Chipley, FL---And then there were three, just three area boy's basketball teams playing on the high school level in our area.
Those three, Chipley, Malone and Rutherford, all gearing up for a trip to Lakeland, site of the state finals this week.
For Chipley it is a trip back to Lakeland for coach Joel Orlando and his program. Just two years ago the Tigers won their first state championship, and are now gunning for a second title in three years.
Chipley, now 22-2, with successive playoff wins over Port St. Joe and West Gadsden last week. The win over the Panthers in the region final Saturday, vaulting Chipley into the 1-A semifinals Wednesday at 1:30 eastern against a 19-8 Hamilton county team. And frankly it's a team coach Orlando knows little about.
"Well we haven't had a whole lot of time to gather much information. We have an idea from a few phone calls but we're going to be going in pretty much with our game plan. And we're just gonna try to stick with ours and go from there."
And with the likes of Trent Forrest and Tyrome Sharp leading the way, the Chipley game plan is pretty tough to beat.
The Tigers loading up the bus and heading to Lakeland Monday, so they get the advantage of a day off in between traveling and playing that semifinal at 1:30 eastern against Hamilton.
Again, coach Orlando, his staff, a few of these players with the experience of going to Lakeland a couple of years ago, so experience a plus for Chipley.