February 9, 2013

Raiders open up Region 7 basketball tourney

TUNNEL HILL — Southeast Whitfield High School’s boys will be the first local team to tip off as the Region 7-4A basketball tournament begins today at Dalton High.

The Raiders will take on LaFayette at 4:30 p.m. in a battle of Sub-region 7B-4A foes, with the winner advancing to face Sub-region 7A-4A No. 4 seed Pickens at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Southeast is the No. 6 seed in the six-team sub-region, while LaFayette finished as the No. 5 seed.

“We feel like we have just a good of chance as they do,” Southeast coach Jake Dickey said. “It will be a toss-up.”

Southeast (4-21) and LaFayette (10-14) split the two meetings they had this season. The Ramblers beat the Raiders 70-41 on Jan. 26 in LaFayette after losing 55-51 on Jan. 8 in Dalton. The win against LaFayette was one of just two victories in sub-region play this season for the Raiders, who also beat Ridgeland within the same week.

“(LaFayette) played man-to-man the second time, and that had a lot to do with (the loss),” Dickey said. “I think the boys are excited. They are ready to play and we will see. Tournament time is fun because you have to be at your best. It is kind of a home game for us. A lot of these kids have played there their whole lives.”

Southeast is led by sophomore forward Chaz Payne, who is averaging 11.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.

Only two tournament games are scheduled for today, starting with a 3 p.m. girls matchup between two Sub-region 7B-4A teams from Walker County as sixth-seeded Ridgeland takes on No. 5 seed LaFayette.

The tournament resumes Mon-day at Dalton High, where it will continue throughout the week. The event is single-elimination until the semifinals, and the top four finishers will advance to the state tournament.

The Southeast-LaFayette winner advances to take on Sub-region 7A-4A No. 4 seed Pickens at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The winner of the Ridgeland-LaFayette girls game will play 7A No. 4 seed Cass at 4 p.m. Monday. Other games on Monday will pit 7A girls No. 5 seed Cedartown versus 7B No. 4 Heritage-Catoosa at 7 p.m. and 7B boys No. 4 seed Ridgeland against 7A No. 5 Cedartown at 8:30 p.m.

In Tuesday’s girls games, Southeast, the No. 3 seed from 7B, will play 7A No. 2 seed Pickens at 4 p.m. Dalton, the No. 2 seed from 7B, will take on 7A No. 3 Gilmer at 7 p.m. In boys action, 7B No. 3 Heritage-Catoosa will face 7A No. 2 River Ridge at 5:30 p.m., while 7B No. 2 Dalton will take on 7A No. 3 Cass at 8:30 p.m.

The top three seeds from each sub-region received a bye into the quarterfinals, and the No. 1 seeds won’t play until Wednesday.

In boys games that day, 7A No. 1 Gilmer will play either Cedartown or Ridgeland at 5:30 p.m., while 7B No. 1 Northwest Whitfield will face Southeast, LaFayette or Pickens at 8:30 p.m. In girls action, 7A No. 1 River Ridge will play either Cedartown or Heritage at 4 p.m. and 7B No. 1 Northwest will play either Ridgeland, LaFayette or Southeast at 7 p.m.

On Friday, boys semifinals are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with girls semifinals at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Saturday, play begins with the girls consolation game at 3 p.m., followed by the boys consolation game at 4:30 p.m., the girls championship at 6 p.m. and the boys championship at 7:30 p.m.

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