SPORTS PAGE FUNNY: Maryville vs William Blount

In a moment of levity Saturday morning, Maryville girls basketball coach Scott West (left) and William Blount girls basketball coach Todd Wright do their best boxing poster poses at the instigation of the show's producers between their appearances on The Sports Page at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria in Maryville.

It’s been 11 years since the District 4-AAA Girls Basketball Tournament came down to an all-Blount County championship, but a pair of semifinal upsets on Friday have set Maryville and William Blount to decide the title tonight at Hardin Valley Academy.

Here’s three things to watch as Blount County is guaranteed a district champion.REBOUNDING: William Blount ended the regular season on a slump, losing to Maryville, Alcoa and Bearden over a seven-day stretch, but has won both of its tournament games. The biggest turnaround, hasn’t been from the Lady Govs’ perimeter shooting, but from their new-found emphasis on rebounding. WB outrebounded Lenoir City and HVA in winning its way into the championship game.

Maryville’s ability to dominate in the paint was key in its upset of top-seeded Bearden. Chances are whoever wins the boards walks out of the gym with the plaque sporting gold trim.STREAKS: The Maryville Lady Rebels have won seven of their last eight and nine of their last 11. ... William Blount is making consecutive appearances in the district championship game. ... The Lady Govs are 2-1 against Maryville this season, winning the Renasant consolation game, 67-42, on Dec. 30, and taking a 66-57 decision in the regular season game played in WB’s Marvin L. Boring Gymnasium on Jan. 13. ... The Lady Rebels won the last meeting, 63-49, in the regular-season game at Maryville in the season’s final week.HISTORY BOOKS: The last time it was an all-Blount championship game on the girls side of the bracket, Hardin Valley wasn’t a school, Sevier County and South-Doyle were still in the district and the Blount County schools both had future hall of famers on their roster.

WB’s Angela Puleo put up 37 points, finishing the 2006 district tourney with a 37-point scoring average for MVP honors, as the Lady Govs took a 75-70 win over the Heritage squad that exceeded all expectations after it lost future Lady Vol Cait McMahan early in the season. Maryville College’s current head softball coach was just a high school sophomore, but Leah Kelley delivered the fourth- quarter dagger with two WB 3s in the final stanza.

Current WB head coach Todd Wright on Saturday’s appearance on The Sports Page sounded very much like WB’s head coach Matt Fowler in 2006. “All we had was a bunch of individuals, but then we came together and the girls are just playing great,” Fowler told Daily Times reporter Glenn LaFollette following the championship win.BONUS: Hardin Valley and Bearden talked earlier in the week about looking forward to a rematch. They got it, just probably not in the game they were expecting. The pair will meet in Monday’s consolation game that will determine seeding and who travels where for the Region 2-AAA quarterfinals.

An East Tennessee newshound since 1990, minus a few years spent working the road race circuit , Marcus has been a reporter, copy editor and sports editor, and is currently the copy desk chief of the APG-East Design Center located at The Daily Times.

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