More of our basketball teams are traveling outside our community to face out-of-county competition. I consider this a move for the better.
For years, there’s been talk about ways to develop a better basketball product at Warren County High School. So often that conversation turns to our feeder programs, which are vast.
For many local players, Jaycee Basketball gives them their first taste of shooting and dribbling. If they like playing on the hardwood, the next progression is typically elementary basketball at Morrison, Dibrell, Eastside, or any of our other fine schools. I know Irving College debuted a new gym this season that looks marvelous.
One addition to the 5-6 grade elementary league this season was the inclusion of Bobby Ray, Hickory Creek, and West Elementary. These schools only go up to grade 5 and are in their third year of offering basketball programs.
For the first two years, these schools just played each other. As you can imagine, it would get old real quick playing the same two teams over and over.
So Bobby Ray, Hickory Creek and West were added to the county’s 5-6 grade league despite not having any sixth-graders. It made for some difficult games against WCMS, with only sixth-graders, but other games were fairly competitive and I think it was a good step for the league to add these three schools.
What I like at the 7-8 grade level is more of our local teams are scheduling games against schools from outside Warren County. For years and years, it seemed Centertown was content to play Irving College, and Dibrell was happy to face Eastside. With the exception of WCMS, we didn’t compete against players from outside Warren County until high school.
That’s now starting to change as a number of our local teams are realizing the benefit of playing other schools.
Dibrell and Centertown are two schools currently competing in the James C. Haile Tournament in Murfreesboro. Both schools won their opening-round game to advance.
Dibrell in fact has played an extensive out-of-county schedule that includes games against DeKalb County Middle and DeKalb West and Rock Springs in Smyrna.
Morrison is another school which has traveled outside the county for games. It was just two years ago when the Eagles beat a very strong White County Middle School team. This year, the Eagles placed second in a Christmas tournament.
In theory, all this serves to make our players better before they arrive on the grand high school stage where the action accelerates to much greater speeds.