Local prep teams looking ahead to district, regional play

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, February 8, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
As many teams head toward the end of regular season, the spotlight turns to the reason why those teams have played a heavy schedule during the 2021-2022 season.
That reason is the district, regional, sectional, and hopefully a trip to the TSSAA BlueCross State Championship in March.
Coaches will begin meeting early next week to finalize the district playoffs with play-in games starting on Friday, February 18th at various locations for each conference.
Looking at the current conference standings for each of the local schools, some seedings have been identified while others await final results from play this week.
On the boys’ side of play in the Upper Lakes Conference, Volunteer sits in good position to take the number-one seed with a 6-2 overall mark in conference play.
Unicoi Co. has surged to the number-two seed currently with a 4-2 conference record while Sullivan East sits one game back at 4-3.
Coach Lucas Honeycutt’s Elizabethton Cyclones are sitting in fourth place with a 3-4 overall record in the conference. Tennessee High closes out the Upper Lakes boys with a 0-6 record.
In Three Rivers Conference action, Happy Valley sits at the bottom with an 0-8 conference mark. Chuckey-Doak, Johnson County, South Greene and West Greene compose the top four teams in the conference.
The Watauga Valley Conference currently is a two-dog race as the Hampton Bulldogs clutch tightly to a 5-0 conference mark with North Greene nipping at Hampton’s heels with a 4-1 conference slate.
U-H, Unaka, and Cloudland fall in behind the top two teams.
Changing over to take a look at the girl’s side, Elizabethton and Sullivan East are currently even with 6-1 marks with one conference game to go. Should both teams win their final conference game, the Lady Patriots will be the number one-seed and the Lady Cyclones will hold down the two-seed.
Volunteer sits at 4-4 while Unicoi Co. and Tennessee High carry 1-6 records in the conference and are tied at the bottom.
Even though their overall record isn’t glaring at 8-15, the Lady Warriors of Happy Valley sit in second place in Three Rivers Conference play with a 6-2 mark as the Lady Rebels hold the top spot down at 7-0.
Happy Valley has a two-game lead over West Greene and are comfortably ahead of Chuckey Doak and Johnson County.
The Watauga Valley Conference has come down to the same two teams that seem to battle it out for the conference and that is the Lady Huskies of North Greene and the Lady Rangers of Unaka.
Currently, the Lady Huskies hold onto a 5-0 conference slate while the Lady Rangers are one game back at 5-1. Unaka has already hit the 20-game win mark for the season.
Coach Brandon Carpenter has his Hampton Lady Bulldogs sitting in third place with a 2-3 mark while Cloudland is one game back at 2-4. Winless U-H sits alone in the cellar with a 0-5 conference mark.
Big games on tap this week on the boys’ side include a Tuesday slate of Tennessee High at Elizabethton, Sullivan East at Unicoi Co., and Hampton at North Greene.
In girls’ action Tuesday, Tennessee High will be at Elizabethton, Sullivan East at Unicoi Co., and Hampton at North Greene.

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