Polk is hosting the 5-AA tournament, which is slated to begin on Thursday with the boys and girls district games.
Both the McMinn Central Chargers (22-4, 8-0) and Chargerettes (16-9, 7-1) finished the season in first place, Sequoyah’s boys’ and girls’ finished in second place, and Loudon’s teams claimed third.
The Wildkittens (10-15, 3-5) finished fourth and Sweetwater (1-26, 0-8) came in fifth. On the flip side, the Sweetwater Wildcats (6-21, 2-6) claimed fourth, with Polk County (6-19, 0-8) finishing the regular season in fifth.
On Thursday, Polk will battle Sweetwater for the final 5-AA tournament bracket spot.
The girls’ game will begin at 6 p.m., with the boys’ game following at 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Chiefs (17-7, 6-2) and Lady Redskins (14-13, 4-4) will get things started on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
The winners of the play-in games will advance to face McMinn Central, with the boys playing at 6 p.m. and girls playing at 7:30 p.m.
At 9 p.m., the Chiefs (10-13, 5-3) and Redskins(10-17, 5-3) are slated to meet on the court.
The third place consolation games will be on Monday, with the girls’ game beginning at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game following at 7:30 p.m.
The District 5-AA boys and girls champions will be decided on Tuesday. The girls’ championship game is at 6 p.m. and the boys’ championship game begins at 7:30 p.m.
With the threat of wintery weather looming, a contingency plan has been drawn up if Thursday or Friday’s games have to be postponed.
The plan as of now is to have Thursday’s games moved to Friday, and Friday’s games moved to Saturday with the times changing to 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Admission for the District 5-AA tournament costs $5, with only TACA passes and administrative passes being allowed in free of charge.
For Wildkitten’s head coach Johnny Hayes, the home court advantage in the tournament should hopefully prove beneficial for his team.
“We’ve got to come ready to play and take it one game at a time. Hopefully we will be playing at our best,” Hayes stated.
The Wildkittens have seen their fair share of struggles throughout the season, but appear to have a sound lineup going into the tournament.
“They’re meshing good and are doing better as a team,” Hayes said. “Hopefully we can carry that over into the tournament.”
The Wildcats enter the postseason with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“If we start strong we have the chance to play more ball games. We can’t wait until the fourth quarter to show up,” Polk head coach Rusty Brewer declared. “It comes down to how bad you want it: it’s do or die time.”
5-AA All-District Girls Team: Jacobi Lynn (MC), Hunter Simpson (SQ), Aspen Jordan (L), Savanna Atchley (SQ), Elizabeth Trentham (MC), Rachel Kelley (L), Bree Snow (L), Isabella Liner (PC), Miriah Small (L), Mikayla McClary (PC), Heather McLain (PC). Co-coach of the year: Johnny Morgan (MC) and Eddie Grambelle (SQ).
5-AA All-District Boys Team: Josh Scudder (MC), Taylor Hawkins (SQ), Clay Jenkins (L), Skylar Farrar (MC), Cody Groomes (PC), Denzell Boyd (MC), Braden Strickland (SQ), Matt Stiles (S), Tyler Ferguson (L), J.A. Norton (L), Peyton Harper (MC), Jacob Arden (L). Coach of the Year: Doug Armstrong (MC).