By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Having previously known only where, both Obion Central and Union City now know who and when, too.
The TSSAA held a blind drawing for its three Division I state tournament brackets on Sunday in Murfreesboro, and the Lady Rebels and Tornado girls appear to have gotten at least decent placements in their respective classifications.
Third-ranked OC (33-2), which will be making its 14th all-time appearance in the Class 2A field, will face defending champion McMinn Central (25-7) at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the last of four quarterfinal games at Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
The Lady Rebels will be seeking their first-ever state title — their best-ever previous finish coming in 1984-85 with a runnerup showing vs. Humboldt — while MC, ranked ninth in the final AP poll this season, has three second-place showings in its decorated past and will be looking for its third straight finals appearance.
Union City (21-10), meanwhile, which claims a state title in 1925 — albeit in an invitational setting — is headed to the state in the current TSSAA setup for the first time ever against Wartburg (22-4), Thursday afternoon at 4.
Wartburg will be making its third state tourney trip in school history, its last coming in 2008.
The semifinals are set for both 2A and 1A, as well as Class 3A, for Friday, with the championship rounds scheduled for Saturday. (see brackets)
All Obion County School System schools — except South Fulton — will dismiss classes on Wednesday, while the Union City School System will be out on Thursday for the Lady Tornadoes’ first-round game and again on Friday if UC wins Thursday. There has been no official word on Friday’s classes in the Obion County System if Central wins its opening contest Wednesday.
Though Obion Central might seem to have a bad draw, sources out of East Tennessee suggest the Chargerettes may not be as strong as a year ago when they went 35-1 and won the double-A title.
MC does return the talents of standout frontcourt performer Elizabeth Masengil, who is a Miss Basketball finalist for the second consecutive year after she averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds during the regular season.
Masengil followed that up by being named both the district and regional tournament MVP and had 23 points and 12 rebounds in the Chargerettes’ 57-48 victory over Grundy County in Saturday’s sectionals.
McMinn Central brings a nine-game winning streak into the matchup with OC, including victories in the District 5 and Region 3 championship games.
Union City’s first foe in the single-A tourney — like the Lady Tornadoes — was unranked in the final Associated Press listing.
Still, the Lady Bulldogs will be one of the hottest teams in the field, coming in with a 15-game winning streak that dates back to early January.
The Morgan County school will be coming off a thrilling 47-40 triple-overtime victory over Cosby in Saturday’s sectional round.
According to Knoxville News-Sentinel Prep Editor Jesse Smithy, Wartburg is “a solid program without one true superstar.”
Smithy’s comments were supported by the fact that the star of the Lady Bulldogs’ triumph over Cosby was reserve Hayley Hurtt, who made a critical 3-pointer and a long 2-pointer in the third OT to put her team over the top.
Sarah Davidson led Wartburg with 18 points.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 3.5.12