We are quickly moving towards the postseason, and it’s been a great season to this point. I don’t remember a year where we have had this many great teams in the Upper Cumberland. It’s a shame more fans are not able to be in the gym to see these great athletes play.
Let’s get into this week’s list.
The lists are 100% opinion. They are based off a variety of factors including performance on the court, schedule difficulty, the eye test along with many others. While we cover Cookeville, Livingston, Monterey, Upperman and White County at UCR, the top-5 is open to all Upper Cumberland teams.
Girls’ Top 5
- Upperman (21-0) LW: 1
The Lady Bees proved why they’ve been number one on these rankings every week as they dominated Macon County enroute to a 30-point win. They then followed it up with another big win over a talented Livingston team.
This Upperman team is one of the best I’ve ever covered, with the potential to be the best if they end the year with a gold ball. It’s that simple.
- Cookeville (13-6) LW: 4
The Lady Cavs have rocketed up the rankings over the last two weeks. Winners of six in a row, they got everyone’s attention with a 42-40 win over Stone Memorial. Have they been inconsistent? Yes. But they have wins over Stewarts Creek, Lebanon, White County and Stone Memorial. There aren’t many teams in the state with a better resume than that.
- Stone Memorial (15-2) LW: 2
The Lady Panthers bounced back from the Cookeville loss nicely with a 47-45 win over Brentwood Academy. This is still one of the best teams in the state, but they’ve got some work to do as they now find themselves looking up at CHS in the District 6/AAA standings.
- York (12-3) LW: 3
The Dragonettes drop a spot in the rankings, but not because of anything they did. They are now winners of 10 in a row and continue to play good basketball. Cookeville’s recent play changes up the rankings, but if York knocks off Upperman on Friday night they’ll be number one on this list next week.
- White County (15-4) LW: 5
The Warriorettes did exactly what they were supposed to do last week as they rolled over Cumberland County and Rhea County. They have a huge opportunity Tuesday night against Stone Memorial. If they win, they’ll move up the rankings and vastly improve their chances of winning the district.
Boys’ Top 5
- White County (16-3) LW: 1
The Warriors played most of the game against Cumberland County, and the entire game against Rhea County without Grant Slatten due to an injury that is not expected to be long-term. Kade Clark also missed the Rhea County matchup, but the Warriors still earned two wins.
Tanner Paul emerged in the absence of Slatten, averaging over 30 points per game. If he can keep up that level of play when Slatten returns, the Warriors will be terrifying for other teams to take on. They stay at number one for another week.
- Upperman (15-3) LW: 2
The gap between #2 and #1 is extremely small. In fact, when I first put the list together, the Bees were in the top spot. The Bees have won 10 in a row, and have improved during every game. The emergence of AJ Nash as a scoring threat helps boost the depth of the lineup.
When Isaiah Allen returns, it may boost the Bees into the top spot.
- Clay County (15-2) LW: 4
The Bulldogs just continue to win. They’ve won 14 out of 15 games, including a nice 61-38 win over Trousdale County last week. Grant Strong is getting one of my Mr. Basketball votes, and this Bulldogs team looks poised to make a run towards a gold ball in single-A.
- Pickett County (13-3) LW: 5
I cannot wait for the rematch between Pickett County and Clay County. They also got a strong 70-43 win over Trousdale County, and appear to be hitting a stride. They’ve won four straight by at least 17 points.
- Cookeville (10-9) LW: 3
Don’t come after me yet, Stone Memorial fans. Yes, the Cavs have lost three in a row, but they have all been very competitive games. Cookeville is better than their record would indicate, and I think they have the potential to go on a run over the last 2.5 weeks of the season. It was very close between Stone Memorial and Cookeville, but I need to see more out of the Panthers against top competition before they enter the top 5.