While most teams across the state have known for a while which squad awaits them when the postseason arrives next week, the Henry County Wildcats had to wait until Sunday night — and it came down to a game of luck.
With all four boys’ 31st District teams tied in the race for tournament seedings, the coaches met a couple of nights ago for a draw to determine the pairings. In the end, Owen County earned the No. 1 seed and will play No. 4 seeded Gallatin County next Wednesday, while No. 2 seeded Henry County will play No. 3 seeded Carroll County on the same night. The winner of those games will automatically advance to the 8th Region tournament and meet for the district title.
Henry has defeated Carroll and Owen twice each and Gallatin once for a 5-3 district mark. With the four-way tie, this district could be one of the more entertaining ones in the entire state. Gallatin has won it the last three seasons (every year since the state’s realignment), most people consider Owen to be the favorite, Henry has the best record (19-7) and Carroll will host the tournament.
“There’s no easy draw,” said HCHS coach Jason Holland, whose team defeated Carroll by just two and three points. “It’s going to be a tough game regardless.”
With Gallatin defeating Henry twice and Owen defeating Henry once, on paper the Carroll draw seems to be the one the Wildcats wanted. But with it being on Carroll’s home court, and both games during the regular season being so close, it will most likely be another nail bitter. It’s one you don’t want to miss.
While the Wildcats have the best chance from Henry County of advancing to the regional tournament, the other three high school teams in the county will also be opening district play next week against the host school as the No. 4 seeds.
The Henry girls will play No. 1 seeded Carroll County next Tuesday. The Ladycats have played Carroll twice this season with Carroll winning both times — 58-34 and 48-39.
Meanwhile, the Eminence boys’ team will open the 30th District tournament against Anderson County — the top ranked team in the region — next Tuesday. The winner of that game will play either Shelby County or Spencer County. The one time Eminence played Anderson this season, Anderson won 75-44.
For the Eminence girls, they will also open postseason against Anderson next Tuesday. The one time Eminence and Anderson played this season, Anderson won 78-20.
Now that the postseason has officially arrived, the records and past achievements can be tossed out the window somewhere along Highway 421 because when next week arrives all the teams will be 0-0. And that’s when the fun really starts.
Tommie can be reached at email@example.com.