Liberty (6-12, 1-1) at North Side (9-7, 0-2) (Boys)
Players to watch: Liberty’s Kalon Johnson; North Side’s Diego Womack
Last year: Liberty won both meetings (73-69 and 60-55)
Notes: The Indians opened up the District 15-AA schedule with back-to-back losses against Ripley and Covington. North Side needs this one to get back to winning. This is a not just a district rival, it is a big city rivalry with bragging right on the line. Liberty has won three of its last five games. The Crusaders are a guard-oriented team, while North Side has some posts that will give Liberty problems.
South Side (10-6, 3-0) at Lexington (12-3, 3-0) (Boys)
Players to watch: South Side’s Terrikous Smith; Lexington’s Jordan Branch
Last season: South Side won all four meetings. The Hawks won 84-64 and 65-56 during the regular season, 69-54 in the District 14-AA championship and 52-40 in the Region 7-AA championship.
Notes: These were the best two teams in District 14-AA last season, and they have the potential to be the top teams this year. Fayette-Ware will have something to say about that though. Lexington got over a big hurdle on Thursday when the Tigers beat Fayette-Ware on the road. South Side has potential, but the Hawks are yet to show that full potential this season. They will need to play to that potential to be successful in this one.
Sacred Heart (9-5, 2-0) at USJ (12-5, 2-1) (Boys)
Players to watch: Sacred Heart’s Tay Gibbs; USJ’s Nigel Peoples
Last season: USJ won both meetings (72-51 and 42-40).
Notes: USJ lost to St. George’s on the road in overtime on Friday. The Bruins can still win the district, so they need to put that loss behind them quickly. Sacred Heart is on a four-game winning streak, and there are two district wins in that streak. Sacred Heart is set on making history this season, so a win here would be big toward reaching that goal.
Middleton (14-3) at Humboldt (11-5) (Boys)
Players to watch: Middleton’s Steven Wright; Humboldt’s Jaylen Strayhorn
Series history: Middleton has won five of the last eight games in this series. Humboldt won last season 64-50 on Jan. 14.
Notes: Both of these teams had big questions about the starting lineup heading into this season. Both teams have met the challenges and answered those questions thus far. Humboldt has won eight of its last nine games with the lone loss coming against No. 1-ranked Union City. Middleton has a 10-game winning streak going. One team’s hot streak will come to an end in this one.
Huntingdon (10-4, 6-2) at McKenzie (12-3, 6-1) (Boys)
Players to watch: Huntingdon’s Keeton Bailey; McKenzie’s Edwin Dudley
Earlier this season: Huntingdon won 47-46 on Dec. 5, giving McKenzie its only District 13-A loss of the season.
Notes: McKenzie might be one of the hotter teams in West Tennessee with nine straight wins heading into this one. The Mustangs were the last team to beat McKenzie, and that has been the Rebels’ only slip up in district play. McKenzie also has leading scorer Breshaun Oglesby back, and that will help the team in its quest to be the top team. Huntingdon has won five of its last six games with the lone loss coming against Haywood. The Mustangs have won four straight District 13-A games since taking consecutive losses to Dresden and Big Sandy.
Riverside (12-5, 4-1) at TCA (11-8, 4-1) (Girls)
Players to watch: Riverside’s Bree Linton; TCA’s Haley Hathcock
Last season: Riverside won two of the three meetings. The Lady Panthers won 57-43 and 66-62, while TCA won 65-62.
Notes: These are the two teams tied for second place in District 15-A. Riverside had a good first half of the season, but the Lady Panthers took consecutive losses last week before a win over Lexington on Saturday turned things around. The Lady Panthers have a diversity in scoring, and that will be needed against TCA. The Lady Lions reeled off three straight win this past week and have some momentum going. Playing this one at home could be key for TCA.
Bolivar (12-6, 2-1) at McNairy Central (9-9, 2-1) (Girls)
Players to watch: Bolivar’s Kenylsha Bryane; McNairy Central’s Haven Phelps
Last season: McNairy Central won both meetings (70-41 and 60-36).
Notes: These two teams are tied along with Lexington for second place in District 14-AA. Thorw out last year’s scores because Bolivar is much better than last year and McNairy Central has struggled at times. The Lady Tigers will try to push the ball and get out in transition, while the Lady Bobcats try to get the ball down to the post.
Gleason (10-6, 7-1) at West Carroll (18-0, 7-0) (Girls)
Players to watch: Gleason’s Kelsey Borneman; West Carroll’s Deidra Clark
Earlier this season: West Carroll won 59-46 on the road on Dec. 5.
Common opponents: 10 – Trenton Peabody, Greenfield, Bradford, Clarksburg, Big Sandy, McKenzie, Dresden, Bruceton, Halls and Huntingdon. West Carroll is 12-0 against those 10 teams with two wins coming against Greenfield and Bradford. Gleason is 9-2 against those 10 teams with two wins over Clarksburg, a split against Peabody and a loss against Greenfield.