Cold weather zaps several area games, Science Hill still on

Douglas Fritz • Jan 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM

At this time of year, weather is usually part of the high school basketball scene.And cold was the biggest winner Tuesday night.All three of the Three Rivers Conference contests succumbed to temperatures that started near zero and couldn't fight their way out of the teens.Games still being played as scheduled are David Crockett at Science Hill, Tennessee High visiting Daniel Boone, and Cloudland traveling to play Unaka.Sullivan South's game at Unicoi County was rescheduled for Jan. 18 while Johnson County and Elizabethton will

play Jan. 23 at Treadway Gym. A makeup date for Sullivan East's home game against Happy Valley was not announced.It was a tough situation for Johnson County. The Longhorns haven't played since a Dec. 28 loss in the Arby's Classic, and were already facing a 10-day layoff. Now it will extend to 13 days with a visit to rival Unicoi County on Friday.“It's tough,” said Johnson County head coach Austin Atwood. “We tried every way in the world to get to play. It's just so cold, we couldn't do it.”It got down to minus-8 in Mountain City, and even getting a bus rolling wasn't in the cards.“We couldn't get a bus started,” said Atwood. “The wind chill was 14 below. I just drove through town, and all of the guys who drive a truck for a living were plugged in. It's like Alaska where they have to plug in every day to keep warm. It's cold for sure.”Atwood said the layoff has made his players tired of going against each other. And offense could be a problem early in Friday's game.“We may be sloppy the first four or five possessions,” said Atwood. “Defensively we've got to be ready to come in and go.”As for Unicoi County, the Blue Devils don't have layoff concerns as they played Cloudland on Jan. 4. However, they were facing one of their biggest games of the season in the home encounter against the Rebels.“It's a letdown,” said Blue Devils' head coach John English. “We've had this week circled for a while now. To prepare for it and all of a sudden not be playing, it's tough on the kids. But it is what it is.”Unicoi is 3-1 in the conference while South was coming in at 4-0. The two teams played a non-conference game earlier this season with the Blue Devils winning 55-50 in the Hardee's Classic.“That game was unbelievable, a tale of two games,” said English. “We were up 23 points at one time in the second quarter, and then we were up three and they had possession with one minute left in the game.“They were less than a week out of football and had some kids finding their way. We fully expected to see a whole different South team.”English said he expects to see a tough Johnson County team also, despite the layoff.“Nobody does any better job of preparing for a game than Austin,” said English. “I know having extra time to prepare for us, they will have some new wrinkles. It will be a huge game at home, no doubt.”Also postponed Tuesday was Dobyns-Bennett at Sullivan Central, and University High's game at Tri-Cities Christian. The Indians and Cougars will play Monday, but no makeup date has been announced for the UH game.

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