North Side (2-2) at South Side (6-0) (Boys)
Players to watch: North Side’s Diego Womack; South Side’s Terrandus Smith
Earlier this season: South Side won 87-52 on Nov. 24
Series history: South Side has won nine of the last 10 meetings dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season. North Side’s lone win came last year on Dec. 2 at North Side 74-72.
South Gibson (4-1) at Jackson Christian (5-0) (Boys)
Players to watch: South Gibson’s Logan Dyess; Jackson Christian’s Jeremy Stewart
Earlier this season: Jackson Christian won 54-50 at home on Nov. 19.
Notes: Jackson Christian is the lone loss thus far for the Hornets. But that is also the most points South Gibson has scored in a game all season, as the Hornets have scored in the 40s in all three wins that followed before scoring 52 last night against Sacred Heart. South Gibson is still learning how to play under the coaching philosophy of Mark Wilkins. Jackson Christian is also under a new head coach in J.D. Byrd, and the Eagles have had success thus far. Jackson Christian got its first season sweep on Tuesday with a win over Huntingdon, and this could be series sweep No. 2.
Madison (0-4) at Sacred Heart (1-3) (Boys)
Players to watch: Madison’s Marquese Parram; Sacred Heart’s Wes Ragsdale
Series history: Madison holds a 3-2 advantage in the five-game series, but Sacred Heart won both meetings last season.
Notes: Madison is yet to get a win this season, but the Mustangs came close on Monday and will be hungry for Friday. Sacred Heart’s lone win was a come-from-behind win over Jackson Central-Merry. Both of these teams lost a large portion of last year’s starting lineup, so finding early momentum would be big for either team.
Dyer County (4-1) at USJ (5-1) (Boys)
Players to watch: USJ’s Brandon Craig
Series history: These teams have met around Thanksgiving for the past two seasons, and Dyer County won both meetings (71-47 and 69-58).
Notes: If USJ wants to be among the best in West Tennessee, this week will be the early test. After playing Obion County on Tuesday, the Bruins follow that with this game against a perennial powerhouse. Dyer County’s lone loss is against Paragould (Ark.) by 10 points.
Halls (4-0, 2-0) at Humboldt (4-1, 1-0) (Boys)
Players to watch: Halls’ Tavon King; Humboldt’s K.D. Thomas
Last season: Humboldt won all three meetings (54-53, 52-50 and 62-52).
Notes: These two are predicted to be the two teams fighting for the No. 2 spot in the district behind Union City. Humboldt lost three starters from last year, but the Vikings look to be strong again this year led by good guard play. Halls is a veteran team with three juniors and two seniors in the starting lineup.
Camden (4-0) at CreekWood (2-2) (Boys)
Players to watch: Camden’s Hunter Vick
Last season: Creek Wood won both meetings (92-52 and 83-46).
Notes: Creek Wood reached the Class AA state tournament last season, and this is the team favored to win the district again this season. If Camden wants to compete for a district title, the Lions must play well in this one. The talent level of Hunter Vick is known, but Camden will need multiple players to have big games to win this one.
TCA (4-1) at Lexington (4-2) (Girls)
Players to watch: TCA’s Savannah Lee; Lexington’s Nabreyah Howard
Last season: The teams played twice last year with each team winning once. Lexington won 60-45, while TCA won 55-50.
Notes: This will the fourth straight Class AA opponent that TCA has faced. The Lady Lions beat McNairy Central and Chester County, while losing to South Gibson. The Lady Lions are learning their weaknesses by playing these bigger schools, and that will prepare them for District 15-A. Lexington has also played some tough competition early after falling to Dyer County and Westview in the Westview Thanksgiving Classic.
Gleason (2-3) at Greenfield (3-1) (Girls)
Players to watch: Gleason’s Lillian Nichols; Greenfield’s Bentley Davis
Last season: The teams played three times, and Greenfield won all three times (45-34, 36-34 and 38-23).
Against opposing district: Gleason plays in 13-A, while Greenfield plays in 14-A. Gleason has played three 14-A teams and lost all three. The Lady Bulldogs lost to South Fulton (50-43), Peabody (55-41) and Bradford (40-39). Greenfield has played four games – two against 14-A and two against 13-A. The Lady Yellowjackets lost to McKenzie (28-26) but beat West Carroll (50-49) in 13-A, while beating Halls and Bradford in 14-A.
Humboldt (4-1) at Middleton (3-3) (Boys)
Players to watch: Humboldt’s Justin Pankey; Middleton’s Montrez Jones
Last season: Humboldt won at home 74-64.
Series history: Dating back to the start of the 2006-07 season, Middleton has won five of the nine meetings, but Humboldt has won three in a row.
Haywood (3-2) at Fayette-Ware (3-2) (Boys)
Players to watch: Haywood’s Dedric Boyd; Fayette-Ware’s Mikkel Norment
Recent history: These teams did not meet last season, but they played three times in the 2012-13 season and once in the 2013-14 season. Haywood won 87-60 in the lone meeting two years ago, while Fayette-Ware won two of the three meetings the season before.
Notes: Haywood is the defending Class AA state champion, while Fayette-Ware is one of the favorites to make a run at the state tournament this season. Both teams will get to gauge exactly where they are this point in the year.
Westview (5-0) at Gibson County (7-0) (Girls)
Players to watch: Westview’s Tasia Jones; Gibson County’s Justyce White
Last season: Gibson County swept Westview (60-25 and 43-38).
Series history: The two have played 41 times since the start of the 2002-03 season. Gibson County holds a 25-16 advantage in the series since that point, and the Lady Pioneers had a 12-game winning streak at one point in the series.
Michael Odom, 425-9754