STORY BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
With January well underway and district play heating up in the county, let’s take a look at where 11-AAA is at the moment.
For the boys, it’s the Franklin Rebels sitting alone at the top, with a 5-1 district post. The Brentwood Bruins have the same mark in 11-AAA play, but the Rebels own the head-to-head at the moment.
Darren Joines’ sharp-shooting Rebels team has learned what to do when Reese Glover gets held up with staunch defense, which will help them as teams sell out to stop Franklin’s hot hand. Ahsharri Haynesworth and Matt Thurman came up big for the team in its close victory over Summit Friday night.
Though, the Rebels will need to really focus in on Tuesday’s home stand against 4-2 Dickson Co. They win that, and they’re in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the district tourney.
As for Brentwood, they’ll need to get in the right mindset when Franklin visits on Jan. 15. This has clear district ramifications, and a win could give the Bruins hope to reclaim that top seed.
At 4-2, Centennial is very much still in the hunt, though they have a road tilt with Brentwood waiting for them Tuesday night. It’s important they get that, lets they fall further behind.
Page and Ravenwood will need to dig themselves out of a bit of a hole at 3-4, but nothing’s impossible once tournament time rolls around. The Patriots in particular seem like they could play spoiler on the right night. Teams like Summit (2-4) and Independence (2-4) won’t be easy outs as likely lower seeds in the bracket next month.
The Spartans took it to the buzzer with Franklin last Friday and bottled up Glover, something that has puzzled teams across the county this season.
Spring Hill (0-6) will need a major turn-around to factor in come tourney time.
As for now, that Franklin/Brentwood game is the marquee event of the month. It could also be a preview of the district championship game.
As for the girls, Faith Wilkin and the Page Lady Patriots are rolling right now.
They thumped a short-handed Ravenwood last Friday to improve to 6-1 on the season and are the odds-on favorite to win the district right now. Though, watch out for Dickson Co. and Summit, who are both 5-1 and a game away from matching the Lady Patriots’ mark.
Funny enough, Page and Summit meet Tuesday in what will be a crucial district game for both. The Lady Spartans could push for that top spot with a win, and the Lady Patriots could further cement their dominance with one.
Brentwood, at 4-2, should have no trouble pacing itself to be a factor during the district tournament, though they’ll need to win out here over the next few weeks. That end-of-January run of away games at Page and Summit will prove tough, but it’ll get them in the right mindset for the tournament.
A 3-4 Ravenwood record doesn’t do the Lady Raptors a lot of good right now, but they will be trouble for other teams in February. The injury bug has hit them hard, and if everyone, including UAB commit Jaz Harmon, returns and gets the chemistry working again, they will be much better than their likely seeding.
Teams like Independence (1-5), Centennial (1-5) and Spring Hill (0-6) will struggle to factor anywhere else but the lower seeds in the district tournament, but all it takes is a game to surprise. They should all focus on improving now so they can spoil later.
Lists courtesy of WillCo Athletics.