White County High’s boys basketball team came one step closer to earning a playoff berth on Wednesday without even having to play a game. The Warriors won a coin toss against North Hall (both 7-3 in Region 8A-AAA) for a No. 2 seed in the region tournament and first round bye. That means White County only needs to win one game in the region tournament to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
“It feels good to win the coin toss and have one less game to win to get in the playoffs,” White County coach Mark Carroll said.
Carroll said the coin toss between the two teams was held in Cleveland earlier in the day on Wednesday. During the season, North Hall and White County split the series with each school winning on its home court.
With the second seed to the Region 8-AAA tournament, White County opens tournament play next Thursday at West Hall against an opponent to be determined.
With the No. 3 seed, North Hall opens tournament play on Tuesday at home against the winner of the No. 6 vs. No. 7 game from the South subregion. Trojans coach Benjie Wood was disappointed by the outcome of the coin flip, but knows it was necessary with two teams knotted for the same spot.
“We’d obviously like to have to win just one game to make the playoffs,” Wood said. “But we could have controlled things by winning our games this season.
“Now, we just have to lace up our shoes and go play.”
Franklin County (9-0 in subregion) already owns the top seed for the boys in the North subregion. The Lions (18-5) are currently on a 12-game winning streak and round out the regular season against Chestatee on Friday in Carnesville.
Meanwhile, West Hall (21-4, 11-1 8B-AAA) is the South’s top seed entering tournament play. The Spartans locked up the subregion title with a 74-55 win against Monroe Area last Friday. West Hall wrapped up the regular season with a win against Class AAAA’s Sprayberry on Tuesday in Marietta.
On the girls side, Walnut Grove (10-1 in Region 8B-AAA) is South’s No. 1 seed. Johnson and Gainesville (both 8-3 in subregion play) are currently tied for the second spot. The Lady Knights and Lady Red Elephants face off on Thursday in Gainesville.
In the North subregion, Chestatee (20-4, 9-1) holds a one-game edge over North Hall (13-12, 8-2). A Chestatee win over Franklin County on Friday would clinch the No. 1 seed from the South for the Lady War Eagles.
North Hall and Chestatee split their regular season series, so in the event of a tie, another coin toss would be necessary.
Region tournament brackets will be completed by coaches on Sunday.