By Jim McLean • Boom Sports Media
Some crucial games are scheduled early this week. District leaders are facing off with each other in battles for the top seed, while others are trying to avoid the district tournament play-in game. Here’s a preview of some of the key games to watch this week.
Northwest vs. Rossview
The Rossview Hawks are visiting the Northwest Vikings in what could be the most important matchup for both teams so far this season. The Hawks are entering the game in eighth place in the district, with a district record of 3-10. The Vikings are in sixth place with a district record of 4-8. The Vikings defeated the Hawks on December 19 in a close 59-55 victory.
Rossview will be hoping that the weekend gave them the opportunity to shake off a heartbreaking overtime loss to third place Kenwood on Friday. Friday’s game saw the Hawks down by double digits multiple times throughout the game, only for them to come from behind every time, and eventually force overtime with the Knights. However, the Hawks came up just short in extra time, and eventually fell 64-60. This was the seventh time this season that the Hawks have lost a game by five points or less. Rossview has proved they can play with the top teams in the district, but just need to find a way to finish their games in the same manner they start. This matchup against Northwest should provide them an opportunity to secure that elusive district win, which will not only do wonders for their confidence with only four games left on the regular season, but may also help push them out of the eighth seed and the tournament play-in game.
Northwest secured their first win in six games when they defeated Montgomery Central by a score of 68-54 on Friday. The Vikings had a huge second half in that game, scoring 40 in the second half, 24 of which came in the fourth quarter. This was a huge game for the Vikings, as it moved them out of a tie with Springfield and in to sole possession of sixth place in the district, right on the heels of West Creek. Friday’s win was also a timely won, as after this game against Rossview, the Vikings still have Springfield and West Creek remaining on their schedule, and all four of these teams will be battling in the standings until the very last game.
Clarksville High School vs. West Creek
The Clarksville High School Wildcats will play host to the Coyotes of West Creek on Tuesday night. The Coyotes are currently 5-7 in District 10AAA and hold the fifth-place seed. The Wildcats are tied with Northeast with an 11-2 record in the district, but hold the current tie-breaker for first with their victory over Northeast earlier this year. West Creek hosted Clarksville High on December 19 in a game that saw the Wildcats emerge victorious by a score of 77-57
Clarksville High is coming off of a rare district loss on Friday when they fell to Henry County by a score of 68-45. This was the first game where Clarksville failed to score 60 points since their last loss to Kenwood back on January 14. While a district loss is rarely seen as a good thing, a loss on the road to a very good Henry County team could give Wildcat head coach Ted Young an opportunity to identify and correct the flaws that were exposed, especially with the post-season rapidly approaching.
West Creek played a non-district game on Friday, when they narrowly defeated Fort Campbell 60-59. This was their first win in 4 games, and while it may not have been a district victory, this could be a game that provides the psychological boost that rights the proverbial ship. While on paper, this looks to be a tough matchup for the Coytoes, who are sure to be seen as the underdog against Clarksville High School, a good showing following their big win on Friday could set them up to separate from the teams below them in the standings and set up a more favorable first round matchup in the district tournament.
Northeast vs. Henry County
The Henry County Patriots are visiting the Northeast Eagles in a District 10AAA matchup between two of the district’s hottest teams. The Eagles enter the game with a district record of 11-2, while the Rebels are in fourth place with a record of 9-3. These teams squared off on December 19, when the Patriots fell at home by a score of 70-53.
The Patriots won a huge game at home on Friday when they defeated Clarksville High School 68-45. This marked the ninth straight win for Henry County, who are undefeated in the year 2020. The Patriots own the district’s best scoring offense, averaging 60 points-per-game. Interestingly, Henry County has been able to avenge all of their early-season district losses in the second half of the season thus far. Early in the season, the Patriots lost to Clarksville High School, West Creek, and Northeast. In the second half of district play, they have already defeated West Creek and CHS, and this game against Northeast will provide Henry County the opportunity to go 3-0 in “revenge games” on the season.
The Eagles are coming off of a dominant 67-39 road victory against Springfield. Like their oppenent, January was especially kind to the Eagles, as they went 8-1 with the lone loss coming to Clarksville High School. The Eagles are also currently riding a seven-game win streak, during which they have averaged an astonishing 71.7 points-per-game while only allowing 41.9 points against. A win tonight is one step and one game closer to the big rematch game for first place against Clarksville High School on February 11.
Other Games To Watch:
Springfield at Kenwood
Todd County at Montgomery Central
Cheatham County at Harpeth
Sycamore at Santa Fe
Waverly at Stewart County