UC Top 5 Presented By TLTSports Performance – Week Of December 13

Throughout the 2021-2022 high school basketball season, UCR’s Noah McKay, Rusty Ellis and Kailee Means will put out their top five boys’ and girls’ basketball teams in the Upper Cumberland as part of the UC Top 5 Presented by TLTSports Performance.

What a week… Some huge wins, some upsets and some confusion. The list is in an interesting place at this point in the season. The majority of the teams are pretty secure, particularly on the girls’ side, but now we are seeing matchups between Upper Cumberland teams which makes the rankings even more difficult. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s list!

UC Top 5 Girls’

  1. Cookeville (LW: 1)

The Lady Cavs are 8-0. Undefeated. Eight wins and zero losses.

They’ve done it against a strong schedule at home and on the road. They’re one of the top teams in the state. They’re a bonafide state championship contender, and they are our unanimous number one for the second straight week.

  1. White County (LW: 2)

The Warriorettes did what very few teams have done in the past decade: win at Baxter against the Lady Bees. They did it with a familiar formula, towering over their opponent and dominating on the boards. They pushed CHS further than anyone else this season and are a top team in the state.

 Upperman (LW: 3)

The Lady Bees fell against WCHS, but put together a very respectable performance. They are a defensive juggernaut, and if not for early foul trouble for Abigail Johnson they may have been able to knock off the Warriorettes.

Brooklyn Crouch is having a Miss Basketball level start to her season, and the Lady Bees are going to continue to be a big factor moving forward.

  1. Livingston Academy (LW: 4)

A week off for the Lady Wildcats means no movement in the list. They open district play against Macon County and then will look to sweep the season series against Pickett County on Thursday. Barring any surprises, the Lady Wildcats are likely locked into the four spot until January 11 when they travel to Sparta for a huge matchup.

  1. York (LW: 5)

The Dragonettes dropped their road matchup against Cookeville, but there’s no shame in that. Their two losses came against two of the top 4A teams in the state, and Reese Beaty is continuing to round into form. The Dragonettes should be ranked in the top-five of 2A squads in Tennessee.

Honorable Mentions:

Pickett County


Clay County

UC Top 5 Boys’

  1. Clay County (LW: 1)

The Bulldogs suffered their first blemish with their loss against Clinton County, but that’s a solid 3A squad and they bounced back with a blowout win at Clarkrange.

When you are the defending champions, you get everyone’s best shot on every night. The Bulldogs will have to withstand those shots as they move through the season. They face a huge test Thursday when they travel to Jamestown to take on the red-hot York Dragons.

  1. Pickett County (LW: 2)

This was the first week in a long time we had a discussion as to whether there should be a new number one team. The Bobcats are rolling, and with the Bulldogs’ loss the opening has appeared. Ultimately, we think the Bulldogs have earned the benefit of the doubt over the last two season, but the Bobcats continue to be very impressive.

They have a tough week ahead with trips to Coffee County and Livingston, but they are firing on all cylinders and are becoming hard to deny as possibly the best 1A team in the state of Tennessee.

  1. York (LW: 5)

The Dragons catapulted into the top three of the rankings with an impressive road win at Cookeville. Nic Smith has been playing at a very high level, and Jon Heddings may be the most underrated player in the Upper Cumberland. Head coach Rodney Pile has the Dragons playing great basketball and they could challenge for the top spot if they can knock off Clay County on Thursday.

  1. Cookeville (LW: 3)

Disclaimer: The gap between 4 and 7 on this list is razor-thin.

The Cookeville Cavaliers may be the most confusing team in the state of Tennessee. They controlled the first half against York before the Dragons came roaring back to win on the CHS floor, then they went on the road and knocked off Stewart’s Creek.

They hang onto a spot on the list by-nature of their win over White County, and the flashes we’ve seen throughout the season. We’re waiting for them to put it all together because when they do, this could be a very good basketball team.

  1. White County (LW: 4)

The Warriors bounced back from their loss against Cookeville with a road win over Upperman. The emergence of Japheth Richmond gives WCHS a boost of athleticism and helps them matchup against most teams. They’ve got a big matchup Tuesday night against DeKalb County.

Honorable Mentions:

Jackson County

Smith County