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JHS boys, THS girls have byes

By Stephen Dawkins

One is in the middle of a surprisingly successful season and the other is an established power, but both Jemison’s boys and Thorsby’s girls basketball teams will find themselves in the same position this week: with a first-round bye in the county basketball tournament.
Jemison has won five games this season, coach Stacy McGehee’s first, after winning only a handful of games last season.
The Thorsby girls, meanwhile, are a perfect 10-0 heading into the tournament but were only given the No. 2 seed.
Maplesville is the No. 1 seed.
Those two teams have accounted for three of the last four county titles.
“I would say, from what I’ve seen, I think Maplesville is probably by far the most athletic team I’ve seen,” Thorsby coach Ab Argent said. “By far.”
If the two teams can win one tournament game each, they will meet in the championship game at 5 p.m. on Jan. 16.
First, at 6 p.m. Friday, Thorsby would have to defeat the Isabella-Verbena winner from Tuesday’s game.
Thorsby’s perfect season would be at stake, but THS senior guard Ashlin Hilyer said that has never been the focus.
“That doesn’t even come up in our conversations,” Hilyer said. “[Argent] has pounded in our heads that we have to take it one game at a time.”
Argent said while a bye gives a team a chance to be a little fresher, the off time can also be detrimental.
“It can be good or bad,” he said. “Like us, it will be a week before we play. And the other team will already be used to the court and the environment.”
Jemison’s boys team will be trying to knock off seven-time county champion Chilton County.
At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jemison will play the winner of Tuesday’s Maplesville-Isabella game.