Regional tournament previews

   This week, Elizabethton hosts the Region 1-AA tournament and both boys and girls play should provide some interesting contests.
   The boys division favors the Watauga Conference as any of the four Watauga teams can win, while the girls divsion could see some of the lower seeded teams come out on top.
   Claiborne County (23-6, 11-3) is the top seed coming out of the District 2-AA tournament. The lost games some surprise games during the season but looked good in their wins. They beat Pigeon Forge 53-49 in district title game and will run into Johnson County.
   Pigeon Forge (13-16, 5-9) is the Surprise team of 2-AA. After a bad season, the Tigers won two play in games against Chuckey-Doak and Rutledge as one of the bottom seeds to meet Gatlinburg-Pittman in the semis.
   They upset Pittman by 9 and have turned season around after a big sting of losses earlier in the year. They have the potential to surprise some people since they played good in the tournament when it counted. They will meet Volunteer.
   Gatlinburg-Pittman (11-17, 9-5) lost some big games in the season, but beat South Greene 76-63 to play Sullivan Central. They are a sound team, but will not be able to beat the Cougars.
   Elizabethton will meet South Greene (14-12, 9-4). The Rebels were undefeated in the district through the first half of the season and beat almost everyone in the conference once.
   They started to slip up after a loss to 1-A Cloudland, losting to Claiborne, Pittman, and Rutledge but seemed to pick it up somewhat by the end of the year with wins over West Greene and Pigeon Forge. Elizabethton should be too much.
   In the girls division, the District 2-AA teams flip flopped. The lower seeded tournament teams finished one-two, while the conference champs finished three and four.
   The West Greene Buffaloes (16-13, 7-6) spanked Claiborne County 37-28 to win the district to meet Volunteer. The Lady Buffs started their season on a roll with wins over Cherokee, Crockett, Elizabethton and Unicoi County with a big loss to Cloudland before slipping up to lose six in a row.
   They lost some big games to South Greene and Unicoi County but battled through district play to surprise people with a win over Pittman and Pigeon Forge to advance to the title game.
   The Claiborne County Lady Devils (20-8, 9-4) are one of the top teams in the region. They beat South Greene by 12 in the district semi-finals and played steady throughout the year before falling to West Greene in title game. They will meet Sullivan Central.
   Elizabethton's opponent will be the South Greene Lady Rebels (20-8, 11-2).
   The Lady Rebels had a pretty solid season and only lost to AAA Greeneville during the last minutes both time they met.
   They posted the second seed in the conference and beat Pigeon Forge for third after losing to Claiborne County. They are a tough team and will be a handful for Betsy.
   The Pigeon Forge Lady Tigers (18-8, 12-2) had the top seed in district play after tying with South Greene for the championship.
   They won a big stretch of games including 14 of their last 15 before losting to West Greene and South Greene in the tournament. They could give Unicoi a serious threat in the opening contest.
   Region 1-A will have one of the better boys tournaments in years at Milligan College. Paving the way for District 2-A is Hancock County (29-7, 11-0).
   The Indians topped Powell Valley 63-53 in the district finals. The Indians have beat some good teams this season and are considered a top favorite when they meet North Greene.
   Powell Valley (17-12, 7-4) will meet University High. The Indians won some big games in the season during conference play, but lost some big ones too.
   Jellico (13-18, 6-4) lost some tough games this year and had a mediocre season. They played AA Pigeon Forge twice but stunk it up against Knox Catholic and CPA. They will meet Unaka.
   Cloudland got a fairly easy opponent in Washburn (6-21, 2-6). The Pirates won games against Kings Academy, J Frank White, Forge Ridge and Clinch.
   But they showed promise and played Cherokee and Rutledge to some tough games in the seasion. They could pose a serious threat.
   The girls half of District 2-A panned out the same way as the boys did with Hancock County leading the way.
   The Hancock County Lady Indians (24-8, 10-0) Won conference and district titles with overwhelming wins over Washburn and Powell Valley. They return a lot of people from last year and won some pretty impressive games.
   Meeting North Greene will be the Powell Valley Lady Indians (19-9, 8-2). The Lady Indians finished second in conference play behind Hancock and lost by 16 in the title game.
   Unaka meets the Jellico Lady Devils (12-15, 5-5). Jellico had an average season, but didn't stand a chance in finishing in the top two in conference play.
   Hancock beat them pretty good before they toppled Washburn 58-39 in third place game.
   The Lady Pirates of Washburn beat J. Frank White by seven to advance in the tournament. They lost some disappointing games all year and shouldn't be much against Cloudland.