Class AAA Tournament: Morning Four Preview

High School

Posted On: 03/10/18 4:52 PM

The four teams comprising the “Morning Four” of the AAA Bracket followed very different paths to the State Tournament.

Whitehaven (1st opponent from East of Nashville since 2006-Pickett County)

  • PATH
    • W, Memphis Central
    • L, Memphis East
    • W, Germantown
    • W, Southwind
    • L, Memphis East
    • W, Bartlett
  • PEAK–December 16th.  By early December the Tigers already defeated Melrose, Forest Hill (MS), Kirby twice, MUS, and Olive Branch (MS).  When Mitchell fell December 16th, the Tigers struggled to find any competition in the entire county.
  • PLOP–The Tigers don’t have a bad loss as all six came against teams that advanced to their Final Four.  Still, scoring just 29 points against East February 21 set a painful record low in 2018.
  • PROUDEST MOMENT–The Tigers of Whitehaven knocked off Huntington Prep during the Penny Hoopfest.  Though the Huntington Prep Fighting Irish coaches and supporters bemoaned an admittedly bizarre ref performance, WHS did collect a season-defining win.
  • PREDICTION–  Whitehaven blowouts Powell, 55-41.  All but one of the four Memphis East clashes derailed a Whitehaven winning streak.  For this reason there are great wins surrounded by puddles of disappointment.  Judging by the draw, Whitehaven needs to firmly affix the canopy on their umbrella before a potential fifth East meeting Saturday.

Powell (District 3 Champions)

  • PATH
    • W, Knox Central
    • W, Karns
    • W, Oak Ridge
    • W, William Blount
    • W, Maryville
    • L, Bearden
    • W, Science Hill
  • PEAK–February 27 marked a prestigious overtime win for Powell.  The Panthers took down an accomplished, talented Maryville team.
  • PLOP–The Hardin Valley (a 13 win team) stumble to open the season feels like a lifetime ago.
  • PROUDEST MOMENT–Powell’s Panthers toppled 2017 Runner-Up Oak Ridge, 60-58, to grab the District 3AAA Championship.  Not since 2014 had PHS conquered Oak Ridge.  That win also kept Powell off the Bearden side of the region so when Powell did lose to Bearden’s fearsome team they kept their postseason alive.  Oak Ridge lost to Powell and met the same fate Powell avoided.  Oak Ridge’s season ended two days before Powell’s season advanced just because the foregone Bearden loss came at the incorrect time.
  • PREDICTION– Powell struggles to score against Whitehaven and loses, 41-55.

Northeast (outscored opponents by 11.94 ppg in 2018)

  • PATH
    • W, Clarksville Northwest
    • W, Kenwood
    • W, West Creek
    • W, Wilson Central
    • W, Lebanon
    • W, Mt. Juliet
    • W, Cane Ridge
  • PEAK–Now.  NEHS won 11 of their last 12, falling to Springfield by a single point February 9th.  They are ready.
  • PLOP–Springfield really surprised Northeast.  The Eagles dropped just two games during their season-long dominance of District 10AAA.
  • PROUDEST MOMENT–Both the District 10AAA Title Game and the Region 5AAA Title Game deserve gloating.
  • PREDICTION–Northeast wins, 65-61.

Riverdale (2-5 vs. AAA State field)

  • PATH
    • W, Stewarts Creek
    • W, Oakland
    • L, Blackman
    • W, Coffee County
    • W, LaVergne
    • L, Blackman
    • W, Eats Hamilton
  • PEAK– Late December.      LaVergne’s Wolverine Classic did not follow a traditional winner’s bracket format.  It was merely a showcase of area teams that allowed Riverdale some unique competitors.  By dispatching Mt. Juliet, John Overton, and Antioch RHS proved they are capable of wining tough games.  No string of wins better predicted this state run than December 27-29 victories over Brentwood, Mt. Juliet again, and Father Ryan.
  • PLOP–The February 7th loss at Siegel defies logic.  To fall by 24 points to a 16-win team hurts.  Advancing to state heals that wound.
  • PROUDEST MOMENT–Winning the Willie Brown Memorial Tournament on Father Ryan’s home floor typified the potential embedded in this program.
  • PREDICTION–Riverdale guards struggle and Warriors lose, 61-65.


Whitehaven (22-6)
Game 1
Wed. Mar. 14 10:00 AM
 Powell (22-11)
Game 5
Fri. Mar. 16 10:00 AM
Game 7
Sat. Mar. 17 1:00 PM

Clarksville Northeast (29-5)

Game 2
Wed. Mar. 14 11:30 AM
 Riverdale (26-7)