UCR Basketball Top 5 (Jan. 3, 2022)

Each week during the 2022-23 high school basketball season, UCR’s Rusty Ellis, Michael Lindsay and Noah McKay will release the UC Top 5. The lists will feature the top 5 girls’ and boys’ basketball teams in the Upper Cumberland, according to them.

Please note this list is 100% opinion-based and will change throughout the season.

January 2, 2023

UC Top 5 Girls’ Teams

  1. Cookeville (LW: 1)

Cookeville (12-3) remains atop the UCR girls rankings despite a loss to now #3 Livingston Academy on a buzzer-beater. The Lady Cavs’ complete body of work is still the best in the Upper Cumberland, and their road gets no easier as they host Oakland on Tuesday before hitting the road to Sparta on Friday.

2. York Institute (LW: 2)

Not much movement atop the girls rankings as York (13-2) exits the holiday season on an 8-game winning streak. The Dragonettes have a shot at another quality win as they travel to 13-2 Cumberland County on Tuesday.

3. Livingston Academy (LW: NR)

Livingston Academy’s roller-coaster ride through the UCR top 5 lands them at #3 this week after briefly dropping out last week. A 51-49 victory over No. 1 Cookeville shows the potential the Lady Cats (11-3) have this season. LA hosts DeKalb County Tuesday evening before hitting the road to Cumberland County.

4. White County (LW: 3)

White County drops a spot this week, though it’s more of “Livingston jumping” than a knock on Sparta. The 14-3 Warriorettes face district foe Stone Memorial on Tuesday before hosting #1 Cookeville.

5. Upperman (LW: 4)

The Upperman Lady Bees come in at #5 this week as they wrapped up 2022 at 15-2 overall. Upperman dropped a close game to Alcoa (13-1) last week and returns to district play this week with games against Macon County and Stone Memorial.

Honorable Mention:

Cumberland County (13-2)

UC Top 5 Boys’ Teams

  1. Livingston Academy (LW: 2)

Only one team on the Upper Cumberland has a spotless loss column as the 13-0 Livingston Academy Wildcats ascend to #1 in the boys top 5. District action picks back up in Hogeye country this week as they host DeKalb County (8-4) and travel to Cumberland County (3-12).

2. Stone Memorial (LW: 4)

Stone Memorial wraps up 2022 at 12-2 overall following a loss at Maryville (9-5) last week. The Panthers have been ranked everywhere 1-4 so far this season, and have a great chance this week to make a statement with games against White County and Upperman in district play.

3. Upperman (LW: 1)

The Upperman Bees (10-2) fall to #3 this week following a 19-point loss to Columbia last week. Upperman has a great chance to rebound this week with a Tuesday trip to Macon County (5-11) before hosting #2 Stone Memorial on Friday.

4. Cookeville (LW: 3)

Cookeville (10-4) drops a spot this week to #4 overall. Optimism for the Cavs should be high, though, as they’re one of the most dangerous teams in Tennessee when they’re clicking. They host Oakland on Tuesday before a massive showdown at White County on Friday.

5. Clay County (LW: NR)

The Clay County Bulldogs (10-3) slide into the top 5 for the first time this season and seem to have their basketball legs under them following a deep football run. Clay travels to Red Boiling Springs and Pickett County this week.

Honorable Mention:

Gordonsville (10-4)

White County (9-6)

Monterey (12-8)