Frederica Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams enter the Region 2-3A tournament today as the No. 1 seeds. Perfect records in region play during the regular season earned both that distinction.
The Frederica boys (14-4 overall, 8-0 region) face Edmund Burke in the semifinal today with the winner going to the region title game Friday. Thursday’s game is slated for 8:30 p.m. in Waynesboro as Edmund Burke is the host school for both tournaments.
The teams are playing for playoff seeding and while winning the region title is a goal, Knights coach Carl Nash believes it’s unfair to hold region playoffs.
“I’m not a big proponent of region tournaments,” he said. “Your body of work should mean more. We went 8-0 in the region and should be a No. 1 seed going into the state tournament.”
The winners of the region tournament will be the No. 1 seed with the tournament runners-up earning the No. 2 seed. The consolation winners will be the No. 3 seed, and the consolation losers will be the No. 4 seed.
Winning the tournament would guarantee Frederica one home game for the first round the GISA Class 3A tournament before it moves to neutral sites for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
The immediate challenge facing Nash is the health of his team. The flu bug, along with respiratory and throat infections, have Nash trying to determine which players will be healthy enough to play.
“It’s really hit us hard,” he said. “We can’t complain about it. We just have to go in with the players we have.”
The Lady Knights (15-4, 8-0) has mostly avoided the respiratory problems plaguing the boy’s team, said girls coach Sarah Helder.
“We’re OK,” she said. “We have a couple of girls not feeling great. We’ve been emphasizing rest and staying hydrated.”
Helder said the Lady Knights have been playing their best basketball of the year. They beat a Pinewood team on their home court tofor the first time in at least two decades to close out the regular season.
Pinewood was projected as a Final Four team in the preseason polls.
“That’s the best we’ve played all year,” Helder said. “They’re clicking, chemistry wise.”
The girls team faces a Bulloch Academy team they beat twice in the regular season, including a win by four points the last time they faced each other. The Lady Knights’ semifinal is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Helder said her players have a strong bond that makes them play hard for each other without worrying about their record. The girls team is also guaranteed to host at least one GISA playoff game, win or lose in the region playoffs.
“There’s more to play for than the playoffs,” she said. “They want to win and compete hard.”