The pairings have been set and the games will get underway this Wednesday at the Murphy Center. The following is a preview of the opening round games in Class A.
CSAS vs. Harriman (10:00 Wednesday)
Chattanooga School of Art's and Sciences (CSAS)
Coach: Mark Dragoo
Top Players: Alex Stallion, Malik Dobbs, Jackson Lenoir, Shariff Cobb
Nickname: Blue Devils
Coach: Jeff King
Top Players: Dimitrique Inman, Michael Steinmetz, Darius Gallaher, Shaquille Love
The Blue Devils make their first appearance at the state tourney since they won it all in 1995. Led by a talented group of guards including Dimitrique Inman (Harriman) and Darius Gallaher (Harriman) the Blue Devils will find themselves in a dog fight alongside another group of talented backcourt players from CSAS. Alex Stallion (CSAS) has proven to be the most consistent of the young guards; the junior was big in the playoffs and would like to keep the tradition of the Patriots at the state tourney intact.
Clarksville Academy vs. Wayne County (11:45 Wednesday)
Coach: Josh Smith
Top Players: Malcolm Smith, Martin Smith, Heath Dyer, Travis Russell
Coach: Ryan Franks
Top Players: Tyler Rice, Micah Brantley, Austin Rice, Tyler Dixon
A dynamic inside match-up gives the Clarksville Academy vs. Wayne County contest a leg up as one of the best on the slate for Wednesday morning. Malcolm Smith (Clarksville Academy), a Mr. Basketball finalist, will battle talented senior Tyler Rice (Wayne County) on the interior. Smith, along with his twin brother Martin Smith (Clarksville Academy), form an imposing inside duo for the Cougars and they will have their hands full with the rough and physical Rice, who netted 33 points in the sub-state game against McEwen. The ultimate key to this contest after the big boys attempt to nullify each other could be whose guards step up and take control of the contest.
Westwood vs. Humboldt (1:30 Wednesday)
Coach: Isiah Brown
Top Players: Jarvis Sullivan, David Pledge, Zach Smith, Courtney Holt
Coach: Thomas Boykin
Top Players: Darren Dunbar, Tevin Bryson, Quan Campbell, Antonio Brooks
The Vikings of Humboldt must consider the trip to the Murphy Center basically another home game. Humboldt has represented in this building 5 of the last 6 years as they tangle with their West Tennessee brethren Memphis Westwood. Guard play dominates the landscape for both squads with the Vikings leaning on the talents of Quan Campbell (Humboldt) and Tevin Bryson (Humboldt). Westwood bested perennial state tourney participant Union City in the sub-state behind their own solid backcourt play of Jarvis Sullivan (Westwood) and David Pledge (Westwood). This game will no doubt become a high scoring affair with both squads running and attempting to wear out the other.
Grace Baptist vs. Oliver Springs (3:15 Wednesday)
Nickname: Golden Eagles
Coach: Jon Mattheiss
Top Players: Brandon Herman, Terrell Church, Corey Nelson,
Oliver Springs, TN
Coach: Tony Ingram
Top Players: Wesley Rather, Lucas Tarver, Rue Eskridge, Tyler Harper
Another annual visitor to the state tourney, Grace Baptist brings a Mr. Basketball candidate and a determination to bring home the coveted gold ball. Brandon Herman (Grace Baptist) is the primary scorer and the will draw the most attention from the Bobcats of Oliver Springs. Wesley Rather (Oliver Springs) has the assignment of guarding the senior Herman and possesses the length and basketball IQ to make it a must watch match-up. Rather is no slouch on the offensive end either, scoring 24 points in the sub-state win.