The end of the 2020-2021 basketball season would not feel right without a complete postponement of all district tournaments due to unforeseen circumstances.
But I digress.
All twelve public area schools come into the district tournament on Monday after the inclement weather moved their games from last week.
Jo Byrns took both the boys and girls District 9-A titles, but neither scored perfect records against their opponents.
The White House Heritage Patriots took the District 9-AA regular season title after compiling an 11-1 district record.
Here is a look at all of the teams’ resumes thus far:
Jo Byrns (13-3, 5-1) - Top seed in District 9-A
The Red Devils got off to a fantastic start this season behind Jayden Caira and four fellow senior leaders. They won 10 of their first 11 games, only losing to Clarksville Academy.
Caira managed to become a member of the 1000-point club for JBHS this season, but he has not had the tunnel-vision for the hoop as some high-volume scorers. His vision and passing ability are what set him apart from the pack, running the show and making the right decisions.
Senior forwards Bryce Cox and Logan Head are key cogs in the Red Devil machine and provide the necessary physical presence on the floor.
Over the past five games, it has not been as smooth sailing. Jo Byrns has lost two of those games to McEwen, a district opponent, and Cheatham County, a team they had already defeated this season.
Their season goal has been wrapping up District 9-A. It’s within reach, but they will have to work for it. They will surely get a fight from their in-county foe.
East Robertson (4-15, 1-5) - No. 4 seed in District 9-A
This is a very different place than the Indians were in last season when they hosted the Red Devils as the top seed in District 9-A. They won 15 of their last 16 games including all six of their postseason matchups to advance to the state tournament that never happened.
The team lost a number of key pieces: four senior starters and, of course, Taylor Groves.
The Indians have had to work to build a rhythm and become comfortable on the floor, which is especially difficult when they have played a little more than half of the amount of games.
They have senior leadership behind guards Van True and Alex Patterson, and late addition Shaun Groves gives them a little more depth.
After losing nine in a row, East Robertson is 2-3 in their last five games. They pulled out a clutch win over White House and also played a tight one against their first-round matchup, Jo Byrns.
The Indians will need their best basketball to defeat the Red Devils, but a good shooting night mixed in with an off night for Jo Byrns could present the upset of the season.
White House Heritage (18-4, 11-1) - Top seed in District 9-AA
The Patriots are on top of District 9-AA for the first time since 2017 thanks to a collection of talent and experience.
Seniors Ben Branlund, Damonate Teasley and Caleb Guisewite are just three of the eight seniors on the roster. Depth is not an issue as head coach Carl Miller likes to play 10 guys each night.
Junior Daniel Bale is having a special season. The 6-foot-5 forward can score inside and out and is shooting well over 60 percent from the field on the season. Yes, you read that right.
Heritage has already locked up a trip to the Region 5-AA tournament, but they want as good a matchup as possible when they get there.
The district tournament is theirs for the taking. If they play to their potential Tuesday and Wednesday, they should take the top-seed into the region tournament.
White House (13-11, 9-3) - No. 2 seed in District 9-AA
The Blue Devils have shown this season they can be a problem for many teams. Their inside-out game has defenses scrambling at times.
They have something (nay, someone) no other team has: William “Quad” Lucas. The man is built like an offensive lineman, and that is exactly what he is going to Bethel University to be.
In the Blue Devils’ second game against Sycamore, he opened up everything. After he scored a few points in the first quarter, the War Eagles threw multiple people at him the rest of the way, leaving shooters and cutters wide open for easy points.
White House has other weapons such as Ethan Droz and point guard Amarion Lucas, but the unique problem “Quad” Lucas presents opponents is extremely difficult to overcome for some teams.
The big challenge for the Blue Devils will be getting past the Patriots. They dropped both games between the two this season by an average of 18 points.
Greenbrier (7-14, 4-8) - No. 5 seed in District 9-AA
The Bobcats have had a streaky season, suffering two losing streaks of four games including the entire month of February up to this writing.
Greenbrier has a few football players on the roster and play a physical style of basketball. They want to run when they can, but they are not going to outscore their opponents. They scored over 60 points only twice this season and lost to White House with their highest scoring output of the season.
The Bobcats are at their best when their defense is stifling opponents and leading to easy baskets.
The Bobcats travel Monday to face Cheatham County in the first round of the district tournament. The good news is half of their district wins have come against the Cubs, so they should have plenty of confidence they can win.
Springfield (10-12, 8-8) - No. 5 seed in District 10-AAA
The Yellow Jackets’ .500-record puts them in the middle of the pack in District 10-AAA.
Seniors Savion Scott and Caleb Chapman have had solid seasons. Scott is always a presence near the hoop despite his sub-6-foot height.
Chapman has flashed a lot of potential throughout the season. His long frame, shooting stroke and athletic ability make him difficult to guard. Head coach Micah Rochester has wanted him to step up and be confident in himself because the potential is there.
Clarksville Northeast ended up with the fourth seed, and that is not good news for the Yellow Jackets. The two teams met on Jan. 29, and Springfield only managed 38 points, their third-lowest scoring output of the season.
It is clear they will need to score more to advance to the regional tournament, but the potential is there for the Yellow Jackets. Strong nights from Chapman, Scott and Jacquarium Collum could beat any District 10-AAA team.
Jo Byrns (15-2, 5-1) - Top seed in District 9-A
The Lady Devils have been dominant for most of the season, winning 13 of their 17 games by at least 10 points.
Junior Brooke Dowlen is an all-around star. Dribbling, shooting, passing, defending, she has no weakness. The attention she draws is critical for the rest of the team to find good shots. She also crossed the 1000-point threshold this season.
Head coach Jessica Holt has been holding on to her tenure to see this team through. The starting five consists of two seniors and three juniors, and they play almost the entire game if possible.
Junior Grayson Bryant, the team’s second-leading scorer appeared to have broken her nose in their season finale against Westmoreland. That loss would be extremely difficult to overcome, considering the team’s lack of depth, but Holt said she would be out there one way or another.
Jo Byrns has been here before. The real question is how far can they go.
The last two seasons have ended at the hands of the Loretto Lady Mustangs in the sectional round. In order to have the best chance of making the state tournament, the Lady Devils will have to win both the district and regional tournaments.
The question is not if they can, it is whether or not they will.
East Robertson (1-22, 0-6) - No. 4 seed in District 9-A
It has not been the Lady Indians year.
They have dealt with missing players and lots of inexperience the entire season.
Underclassmen Peyton Lackey and Macy Phelps are bright spots for the future of the program, but both missed some time with quarantines this year.
The East Roberson Middle School team finished a successful year, and now two eighth graders are playing up for the high school team.
Head coach Kenyatta Perry is hopeful the game action now will turn into success down the road.
White House (12-11, 3-7) - No. 4 seed in District 9-AA
The Lady Devils are much improved this season, doubling their win total from six to 12.
Senior Alexis Bess is headed to Freed-Hardeman University to play college ball, but she is not the only weapon on the team; she does not typically lead the way in scoring.
Guards Avery Droz and Faithe Johnstone do a good job facilitating the offense. Marley Hyde and Chloe Hart have developed throughout the season.
White House has been buzzing about this team and their potential all year, and now they have a chance to prove how far they have come.
Advancing to the Region 5-AA tournament for the first time since 2008 would be the perfect way to cap off a successful season. There is now only one team standing in their way.
White House Heritage (7-15, 3-7) - No. 5 seed in District 9-AA
The 2020-2021 season has been full of them for the Lady Patriots in both games and the season as a whole.
For months, head coach Clay Head talked about his team’s inability to play well from the tip. If they just played the whole game like they did in the third quarter, they would be much more successful.
Finally, after losing nine games in a row to start the season, they flipped the switch. Since the turn of the calendar year, they are 7-7.
After losing to both Sycamore and White House earlier in the season, Heritage avenged their losses.
Heritage has played much better in 2021, and they should go into rival White House’s gym with plenty of confidence.
Greenbrier (8-9, 3-7) - No. 6 seed in District 9-AA
Perhaps no team has had a worse February than the Lady Cats.
Greenbrier went into quarantine after defeating second-seeded Cheatham County on Jan. 29 and came back to drop two games to Sycamore in less than 24 hours.
Then, the snow came.
Over the last three weeks, the Lady Cats have played two games, both against their first-round opponent, both ending with lopsided results.
Head coach Brianna Gillen said fatigue was an issue against Sycamore, and now her team adds on another week of no game action.
When the Lady Cats were at their best, they could compete with most teams in the district. They swept the season series with White House and could not play their season-ending game against Heritage. If all of the games were played, they could be even higher, but the same could be said for a lot of teams this season.
As for the first-round matchup with Sycamore, beating a team three times is tough, and beating a team three times in ten days may be even tougher.
Springfield (6-21, 4-12) - No. 7 seed in District 10-AAA
First-year head coach Tara Koran stepped into a rebuilding program this season, and at times, it has been difficult.
Many of the Lady Jackets were inexperienced, and the pandemic did not help. Springfield was forced to shut down in December, and they did not play a live game for 31 days.
The Lady Jackets draw Clarksville in their first-round matchup. They lost to the Lady Wildcats 68-26 on Jan. 26.
Juniors Shamarri Cantrell and Sarah Tejeda have potential to be the leaders of a competitive team next season. Hopefully, Koran can right the ship with a full off-season.