Before the area district basketball tournaments hit high gear, it’s time to take a look back at the highlights of the regular season.
Here’s the Johnson City Press’ league-by-league look at the best performances of 2011-12:
n Big Eight Conference — Science Hill ran away from everybody, and the Hilltoppers get the same treatment when it comes to the awards.
C.J. Good was the area’s best 3-point shooter, hitting 45 percent from behind the arc and dropping in three per game. The Hilltoppers’ guard was also among the area leaders in scoring, assists, steals, and free throw shooting. That made him the easy pick as player of the year.
Coach of the year — Ken Cutlip, Science Hill.
Defensive player of the year — Will Adams, Science Hill.
n Three Rivers Conference — Unicoi County won the title, but there was not a clear-cut dominant team. That made the choice a little more difficult for postseason honors.
Sullivan North’s Chase Arnold gets the nod for player of the year after leading all of Northeast Tennessee in scoring and rebounding with 21 and 11 per game, respectively.
Coach of the year — Len Dugger, Elizabethton (took over the boys’ team in December and made it a title threat).
Defensive player of the year — Austin Hensley, Unicoi County.
n Mountain East Conference — Hampton caught Cloudland by season’s end, and a Wednesday coin flip will determine the league’s top seed for the district.
Player of the year was also a close call, but Cloudland’s Dylan McClellan’s 17 points and seven rebounds per game put him over the top.
Coach of the year — Ned Smith, Hampton.
Defensive player of the year — Zac Potter, Cloudland.
n Big Eight girls — It’s not all about Science Hill on this side of the equation.
That’s because Tennessee High’s Ashlee Mitchell was the best player in the league, leading Northeast Tennessee with 19 points and 4.9 steals per game. She also added seven rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
Coach of the year — Darrell Barnwell, Science Hill.
Defensive player of the year — Tianna Tarter, Science Hill.
n Three Rivers girls — Unicoi had to fight off some challenges to get to the top, and the same goes for the honors.
In fact, Unicoi’s Emily Edwards shares player of the year honors with Elizabethton’s Morgan Depew. Edwards outscored Depew (18 to 14 per game), but Depew had more assists (4.4 to 2.6) and more steals (2.3 to 2.2).
Coach of the year — Mike Wilson, Elizabethton (kept the team in title contention despite taking over in mid-stream).
Defensive player of the year — Brittany Scott, Sullivan East.
n Mountain East girls — Cloudland ran away from the pack on the court.
Lady Highlanders’ post Brooke Rhodes got in a groove midway through the season and never let up. She averaged 16 points and a Northeast Tennessee-best 11 rebounds per game to earn player of the year.
Coach of the year — Matt Birchfield, Cloudland.
Defensive player of the year — Dorothy Dugger, Hampton.
n Prep signings: Sullivan East football standout Daniel Truett will make his college choice official Wednesda y. He will sign with Tusculum College at 2:30 at Sullivan East.
n Competitors take to multiple mats beginning Thursday during the state individual wrestling tournament in Franklin.
Among the wrestlers with eyes on a high finish are Science Hill’s Cole Schurlknight (126), Steven Goldstein (138), Justin Snyder (160) and Daniel Boone’s Trevor Shropshire (195).
Weigh-ins are scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST) Thursday, and wrestling action begins at 4 p.m. The round of 32 and round of 16 will be contested Thursday.
On Friday, the quarterfinals and semifinals will be held. The tournament concludes with Saturday’s championship matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
n Boys player of the week — Joe Ganger of David Crockett.
The Pioneers posted a pair of wins, and the senior gua rd had a big hand in them.
Ganger totaled 17 points as Crockett turned away rival Daniel Boone, 59-49, on Tuesday. He came back with 24 points in Friday’s 60-38 victory over West Greene.
n Final boys pick of the week record: 9-0.
n David Crockett edges up a spot to No. 9 in the final Prep Top 10 of the season.
Team W-L Prv
1. Science Hill 27-2 1
2. Unicoi County 23-4 2
3. Elizabethton 20-6 3
4. Sullivan East 21-7 4
5. Dobyns-Bennett 16-9 5
6. Tennessee High 19-9 6
7. Sullivan North 13-11 7
8. South Greene 20-11 8
9. David Crockett 16-13 10
10. Sullivan South 15-13 9
n Girls player of the week — Brooke Rhodes of Cloudland.
It was a pair of very strong performances for the junior post.
She had 27 points and 13 rebounds in a 60-44 victory over Unaka on Tuesday. She came back Friday with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in a 58-48 defeat of Hampton.
n Final girls pick of the week record: 9-0.
n Everything stayed the same in the final girls rankings of the season.
Team W-L Prv
1. Science Hill 29-0 1
2. Tennessee High 24-4 2
3. Cloudland 25-3 3
4. Elizabethton 19-9 4
5. Unicoi County 21-6 5
6. Daniel Boone 16-9 6
7. Hampton 17-11 7
8. Sullivan South 19-10 8
9. Volunteer 16-14 9
10. Sullivan East 15-13 10
n This week in prep history — February 11, 1994.
Science Hill’s Roscelle Bullock scored 28 points in the Lady Hilltoppers’ Big Ten Conference title-clinching win over Dobyns-Bennett. She raised her career point total to 1,979, and later passed the 2,000-point milestone.