Five hoops teams off to perfect starts

Five hoops teams off to perfect starts

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Five hoops teams off to perfect starts

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MURFREESBORO

Middle Tennessee Christian School beefed up its early-season boys basketball schedule this season.

Four of the eight games the school has played has been against teams in a higher classification.

But the results have been the same.

MTCS will enter district play Friday night at Forrest with an undefeated record.

“We knew what we had coming back,” MTCS boys coach Jason Piercey said. “We had experience coming back that had been together for a few years.

“We wanted to challenge our guys more.”

And the Cougars have accepted that challenge. The Cougars have been led by the trio of Derrick Spears, Ben Brown and David Capps.

MTCS is one of five area TSSAA schools that are undefeated through three weeks of the high school basketball season.

Blackman’s girls, which are currently ranked third in the country by MaxPreps, are 6-0. Cannon County’s girls are 8-0 and Central Magnet’s girls are 3-0. On the boys side, MTCS and Siegel (7-0) have unbeaten records.

Sure, there will be lots of basketball remaining. But their quick starts have given their respective programs confidence as the holiday tournament season and district play draws closer.

In fact, District 7-AAA play begins next week.

Blackman girls coach Chad Hibdon said his Lady Blaze have played unselfish and within their role thus far this season.

The Lady Blaze starting lineup are all averaging between 8.0 and 12.4 points a game. Crystal Dangerfield (12.4) and Alex Johnson (12.2) leads the team.

“All of our players understand their roles right now,” Hibdon said. “Our unity has been good, and the pieces to the puzzle are there right now.

“People are doing what they need to do. The good thing is we have kids that are not trying to do too much and not doing what they are not supposed to do. Everyone is chipping in and pulling their weight.”

That has also helped key Cannon County’s surge. Despite being picked fifth by the District 8-AA coaches, the Lionettes are currently 8-0 overall with a league win over Macon County.

Madison Walkup, a senior has helped relieve the scoring duties from MTSU signee Abbey Sissom thus far. They are the team’s only double-digit scorers.

“This team likes to just play the game,” Cannon County coach Michael Dodgen said. “But (being picked fifth) is something you always have in the back of your mind, that people don’t think you’re really good.”

Central Magnet (3-0), who joins Cannon County in 8-AA, was picked to finish ahead of the Lionettes after returning four starters from last year’s team that won more than 20 games.

Claudia Smith and Ola Obi leads the Lady Tigers, who play at Upperman on Friday.

Upperman ended Central’s season last year in the district tournament after the Lady Tigers swept Upperman in the regular season.

“We’re excited about going over there,” Central Magnet coach Steve Willey said of his mature squad. “We’re a year older. We handle things a lot better because we’ve been in different situations.

“I think we have a chance to be a really good team at the end of the year.”

Siegel’s boys team also has a shot to be good by February.

Despite graduating its inside play from last year’s Class AAA state semifinal team, the Stars are 7-0 without the help of guard Dominique Gooch. Gooch was just recently cleared to play after hurting his shoulder during the football season.

Siegel coach Ben Dotson has used his quick guards thus far this season to run teams out of the gym.

“We’ve got to do that,” Dotson said. “We’ve got to utilize our tremendous speed. And shooting has been a strength for us. We’ve got to utilize what we’ve got and push the tempo and try to wear people down.”

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