Receiving special permission from the Hamilton County Schools to go ahead with the District 5-AAA tourney, a half dozen games will be played today at East Hamilton High School, while the District 5-AA event will also tip off this evening in Benton.
After having been postponed for two days, the 5-AAA tournaments will utilize both the high school and middle school gymnasiums at East Hamilton, with action getting underway at 3 p.m.
The fourth-seeded Cleveland (12-12, 6-6) and No. 5 Ooltewah (5-14, 3-9) girls will start the day’s slate on the main hardwood, followed by the second-seeded Ooltewah (15-8, 9-3) boys battling No. 7 McMinn County (3-21, 2-10) at 4:30.
At 6 p.m. both floors will be in action with the third-seeded Cleveland (15-7, 8-4) taking on the host No. 6 seeded East Hamilton (6-20, 3-9) boys in the big gym, while the No. 2 seed McMinn County (9-16, 9-3) girls battle the host Lady Hurricanes in the facility next door.
The busy day will wrap up with Walker Valley taking on Soddy-Daisy at 7:30 on both courts as the fourth-seed Mustangs (18-9, 7-5) battle the No. 5 Trojans (11-13, 3-9) on the main floor, while the third-seeded Lady Mustangs (17-10, 9-3) take on the No. 6 Lady Trojans (6-19, 2-10) in the smaller venue.
With a Region 3-AAA Tournament berths in hand, Friday’s victors will return to Collegedale Saturday for the district semifinals, where the Walker Valley-Soddy girls winner will tangle with the McMinn-East Hamilton victor at 3 p.m. In the second girls’ Final Four contest, the Cleveland-Ooltewah survivor will square off against top-seeded Bradley Central (20-5, 11-1) at 4:30.
On the boys’ side of the semifinal ledger, the Cleveland-East Hamilton victor will tangle with the Ooltewah-McMinn survivor at 6 Saturday evening, before the Walker Valley-Soddy winner battles No. 1 seed Bradley Central (14-10, 10-2) at 7:30.
The tournaments will wrap up the first of the week with the girls’ consolation and championship games at 6 and 7:30 Monday evening, while boys will do the same Tuesday.
Over at Polk County High School this evening, the host squads will battle Sweetwater for the final Region 3-AA berths and a spot in the district semifinals Saturday.
The Wildkittens (10-15, 3-5) finished the regular season as the fourth seed for the tournament and will battle the Lady Wildcats (1-26, 0-8) came in fifth. The boys’ final standings were reversed with Sweetwater (6-21, 2-6) claiming fourth, while the boys from Benton (6-19, 0-8) came in fifth.
Tonight’s victors will be pitted against top-seeded McMinn Central — Chargerettes (16-9, 7-1) and Chargers (22-4, 8-0) — at 6 and 7:30 respectively.
In the early games tomorrow, second seeded Sequoyah will tangle with No. 3 seed Loudon. The Lady Chiefs (17-7, 6-2) and Lady Redskins (14-13, 4-4) will get things started at 3 p.m., while the Chiefs (10-13, 5-3) and Redskins (10-17, 5-3) are slated to meet at 4:30.
District 5-AA will hold its consolation games on Monday, with the championships to be decided Tuesday evening.
The TSSAA region tournaments are slated to get underway on Feb. 21 with the district champs and runners-up hosting opening round games, while the third and fourth place teams will have to travel.