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Bahamas tourney good whetstone for D-B, Science Hill

Douglas Fritz • Nov 26, 2018 at 9:27 PM

Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill left the country in search of a little early-season seasoning.

And even though the final results were different for each boys basketball team in the Tabernacle Baptist Thanksgiving tournament in the Bahamas last week, they were both tested — which is always a goal for good programs before the conference slate begins.

The Indians were knocked off by Westwood, which is from Blythewood, S.C. D-B bounced back with a pair of wins, including a challenging one against St. George’s of the Bahamas.

Combined with a pair of Hall of Fame wins, the Indians will take a 4-1 record into this week — which includes Friday’s home showdown against Science Hill (3-3). It is the Big 7 Conference season opener for both teams.

Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers lost three of four games in the Bahamas, but they were by seven, one and two points.

“We had three really close ones we couldn’t finish,” said Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip. “We need to learn how to finish games and make free throws down the stretch. But we had great weather and played outstanding competition.”

Cutlip said his team is still in search mode.

“We are still trying to find exactly who we are going to be,” he said. “We are definitely better now than we were a week ago.”

Football finals

There is one overwhelming favorite among the six state championship games, but the others present intriguing matchups.

The games will be played Thursday (Class 2A, 4A and 6A) and Saturday (1A, 3A, 5A) in Cookeville.

Greeneville (14-0) should have no trouble brushing aside Haywood (10-4) in Class 4A. The Greene Devils can’t overlook Haywood because two of its four losses were against private schools — one of which was against undefeated University School of Memphis, which is playing for the state title against Brentwood Academy. And one of its losses was against Class 5A state finalist Henry County. The other setback came in the regular season against Dyersburg, which was unbeaten until Haywood crushed the Trojans 47-14 in the quarterfinals.

But the Tomcats are unlikely to provide much resistance for a Greeneville team that was challenged only once this season: a 35-20 win over Elizabethton. The Greene Devils are the defending champions and should roll.

Pick: Greeneville 43, Haywood County 14.

Class 1A — This may be the best matchup. Both Whitwell and Connersville — which had nine shutouts in a row at one point and won all of those games by at least 39 points — are undefeated. And both have been seriously tested over the last two weeks.

Pick: Cornersville 23, Whitwell 21.

Class 2A — Trousdale has the history with nine state titles, but Peabody has one of its own (2014).

Pick: Peabody 28, Trousdale 20.

Class 3A — Covington made a game of it last year, but Alcoa still won and the Tornadoes are better this year.

Pick: Alcoa 29, Covington 14.

Class 5A — Both programs have reached the finals twice, but Henry County has two gold balls while Knox Central is still looking for its first. Still, Knoxville is a football beast of a town. In a slight upset …

Pick: Knox Central 21, Henry County 20.

Class 6A — Whitehaven has a good recent tradition, but the Tigers are facing a team that just finished ripping Maryville 38-0. Yes, 38-0.

Pick: Oakland 28, Whitehaven 21.

Boys basketball Games of the Week

Tuesday

Daniel Boone at Sullivan East

Friday

Science Hill at Dobyns-Bennett

David Crockett at Daniel Boone

Sullivan East at Tennessee High

Elizabethton at Johnson County

It’s an important early season week for both Boone and Sullivan East. After they square off against each other in a battle of two teams off to hot starts, the Trailblazers meet rival David Crockett on Friday while the Patriots battle non-league rival Tennessee High — a team off to its own strong start and loaded with depth. …

The Cyclones are the first team to make what should be a tough trip to Shoun Gym for any Three Rivers Conference squad.

Boys basketball rankings

Dobyns-Bennett grabs the top spot in the first Northeast Tennessee Boys Top 10 of the season. The Indians are followed closely by a trio of solid teams.

Team (W-L)

1. Dobyns-Bennett (4-1)

2. Tennessee High (6-1)

3. Sullivan East (6-1)

4. Science Hill (3-3)

5. Daniel Boone (4-1)

6. Elizabethton (2-0)

7. Hampton (6-1)

8. University High (4-1)

9. David Crockett (2-2)

10. Sullivan South (5-2)

(tie) Johnson County (4-3)

Girls basketball Games of the Week

Tuesday

Dobyns-Bennett at Sullivan Central

Daniel Boone at Sullivan East

Friday

Science Hill at Dobyns-Bennett

Unicoi County at Happy Valley

It’s a fairly slim week for key games, but there are a couple of dandy matchups.

Tuesday’s battle in Blountville is between a team trying to establish itself as the best in the area in Class AAA (the Lady Indians) and a squad already considered the best in Class AA (the Lady Cougars).

After the Lady Indians finish that challenge, they will meet one of their biggest Big 7 challengers.

Girls basketball rankings

It looks like a competitive mix in the area this season. Dobyns-Bennett and Sullivan Central claim the top two spots in the first Northeast Tennessee Girls Top 10 rankings, but Science Hill and Daniel Boone are waiting for their chance to change things.

Team (W-L)

1. Dobyns-Bennett (6-1)

2. Sullivan Central (4-1)

3. Science Hill (4-1)

4. Daniel Boone (3-1)

5. Sullivan East (4-3)

6. Unicoi County (4-1)

7. Elizabethton (1-3)

8. Happy Valley (3-1)

9. Johnson County (3-1)

10. Cherokee (2-2)

COLLEGE SIGNINGS

David Crockett’s Emmaline Hulse will make her college choice official Tuesday when she signs to run cross country at Tusculum College. The ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the high school library.

 

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