After winter weather canceled nearly all sporting events this week, Nashville-area high school basketball teams are set to resume district and region tournaments as soon as this weekend.
Which girls teams have the best chance to win state titles in March?
Here are 10 Midstate squads – two from each classification – to watch during the TSSAA postseason (rankings based on latest Associated Press statewide poll):
Local front-runner: No. 2 Summertown (23-3)
The senior trio of Kaley Campbell (10 points per game), Hailey Jones (11.8 PPG) and Rylee Long (10 PPG) has the Lady Eagles positioned for a deep postseason run. Summertown’s only losses were to Class AAA Coffee County, Oakland and Stewarts Creek. The Lady Eagles are seeking their first-ever state championship after finishing as the runner-up to Greenfield in 2018.
Not far behind: No. 5 Loretto (15-6)
The Lady Mustangs suffered a pair of losses to Summertown in District 12-A play, and a third meeting is likely coming soon. But three-time Miss Basketball finalist Karly Weathers (22.6 PPG) and her teammates know what it takes to thrive in March. Loretto was the runner-up in 2019 and advanced to the semifinals last year before COVID-19 canceled the rest of the tournament.
Local front-runner: No. 2 Upperman (26-1)
The Lady Bees have been through the ringer over the last year. Multiple players lost their homes in the deadly tornadoes that swept through Putnam County in March, and just days later, the pandemic ended their hopes of a storybook run through the state tournament. Tennessee Tech signee Reagan Hurst (19.4 PPG) nearly led Upperman to a perfect record this season, but Macon County pulled the upset on Feb. 11.
Not far behind: No. 5 Macon County (18-5)
As the only team to unseat Upperman, the Lady Tigers could make things interesting in the District 8-AA and Region 4-AA tournaments, where the two foes are likely to meet again. Jalynn Gregory, a Middle Tennessee signee and Miss Basketball finalist, averages 21.5 points and will play a major role in determining whether Macon County can make its fifth consecutive state appearance.
Local front-runner: No. 3 Coffee County (25-1)
This season has been a long time coming for the Lady Raiders, who made their lone state appearance and emerged as champions in 1993. Lipscomb signee Bella Vinson (22 PPG) has scored over 2,000 points and helped Coffee County to an undefeated District 8-AAA record since she joined the team in 2017-18. However, Murfreesboro-area teams have eliminated the Lady Raiders each of the past four years.
Not far behind: No. 4 Blackman (15-3)
Speaking of Murfreesboro, guess which team handed Coffee County its only defeat this season? OK, that was too easy: it was Blackman. Led by Vanderbilt signee Iyana Moore (16 PPG), the Lady Blaze have won 13 of their last 14 games. But No. 5 Brentwood (19-4), No. 6 Stone Memorial (20-4) and No. 7 Lebanon (21-4) make Class AAA a wide-open race for Midstate teams.
Local front-runner: No. 3 Webb School (22-2)
The addition of guard Lashae Dwyer (22.5 PPG) and a coaching change have resulted in a complete 180 for Webb School. After a dismal 4-17 finish last season, the Lady Feet could compete with No. 1 Lakeway Christian and No. 2 University School of Jackson for the first state championship in program history.
Not far behind: Clarksville Academy (22-5)
The Lady Cougars are the lone unranked team on this list. That doesn’t mean they can’t battle for their first-ever state final four appearance and possibly more. Senior Diamond Bryant (13.8 PPG) and Clarksville Academy went 14-1 in league play and captured the DII-A District 4 championship on Feb. 13.
Local front-runner: No. 1 Ensworth (16-1)
Bearden ended Ensworth’s 60-game win streak on Feb. 6. The Lady Tigers hadn't lost since Jan. 15, 2019. So in that way, the pressure is now off for the two-time defending state champion. Freshman phenom Jaloni Cambridge (19.4 PPG) and her older sister, Kennedy, look to be primed to lead the Lady Tigers to another state trophy.
Not far behind: No. 2 Brentwood Academy (18-6)
The Lady Eagles have dropped a pair of games to Ensworth by a combined 20 points. Otherwise, Brentwood Academy has been one of the better teams in the Midstate this season, thanks in part to senior point guard Jalia Lee (14 PPG). Ensworth may stand in the way of Brentwood Academy earning its sixth state title, but the Lady Tigers have already shown they aren’t always perfect.