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OPINION: Rivals take center stage at county basketball tourney

Rivalries have fueled sports over the years, and it is often these times that captivate even the most casual of fans.

Having a rival is sometimes the driving force that pushes a player or a team to improve, so they can be the one on top next time the two meet.

There will be rivalries galore taking place next week during the 2021 Chilton County Basketball Tournament, and I cannot wait to catch the action.

It will be a little different this year with the boys and girls teams playing at separate sites and attendance expected to be cut to 20% capacity.

Although all the regulations and rules may dampen the atmosphere to a certain degree, it cannot take away from the play on the court, which I can guarantee will be as high as ever.

That’s the funny thing about bragging rights, when they are on the line it brings out a certain energy amongst all those involved.

Each year, it seems like there are unknown players that step out into the spotlight of the big stage and put forth memorable and surprising performances to go along with the expected performances from the players that do it game in and game out.

Which players will step up in a big way this year?

There is an extraordinary crop of talented players that will take the floor at this year’s tournament.

Any one of those players could make a statement for player of the year honors with a marquee showing.

The Thorsby Rebels enter the competition still wearing the crown after the boys and girls both won last year. For the boys, it marked their second straight.

Is another title defense in the cards for the Rebels? There are several teams locally that feel they might have the answer for them.

But as hall of fame wrestler Rick Flair famously said, “To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”

Who will walk away as the county’s best basketball teams? We will know that answer a week from now.