IPRA Rodeo returns to Tri-Cities

from staff reports

   Elizabethton High is returning to the state basketball tournament for the first time in 20 years, and if records mean anything the Cyclones will be involved in one of the premier matchups of the quarterfinal round.
   In a battle of 30-win ball teams, Elizabethton (30-4) and Ridgeway (32-4) will square off in a Class AA game on Wednesday, March 19 inside the Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
   Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. (CST).
   The tournament is scheduled for March 19-22, with all games being played at the Murphy Center.
   Ridgeway, the Region 8 runner-up, went on the road to beat Region 7 champ Fayette-Ware 61-46 while Region 1 champ Elizabethton defeated Region 2 runner-up Alcoa 42-41 in Monday's substate action.
   In other Class AA quarterfinal games, it's Portland vs. Howard at 5:30 p.m. and Haywod vs. J. South Side at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, then Fulton vs. Giles County on Thursday morning at 10.
   The winner of the Elizabethton-Ridgeway game will play the Portland-Howard winner in Friday's semifinals at 2:30 p.m. The Class AA championship game will be held on Saturday at 5 p.m.
   In quarterfinal games involving area schools other than EHS, University High will be play in a Class A contest Wednesday afternoon, with Class AAA entries Dobyns-Bennett and Greeneville taking their turns on Thursday.
   UH draws Cosby for a 3:15 contest. Dobyns-Bennett plays top-ranked White Station in a 5:30 p.m. contest, followed by Bradley vs. Greeneville at 7:15 p.m.
   The girls state tournament gets underway today at MTSU, with the Cloudland Lady Highlanders (29-4) set to combat Moore County (32-4) in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal contest.
   Should the Lady 'Landers prevail, they'll take on the Ezell-Harding-Westmoreland winner on Friday at 1 p.m. The Class A girls championship starts at 3 p.m. Saturday.
   General admission tickets for both the girls and boys tournaments are $7 per session (Wednesday-Friday). On Saturday, there will be one session and general admission tickets are $10.
   There are no passes out during any session. The gym will be cleared between the morning and the evening session (Wednesday-Friday). Tickets can be purchased at the MTSU Ticket Office.
   Murfreesboro has a variety of well-known motel and hotel chains, and rooms are usually booked quickly. Well-known lodging establishments are also located just off the Lebanon exit (I-40W), which would leave about a 20-mile drive to reach Murfreesboro.
   Directions to MTSU
   * Take I-40W to Nashville/Lebanon and exit onto 840W.
   * Take Murfreesboro/Smyrna (US-41S/70S) exit 55A.
   * Merge onto US-41S/70S (Broad Street).
   * Drive 4.5 miles and turn left onto W. Main Street, proceed through the town square to E. Main Street.
   * Proceed on E. Main Street, cross Tennessee Blvd., and take the first left onto Old Main Circle. This MTSU entrance is approximately 1.5 miles from the Broad Street turnoff.