No. 1 How the AP state poll shuffled this week was strange. Warren County loses to the seventh ranked team in the state, and the seventh ranked team, Riverdale (7-2), jumps to No. 3 in the AP Poll. Warren County, 8-1, drops out of the top 10.
The third through ninth teams all remained in the poll. I strongly suggest that Warren County could beat all those teams and the new team in the Top 10 Poll, Independence (6-1). For the record, the other teams that I think Warren County could beat in that poll are Bradley Central (7-2), Dobyns Bennett (8-1), McMinn County (8-1), Bartlett (5-1), Brentwood (6-3) and Ravenwood (5-4).
The Pioneers have the ability to go deep in the playoffs. The top three ranked teams are all in the east section of the playoffs. Therefore, the road to the championship is through them. Oakland is ranked No. 1, and Maryville is No. 2, and Riverdale is No. 3.
No. 2 None of the teams Warren County will potentially face in the first round of the playoffs are in the AP top 10 poll. Those teams from Region 4 are Hendersonville (6-3), Mt. Juliet (6-2), Wilson Central (5-4), Rossview (5-3) and Lebanon (5-4).
No. 3 If Warren County beats Oakland Friday night, three teams will be tied in the region for first place, assuming Riverdale wins. The first tiebreaker is overall record, which would knock Riverdale out with a two-loss season. Warren County would move into first place and play the fourth-ranked team from Region 4.
No. 4 Oakland head coach Kevin Creasy started his coaching career in McMinnville. In 1997, coach Creasy was the defensive coordinator at the middle school. Creasy also coached centers at the high school under Glen Campbell.
No. 5 I caught up with the high school basketball coaches at the middle school game Monday night. Coach Anthony Lippe is pleased that the district coaches voted the Lady Pioneers fourth in the preseason poll.
Lippe said, “It was encouraging to hear from my peer coaches that they thought that we have gotten a little bit better and picked us fourth. I told my girls today that means nothing. It is just talk and that is on paper.”
The coaches in the district picked the boys to be second in the district behind White County. Head coach Chris Sullens said, “Regardless of what happened last year, it is just people’s opinions. I think some of our guys are eager to get back on the floor and show that they can compete for another district title. That being said, polls have never won any basketball games.”