The start of district tournaments signal the home stretch for local basketball teams as the eliminating process begins. Four teams from each district will advance on to their respective regional tournaments.
First round losers will be eliminated while first round winners are assured of at least one game in the Region 5-AAA tournament.
In District 9-AAA, Beech High in the Shackle Island community of Sumner County will be utilized for the bulk of tournament games -- with one twist.
The girls tournament will open Thursday with games at two satellite sites, No. 1 seed Mt. Juliet and No. 2 Hendersonville High.
"Playing four tournament games on a school night (Thursday) is not allowed under TSSAA rules," said LHS girls coach Courtney MacFarland. “And the tournament is hoping to draw bigger crowds using two sites instead of one. Thursday at Mt. Juliet ought to be a big night attendance-wise due to having all three Wilson County schools at one gym."
Here's Thursday's line-up at Mt. Juliet: No. 1 Mt. Juliet vs. No. 8 Portland 6:30 p.m.; No. 4 Wilson Central vs. No. 5 Lebanon 8 p.m.
Thursday at Hendersonville: No. 2 Hendersonville vs. No. 7 Station Camp 8 p.m. and No. 3 Beech vs. No. 6 Gallatin 6:30 p.m.
Semifinal action is set for Saturday at Beech with the winner of the Mt. Juliet - Portland quarterfinal game playing the survivor of the Wilson Central - Lebanon game at 7 p.m.
The other semifinal game will fins the winner of the Hendersonville - Station Camp game playing the winner of Beech - Gallatin at 4 p.m.
District finals are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, feb. 18 at Beech. The girls third place game will be held Monday, Feb. 17.
9-AAA boys tournament opens Friday
With the boys tournament starting on Friday, there is no problem playing four games at one site -- Beech. Here's the quarterfinal schedule:
No. 2 Station Camp will play No. 7 Hendersonville at 4 p.m., followed by No. 3 Gallatin vs. No. 6 Lebanon at 5:30 p.m.
The 7 p.m. game will feature No. 1 Wilson Central vs. No. 8 Portland at 7 p.m. followed by the 8:30 p.m. game between No. 4 Mt. Juliet taking on No. 5 Beech.
Saturday's semifinal round shows the winner of the Station Camp - Hendersonville game playing the winner of the Gallatin - Lebanon game at 5:30 p.m.
The other semifinal will be held at 8:30 p.m. between the winner of Wilson Central - Portland and the winner of Mt. Juliet - Beech.
The tournament champion will be crowned Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m.
The third place game will be played Monday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. The top four teams from the district advance to the Region 5-AAA tournament to be held at Rossview High.