A month until the tournaments begin, it seems best to keep an eye on surging Pearl-Cohn.
Midway through his third season, coach Raymond Pratcher calls this his best team and a squad, which could make the Firebirds dangerous when tournament time arrives. Not only that, they can play the semifinals and finals (should they make it) on their home court in February.
Not far removed from a nine-game winning streak, which ended with a loss top-ranked Christ Presbyterian Academy last Friday, Pearl-Cohn (10-7, 5-4) hosts East Nashville (16-3, 6-2) on Friday. East Nashville is currently second in District 10-AA.
“It’s my most disciplined team for sure,” Pratcher said. “What I really like is that we have a band of brotherhood, guys who really like playing together, guys with a high basketball IQ.”
Finishing fourth or higher in the district guarantees a first-round home game in the tournament, which begins Feb. 12. That means Pearl-Cohn can play the entire tournament (semifinals are Feb. 15, the finals are Feb. 18-19) at home if it finishes that high.
“The last two years, Maplewood has put us out [in the tournament opener],” Pratcher said. “The first year, we were a No. 7 [seed] and they were a No. 2, and we lost on their court. Last year, we hosted them as a No. 4, and they were a 5, but they beat us again.
“I am hoping and praying that history does not repeat itself. It would be a huge boost for our program if we can get back to region.”
Junior Reshun Scales leads a very balanced team (all five starters average close to double figures) with an average of nearly 12.5 points per game. Michael Battle averages 12, sophomore Jatarius Marable averages 11, senior Omari Moore averages 10 and guard Jordan Sandifer averages just shy of 10 as well as eight assists per game.
“Pearl-Cohn is really playing well,” East Nashville coach Jim Fey said. “We were able to beat them at our place, but they’ve really put it in high gear lately. We have not played a complete game since the finals of the Overton tournament [a Dec. 29 victory over Overton].
“The weather postponements will force us into some back-to-back games. Hopefully, we’re going to get back to playing like we’re capable.”
• Court named: Glencliff has named its basketball court for Glenn Falls, the long-time coach of multiple sports at the school.
The ceremony, attended by many of Falls’ friends and former players, was Monday during Glencliff’s doubleheader against Summit. The presentation, complete with the red lettering of “Glenn Falls Court,’’ was held between games, followed by a reception for Falls, 74.
He was presented with a commemorative, framed drawing, which included his many accomplishments at the school. Falls has 1,180 volleyball victories and one state tournament title and 460 basketball victories and one state girls runner-up and also coached tennis. He announced his retirement last April after a 40-year tenure at the school.
• Interim AD: Franklin Road Academy named football coach Bill Whittemore its interim athletics director while current Kurt Page works on special projects at the school.
FRA finished 6-5 in Whittemore’s first season.
• Father Ryan great passes away: Former Father Ryan baseball star James Cosman (Class of 1960), who played briefly in the majors, died last week after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 69.
Cosman pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals where he was on the 1967 World champ team and also pitched for the Chicago Cubs.
Antioch at Glencliff
Battle Ground Academy at Montgomery Bell Academy
Ezell-Harding at Donelson Christian Academy
St. Cecilia at University School of Nashville (girls)
East Nashville at Pearl-Cohn
Franklin Classical at University School of Nashville (boys)
Franklin at Brentwood High
Father Ryan at Brentwood Academy
Franklin Road Academy at Zion Christian
Hillsboro at Ravenwood
Hunters Lane at Cane Ridge
East Nashville at Pearl-Cohn
Hillwood at McGavock
Hume-Fogg at Stratford
M.L. King at Whites Creek