When it gets to the final eight teams in the state, there's rarely anything but a good strong challenge awaiting.
Still, Elizabethton head coach Len Dugger was not dissatisfied with his team's quarterfinal opponent in the Class AA state girls basketball tournament.
During a blind draw Sunday in Murfreesboro, the Lady Cyclones (29-3) were matched up against Livingston Academy (25-11). Game time is Thursday at 3:45 p.m. (EST) at Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
“I'm sure Livingston Academy is a good team,” said Dugger. “In all reality, everybody still playing does something pretty good. And I know Livingston Academy is a team that is always there battling for the state tournament.
“To me, when you get this far it's all about matchups. Hopefully we can create situations where they don't have good matchups.”
Livingston's 11 losses doesn't factor much into the equation, said Dugger.
“That can be misleading one way or the other,” he said. “You don't know the kind of schedule they had. Normally you don't pay a lot of attention to who other teams are playing until you get this far along. Wins and losses don't mean that much to me right now. The main thing is they are still playing, so they must be good.”
Elizabethton was placed in the same bracket with Nashville Martin Luther King (29-2) and Martin Westview (24-12).
That put Dyersburg (31-4) and Cannon County (33-4) in the opposite bracket.
“Just to be honest those were the two teams I didn't want either of them in the first round,” said Dugger.
Cannon County will play Knox Fulton at 5:30 with Dyersburg battling Creek Wood at 7.
The Lady Cyclones continued to get good news on the injury front with point guard Sarah Bradley going through therapy on Sunday for a shoulder injury.
“I talked to her, and she was sore,” said Dugger. “But she should be able to play (in the state tournament).”
As for North Greene's bracket, the Lady Huskies' quarterfinal chore is tough. But a win over Jackson County would give North Greene a really good shot at reaching the finals again as the Lady Huskies would face either Dresden or Loretto. North Greene made it to the Class A championship game in 2011.
In Class AAA, Morristown West drew Clarksville Rossview and avoided the bracket of top-ranked Murfreesboro Blackman.
Jefferson County is in Blackman's bracket, but drew Mt. Juliet in the first round.