(Seguin) - The Marion girls basketball program opens its seventh regional tournament appearance in Kollyn McWhinney's 13 seasons as head coach tonight with a 3A Region IV semifinal matchup against Goliad at Seguin's Goldie Harris Gym in the first game of a playoff basketball doubleheader on KWED AM 1580 and Seguintoday.com.
The Marion - Goliad game will tip at 6 p.m., with pre-game coverage at 5:50, and the night-cap will feature the 8 p.m. 5A boys area round game between Seguin and Angleton in Columbus.
Marion enters the regional tournament with a season record of 27-8 after defeating Van Vleck 62-44 in the bi-district round, Blanco 53-33 in the area round, and Palacios 52-50 in a regional quarterfinal matchup that went to double overtime. The Bulldogs finished second in District 27-3A during the regular season, but moved up to the No. 1 playoff seed because district champion Hallettsville had to forfeit two games for exceeding the UIL's regular season limit.
Goliad, coached by Chris Jost, is 27-7 and shared the District 29-3A title with Odem (who faces Poth in the other regional semifinal) during the regular season. The Tigers opened the playoffs with a 54-35 win over George West, followed with a 67-26 dismantling of Corpus Christi-London in the area round, and qualified for the regional tournament with a 40-26 victory over Skidmore-Tynan in the third round.
The Marion - Goliad winner will face the winnner of tonight's 8 p.m. semfinal between Odem and Poth in Saturday's Region IV championship game, slated for a 1 p.m. tip. If Marion advances, Saturday's game will also air on KWED and Seguintoday.com.
All four regional tournament participants were ranked among the state's Top 25 in the TABC's final regular season poll, with Goliad at No. 16, Poth at No. 17, Odem at No. 20, and Marion at No. 22. Two other ranked teams in the region, No. 12 San Diego and No. 18 Hallettsville, have already been eliminated from the playoffs.