Region 3-AAA Tourney Resumes Monday At Cleveland High

Four District 5-AAA Teams Make Up Boys Semifinal Field

Sunday, February 24, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

After a quick day of rest on Sunday, the Region 3-AAA basketball tournament resumes Monday with four girls semifinal games at Cleveland High School.

Four boys games are scheduled on Tuesday.

In a meeting of District 5-AAA rivals, Bradley Central’s Bearettes (26-2), ranked No. 7 in the latest CoachT.com poll and coming off an 87-45 dismantling of Cumberland County on Friday, will take on McMinn County’s Lady Cherokees (20-8) at 6 p.m. for the third time this season.

Two District 6-AAA teams – Cookeville (22-10) and White County (20-11) are set to tip off their semifinal showdown a little after 7:30 p.m.

The Bearettes and Lady Cherokees are playing their fifth elimination game in the postseason since the 1994-95 season and Bradley has won the four previous meetings in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002 – the last two times also coming in the region semifinals.

Since 1994-95, the Bearettes are 10-4 against the Lady Cherokees.

McMinn County beat Coffee County, 39-37, in the quarterfinals to set up Monday’s game.

Bradley Central coach Jason Reuter, 84-10 in three seasons, is 8-0 against McMinn County while Lady Cherokees coach Tim McPhail is 1-15 against the Bearettes.

The Bearettes beat McMinn twice earlier this season by scores of 66-48 and 65-39.

Cookeville won both regular-season games against White County by 53-48 and 55-50.

On Tuesday, Ooltewah’s Owls (18-9) get a rematch with Walker Valley (19-11). The fourth-seeded Mustangs upset the No. 1-seeded Owls, 62-59, when Caio Hysinger hit a buzzer-beating shot from beyond the mid-court line in the District 5-AAA semifinals.

Ooltewah knocked off White County, 76-67, Saturday in Sparta and 5-AAA tourney champion Walker Valley walloped Warren County, 62-46, to set up Tuesday’s showdown. Game time is 6 p.m.

Mustangs coach Bob Williams is 10-11 all-time against Ooltewah, the district semifinal win snapping a nine-game losing streak in the series. Owls coach Jesse Nayadley is 9-3 versus Walker Valley.  

Walker Valley eliminated the Owls, 90-49, in the first round of the 2008 region tournament. Ooltewah ended the Mustangs’ 2010-11 season with a 91-55 victory in the first round of the district tournament.

This will be the fourth time the Owls and Mustangs have played this season, with Ooltewah sweeping the regular-season series.

The 19 wins by Walker Valley this season are the most since it went 34-2 in 2008-09 and lost in the state semifinals to Raleigh-Egypt, 82-59.

Cross-town rivals Bradley Central (17-12) and Cleveland (19-11) tip off around 7:30 p.m., with the game marking the 101st in postseason play for veteran Bears coach Kent Smith. He is 71-29 in the playoffs and 425-144 overall.

The Bears have won two of three previous postseason elimination games against the Blue Raiders.

Bradley is trying to win its eighth region title in Smith’s 17-year tenure.

The Blue Raiders are 17-14 in the postseason under coach Jason McCowan, who in five-plus seasons is 8-8 against the Bears. Cleveland won the 2009-10 region tournament title with an 83-59 win over Ooltewah and finished the season with a 26-5 record

Region 3-AAA Tournament Schedule

Monday

Girls

McMinn County (20-8) vs. Bradley Central, 6 p.m.

Cookeville (22-10) vs. White County (20-11), 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday

Boys

Walker Valley (19-11) vs. Ooltewah (18-9), 6 p.m.

Cleveland (19-11) vs. Bradley Central (17-12, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday

Girls championship, 7 p.m.

Thursday

Boys championship, 7 p.m.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 


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