Granted, the first day of the District 1-5A girls basketball tournament was nearly a week away, but as of early Wednesday afternoon the matchups had not been established.
That was necessitated by a three-way tie for second in the five-school district. What was apparent on Wednesday was that top-seeded Bay awaited the winner of Tuesday’s play-in game in the second semifinal on Friday evening.
Otherwise, West Florida is preparing to open the tournament on Tuesday against the No. 4 seed, expected to be determined by a coin toss that would slot Arnold, Rutherford and host Gulf Breeze into their respective games.
Championships in all seven districts involving area schools will be 7 p.m. local time on Saturday.
District 1-1A being hosted by Poplar Springs had a similar logjam to 1-5A with four teams finishing with identical district records. Most tournaments begin on Tuesday evening, the lone exception District 3-1A being hosted by Ponce de Leon that begins on Monday.
Mosley expects to be closer to full strength than any time in the past month when it competes in 2-6A at Niceville. The specter of unbeaten Choctawhatchee provides the backdrop for that grouping.
“I think they had a couple of close games when they went down South and played, but its going to take a superior game if we meet up with Choctaw to win,” Mosley coach Steve Canfield said.
The Dolphins, 18-5, open against Fort Walton Beach at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Four of Mosley’s defeats, two each to FWB and Choctaw, came during district play.
“Both times we’ve played Fort Walton it’s been close,” Canfield said. “We’re getting Hazel White back, that’s going to be a big help. And recently we were missing Kiana Yangson with a concussion. We’ll have eight varsity bodies and two JV girls up so we can scrimmage.”
The District 1-5A tournament being hosted by Gulf Breeze has the possibility of some games played in Bay County. That would be the result of Arnold, Bay or Rutherford providing an all-Bay County matchup and the trip west being waived.
Walton appears to be the frontrunner in three-school District 1-4A with a bye into the championship game, but a number of the Rural Classification districts could be very evenly contested.
Chipley and Holmes County earned the byes into the semifinals in the 2-2A draw at Freeport and defending state champion Ponce de Leon has shown signs of being vulnerable recently in the 3-1A elimination that it will host and be favored to win.
District 2-6A at Niceville— Tuesday: Niceville vs. Crestview 5:30 p.m. Friday: Mosley vs. Fort Walton Beach 5:30 p.m., Niceville-Crestview winner vs. Choctawhatchee 7 p.m. Saturday: Championship 7 p.m.
District 1-5A at Gulf Breeze— Tuesday: West Florida vs. No. 4 seed 6 p.m. Friday: No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed 5 p.m., play-in game survivor vs. Bay 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Championship game 7 p.m.
District 1-4A at Walton— Friday: Pensacola Catholic vs. Marianna 7 p.m. Saturday: Championship, Pensacola-Catholic-Marianna winner vs. Walton 7 p.m.
District 1-1A at Poplar Springs— Tuesday: Laurel Hill at Poplar Springs 7 p.m., Bethlehem at Milton Central 7 p.m. Thursday: Laurel Hill-Poplar Springs winner vs. Paxton 6 p.m., Bethlehem-Milton Central winner vs. Malone 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Championship game 7 p.m.
District 1-2A at Freeport— Tuesday: Baker vs. Jay 6 p.m., Northview vs. Freeport 7:30 p.m. Thursday: Baker-Jay winner vs. Chipley 6 p.m., Northview-Freeport winner vs. Holmes County 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Championship 7 p.m.
District 1-3A at Ponce de Leon— Monday: Cottondale vs. Vernon 6 p.m., Graceville vs. Wewahitchka 7:30 p.m. Friday: Cottondale-Vernon winner vs. Sneads at 6 p.m., Graceville-Wewahitchka winner vs. Ponce de Leon. Saturday: Championship 7 p.m.
District 1-4A at South Walton— Tuesday: Liberty County vs. Franklin County 4 p.m., West Gadsden vs. Port St. Joe 5:30 p.m., Bozeman vs. Blountstown 7 p.m. Friday: Liberty County-Franklin County winner vs. South Walton 5:30 p.m., West Gadsden-Port St. Joe winner vs. Bozeman-Blountstown winner 7 p.m. Saturday: Championship 7 p.m.