Westbrook boys get ready for regional tourney


Westbrook Christian’s Jonathan Ford goes up for a shot against Section during Friday’s game. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times)


He’s never been there before. Neither has anyone on his team.

But Westbrook Christian boys basketball coach Seth Ford seems relaxed and confident about this week’s Class 2A Northeast Regional tournament at Jacksonville State.

“It’s new to me,” Ford said. “I’m excited to be there but not really sure what to expect.”

Ford’s sixth-ranked Warriors (26-4) face No. 2 Lanett at 1:30 p.m. Monday at JSU. It’s Westbrook’s second trip ever to the regional tournament, the first time coming in 2008.

The Warriors won the Area 11 tournament before beating Section in the sub-regional round Friday night to advance to JSU.

They will be facing a Lanett (24-5) team coming off a 101-24 win over Woodland at sub-region.

Ford sees a very big and athletic team that includes 6-foot-8 center Orendaz Holloway and several others listed at over 6-foot-4.

“It really looks like around the basket they’re tough to handle defensively and offensively,” Ford said. “So rebounding looks like it’s going to be a big factor for us. They’re very good defensively with pressure. To me, they look very disciplined. On offense, it looks like they look for the shot they want.

“But I like our chances. I think we’re going to do good.”

And why wouldn’t he? Junior Colin Edwards has been one of the top players in the area this season on both offense and defense. Jerryn Migliore, Alex Perkins, Jonathan Ford and Austin Lockridge — among others — all are a threat to score from anywhere on the court for Westbrook and provide a good balance.

And don’t worry about the Warriors coming out a bit wide-eyed at the spacious and racous Pete Mathews Coliseum.

“I think it kind of goes both ways,” said Ford when asked about whether nerves could affect his team in the beginning. “I see teams that don’t know any better and they’re excited to be there. They play like they have nothing to lose and play a little bit looser.

“The key is to just prepare the same way you always have. Be excited and be thankful for the opportunity and make the most out of it.”

Westbrook is the only boys team in Etowah County to advance to the regional tournament. Five other teams in the area did earn trips, including No. 2 Collinsville in 1A.

The second-ranked Panthers (27-3) will play No. 6 Ragland at 4:30 p.m. Monday. Spring Garden also earned a spot and will play No. 10 Skyline at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The teams to advance out of the semifinals will square off at 2:15 p.m. Friday for the regional title.

The Ashville Bulldogs (19-11) will play Pisgah (18-10) at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in 3A. The winner will play either Weaver or Holly Pond in the regional final at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

Fort Payne (16-15) landed a spot in the 5A regional and will play Center Point (23-7) at 1 p.m. Tuesday. If the Wildcats advance, they will face either Ramsay or Columbia at 5:45 p.m. Friday.