Anderson County travels to Powell after their loss against the Panthers at home on Jan. 7. The Mavericks have even more of a reason to take a strong stand against the Panthers after their loss, but ultimately their success will be determined by how much they learned after their last encounter and whether they can adjust their play-style accordingly.
Both of Anderson County’s games are away this week as the Mavericks also travel to Karns for a rematch after last year’s heartbreaking loss. Last year, Karns and Anderson County had two incredibly close games, with Anderson County winning the first encounter by four points, only to lose by three in the rematch. This will be a big game for Anderson County as they hope not only to beat Karns, but also to break last week’s unfortunate losing streak after their games against powerhouses Oak Ridge and Powell.
Clinton also will have their own rematch this week as they host Halls. Clinton won out against Halls last Tuesday after a nailbiter of a game where Halls made a desperate comeback in the third and fourth quarter to tie the game, only to lose in overtime. This time, Clinton will have the home court advantage, but it’ll be interesting to see whether such a heartbreaking loss leaves Halls shaken and discouraged, or more fired up than ever.
Head coach Chris Lockard admits that Halls is a good team.
“They’ve got a couple of kids who can really shoot the ball well, and you have to limit what they do. The rest of their players are steady enough to beat you too, so you have to watch them.”
In a similar vein as Anderson County’s face-off against Karns, Clinton faces off against Knoxville Central on Jan. 10. Last year, Clinton beat Central twice out of three games, beating them the 67-59 the final time. Central has not had the strongest of seasons this year, though, getting beaten twice by Anderson County twice and beating them once by only two points. With how strongly Clinton beat Anderson County, the odds are in their favor in this particular match-up.
According to Coach Lockard, preparing for Central is a different beast than preparing for Halls.
“We really have to prepare differently for a team like Central. They’re definitely one of the scarier teams, just because they have good depth and they’re athletic and they can make it really difficult on you to execute on the half court. You have to really be on top of which areas you can manage and control.
This time of the year, every district game is important and each team is a little different. Every coach wants their team to do what they do best, but we have to make sure we’re adjusting to what they do best too.”
Clinton plays Science Hill as well on Saturday, Jan. 18. This will also be Clinton’s alumni game, where they plan to open the locker room and host a meet and greet to thank all those in the community who donated their time and money to remodel it.
“It’s good to be back home in our district. It’s going to be a grind, and anyone can win any night, but it’s good to be back.”