NEB Media's Tennessee State Championship Predictions: AA Edition
To make it to the Glass House is a feat in itself in AA this year. This division is the most wide-open classification in Tennessee this year, with up to 12 teams that could walk away from the Boro with the gold ball. There are a lot of unknowns in AA not only due to the level of competition, but also because most of these teams do not travel outside of their respective areas to play.
There are four teams that have separated themselves from the rest, but about four other teams are close behind nipping their heels. Jackson Southside, Upperman, McMinn Central, and Westview should get to the Glass House barring a major upset, which is very possible.
Jackson Southside’s leading scorer is Quanandra Miller, who will put the ball in the basket any way possible from anywhere on the floor. Their point guard, Cheyenne Cunningham, is a true floor general that keeps the whole team moving forward. This is an extremely athletic team that loves full-court pressure and scoring off turnovers. Upperman, the 2016 state runner-up, is primed to take home the gold ball. Their pursuit is led by Western Kentucky commit, Miss Basketball finalist, and do-everything guard Akira Levy and sharpshooter Gracie Maynard. It’s Upperman’s title if they are consistent on both ends of the floor. But wait, McMinn Central has something to say about that. Coming to the Glass House is something of habit for McMinn Central and their coach, Johnny Morgan. They have one of the most prolific scorers of all-time in Jacobi Lynn, another Miss Basketball finalist. This little fireball has a heart big enough to carry in a five-gallon bucket, and if they make it to the Boro she nor her team will go down without a major fight. This is the team that should scare everyone in the field. Last is Westview out of Martin, TN. Every year they find a way to get to Murfreesboro and every year they are in the mix to win it. Led by Tasia “the Microwave” Jones and big girl Deja Graves, this 1-2 punch is like no other. Westview will be a hard out and could win it all.
After the four frontrunners, there are a handful of teams that can get to the Glass House and could make quite a run if anyone ahead of them stumbles. East Nashville, the defending state champs, and 2-time state champion coach Lois Donaldson can get it done with Miss Basketball nominee Erica Haynes-Overton. Out of east Tennessee, University of Kentucky signee KeKe McKinney and her Knox-Fulton bunch are in the hunt for a AA title, as well as Qua Hines and Gatlinburg-Pittman. Others who could make it to the Glass House are Pearl-Cohn and Cheatham County, the latter led by Coach Jimmy Gibbs. Westmoreland, Lewis County, Grainger, and Greeneville also are teams we might see in Murfreesboro if any of the top four falter.