The big kahuna this week as Anderson County and Clinton fight on either side of I-75 before the long-awaited rematch between the two teams.
First things first as Clinton hosts Powell while Anderson County travels to Halls for their last travel game of the regular season.
Clinton and Powell had a hard game the last time they met, with Clinton winning out by only two points. That was way back in December, and the team has grown tremendously in that time, nearly felling Oak Ridge, travelling to D.C. and beating powerhouse Central twice. Powell, meanwhile, has had mixed results this year, losing to Anderson County and Campbell County.
Still, despite a rough season, the Panthers are no slouches, and Clinton will be coming off their roughest game of the season after a tough loss against their other longtime rivals, Oak Ridge.
Chris Lockard, head coach of the Dragons, says the team isn’t as shaken as an outside observer might expect.
“The Oak Ridge game was a good example of how we’ve grown,” said Lockard. “ We have to regroup and and refocus to get back to doing what we do best. [Powell] is a big district game for us and our chance to lock down second place in the district.
There’s no excuses, you take tough losses and have to bounce back, and Tuesday will show us whether we are the team that can handle adversity. This is the time of the year where you’ve got to be perfecting the things you do well and either fixing or minimizing the things you don’t. The kids have got to be really focused, because everything from here on out is going to be in a tournament type setting. It’s either win or go home.”
Anderson County, meanwhile, will be travelling to Halls. The Red Devils have had a middling season so far, and Anderson County has beaten them once already, going 73-54 in the preseason. After winning out against Karns and Campbell County (double chec k this), Anderson County is coming in with a bit of confidence behind them and a streak to keep up. This could also be a swing game for them that will determine their attitude coming into the big game of the week.
Speaking of, the big game of the week will be at Anderson County. The two teams last met at Clinton, where Anderson County, despite a strong start, fell behind after halftime. The two teams have both developed strongly over the season, with Clinton becoming a team to beat in their district and Anderson County coming away with some seriously respectable wins for such a young team.
Rivalry games always bring out the best in both teams, which should make the game a fantastic watch.