Basketball regular season winding down

In less than a week, we’ll be starting division tournaments, and it seems like basketball has flown by.
For the most part, the majority of our area teams have their regular season standing figured out, but there are still some interesting matchups that could be coming our way in division tournaments.
On the boys side of things, Amory and Aberdeen are both still going pretty strong, while each had a tough loss over the weekend – Amory’s to Aberdeen, and Aberdeen’s to Mooreville.
The overtime division loss to Mooreville was obviously more costly for Aberdeen – it more than likely cost them first place in Division 2-3A for the regular season. The bright side is that they look like a lock for second place after starting out 3-0 in division play. Best I can tell, it would take a South Pontotoc win over Mooreville and a Nettleton win over Aberdeen.
Every team that Aberdeen has lost to so far this season has been a quality opponent – that mix includes Baldwyn, Amory and Shannon – and you can bet that Mooreville isn’t looking forward to seeing them again in the division tournament.
Amory has another sure spot in their division tournament. After beating Shannon and having a good shot on the No. 2 spot, they didn’t need that Shannon win over Corinth. It’s no first-round bye in the division tournament for the Panthers, but the bright spot is that their likely opponent is Tishomingo County, who they’ve beat twice already, both times by double digits.
This to me is one of the more difficult divisions (as it usually seems to be), and I think it’s going to make for an exciting division tournament. It’s already a tangled web between the top three teams – everyone’s beaten everyone else with the exception of Amory over Corinth. And that matchup will be interesting as well – don’t forget that Amory had a nine-point lead at the half over Corinth the last time the two played. An Amory win over Mooreville on Friday night would give them a big confidence booster heading into the division tournament.
On the girls side, Hamilton had been down after a hot start to the season but just broke a six-game losing streak on Friday by beating Hatley – their fourth win of the season over them after having gone several years without beating them.
Maybe that win will be just the thing the Lady Lions need to get their momentum back, but there’s a tough division tournament ahead for them as well. Right now they’re looking to be either a No. 3 or 4 seed, more than likely a No. 4 seed, which could set up another Hamilton/Hatley matchup in the first round of the division tournament.
While Hamilton has won all four of the previous matchups this season, I’ve gotten to see three out of those four, and all of them have been back and forth games that anyone could have come out on top in. If this is your first round matchup, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Hatley could play spoiler.

Melissa Meador is the Sports Editor of the Monroe Journal. Contact her at melissa.meador@journalinc.com or follow her on Twitter: @MelissaMeador14.