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County represented well in Hanceville

By Staff
Kim West
Two Franklin County basketball teams qualified for the Northwest Regional Tournament and played at Wallace State Community College this week.
Playing in Hanceville can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a school, although a handful of local teams are regular visitors to the spacious Tom Drake Coliseum. The Tharptown girls and Russellville boys just missed making it to the week-long tournament, while the Red Bay girls made a return appearance and the Belgreen girls were making their first trip in five seasons.
Hundreds of students, parents, alumni and fans from Red Bay and Belgreen made the trip down Alabama 157 this week to show their support for the Lady Tigers and Lady Bulldogs.
Despite falling to top-ranked Cold Springs Tuesday afternoon, the undersized Red Bay players and their enthusiastic contingent of orange-and-blue clad fans represented the county well by showing the sportsmanship and class that is as part of the tradition of Franklin County basketball as championship banners and tournament trophies.
Belgreen is the lone remaining team from the county still vying for a trip to the Final Four at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center after the Lady Bulldogs defeated Hackleburg Wednesday afternoon for the third time this year to advance to their first regional final berth since 2003. Belgreen and its raucous traveling band of blue-and-white covered supporters also conducted themselves in winning fashion on and off the court.
Unsportsmanlike conduct and inappropriate fan behavior has taken center stage this week as the boys basketball teams from Carver-Montgomery and Valley were put on probation and removed from the Central Regional Tournament at Alabama State after an ugly brawl erupted between the two teams and their fans Tuesday as Carver was closing out a blowout win over Valley.
This was an isolated, deplorable incident that has unfortunately diverted attention away from all the other teams and their fans that have behaved themselves during their respective regional tournaments this week.
I commend all of our local basketball teams for not only their successes on the hardcourt this season, but also for the laudable way they have represented their communities.
The final numbers on the scoreboard don't always truly tell which teams are winners.