Chipley, FL---In the wake of the Chipley girl's basketball team losing Thursday in the 1A state championship game, Chipley boy's head coach Joel Orlando telling me Thursday afternoon it's up to his team to take the pall their community is feeling, and turn it around.
Orlando says it's the job of his team to put a smile back on the face of local fans up there. They get the chance to do that Friday.
The 21-2 Tigers host 19-4 West Gadsden Friday night in the 1A region final, with the winner punching it's ticket to Lakeland and the state semi's.
Like in the region semifinal win over Port St. Joe Tuesday, Chipley gets to host Friday night, and that, says coach Orlando, is a big advantage indeed.
"Well just having our Chipley fans, the school, the community, the student body, they've just been so supportive. And obviously you felt that the other night with their energy. They're are 6th man, they're our Tiger nation. And it's a huge advantage for us to have familiar faces in the gym and people that are supporting us."
The Panthers, who are gunning for a return trip to Lakeland, they made it all the way to the 1A final last year, are coming off a 7 point win over Northview.
That game in Chipley set for a 7 o'clock start. .The other 1A region semi for our area Friday pits Paxton and Malone in Malone.