ALBANY --- Want to see the first meeting of the year between Monroe's and Westover's girls and boys basketball teams?
Well, you may have to drop everything your doing at 4:30 p.m. today to do so.
That's when the only valid advanced tickets for the huge rivalry showdown will be on sale at Monroe, according to Dougherty County Public Information Director R.D. Harter, who sent out an e-mail to local media Friday morning to clarify the matter after there was some confusion about advanced ticket sales to the game. Tickets will be $6 for adults and $5 for students. The girls game tips at 6 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7:30 p.m.
Monroe's gym, which seats a little more than 1,000 spectators, is hosting the game rather than its usual spot of the Albany Civic Center (capacity 10,000) the last couple of seasons. Once the gym reaches its max --- there will likely be a standing-room only crowd on hand --- fans will be turned away.
The Monroe-Westover rivalry game is the most widely anticipated basketball duel each and every year in Southwest Georgia. Adding to the intensity this year, Monroe's boys (6-0) enter the game ranked No. 1 in The Herald's Fab 5 Poll, while Westover (5-1) is No. 2. And in the girls game, the Lady Tornadoes (7-0) enter the game as the No. 1 team in the girls poll, while Westover is unranked --- a drastic role reversal from previous years when the Lady Patriots (5-4) were the team on top of the poll coming in and Monroe was considered the underdog.
The teams will meet for a second time Jan. 12 in the Albany Civic Center, which will be considered Westover's home game. Tonight's could not be played in the Civic Center because of a scheduling conflict at the Civic Center, which will host Albany Tech's graduation this evening.