This story was updated at 4:31 p.m. to correct the school Molly Massingale signed with.
In today's sports list, Patrick MacCoon makes five bold prep basketball postseason predictions.
1. Gold ball returns to Highland Park
You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last TSSAA boys' basketball state championship team from the Chattanooga area. While the Cleveland boys had the talent to win a gold ball in 2020 (stupid COVID), the last title run came from good ol' Tennessee Temple. The Crusaders would be proud of how the Chattanooga Prep Sentinels are carrying on their legacy in the same gymnasium. After a run to last year's Class 1A final four, I expect Chatt Prep to take things a step further and even win the whole thing. Their defense is a big reason why, as they have only allowed one opponent to score more than 60 points this season.
2. Chargerettes win Class 2A state title
Molly Massingale certainly does not get enough credit for the amazing career she has had at McMinn Central. The Wofford signee deserved to be a state Miss Basketball finalist, but awards are not the reason why she plays the game. A determined Massingale is fully capable of leading the Chargerettes to their second state championship. She made 25 free throws at the state tournament last season; expect her to steal the stage again at the Murphy Center as she will help lead one of the state's top teams to the mountaintop.
3. Bradley Central gets eighth gold ball
Kimora Fields is the most dominant post player in the state of Tennessee. She proved that as just a freshman when she dominated against 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-5 towers for Bearden and Bartlett. The Bearettes' style of play feeds through Fields, who has a great all-around game to go on top of her 72% field-goal percentage. When Fields and junior forward TaTianna Stovall are clicking together there, is not a single team in the state that can come close to stopping Bradley Central from grabbing a firm hold of its eighth state championship.
4. Look out, here comes Notre Dame!
A year after bringing home a silver ball as the runner-up in Division II-A, Notre Dame had everything go against it from the start of this season. Gaas Herman provided star play on nearly a nightly basis, but his sidekick was missing. Cole McCormick is one of the city's best when he is at full go, which he has reached just before the playoffs begin after coming back from a broken wrist. The Fighting Irish have won five straight games, and I will not be shocked one bit if coach Jonathan Adams' team finds a way to shock Silverdale Baptist and Boyd Buchanan to win the district tournament on their home court.
5. Tyner returns to state
The Rams are certainly capable of making it to Murfreesboro and will need to count on junior Rodney Henderson, sophomore Zion Pinkerton and freshman Kohl Ward to get back to the Glass House at Middle Tennessee State. Henderson is talented to the point where I can see him being an easy Mr. Basketball finalist next year. To keep earning more statewide recognition, Tyner will need to deliver on the big stage this postseason. I believe coach E'Jay Ward and his group can go on a special postseason run.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.