February 11, 2010 9:25:00 AM
Two girls basketball programs rich in tradition will meet at 7 tonight when the Sulligent Lady Blue Devils play host to Red Bay in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A Northwest Sub-Regional Tournament.
Sulligent won Class 3A state championships in 1988 and 1996, while Red Bay won Class 2A titles in 1979, 1980, 1987 and 2001, and a Class 3A crown in 1993.
"Everyone around here knows they''re full of tradition," Sulligent coach Ronnie Hubbert said of Red Bay.
In other AHSAA girls sub-regional games tonight, Lamar County travels to Hatton in the Class 2A Northwest Sub-Regional and Pickens County goes to St. Jude in the Class 2A Central Sub-Regional.
The Alabama Independent Schools Association Class AA State Tournament tips off at 3 p.m. Friday at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., with Pickens Academy playing Crenshaw Academy.
Hubbert is relying on Sulligent''s tradition to get his players motivated for a run at a state championship.
Hubbert recently invited members of Sulligent''s 1996 state championship team to talk to his players. Among the former players to address the team were Nicole Carruth, who played at Alabama, and Lindsay Boyette, who played at Birmingham-Southern.
"It''s been a tradition around here to advance to the regionals and play for state championships," Hubbert said. "(The former players) talked to the kids about what it meant to them and what it means being from a small town trying to win a state championship."
Sulligent will play host to tonight''s game after beating rival Lamar County 54-44 in the championship game of the Class 2A, Area 11 Tournament on Saturday.
n Pickens County at St. Jude: For the second year in a row, the Lady Tornadoes will travel to Montgomery, Ala., to play St. Jude in a sub-regional game.
Pickens County (14-7) will attempt to avenge a loss to St. Jude last season.
"It''s a private school and they seem to get players that are very competitive," Pickens County coach Ike Gipson said of St. Jude. "Even when they lose players they seem to find players to replace them. It''s the same school where Marcus Green played, the Marcus Green who plays at Alabama."
n Pickens Academy vs. Crenshaw Christian: The Lady Pirates will put a 10-game winning streak on the line in the state tournament.
Pickens Academy (25-3) has the best record of the eight teams at the tournament.
Crenshaw (14-12) won a state championship two years ago.
"I got a little bit (about Crenshaw) from a couple of other coaches," Pickens Academy coach Wade Goodman said. "They said they have one guard who is real good. She can shoot it and is a real good ballhandler."