What could have been didn’t happen in 2009-10

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 26, 2010

Three weeks ago, I’d never thought I would be where I am today.

Three weeks ago, I thought that Andalusia’s boys and girls basketball teams would be able to make it to the Class 4A Final 48 tournament in Birmingham this week.

And three weeks ago, I really wasn’t prepared for what was about to unfold.

At the time, area tournaments were taking place and local teams were starting to drop out of the race.

After the area and sub-regional tournaments, only three teams remained — Andalusia boys and girls teams, along with Red Level boys team.

Andalusia’s girls team defeated Thomasville to claim the Class 4A, Area 3 title and went on to hammer Jackson in the sub-regional tournament.

The boys team had no such luck, falling to Thomasville by two points in the area championship in Andalusia.

That next week on the road in Mobile at UMS-Wright, Andalusia managed a 55-45 sub-regional win to earn a ticket to the South Regional tournament that would take place just down the road at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center.

Meanwhile in Red Level, the Tigers defeated Mobile Christian for the Class 2A, Area 1 title.

The next week at the sub-regional tournament, Red Level stomped Millry to earn its seventh trip to the regional tournament.

At this point, I was really excited to be following three teams to Mobile for the regional tournament.

I don’t know what it is about the tournament atmosphere that gets me so excited. I think it is a collection of things from the crowds, the deadlines and the fact that I am watching the best teams out of Covington County trying to get another ticket to Birmingham.

But that didn’t happen.

Last Wednesday night, Red Level drew defending state champion Barbour County in the semifinals at the regional tournament and lost but put up a good fight.

On Thursday, Andalusia’s girls team was knocked out by Brewbaker Tech.

At that point at the tournament, I didn’t know really what to think.

One thing that was scrolling across my brain is that there is only one team left.

At 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, Andalusia’s boys team started its second to last game of the season against Dallas County.

But, they didn’t know it yet that Brewbaker Tech’s boys team would beat them in the finals at the regional tournament.

Andalusia held Brewbaker Tech to 22-20 at halftime last Saturday in the finals, and I thought they had a chance. By late in the third quarter, that chance had slipped away from the Bulldogs and in a way I think the players knew that, too.

And so was the end of a successful 25-6 season.

Now, Brewbaker Tech is in the finals at the state tournament where they will play Ramsay on Saturday morning at 11.

I believe Andalusia could have been playing Columbia in the semifinals at the Final 48 on Wednesday night and could have been playing Ramsay on Saturday.

But, it just didn’t happen the way I thought it would.