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By RUSSELL TURNER
Local fans have a great opportunity to check out some exciting basketball action next week as Greene County High School will host the Region 7-4A Basketball Tournament beginning Tuesday.
The Lady Wildcats are sitting in a great position as the region’s No. 2 seed and are assured of the opportunity to advance to the first round of the state tournament the following week. The GCHS men are in a much different situation as they enter the tournament as one of the lowest seeds and are in a must-win situation to keep their season alive.
The final pairings for Tuesday’s opening round games remain undetermined with games left on the schedule this week. Coaches are set to meet Saturday to finalize the bracket.
The women’s bracket is a little clearer with Stone County and Greene County firmly set for the top two seeds. Purvis, Poplarville, Forrest County AHS and Sumrall will all play on Tuesday in women’s action. Two of those teams will advance to play Stone County and the Lady Cats on Thursday.
There is a log jam at the top of the standings on the men’s side with Forrest County, Stone and Purvis battling it out for the top two seeds and the opening round byes that come with that. Poplarville, Sumrall and the Wildcats are set to play Tuesday for certain.
Coach Dale Kimble says he is excited about hosting the tournament and is hoping for a great home court atmosphere.
“I feel really good about our chances,” Kimble said Tuesday. We are playing better and I think our defensive intensity has gotten better.”
“I just hope we can keep everyone healthy.”
The Lady Wildcats had laid claim to the number two seed last week, but took care of business anyway on the road at Sumrall on Friday to solidify that status. GCHS jumped out to a 26-9 lead after the first period against the Bobcats and cruised to a 68-46 win.
Ten different Lady Wildcats got in on the scoring action with seniors Destiny Eubanks and Bre Brown leading the way. Eubanks finished with 15 points, while Brown had 14. Both players pulled down five rebounds.
Junior Gen Walley had another solid game with eight points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. Sophomore Charlee Meadows had seven points and a team-high four assists. Junior Kat Garrett led the team with four steals and also added six points.
The win pushed Kimble’s squad to 7-2 in region play as they set their sights on a tournament title.
The Lady Cats went for their 20th overall win of the season at home Tuesday night against Poplarville and will wrap up regular season play with a home game against George County on Friday.
The Wildcat men’s hopes of possibly moving up to a No. 4 seed in the tournament were dashed on Friday as they fell to Sumrall by a 55-40 margin, dropping to 1-8 on the year in region play. Sumrall, who claimed their first win of the year with the victory, jumped out to an 11-point lead after the first period and GCHS just could not recover.
No individual statistics were available at press time.
The Herald plans to post the tournament pairings and game times via its online edition after Saturday’s coaches’ meeting. Tickets for each night’s slate of games will be $7 at the gate. Only official state passes will be accepted for admission. No local passes will be accepted.