|Twisters now talk of the state with debut at No. 1 |
|The unbeaten Union City boys’ basketball team has been the talk of the town recently. |
The release of the first Associated Press prep rankings of the season likely will only increase that dialogue, according to head coach Shane Sisco.
The 17-0 Tornadoes — the state’s lone Class 1A unbeaten and with eight of their nine victories against teams from larger classifications — were listed at No. 1 Monday in the initial poll of the 2007-08 high school campaign.
UC, which was ranked No. 1 the final six weeks of last season before being upset in the regional semifinals, received nine of a possible 12 first-place votes from sports writers and broadcasters across the state. The Twisters garnered 115 total points to easily outdistance second-ranked Humboldt — ironically the team to have ended their season a year ago.
Union City’s current state-wide standing didn’t impress Sisco that much.
“It’s a good conversation piece, that’s about the extent of it right now,” the coach said this morning. “I’m sure a lot of people voted for us because they saw 17 wins and no losses and we are the only team that hasn’t lost. I’m not sure people from East Tennessee who haven’t seen us play can accurately or fairly make the determination of who has the best team.
“That said, I guess it’s good recognition for our program. And I’m sure a lot of it has to do with our past success. I know it’ll give other teams even more incentive to play their best against us, the ranking and the fact that we’re unbeaten.”
UC’s first challenge as 1A’s top-ranked team will surely be a stern one as the Tornadoes host No. 2 Humboldt tonight. The Twisters won an earlier meeting 85-78.
Lake County, which was beaten on a last-second shot by Union City’s MJ Brown this past Friday, came in tied at No. 4, giving District 14A three of the top four rated clubs. Manassas is listed third.
On the girls’ side, Obion Central (14-1) debuts at No. 3 in the Class 2A poll.
The Lady Rebels, whose only loss came vs. No. 1 ranked Gibson County, trailed Livingston Academy by one point for second place with 91 total points. LA, like Gibson County, received four first-place votes.
No. 8 Milan (10-3) gives District 13AA three ranked teams with Jackson North Side (13-1) making the rural West Tennessee contingent number four.
Middleton (No. 3) and Trenton (No. 6) are teams of local interest in the single-A girls’ poll, while Westview, which was thumped soundly by Obion Central this past Friday, still made it in at No. 8 on the 2A boys’ listing.
Dyer County (17-2) was third and will play at OCCHS tonight in a District 13AA showdown.
A complete listing of both the boys’ and girls’ poll can be found on page seven.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.