University High draws McKenzie in quarterfinals

Jeff Birchfield • Mar 5, 2019 at 7:56 PM

Something's got to give in University High's quarterfinal matchup in next week's TSSAA Class A state tournament.

After sweeping Watauga Valley Conference, District 1-A and Region 1-A championships, the Bucs (29-5) will put a 10-game winning streak on the line against McKenzie (28-3), which enters the state tournament with a 13-game winning streak. Tip-off is scheduled for Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. EST.

University High coach Justin Penley plans on getting familiar with the Rebels over the coming days.

"You try to gather all the information you can, lean on your contacts across the state," Penley said. "You want to get your hands on some film, some scouting report to know what you're up against. I feel we're helped by the fact our district is really strong and we've been in the grind, in several close games."

University High is on the opposite side of the bracket of Cosby, which the Bucs defeated 54-51 in the Region 1-A championship game, and pre-tournament favorite Manassas.

Kaleb Meredith leads the Bucs with 18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Other leaders include Marshall Fleenor with 11.5 points and 3.9 assists per game and Jake Hubbard with 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

The Rebels, who beat defending state champion Loretto 54-51 for the Region 6-A championship, are led by 6-foot-8 Ben Austin, who has averaged 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

A full game preview will be in next week's Johnson City Press.

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