Playoff matchups all but set for Greater Valley Area teams
With Friday marking the end of the regular season, four of the teams from the Greater Valley Area have made the playoffs, two of which have won their region and will host at least one game.
The Bobcats had a rough start to the year, missing the first three weeks of the season due to an outbreak of COVID-19. They weren’t able to get any momentum going when they first came back to play, as they faced the top two teams in their region, losing by 77 to Trinity and Catholic Montgomery.
The Bobcats will miss the 2020 playoffs, but they can try to end their season with momentum if they defeat LaFayette on Friday. If it were to win, Beulah would finish its season winning two of its final three games.
The Rebels were a force to be reckoned with in the AISA this season, getting as high as the No. 2 team in their classification, but a loss to Edgewood put a lot of questions into the back half of their season.
Even with the loss, the Rebels were able to claim their region for the fifth consecutive year. It was also their first Class AA region championship since 2000. The Rebels will host Autauga Academy in the first round of the playoffs next week.
The Bulldogs struggled to start their season, starting 0-4. Of those four losses, the Bulldogs led late in the game in three of them. They also faced off against the top three teams in their region, two of which were ranked in the top-5 for most of the season.
After their fourth loss, the Bulldogs were able to build a winning streak, which catapulted them into the playoffs, as they claimed the fourth and final playoff spot last Friday.
They will travel to No. 3 Leroy in the first round of the playoffs.
The Panthers once again were one of the teams to beat in their classification. They easily won their region, scoring 30 or more points in every region game except one.
Even though they had two regular-season losses, one to Valley and one to 4A’s No. 4 Handley, the Panthers showed what they could do against the top regional teams, defeating then-No. 1 Randolph County by 41 points on the road and shutting out now No. 7 B.B. Comer.
The Panthers will host the winner of Washington County and J.U. Blacksher, who play on Friday night.
While they didn’t move up in their region like head coach John Gartman hoped they would, the Springwood Wildcats are back in the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The Wildcats have shown flashes of what they can do this year, putting up more than 40 points twice this season, but they haven’t been able to put a complete game together for most of the season. That along with facing an extremely tough schedule led the Wildcats to a 3-6 record, but they can add a win to their total on Thursday when they host Lakeside.
The Wildcats will travel to No. 3 Escambia for their first playoff game.
The Rams had a promising start to their season, starting 3-1, but an outbreak of COVID-19 took away any playoff aspirations.
The Rams finished their season with a loss to Robert E. Lee, giving them a 4-5 record in their first season back up at 6A.
Even though they moved up into a very tough area, the Rams showed they could hang with some of the top teams in their region. Outside of the Eufaula defeat on Oct. 2, the Rams were competitive in their losses this year.