The TimesDaily Classic boys and girls basketball tournament resumes today with semifinal games being played at Flowers Hall on the campus of the University of North Alabama.
The Florence boys are seeking their third consecutive title. Russellville, which won the first girls TD Classic title, did not make it back to Flowers Hall.
The girls schedule features Lauderdale County vs. Florence at 3:30 p.m., while Deshler plays Mars Hill at 5 p.m.
Boys semifinals feature Brooks vs. Florence at 6:30 p.m., followed by Deshler vs. Mars Hill at 8 p.m.
Three of the four boys teams still alive feature first-year head coaches. Stevie Martin is in his first season at Florence along with Brian Wright at Brooks and Brian Pounders at Deshler. Mars Hill coach Mike Mitchell is the veteran of the group.
On the girls side, three of the four semifinalists play in Class 3A, Area 16.
Deshler coach Jana Killen said her team was eager to play in Flowers Hall after failing to reach the final four last year.
“We’re excited,” she said. “We didn’t get to play over there last year and it’s something we wanted to do.”
Deshler earned its semifinal berth with a 52-40 win against Central. Its opponent, Mars Hill, downed Muscle Shoals 48-34 to reach the semifinals. The Panthers had a big week, winning three times including an upset of top-ranked Lauderdale County.
Coach Ashley Rutledge said her team handled the week well.
“I knew I had to do one thing the day after Lauderdale County and that was bring us down from cloud nine,” she said. “After you beat a big team like that, you are most vulnerable the next night. I was pleased with the way the girls responded (in the first round). This was a good time and a good test for us to prepare us for later in the season when you have to play back-to-back.”
Lauderdale County advanced with a 72-32 win against Russellville, while Florence topped Brooks 43-32 to even its record at 2-2 and earn its semifinal berth.
In boys play, Deshler downed Sheffield and Mars Hill topped Muscle Shoals to earn their semifinal bids out of the Russellville bracket, while Brooks and Florence emerged from the Brooks portion of the bracket.
Championship games are Tuesday with the girls game at 6 p.m. followed by the boys game.