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Log jam race for second place; cheerleaders, student section going strong

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

There is a pretty good chance that one of the top four seeds in District 1-AA  will get knocked off this year and miss out on the regional. But I don’t have a crystal ball or ESP that is telling me this.
I base my theory on common sense. And it’s not being used when it comes to picking a tournament site for the 1-AA District.
Why would anyone choose to play these games at Sullivan South?  First let me say that I am not knocking the Rebels’ facility. It is a very nice gym and spacious.
I would have said the same thing had it been Elizabethton, Unicoi County or Happy Valley. You can also include Johnson County.
And here is why.
The District and Regional tournament should always be played on a neutral floor. Not doing so creates a two-fold scenario.
The 2016 season could be a prime example.
Sullivan South currently stands at 2-4 in league play, just ahead of Happy Valley and Sullivan North.  If the season ended today they would go as the No. 5 seed playing Johnson County who currently stands as the No. 4 seed.
Iwould bet my bottom dollar that none of the league coaches want to play South in the first round, especially the Longhorns.
But the same can be said for Elizabethton, Unicoi County and Sullivan East.
The Rebels could rise in the league standings or they could slip too. Three of their final five league games are on the road and all those opponents are in the top four. They include Sullivan East, Elizabethton and Johnson County.  They will play Sullivan North and Happy Valley at home.
The Longhorns will have to play well as road warriors if they want to remain in one of the top four slots.
They have a make-up game at home with Elizabethton. Their only other home contest will be against Sullivan South.
They currently stand at 3-3 in league play, trailing the Cyclones for third place at 4-2. Unicoi is currently second at 5-1 and East remains undefeated at 6-0 in the top spot.
Johnson County has road games remaining with Happy Valley, Unicoi County, Sullivan North and East.
Elizabethton (4-2) has home games remaining with North, South, Unicoi County and Happy Valley. East and Johnson County will be away.
Unicoi County (5-1) must travel to South, Sullivan East, North and Elizabethton. Home games remain with Johnson County and Happy Valley.
The Warriors (1-5) must travel to Sullivan North, South, Elizabethton and Unicoi County. They’ll play Johnson County and East at home.
North (0-6) has home games remaining with Johnson County, Unicoi County, Sullivan East and Happy Valley. Road games remain with Elizabethton and Sullivan South.
The league leading Patriots (6-0) will take to the road to play Unicoi County, Happy Valley and Sullivan North. They have home games remaining with Elizabethton, South and Johnson County.
The Longhorns stand a good chance of finishing in the top four if they win three out of five but everyone needs to keep an eye on Sullivan South.
The top seed will get a bye into the regional tournament That means No. 2 will play No. 7, No. 3 will play No. 6 and No. 4 will take on No. 5 in elimination games.
East appears headed for the top spot but second place is up for grabs. The next two weeks will give us a much clearer picture.

Critical losses at Sullivan South and at home to Sullivan North will likely place Johnson County against Sullivan East or Happy Valley barring some unexpected circumstances.
Top seed Elizabethton will get the bye. East and Happy Valley appear to have a lock on second and third.
The Lady Longhorns would need wins over South, North and Unicoi County in order to possibly finish as the five seed.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.