Tonight the Hanceville Bulldogs will look to not only defend their home court against the Good Hope Raiders, but they will also be looking to avoid area drama and move one step closer clinching the No. 1 seed and hosting rights for the 4A area 11. Good Hope meanwhile will be looking to cause as much chaos as they can by winning and forcing at least a two way tie for 1st(most likely a three way tie pending a Hanceville win at Curry), causing the tiebreaker to be decided by a flip of the coin.
How did we get here? Hanceville, who is two years removed from their Final Four run in 2020, has put together a 14-5 campaign that includes a 6 point win over the Raiders earlier this month and a thrilling 2 point overtime win over Oneonta back in December. Entering the week, they were a win away from clinching the No. 1 seed but fell to Oneonta away by 17.
After dropping area games to Oneonta (by 12) and Hanceville (by 6), Good Hope has responded with a 4 game win streak that included a big 15 point win over the Redskins last Thursday that kept them in the hunt for the No. 1 seed. However, after the win at home over Oneonta, the next domino fell for the Raiders when Hanceville dropped Tuesday’s contest to Oneonta.
Why so much drama for the No. 1 and hosting rights? While both Hanceville and Good Hope would both say that they will play anybody anywhere, this area has shown that the top three teams can all beat each other. That means the game between the No. 2 and No. 3 seed will send someone home who is a very solid basketball team. Winning the No. 1 seed not only gives you a home-court advantage but a much easier first-round matchup against 10-12 Curry.
It’s crazy to think that the tiebreaker isn’t winning percentage from non-area games but a Friday Night Lights style coin flip. Of course, if you’re a Hanceville Bulldog, you’re trying to avoid that tonight at all cost, and if you’re a Good Hope Raider, you probably already have your lucky coin picked out.
These two teams will face off tonight with the area on the line. Will Zach Campbell and Brayden Harris continue this brilliant play, or will Tanner Malin and company cause some chaos? Find out tonight inside Lane Horton Gymnasium at 7 pm!