Class 3A Matches HV, Elizabethton
By Tim Chambers
The TSSAA playoff brackets are set and two local teams are probably left shaking their heads once again as to how it all panned out.
For the second time this season, Happy Valley and Elizabethton will square off — only this time in the 3-A state playoffs.
The second-seeded Cyclones defeated the Warriors 41-0 earlier this year.
The Warriors enter the contest as the seventh seed, but were hurt by a pair of games outside their region.
Gatlinburg-Pittman losing 7-3 at Pigeon Forge was the backbreaker. Knox Gibbs defeating Austin East 14-7 was the other.
Because Pittman finished 4-6, one team out of Quadrant 2 had to be moved into Region 1. Austin East (6- 4) moves in, bumping Happy Valley from the sixth to seventh slot because of schedule strength.
Had Gatlinburg-Pittman or Austin East won, the Warriors would have played West Greene.
Now the winner between ’Betsy and Happy Valley will find itself pitted against the Roadrunners or third-seeded West Greene in the second round.
The Buffaloes have had a great season but were bumped from what appeared to be the second seed to third. Why?
Daniel Boone’s win over David Crockett helped. Puzzled?
Seven of the Cyclones’ regular-season opponents finished better than .500 including Boone, which they defeated in the season opener. This allowed ’Betsy to leapfrog over West Greene, which had only six wins over opponents with five or more wins.
The top bracket finds South Greene (5-5) going to Sullivan North (10-0). Chuckey-Doak (7-3) will travel to Pigeon Forge (7-3).
Elizabethton or Happy Valley would likely need to defeat either CAK or Alcoa from Quadrant 2 should it win Quadrant 1 and reach the semifinals.
Hampton, on the other hand, came out smelling like a rose in its quadrant, but the news wasn’t great afterwards.
The Bulldogs will be a heavy favorite to win Quadrant 1 and reach the semifinals, but they’ll have a tough row to hoe afterward.
Hampton will play the winner of fourth-seeded Oneida (6-4) or Cosby (5-5) in the second round at home.
North Greene (6-4) also receives a bye. The Huskies will play either No. 3 Oliver Springs (6-4) or No. 6 Wartburg Center (6-4).
Should the Bulldogs reach the semifinals, they’ll likely face either No. 1 Trousdale County or No. 2 Boyd Buchanan, who were both placed in Quadrant 2.
All playoff games begin on Friday with game times moving up to 7 p.m.