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Suiter downplays No. 1 vs. No. 3 clash; Twisters unanimous

Suiter downplays No. 1 vs. No. 3 clash; Twisters unanimous
As far as Eddie Suiter is concerned, tonight’s District 13AA girls’ showdown between top-ranked Gibson County and No. 3 Obion Central is nothing more than simply the next game on the Lady Rebels’ schedule.
“It’s the biggest game of the year, only because it’s our next one,” claimed Suiter, whose OC troops will look to avenge their only loss and forge a virtual tie atop the District 13AA standings by beating the league-leading Lady Pioneers.
“I know it’s a cliché but we do really take them one game at a time. This one’s nothing special for our team, even though I’m sure it is for a lot of fans. We don’t treat them any different except that it’s the second time we’ve played them and we’ll look at what we did against them the first time that was successful and try to correct the mistakes that we made.”
Both Gibson County and OC retained their lofty state rankings in Class 2A when the newest Associated Press listings were released on Monday and each will bring impressive resumes into tonight’s showdown.
The Lady Pioneers (16-1) have won 13 straight, including a 65-49 romp over Central on Dec. 7 in the first meeting between the two teams this season at Dyer. GC’s only loss of the year came vs. Class A Bradford, by a single point, 47-46.
Gibson County has survived several close calls — a pair of one-point victories over Milan, a two-point triumph vs. Dyer County and a three-point decision against Dyersburg — to sit atop the rugged District 13AA pile with an unblemished 6-0 mark.
Obion Central, meanwhile, has reeled off nine consecutive wins since losing its first league game of the year at GCHS.
The Lady Rebels have been particularly dominant during that stretch, winning those games by an average of more than 26 ppg and none by fewer than 11.
The county locals will, however, be without the services of senior stalwart Jana Roney, who suffered a sprained ankle last week against Dyer County and missed OC’s game at Crockett County on Friday. Roney, the Murray State signee who left the earlier meeting between Gibson County and Central in the second half with a health-related issue, has improved, according to her coach, but still isn’t 100 percent.
“We need her healthy more than we need a win, and we feel good about our chances even if she’s not in there,” the OC coach said.
In this week’s AP boys’ rankings, Union City is a unanimous No. 1 pick in Class A.
The Tornadoes (19-0), the lone single-A team with still an unbeaten record this season, topped No. 2 Humboldt 73-61 in a District 14A showdown last week and collected all 14 first-place votes cast by AP sports writers and broadcasters from across the state and 140 total points.
UC is a perfect 11-0 in league play and has won 33 straight regular season district games over a span of three seasons after completing a perfect run through 10-team 14A last season. The last team to beat the locals in the district during the regular season was Humboldt on Jan. 26, 2006.
H’boldt (14-2) retained its runnerup spot behind the Twisters in the rankings after beating county brethren Gibson County and Trenton following its loss to UC last week. The Vikings garnered 96 total points to edge Manassas (20-4) by two, and Lake County (19-3), which was six more points behind and in fourth.
In Class 2A, Westview (16-4) fell just two spots despite being drubbed 90-56 by now second-ranked Dyer County. The Choctaws (19-1), whose only counted loss came vs. White County in a holiday tournament, moved up one place to second behind top-ranked and unbeaten Booker T. Washington.
Bolivar is sixth in double-A.
On the girls’ side, Trenton (12-4) fell one spot to ninth in Class A after being beaten by Milan, and Jackson North Side dropped a slot to seventh in 2A despite improving its record to 15-1.
A complete list of the rankings can be found on page seven.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.