Basketball fans the high school season gets started this week across the state of Tennessee. Gibson County is always a hotbed of basketball talent on the boys’ and girls’ side.
Two teams stand out as the top teams in West Tennessee right now with South Side boys and Westview girls, but there are plenty of games to be played.
Here are the top 12 rankings heading into the Hall of Champions games:
1. South Side (25-2; Class AAA): The Hawks finished runner-up in the Class AA state tournament last year, and they return multiple key players.
2. Haywood (11-11; Class AAA): With a young squad, the Tomcats reached the Region 8-AA semifinals before losing to Bolivar.
3. Peabody (15-15; Class A): The Golden Tide will have three of the top scorers in West Tennessee once the football players join the team — Jason Hunt, Derek Kee, DeMarkus Kee.
4. West Carroll (21-11: Class A): The War Eagles reached the Class A quarterfinals last season and return two key players from that team.
5. Middleton (12-10; Class A): Led by RJ Robinson, the Tigers could get back to the Region 7-A semifinals, the spot where they were eliminated last season.
6. Fayette-Ware (11-11; Class AAA): The Wildcats reached the Class AA sectionals last season before losing to South Side, and this team has one of the top posts in the area in Jasteven Walker.
7. South Gibson (19-9; Class AAA): The Hornets won the District 13-AA championship last season and reached the Region 7-AA semifinals.
8. Westview (15-12; Class AA): The Chargers reached the Class AA sectionals before losing to Bolivar.
9. Dyersburg (13-12; Class AAA): The Trojans reached the Region 7-AA semifinals, and they have some key players returning.
10. Bolivar (22-7; Class AA): While the Tigers will have a new look this season, the goal will still be to get back to the Class AA quarterfinals, where they reached last season.
11. Humboldt (16-7; Class A): The Vikings reached the Region 7-A semifinals before losing to Union City.
12. North Side (8-12; Class AAA): The Indians suffered through a losing season last year, but alumnus Aaron Woods is back to coach his alma mater.
1. Westview (27-2; Class AA): The Lady Chargers reached the Class AA semifinals for the fifth time in six years, and they return highly-recruited Jada Harrison.
2. McKenzie (26-2; Class A): The Lady Rebels reached the Region 6-A semifinals last season, and they are one of the favorites to win the Class A state championship this year.
3. Gibson County (33-2; Class AA): The Lady Pioneers, led by Class A Miss Basketball finalist Madison Hart, reached the Class A state tournament for the third straight season.
4. Greenfield (18-6; Class A): The Lady Yellowjackets reached the Region 7-A semifinals last season and are led by senior Edie Darby.
5. South Side (22-2; Class AAA): The Lady Hawks were undefeated last year going into the Region 7-AA championship, but they lost two straight to fall one win short of the Class AA state tournament.
6. TCA (20-9; Division II-A): The Lady Lions reached the first round of the Division II-A state tournament last year and returns all but one player.
7. South Gibson (15-12: Class AAA): The Lady Hornets reached the Region 7-AA semifinals before losing to South Side.
8. Hardin County (21-3; Class AAA): The Lady Tigers were the Cinderella of the Class AAA state tournament last season reaching the state semifinals.
9. Covington (25-6; Class AAA): The Lady Chargers reached the Class AA state tournament last season after winning the District 15-AA and Region 8-AA titles.
10. Gleason (19-9; Class A): The Lady Bulldogs lost to Peabody in the Region 7-A quarterfinals, a third loss on the season to the Lady Tide.
11. USJ (22-5); Division II-A): The Lady Bruins lost their top two players after reaching the Division II-A semifinals last season.
12. Dyer County (17-9; Class AAA): The Lady Choctaws reached the Region 7-AAA semifinals before losing to Arlington.