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Tourney time in Greenville

It's tournament time here in the city of Greenville. For the people that don the red and blue, this time of year is as common as a road trip to Hooper Academy.

But, the for the folks in the black and gold, being competitive in the area tournament is a new experience.

At this time last year the Greenville Tigers were struggling and hadn't posted an area win all season.

This year that situation has changed and the Tigers have a handful of area wins and have the opportunity to play host to what should be one of the most competitive area tournaments in the southern part of the state.

This tournament, and the one Fort Dale was in last weekend, should not even compare. The Lady Eagles cakewalked their way to the championship by dismantling Hooper and Morgan on back-to-back days.

Despite that, congratulations to both the Fort Dale girls and boys for earning their way back to Faulkner.

The Greenville Tigers varsity will not have the option of a cakewalk when they host the area tournament.

From top to bottom, this year's bracket for Area 3 is dangerous. Any team could take the tournament.

Yes, even Carroll(Ozark).

The Tigers will match-up with the Ozark Eagles in the first round of the tournament. Greenville should pick up the victory against Carroll, albeit a hard fought one. According to Tiger coach Randy Fullington, it's hard to beat a team three times the same year in basketball.

With the exception of the NBA, which is not real basketball, look at the number of times this scenario has played out in college. A team beats a team twice during the regular season and then that team comes back to haunt them in the conference tournament.

If Greenville does not come out for Friday's game amped up and ready to shoot the lights-out, then it could be a long night.

Also in the first round the Eufaula Tigers and the Charles Henderson Trojans play for the right to advance in tourney play.

This game should be the best game of the first round and a preview of the finals. The Trojans and the Tigers are probably the most evenly matched with well acclimated big men and shooters that can burn the net up.

After Friday's first round of action, Monday's final could be nothing more than a high scoring shootout. If Greenville is in, then home court will be in their favor.

If not, then Carroll will be handled relentlessly by the much more mature and stronger Trojans or the middle-aged Tigers.

The first round is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Charles Henderson and Eufaula tip at 6 p.m. with Greenville and Carroll following with a 7:30 p.m. tip.

This is the time of the season when basketball games really matter.

Plus, my other motivation in pulling for the hometown Tigers to win the area tournament is mainly due, in part, to the fact that the Tigers could play Benjamin Russell, my alma mater, in the sub-regionals.

Oh a writer torn between two cities.

It's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the sports editor of the Greenville Advocate. He can be reached by phone at 382-3111 ext. 122 or via email: griffin.pritchard@greenvilleadvocate.com.