Gadsden City girls prepare for No. 2 Shades Valley at regional


Gadsden City’s TK Blount and the Titans play Shades Valley on Wednesday at the Northeast Regional tournament. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times | File)


It’s become old hat for coach Jeremy Brooks and the Gadsden City girls basketball team.

Brooks’ Titans will be making their fifth straight appearance at the Northeast Regional tournament at Jacksonville State University this week. They play Class 6A, No. 2 Shades Valley at noon Wednesday.

Gadsden City (22-8) is looking to advance to the Final Four in Birmingham for the first time since it lost to Sparkman in the championship game in 2007. The previous five seasons it has lost to Hoover at JSU, and the Lady Bucs went on to either win the state title or finish runner-up each time.

And while Hoover isn’t at the Northeast Regional this season, Shades Valley (27-1) certainly will prove just as tough to get past Wednesday.

“We’re going to have to be clicking offensively,” Brooks said. “Defensively, we’re pretty solid. But they’re such a good team, they’re going to score points.”

Shades Valley’s versatile offensive and defensive styles have given problems for their opponents this season. Brooks said the Mounties will press but also mix in 1-2-2 and 2-3 zones in the halfcourt.

One advantage the Titans may have is in the frontcourt with junior Dajia Williams. The 6-foot-3 post player has excelled in the postseason, averaging 20 points per outing through the area tournament and in Thursday’s sub-region win against Lee-Huntsville.

“She’s really getting some confidence now and starting to look to score more, and that’s what we’ve needed this year,” Brooks said. “With (Shades Valley’s) quickness, they’re going to dig in and dig down and help with the guards.”

The winner of the game takes on either No. 6 Huntsville or No. 8 Mountain Brook at 9 a.m. Friday for the championship.

Gadsden City is one of seven area girls basketball teams to reach the regional round.

Class 1A, Area 10 rivals Spring Garden and Cedar Bluff reached the tourney. Spring Garden (18-12) takes on No. 7 Ragland (23-7) at 3 p.m. Monday, while Cedar Bluff (15-15) plays Skyline (21-8) at 6 p.m. Winners of those semifinal games play in the regional championship at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

In 2A, No. 9 Sand Rock (21-8) plays Lanett (17-10) at noon Monday. The winner will face either No. 1 Woodland or No. 3 North Sand Mountain at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Piedmont (26-6) and No. 8 Ashville (27-3) both reached JSU in 3A and could meet in the regional title game. Piedmont plays No. 7 Holly Pond at 9 a.m. Thursday in the semifinals, while Ashville faces No. 4 Pisgah (21-7) at noon Thursday. The championship game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

In 4A, No. 10 Cherokee County (24-6) plays No. 9 Randolph at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The winner plays either Madison County or Anniston in the title game at 9 a.m. Saturday.