Sub-state Monday, could it get any better. Here are the previews from the games which will tip off tomorrow evening, plus a brief description of how they faired in the region final.
Carter @ Sullivan East
A tough overtime victory over their nemesis Unicoi County solidified the Patriots as a contender and now they welcome one of last years state tourney participants Carter into the fold. Jordan Cross (Sullivan East) has been "en fuego" over the past few weeks including 34 points in the region final victory. Carter fell to Fulton in the 2AA Region finale despite 36 points from Mr. Basketball finalist Lester Wilson (Carter).
Unicoi County @ Fulton
The two-time, two-time defending Class AA state champions are on a quest for a three-peat and a home game tomorrow night is part of this equation. Mr. Basketball finalist Jalen Steele (Fulton) was at his absolute best scoring a career high 46 points in the region final win over Carter. Unicoi County has had a remarkable year and brings size and determination over to Knoxville for this clash. Logan Lyle (Unicoi County), who contributed 19 points in the overtime loss to Sullivan East, is the Blue Devils go to guy and he will draw the attention of Lipscomb signee Robert Boyd (Fulton).
York Institute @ Tyner Academy
Reginald Gilmore (Tyner Academy) scored 17 points leading the Rams to a 55-51 win over perennial power Howard and the 3AA region championship. Tyner Academy has begun to find their groove as the games have become more important and welcome a York Institute squad that fell to Livingston Academy in the 4AA region finale. Cody Stephens (York Institute) was in scoring mode dropping 27 in the loss.
Howard @ Livingston Academy
Hog-eye once again hosts a sub-state clash after the Wildcats dispatched York Institute in the 4AA region finale 67-60. Four players scored in double digits led by Kailen Melton (Livingston Academy) with 14. Now for the bad news, Howard, which fell to Tyner Academy 55-51, comes to town and brings a load of experience in this particular venue to the hardwood. An exciting battle will ensue and the prize for the winner is a trip to Murfreesboro, very nice.
Spring Hill @ Maplewood
The Panthers have been on a magical run since after the holidays. Fred Lee (Maplewood) scored 12 points and helped Maplewood hold on for a 41-32 win against MLK and a place at home against Spring Hill. The Raiders received inspired performances from their sensational sophomore guards Keilan Blanks (Spring Hill) with 23 points and Montrae Williams (Spring Hill) adding 21.
MLK @ Marshall County
Kedren Johnson (Marshall County) continues to thrive as the stakes continue to get bigger. The uber-talented junior point guard scorched the nets for 44 points in the win over Spring Hill. MLK was able to create the tempo they desired against Maplewood but fell short 41-32, despite 23 points from senior guard David ‘X-Man" Sanders (MLK).
Trezevant @ Bolivar Central
The Tigers know how to win close games. Bolivar Central escaped another close call with arch-rival Liberty Tech behind 19 points from Tevin Coleman (Bolivar Central) and advanced to their home sub-state game 61-58. Trezevant fell in a close and low scoring clash with BTW 30-29 in the Region 8AA finale.
Liberty Tech @ BTW
The Warriors won a close 30-29 contest against Trezevant to secure their home game receiving 16 points from sophomore Martavious Newby (BTW). For their efforts they welcome a familiar face to sub-state action in the Crusaders of Liberty Tech. Tarius Johnson (Liberty Tech) scored 29 points in their region final loss to Bolivar Central.