If you enjoy high school hoops, now is the time of year when things get really good. It’s the final week of the district regular season and tournament time is nearly upon us. A topsy-turvy last few weeks has given all indications the post-season promises to be very exciting. Normally, we think we have an idea about what is going to happen come tourney time, but this season it may be an anything goes, especially on the boy's side.
As locals look to get on that second season roll, let’s look at a few, ask questions, and start thinking about the answers.
Blackman boys- Having been one of the most solid programs in Tennessee over the past decade, a pair of sub-par performances in recent weeks have folks wondering how brightly the Blaze will burn. Solid fundamentals are a trademark of Barry Wortman-coached teams, but an inability to score at times could spell disaster in what shapes up as a highly competitive Region tourney. Is the streak of ten straight trips to the Sectional in jeopardy???
Blackman girls- Defending state champs and unbeaten, the Lady Blaze have been very good defensively this season. Coach Jennifer Grandstaff has guided this inexperienced group through an improving district. Question is, can they figure out how to create enough offensive opportunities to make a run at a repeat???
Riverdale boys-Written off a few weeks ago because of their youthful lineup and dismal district record, these young Warriors have suddenly won two in a row. A very tough early schedule is paying off for masterminding head coach Mike Voss. Peaking for the playoffs is the goal of every coach. Is Riverdale getting hot at the right time???
Oakland boys- First-year coach Dyron Birdwell has been on a roller coaster ride throughout this season. At times his Patriots show promise and on other occasions are questionable. The pieces of the puzzle for a post-season run appear to be there, but can they be put together???
Stewart’s Creek girls- A very solid season has the Creek thinking about perhaps a second trip to the State tournament. Head coach Bianca Hensley has handled her squad quite well and thousand-point scorer Zyion Shannon gives them a go-to player. Do they pose a real threat to Blackman in the Region tournament???
Stewart’s Creek boys-Senior-laden and with athletic talent, this edition of Creek kids have been solid to say the very least. Their only loss in district play has been to the mighty Cane Ridge. The region tournament is in their gym this year. Can coach Howard Pride figure out a way to guide his troops to a first-ever Sectional???
LaVergne boys- A team that has been like most of the rest of the county (up and down), the Wolverines are looking for some consistency. By sweeping long-time rival Smyrna, LaVergne is guaranteed a spot in the region. Able to match up with all of the other teams except Cane Ridge (which challenges everyone), this group could make noise. Can coach Tony Rutland figure a way to get four solid quarters from a team that has talent???