Wetumpka boys basketball at Benjamin Russell

Christophyer Foster (1) goes for a lay up at an AHSAA boys basketball game between the Benjamin Russell Wildcats and the Wetumpka Indians at Benjamin Russell High School in Alex City, Ala. on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. [Photo/Jake Arthur]

Four high schools will compete in area championship games this weekend.

The Elmore County and Tallassee boys’ basketball teams, Stanhope Elmore girls’ basketball team and both Wetumpka teams will participate in state championship games on Friday and Saturday.

The Wetumpka Indians and the Stanhope Elmore Mustangs girls’ teams will play on Friday night at 6 p.m. with Wetumpka hosting. The Indians were the top seed in the three-team tournament and received a bye to the finals, while Stanhope Elmore had to take care of the Benjamin Russell girls on Tuesday.

Stanhope Elmore defeated Benjamin Russell, 70-36.

Brooke Burkette scored 22 points in the game, putting her 11 shy of the 1,000-point mark. Kelbi Johnson had 16 points while Jayden Thomas had 14 points.

Kelvin Stokes, head coach of the Mustangs girls team, said that everyone knows what’s at stake on Friday night.

“We must be focused and engaged for all four quarters,” Stokes said. “We must stay out of foul trouble and play sound defense. We must play championship basketball in order to move on and host our sub region.”

The Wetumpka boys’ team, meanwhile, will play Benjamin Russell High on Saturday in the area championship. On Wednesday, Benjamin Russell narrowly defeated the Stanhope Elmore Mustangs, 66-64 in a game that went down to the final few seconds.

On Friday night, the Elmore County Panthers will take on Marbury High in Eclectic. Elmore County advanced to the finals due to a forfeit from the Holtville Bulldogs due to members of the Holtville team quarantining due to a possible exposure to COVID-19. The Elmore County/Marbury game is expected to start at 6 p.m.

The Tallassee Tigers, meanwhile, will do battle with Pike Road that night, starting at 7 p.m. Tallassee, like Elmore County, advanced due to a COVID-related forfeit. Brewbaker Tech, their scheduled opponents earlier this week, had to forfeit.