Local teams set to battle for region championship

Published 12:49 pm Thursday, February 24, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
With the district tournaments in their rear view mirror, eight local teams are still alive and fighting to gain an elusive trip to the state basketball tournament in Murfreesboro with girls state scheduled for March 8 – March 12 and the boys state March 15 – March 19.
But one can’t put the cart before the horse as first a team must reach the finals of the region to qualify for a sectional berth where winners will advance to the state tournament.
Here is a look at each team that is slated for region play and the schedule.
Girl’s Regionals
Class 3-A
The Elizabethton Cyclones may be starting to hit what many refer to as a ‘peak’ where teams are taking all of their regular-season play and carrying it over in a big way to post-season play.
Elizabethton took care of business handily in the District 1 3-A tournament at Volunteer High School where the Lady Cyclones received a first-round bye before defeating host Volunteer and dismantling Sullivan East in the championship.
The Lady Cyclones open region play Friday at home against Cherokee at 7 p.m. and with a win will advance to Greeneville High School on Monday night to take on the winner of the Grainger-Volunteer contest at 6 p.m.
That winner will be in the championship on Wed. March 2 at 7 p.m. and will be qualified for a sectional contest with location depending on the champion and runner-up position. The champion will have a home sectional while the runner-up will go to take on the Region 2 Champion.
Schedule
Regional Quarterfinals
Friday, February 25
All games at 7 p.m.
Cherokee at Elizabethton
Volunteer at Grainger
Unicoi Co. at Greeneville
Cocke Co. at Sullivan East
Regional Semifinals
Greeneville High School
Monday, February 28
6 p.m. Eliz./Cher. winner vs Grain./Vol. winner
7:30 p.m. Green./Unic winner vs East/Cocke winner
Regional FInals
Greeneville High School
Wednesday, March 2
7 p.m. Semifinals winners
Sectional
Saturday, March 5 7 p.m.
R1 Winner vs R2 Runner-up @ R1 winner home court
R1 Runner-up vs R2 Champion @ R2 winner home court
Class 2-A
The Happy Valley Lady Warriors came within a whisper of beating South Greene in the District 1 2-A tournament at Daniel Boone losing a heart breaker in the championship contest by only one point.
However, by finishing second, the Lady Warriors will be hosting the quarterfinal contest on their home court Friday night as a result of the second-place finish.
Coach Dana Hill with assistant Rik Anderson will have the Lady Warriors ready to play against the visiting Cumberland Gap Lady Panthers for a 7 p.m. tip off.
The winner of that contest will travel to Gatlinburg-Pittman High School for a regional semifinal against the winner of the Gatlinburg-Pittman and Chuckey-Doak contest on Monday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Schedule
Regional Quarterfinals
Friday, February 25
All games at 7 p.m.
Pigeon Forge at South Greene
West Greene at Alcoa
Chuckey-Doak at Gatlinburg Pittman
Cumberland Gap at Happy Valley
Regional Semifinals
Gatlinburg-Pittman High School
Monday, February 28
6 p.m. S. Green./PF winner vs W. Green./Alcoa winner
7:30 p.m. C-D/Gat. Pitt winner vs C.G/HV winner
Regional FInals
Gatlinburg-Pittman High School
Wednesday, March 2
7 p.m. Semifinals winners
Sectional
Saturday, March 5 7 p.m.
R1 Winner vs R2 Runner-up @ R1 winner home court
R1 Runner-up vs R2 Champion @ R2 winner home court
Class 1-A
Carter County will be well represented in the Girl’s Class 1-A Regions as three teams will be participating – Cloudland, Unaka, and Hampton.
The Cloudland Lady Highlanders secured a home game in the regional quarterfinals by virtue of a second-place finish in District championship this past week. Cloudland will be hosting Hancock Co. for their first contest in the regional.
With their overtime comeback win over Hampton, the Lady Rangers of Unaka will go on the road Friday night to pay a visit to Washburn while Hampton will be on the road as well taking on Cosby.
This region sets up to be a classic as any of the teams could come out as the victors. Time and the games themselves will tell the story by the time they get to Wednesday, March 2.
Schedule
Regional Quarterfinals
Friday, February 25
All games at 7 p.m.
Jellico at North Greene
Unaka at Washburn
Hampton at Cosby
Hancock Co. at Cloudland
Regional Semifinals
Walters State C.C.
Monday, February 28
6 p.m. Jell./N. Green. winner vs Unaka/Wash. winner
7:30 p.m. Ham./Cos. winner vs Han./Cloud. winner
Regional FInals
Walters State C.C.
Wednesday, March 2
7 p.m. Semifinals winners
Sectional
Saturday, March 5 7 p.m.
R1 Winner vs R2 Runner-up @ R1 winner home court
R1 Runner-up vs R2 Champion @ R2 winner home court
Boy’s
Class 3-A
Coach Lucas Honeycutt’s Cyclones came oh so close to capturing a District Championship before falling by one point to Unicoi County in the District 3-A Boy’s Tournament at Volunteer High School.
After having to win a play-in game against Tennessee High, all the Cyclones did was to defeat the one-seed Volunteer Falcons to advance to the championship game against Unicoi Co.
With the second place finish, the Cyclones now get a home game to open the regions against Cocke County on Saturday at 7 pm. A win there would pit the Cyclones in a tough contest against the winner of the defending state champion Greeneville Greene Devils and Sullivan East.
This could possibly be one of the toughest regions in the state with those who have made it to this point in the season.
Schedule
Regional Quarterfinals
Saturday, February 25
All games at 7 p.m.
Claiborne at Unicoi Co.
Volunteer at Grainger
Sullivan East at Greeneville
Cocke Co. at Elizabethton
Regional Semifinals
Greeneville High School
Tuesday, March 1
6 p.m. Claib./UC winner vs Vol./Grain. winner
7:45 p.m East/Green. winner vs Cocke/Eliz. winner
Regional FInals
Gatlinburg-Pittman High School
Thursday, March 3
7 p.m. Semifinals winners
Sectional
Monday, March 7 7 p.m.
R1 Winner vs R2 Runner-up @ R1 winner home court
R1 Runner-up vs R2 Champion @ R2 winner home court
Class 1-A
Carter County will be represented by Unaka and Hampton in the regional quarterfinals after Hampton took the District 1-A tournament championship and Unaka finished fourth.
Hampton may have a real shot of getting back to Murfreesboro if the ‘Dogs continue to play the way they have throughout the season. They have to go into the regions with eyes wide opened realizing that they are probably the team with the bullesye on their back after defeating North Greene two out of the three matchups they have had this season.
The Huskies have a bad taste in their mouth and will try to bully their way to the championship. However, there are others such as Unaka that may have a say because its all about having the opportunity.
From there anything can happen.
Schedule
Regional Quarterfinals
Saturday, February 26
All games at 7 p.m.
Cosby at Hampton
University School at Hancock Co.
Unaka at Jellico
Washburn at North Greene
Regional Semifinals
Walters State C.C.
Tuesday, March 1
6 p.m. Cosby/Hamp. winner vs U-H/Han. winner
7:45 p.m. Unaka/Jell. winner vs Wash./N.G. winner
Regional FInals
Walters State C.C.
Thursday, March 3
7 p.m. Semifinals winners
Sectional
Monday, March 7 7 p.m.
R1 Winner vs R2 Runner-up @ R1 winner home court
R1 Runner-up vs R2 Champion @ R2 winner home court

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