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Sullivan South hopes to defend title in Action Athletics tournament

Tanner Cook • Dec 25, 2019 at 11:05 PM

The Action Athletics Christmas basketball tournament kicks off Thursday afternoon at Sullivan North High School in Kingsport.

The double-elimination tournament consists of 10 teams from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and will conclude Monday evening.

Sullivan North Golden Raiders

The host squad has racked up a record of 6-4 so far in the early season with a couple of good wins over Cloudland and at Providence Academy. Trey Williams presents some problems for teams as the senior guard can shoot and drive to the basket with effectiveness.

Chuckey-Doak Black Knights

The Black Knights have struggled as of late this season, posting a 3-10 record. However, they do have wins at Unicoi County and Claiborne.

Sullivan Central Cougars

Central (3-10) has struggled to score all season, only posting more than 60 points twice this season. Arguably, the Cougars’ best game of the season came last time out in a 66-57 win over Johnson County.

Volunteer Falcons

The Falcons (6-9) have had highs and lows so far and Mike Poe’s team is young this season. Volunteer is still without a Big 7 conference win in three tries, but this could be a good confidence boost for the youthful squad.

Cloudland Highlanders

The ’Landers are off to one of the best starts of any team in the tournament field, coming in 5-3 including wins over Johnson County and Happy Valley. However, they did drop their only Watauga Valley Conference game so far against at Sullivan North, 71-63.

Cumberland Gap Panthers

Not much is known about the Panthers (4-3) coming into the tournament, but one game that sticks out so far this season was a loss to South Greene. The Panthers lost by double-digits, but held an efficient Rebels squad to just 50 points.

Happy Valley Warriors

The Warriors started out the season hot, winning four in a row, but have since come back to Earth and have lost four straight. Of the first three wins, at Cloudland and at Sullivan North stick out on the nonconference slate.

Tri-Cities Christian Eagles

The Eagles have lost two games this season to Sullivan East and Unaka by double digits and will have a tall task playing an athletic Happy Valley team in the first game.

Lebanon Pioneers

The Pioneers have had a rough start to the season, coming out of the blocks slow at 2-5, but did win last time out against Council. Lebanon has competed well with some of the bigger teams in Southwest Virginia.

Cocke County Fighting Cocks

Starting 4-9 and not being in that many games with some of the best teams from District 2 does not bode well for the Fighting Cocks. The last time out, they lost to county rival Cosby by 10 points and have gotten blown out by 40-plus points against both Morristown West and Sevier County.

Sullivan South Rebels

The defending tournament champion Rebels (10-1) have the strongest resume by far, but they have a tendency of letting big leads almost slip away late in the game. The big trio of Ben Diamond, Cole Layne and Gannon Chase could have a big coming out party in this event.

John Battle Trojans

The Trojans — much like Happy Valley — started out the season hot, but have slowed down as of late. At 3-2, Battle has wins over fellow tourney participants Lebanon and Sullivan North.

Battle struggled the last time out against Wise Central, mustering just 44 points.