With basketball season in full swing and district play ramping up, UCR’s Rusty Ellis and Michael Lindsay have graded each team’s performance to this point. Grades were decided upon using multiple factors including win-loss records, quality of wins and preseason expectations for each school.
Lady Tigers: B
Overall Record: 8-6 (1-2)
Key Wins: Van Buren County, Ezell-Harding, Cannon County
Reasoning: The first season under Brandy Alley in Smithville has gone really well. An 8-6 start to the year with some good wins has the Lady Tigers feeling good, and the recent play of Ella and Chloe VanVranken is something that Alley should continue to lean on. 1-2 in district play isn’t great, but there’s time to build on that.
How to Improve: Knock off one of the big four on top of the district. They’ve had chances against White County and Livingston and while the Lady Tigers put a great effort together against Livingston, neither game resulted in wins. They still have two games each against Cumberland and Upperman, as well as their rematches against the other two, so there are still chances out there for good wins.
Overall Record: 8-6 (0-3)
Key Wins: East Robertson, At Gordonsville
Reasoning: The Tigers are also off to a good start this season, despite falling in their first three district matchups. The most recent one came against Livingston in a game that DCHS controlled up until the end of the third quarter, as they were undone by a big Livingston run that bridged the third and fourth quarters.
How to Improve: Just like the girls, DeKalb needs to try to knock off one of the expected top four. They’ve had three chances against them already and it hasn’t translated to wins, but only one of those games was a blowout. A couple things go their way, they could easily be 2-1. They’ve got to shore things up late in games in order to hold on for wins.