One loss and the season is over.
That’s the situation facing five area boys basketball team tonight.
Carbon Hill, Dora, Parrish, Walker and Lynn each put the season on the line in sub-region matchups. All games start at 7 p.m.
Today’s winners advance to next week’s Northwest Regional Tournament at Wallace State-Hanceville.
Two sub-region games take place in Walker County tonight. Fifth-ranked Carbon Hill hosts Vinemont in a Class 3A matchup. Across the county, Fairview travels to Dora in a 4A game. Parrish, Walker and Lynn hit the road tonight.
Here is a look at today’s games.
Vinemont at No. 5 Carbon Hill
A year after reaching the Final Four in Birmingham, Carbon Hill looks to open a long playoff run against Vinemont tonight.
After an up and down first half of the season, the Bulldogs caught fire in mid-January and haven’t lost since.
Carbon Hill (23-7) has won 12 straight games after a four-point loss to Winfield (53-49) on January 10th. In that game, Gerald Smith, the second-leading scorer and leading rebounder went down with injury.
Carbon Hill ran through the Walker County Basketball Tournament without Smith and the Bulldogs have been unstoppable since his return.
Smith scored a game-high 25 points in Carbon Hill’s 58-42 rout of Winfield in the Class 3A, Area 11 Tournament championship on Monday.
Carbon Hill hasn’t lost by more than nine points this season and five of the Bulldogs’ seven losses were by four points or less.
Vinemont (17-12) upset Hanceville — which Carbon Hill defeated in last year’s sub-region round — in the opening round of the Area 12 Tournament. The Eagles also gave Holly Pond a battle in the championship game, losing 59-56.
Carbon Hill is led by senior guard Tylor Owens and Smith as well as seniors Blaine Eads, Kevin Pate and Jake Davis. Davis missed the area tournament due to illness.
Today’s winner faces the winner of the West Morgan (11-19) vs. Sheffield (19-7) game at the regional tournament.
Fairview at Dora
Dora’s Michael Bridges has the Bulldogs within one game of a trip to the Northwest Regional in his first year as head coach.
The Bulldogs (16-12) have hit their stride after a season that included both five-game and four-game losing streaks. Dora enters today’s game against Fairview on a four-game winning steak following an upset win at Corner in the Class 4A, Area 11 Tournament championship game.
In that game, Dora trailed the Yellow Jackets by one point at the half, but outscored Corner 32-15 in the second half en route to a 53-37 win. The victory marked Dora’s first win over Corner in three tries this season.
Dora is looking to make its third regional trip in four years. Former coach Heath Burns guided the Bulldogs to a regional championship and a Final Four runner-up finish in 2009. Dora made a return trip to the regional the following season, losing in the regional championship game.
Fairview (18-12) advanced to the sub-region with a second-place finish at the Area 13 Tournament at Priceville. The Aggies lost 61-49 in the championship game to the host team.
Today’s winner takes on the winner of No. 1 Butler (20-6) and No. 8 Brooks (24-5) at the regional tournament.
Walker at Cullman
Walker runs into Class 5A rival Cullman in its sub-region game today.
The Vikings are in search of a fifth-straight trip to the regional tournament, but will have to take care of the Bearcats on the road to earn a spot at Wallace.
After a slow start to the season, Walker has picked up its play as of late, going 7-5 in its last 12 games. A narrow, two-point loss to Cullman is included during the span. The Vikings (13-17) fell to Cullman 47-45 on the road on Jan. 24.
The Bearcats (19-9) also knocked off Walker 69-59 at Songer Gym in December.
Walker placed second in the 5A, Area 11 Tournament, losing to Mortimer Jordan 42-34 in the championship game. The Vikings trailed 9-0 from the beginning and had just 17 points through three quarters. Despite the sluggish start, Walker cut the gap to two points in the final quarter before falling short.
Cullman had no trouble advancing through the Area 13 Tournament. The Bearcats defeated West Point 85-63 in the area opener. In the championship game, Cullman hammered Brewer 65-37.Brewer upset tournament host Hartselle in the opening round.
Today’s winner takes on the winner of the game between No. 2 Lee-Huntsville (19-10) and Muscle Shoals (20-11) at the regional tournament..
No. 10 Parrish at No. 6 Marion County
A top 10 team will be eliminated tonight at Guin as the 10th-ranked Parrish Tornadoes take on the sixth-ranked Marion County Red Raiders.
Parrish has already faced a stiff schedule this season, losing to top-ranked Pickens County three times this season. Only one of the six teams that defeated Parrish this season didn’t make the sub-region round of the playoffs — Class 5A Briarwood Christian.
The Tornadoes (21-8) get another tough opponent today. Marion County brings a 27-1 record into today’s matchup. The Red Raiders’ only loss came to No. 3 Belgreen 68-48 in the Red Bay Classic on Dec. 17.
Since then, Marion County has reeled off 20 wins in a row. During that span only one team, Hamilton, stayed within striking distance of the Red Raiders, losing 64-59.
Over the last 20 games, Marion County has won by an average of 31 points per game with the most lopsided win coming in a 92-35 victory over Brilliant.
The Red Raiders also topped the century mark against Lamar County, winning 106-64.
Marion County won the 1A, Area 12 Tournament title, beating Lynn 61-35. Parrish placed second in Area 9 Tournament, falling to Pickens County 81-53.
The Tornadoes are 7-2 over their last nine games with both losses coming to Pickens County.
Parrish is led by top scorers Jermichael Harris and Tyler Sims.
Today’s winner faces the winner of the game matching No. 3 Belgreen (26-2) and Decatur Heritage (16-7).
Lynn at No. 1 Pickens County
The Lynn Bears have one of the toughest sub-region matchups in the state as they travel to top-ranked Pickens County today.
Pickens County (23-4) is the defending Class 1A state champion and the team won the Class 2A state title in 2010.
Lynn is coming off a second-place finish in the 1A, Area 12 Tournament while Pickens County rolled past Parrish for the Area 9 Tournament title.
The Bears (15-13) have four seniors on the squad: Grant Lawson, Daniel Cagle, Ben Murphy and Jake Estell.