published Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Bucs, Meigs play back-to-back Wednesday

TSSAA boys' state basketball tournament

At Middle Tennessee State University

All times Eastern

Wednesday

Class A

Boyd-Buchanan (28-3) vs. Booker T. Washington (26-7), 5:30

Meigs County (30-4) vs. Columbia Academy (28-4), 7:30

Thursday

Class AA

Tyner (25-3) vs. East Nashville (26-5), 2:15

By Gerald Harris' logic, the three Chattanooga-area high school boys' basketball teams still playing have cleared the toughest hurdle already.

"Before you can win it all, you have to get to the tournament," said Harris, Tyner's coach. "We got that part out of the way and we deserve to be here. Now we just have to go out and play."

The TSSAA held its state basketball tournament draw Saturday morning to determine the matchups for the three public school classifications' tournaments, which begin Wednesday at Middle Tennessee State University.

The first area teams to play will be in the Class A bracket when Boyd-Buchanan takes on Booker T. Washington on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. EDT, followed by Meigs County vs. Columbia Academy at 7:30.

"We're scrambling for info right now," Boyd-Buchanan coach Cole Rose said after learning his team's opponent. "There's a big distance from Chattanooga to Memphis, and I'm talking about for information, not just in miles.

"We're going to try to find out as much as we can about them, but really we want to concentrate more on ourselves. At this point it's more about making sure we play our game and not worry about the other teams. If we play the way we're capable of, that's all that matters."

In the AA bracket, Tyner plays Thursday at 2:15 EDT against East Nashville. While the Rams are making their first trip to the state tournament in four years, their eight seniors have plenty of big-game experience. Tyner has lost to only one in-state opponent this season (Memphis Whitehaven in December) and has won 13 straight games heading into the tournament.

"Even though none of our kids have ever played in a state tournament, they know how to play with poise in big games," Harris said. "Our kids know how to prepare and we've spent all season preparing for this opportunity. We put together as tough a regular-season schedule as we could to be ready for anything.

"Now we're here and we have a great opportunity to do something special."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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