By Ed Greif
The high school post season is under way this week for the basketball teams at SMHS and CCHS.
SMHS will be playing in its final District 4AA Tournament, as the school will be moving into a new District 6AAA beginning in 2013-'14. Coach John Walker's Lady Panthers (2-8) finished fifth in the district behind Alcoa, CAK, Loudon and Kingston and ahead of Scott County. They opened play Thursday night against Kingston.
Coach Neil Capps' Panthers won the regular season championship to earn the top seed and play the Loudon-Kingston winner Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST.
The District 4AA Tournament is under way at Kingston.
Congratulations to Capps for being named District Coach of the Year and to Brock Rowan for being named Player of the Year. Former Panther Coach Mike Buck and former player and current Bryan College freshman Brandon Cole earned those respective rewards during their tenures at SMHS.
Kudos goes to Tyler Yoder, Justin Simmons, Gage Spence, Luke Matthews, Faith Van Ruden and Jacki Livesay for being recognized by the district.
Coach Will Foster's Jets finished third in District 6AAA and will play second-seed Cookeville Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at White County High School in Sparta. CCHS split their two regular season games.
Coach Radhika Miller's Lady Jets finished fourth after winning their last two district games with Warren County and Cookeville. They faced Warren County Thursday evening at White County. A victory would put them in the semi-finals Saturday at 6 p.m. against Cookeville, who they defeated Monday 65-61 in the regular season finale.
District 6AAA loses Coffee County next school, but gains Rhea County and SMHS for the next four school years.
Congratulations to Makenzie Iles, Gina Dick, Tayler Houston, Dylan Qualls and Logan Parsons for being recognized by District 6AAA.
The South Cumberland basketball teams won the county varsity tournament last Saturday night at SMHS, but, again, the tournament was spread out over seven days.
The eastern division was scheduled at SMHS Jan. 29, Jan. 31, Feb. 2 and Feb. 4, and with the western division at CCHS Feb. 1, Feb. 2 and Feb. 4. Snow and ice on Feb. 1 postponed the games at CCHS.
The county championship games were played at SMHS Feb. 5, with the countywide semi-finals moved to CCHS Feb. 7, because SMHS had to make up games with Scott County. It was back to SMHS Feb. 9 for the championship games.
All four top seeds had byes all the way into their respective division championship games.
The old format was better. Play everybody twice for 16 games...no division play. After the season, seed the teams one through nine. The eight- and nine-seeded teams will play one night, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals at either CCHS or SMHS. Play the semi-finals one night and the championship games another night.
Use this same procedure for the junior varsity season as well, and rotate the tournaments between CCHS and SMHS.
High school districts can only play two games a night. For instance, District 4AA plays two games Thursday and Friday each, with the four semi-final games Saturday. The consolation games are Monday and the championship games Tuesday.
In District 6AAA, the games between the four- and five-seeded teams were Thursday, with the semi-finals Saturday. The girls consolation and championship games are Monday, with the boys championship and consolation games Tuesday.
In District 5AAA at Cleveland, there are two games per night Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday. The girls consolation and championship are Monday, with the boys consolation and championship Tuesday.
If the county elementary schools were members of the TMSAA, a lot of these things would be resolved.
Congratulations to Dan Schlafer for his selection to the TSSAA Hall of Fame. He and 11 other coaches, administrators and contributors will be inducted on April 20 in Murfreesboro.
Schlafer is currently a member of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
Brandon Cole had 14 points in Bryan Colllege's 76-68 loss to Reinhardt Wednesday night. Robert Troino added 10 points, and Caleb Parsons had two for the Lions.
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)