The skinny: After finishing state runner-up last season, the fifth-ranked Tigers are looking to return to state with a young team. The roster includes two seniors and three eighth-graders play significant roles. ... Interior player Kasey Sparks provides a strength. She had 15 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots and two steals in a sub-regional win against No. 4 Lexington. ... Allie Kennedy also is a scoring threat. ... The Tigers’ only loss against in-state competition was to 3A No. 2 Lauderdale County. ... It’s Red Bay’s sixth straight trip to a regional. The Tigers open regional play against Cold Springs (20-9), which has made a combined 29 3-pointers in its last two games. ... This is Cold Springs’ 10th consecutive regional tip, having won state titles in 2008 and 2009.
The skinny: Second-ranked Hubbard is the two-time defending regional champion, winning a state title in 2011. The Chiefs lost in the regional final in 2010, and Hazlewood, which consolidated with Hubbard, won a state championship in 2009. ... Senior guard Alex Gholston makes the Chiefs go. She is averaging 24 points, 11 rebounds and six assists a game. Gholston scored 24 in a 76-52 sub-regional win against Belgreen. ... Hubbard opens regional play against ninth-ranked Falkville (20-4), which is making its first trip to a regional. ... The Chiefs will have to watch out for senior Sydney Moore, who scored 15 points in Falkville’s 58-27 sub-regional win against Marion County.
The skinny: Shoals Christian went into the postseason with nine wins in 24 games but won two of its last three to make a surprise run to the program’s first regional appearance. ... The Flame upset third-ranked Covenant Christian in the first round of the area tournament and won a sub-regional at Tharptown, 53-51, on a last-second shot by Kayln Davis. ... Senior Grace Matthews has returned from a wrist injury and is averaging 12 points a game. Point guard Lacy Lindley leads the Flame, scoring 15 points a game. ... Shoals Christian opens regional play against fourth-ranked Lynn (29-1), which has won 20 straight games since its lone loss to Good Hope. Nineteen of those have come by at least 20 points for Lynn, which is making its fourth straight regional appearance.
The skinny: Brooks is making its third straight trip to a regional and will open against top-ranked Oneonta (28-4). ... The Lions won the Area 15 tournament with a 55-38 win against Priceville before beating Central 46-37 in a sub-regional. ... K’maya Roach has played strong as of late, 16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals and two blocked shots in the last four games. ... Erin Jewell leads Brooks in scoring with 11.8 points a game. ... Oneonta’s losses have all come against ranked teams: 5A No. 1 Brewer twice, 6A No. 5 Bob Jones and 6A No. 10 Austin. The Redskins also won by two at Lauderdale County.
The skinny: Defending state champion Lauderdale County is making its third regional appearance in the last four years. The Tigers open regional play against Winfield (24-6). ... In terms of common opponents, Winfield lost to Red Bay twice this season, once by 13 and the other by 18. Lauderdale County won its only meeting with Red Bay, 57-47. ... Chatara Cox is averaging 16 points a game to lead the Tigers. Karlee Brown and Emma Wallen each are scoring 10 points a game. ... Winfield’s five-guard, 3-point-oriented offense is predicated on driving and kick-out passes to the 3-point line. ... This is Winfield’s third straight regional appearance. Lauderdale County beat Winfield 63-50 in last year’s regional opener.
The skinny: It’s Hatton’s first trip to a regional since 2004, when it lost to Tanner in the regional final. ... The Hornets open against Cold Springs (18-10), which is making its fifth regional appearance in the last eight years. ... Laron Cooper leads Hatton in scoring and is a force on the boards. He had 15 rebounds in a 44-28 sub-regional win against Colbert Heights. ... Jake Bradford is an inside-out scoring threat for the Hornets. ... Cold Springs eked out 61-58 sub-regional win against Altamont, blocking a 3-point shot in the final seconds. ... Chayse Elliott led the Eagles in that game with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
The skinny: Shoals Christian is making its first regional trip since 2010 and third in program history, also having gone in 2006. The Flame open against Marion County (24-6), which lost in the regional final last year. ... Daniel Wood and William Bishop lead Shoals Christian in scoring, each averaging 12 points a game. ... Marion County senior DeShawn Riebeschl presents an inside-out threat with which the Flame must contend. ... Shoals Christian, the Area 16 tournament champion, has relied on an improved defensive intensity during its late-season run, including in 79-50 sub-regional win against Belgreen.
The skinny: Hubbard is making its fourth straight regional trip, including a run to state in 2010. ... The Chiefs were the top seed in the Area 16 tournament but lost to Shoals Christian 51-49 in the final. They won a sub-regional game at Belgreen 66-61 on Friday. ... Deonta Carter led four Hubbard scorers in double-digits with 14 points in that game, and John Owens added 13. ... The Chiefs open against third-ranked Parrish (27-1). ... Parrish’s only loss was against 4A No. 5 Carbon Hill. ... Parrish’s last regional appearance was in 2011 when it beat Hubbard in its opener.
The skinny: The Lions open regional play against Butler (15-11), a rematch of last season’s sub-regional game. The Rebels won at Brooks 44-24 in that game, preventing the Lions from reaching the regional. ... Butler finished state runner-up last season and won state titles the previous two years. ... Brooks is making its first regional appearance since 2005. ... The Lions overcame a slew of injuries to finish the regular season as Area 15 champs and the eighth-ranked team in 4A. ... Holden Corum leads Brooks in scoring and is an inside-out threat. Guards Skyler Beck, Brady Bedingfield and Canaan Sides provide scoring balance, and 6-foot-5 sophomore Cole Blackstock has stepped up in the post. ... Butler needed a last-second layup to win its sub-regional 38-36 at Fairview.
The skinny: Mars Hill is making the trip to Hanceville for the seventh straight year and made the state semifinals in Class 2A last season. ... The Panthers open regional play against Winfield (20-8). ... Landon Willis leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.5 points a game. ... Thomas Swinea, Joe Wilson and Harrison Chastain also are averaging double digits. ... Mars Hill’s veteran-laden roster includes seven seniors. ... The Panthers’ only loss against an opponent in 3A or lower cams against Deshler on Jan. 22. ... Winfield was the Area 14 tournament champion, beating Hamilton 58-53 in the final. It went on to win its sub-regional 53-52 against Danville.