UC Top 5: Feb. 5, 2023

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.

UC Top 5 Girls Teams

  1. Cookeville (LW: 1)

The Lady Cavs remain at the top of the list after winning their lone game of the week over Mt. Juliet, running their record in district play to 6-0. Cookeville now sits at 22-3 on the regular season as winners of their last 10 games. Ever since their narrow two-point defeat at the hands of Livingston, the Lady Cavs have cemented themselves at the top of this list, but they’ll face our #2 team on Monday on the road.

2. York Institute (LW: 3)

The Dragonettes have been one of the most consistent teams in not just the Upper Cumberland, but the state of Tennessee as a whole. They’ll have a shot at redeeming their previous loss to Cookeville, also the last time York lost at all, when they host the Lady Cavs on Monday in Jamestown in our High School Basketball Game of the Week, presented by Tri-Green Equipment Crossville. With Raylee Werner and Josie Linder each back for York and both teams playing some of their best ball of the season, this #1 vs. #2 matchup is one you won’t want to miss.

3. Upperman (LW: 4)

The Lady Bees have been deserving of a top-3 spot for several weeks now, and thanks to Livingston Academy’s loss to White County, along with the continued winning in Baxter, they’ve made it back into that coveted spot. Upperman will have a shot to cement this ranking on Tuesday in Livingston when they face the Lady Wildcats in a game that will likely decide the number-one seed for the District 7AAA Tournament.

4. Livingston Academy (LW: 2)

The Lady Wildcats fell victim to a dominant showing from Celeste Reed in their loss to Sparta on Friday, but they remain a team to be reckoned with even after their first loss since Dec. 21. Ellie Butler is playing at a Miss Basketball level and LA will have a chance to get back in the win column against Upperman on Tuesday, a task that’s easier said than done.

5. White County (LW: NR)

The Warriorettes are back in the rankings after earning an 18-point win over Livingston Academy, thanks to a 35-point showing from Celeste Reed. White County’s made some lineup adjustments with KK McDonald moving to the starting lineup, and with Reed and Nia Powers manning the middle, could this be the time for a big White County run in the postseason?

Honorable Mentions:

Clay County (20-4, 7-0)


UC Top 5 Boys Teams

1. Stone Memorial (LW: 1)

Sone Memorial (21-3, 11-0) locked up the #1 seed in District 7AAA following home wins over Upperman and Macon County last week. The Panthers have sat atop the UC Boys Top 5 for 8 of the 12 weeks this season and host Clarkrange on Tuesday before their season finale at Livingston Academy on Friday.

2. Clay County (LW: 2)

Clay County improved to 19-3 overall and 7-0 in District 7A play last week with a key win over Gordonsville, 45-26. The Bulldogs hit the road for a big test at non-district foe Jackson County on Tuesday.

3. Upperman (LW: 3)

Upperman (17-6, 7-3) fell to Stone Memorial on Tuesday before a senior night victory over Cumberland County on Friday. The Bees still have a chance to place second overall in District 7AAA play as they face Livingston Academy on Tuesday.

4. Jackson County (LW: 5)

Jackson County (17-5, 6-0) made a statement with a 54-51 victory over District 5AA foe York Institute on Friday. The Blue Devils host Clay County on Tuesday before traveling to York on Friday.

5. York (LW: 4)

York Institute (15-9, 4-1) fell to UC #4-ranked Jackson County on Friday as they drop a spot in the UC Top 5. York has a full week as they host Cookeville on Monday, Monterey on Tuesday and Jackson County on Thursday before traveling to Bledsoe County on Friday and Oakland on Saturday.