (NSM in 3A). And there is also North Jackson, which has won four its last six games with the two losses coming to 6A Fort Payne and 7A Gadsden City.
Pisgah varsity girls head coach Carey Ellison believes a number of teams could be hoisting the championship trophy two weeks from today.
“There are four or five teams that could get hot and win it,” he said.
Both tournaments will be extremely interesting to watch. But that’s nothing new.
The brackets are done. The seedings are set. Champions will be crowned. Jackson County loves basketball, and the is a week-long celebration of that affection known as the Jackson County Tournament is almost here.