New stage for Farragut baseball in National High School Invitational

Farragut High School’s baseball team has played in numerous national tournaments.

The Admirals have won nine state championships, ranking second all-time in Tennessee.

Yet, plenty will be new when Farragut opens play in the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, which begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday in Cary, N.C.

“This tournament is a notch up from anything we’ve ever done,” Farragut coach Matt Buckner said on Monday. “This is a lot different. The competition is really high; a lot of big-time prospects. I think one guy told me that every single Major League Baseball team was there last year, and every single scouting director was there.

“You don’t get that in one spot every day.”

The talent pool this year includes more than 65 Division I commitments, and numerous MLB draft prospects. It’s something Farragut — which has three players committed to high-major programs: Duncan Pence (Tennessee), Chase Fullington (North Carolina) and Patrick Raby (Vanderbilt) — will get a taste of early when it takes on College Park High (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed live on MLB.com.

Joe DeMers, a Washington commit, is the headliner for College Park. The top left-handed pitching prospect has an arsenal of off-speed pitches, and can run his fastball into the mid-90s. He’s one of seven Division I commits for the Falcons, who recently dropped from first to seventh in Baseball America’s national high school rankings.

The field includes six other nationally ranked teams, including No.1 Mosley High (Lynn Haven, Fla.). Several others, including Farragut,  have been ranked at some point this season. The Admirals, who are expected to start Raby opposite DeMers, were ranked 13th in the preseason, before dropping out.

“It is about the experience and competing, but we ain’t going there to lose,” Buckner said. “We’re going to try to win, obviously. I don’t know how we stack up with those teams, but I feel like we’ll compete. I haven’t known many Farragut teams not to compete.”

Three criteria were used in selecting teams this season, including program history, overall depth and talent and draftable prospects. The tournament also leaned towards teams that hadn’t previously played in the event.

“Typically you see some of the top prospects are on some of the best teams in the country, for obvious reasons,” said tournament director Mark Dvoroznak, adding that representatives from all 30 MLB teams are expected to attend again this year. “You’re going to play four games in four days, and we need teams that are going to come in and compete on that four-day period.

“We feel it’s the premier event on the high school calendar. We’re excited about the class in 2015. It’s some of the most depth in the four years we’ve done the event.”

Short hops: San Clemente left-handed pitcher Kolby Allard is the tournament’s top pitching prospect, and listed No. 8 in Baseball America’s 2015 MLB draft rankings. Allard’s fastball ranges from 90 to 92 miles per hour over extended innings, though he’s been clocked as high as 96. … Farragut’s opening-round game is one of two being streamed live by MLB.com on Wednesday, and one of seven overall, including Saturday’s championship.

National High School Invitational Tournament Schedule
At National Training Complex, Cary, N.C.
Round of 16
Wednesday’s Games
JSerra (Calif.) vs. Mosley (Fla.), 10 a.m.
Horizone (Ariz.) vs. Loyalsock (Pa.), 11 a.m.
College Park (Calif.), vs. Farragut, 1 p.m.
Huntingdon Beach (Calif.) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), 1:30 p.m.
Puyallup (Wash.) vs. Leesville Road (N.C.), 2 p.m.
Desoto Central (Miss.) vs. Whitewater (Ga.), 3:15 p.m.
San Clemente (Calif.) vs. Lambert (Ga.), 3:45 p.m.
Thursday’s Game
Trinity Prep (Fla.) vs. College Station (Texas), 9:45 a.m.

Note: Due to the rules and regulations of multiple state high school associations that govern the dates and times for when teams are permitted to compete, after the round of 16, the daily schedule cannot be communicated until the end of play on the previous day. Specifically, GA teams may not compete during regular school hours and Oklahoma. and Texas teams may not play on Wednesdays. At the request of the coaches participating in the event, the consolation matchups will be scheduled to ensure that teams from the same state do not match up.

Chris Thomas covers high school sports. Follow him at twitter.com/prepxtra.

 

Bearden boys soccer invitational tournament schedule

2015 Bearden Boys Invitational Tournament

Thursday’s Games

At Bearden

West vs. CAK, 4 p.m

Hardin Valley vs. Hendersonville, 6 p.m.

Bearden vs. Gallatin, 8 p.m.

Friday’s Games

West vs. Gallatin (at Bearden), 5 p.m.

Notre Dame at Hardin Valley, 6 p.m.

Father Ryan vs. Oak Ridge (at Farragut), 6:30 p.m.

Greeneville at CAK, 7 p.m.

Hendersonville at Bearden, 7 p.m.

Science Hill at Maryville, 7 p.m.

CPA at Farragut, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday’s  Games

At Bearden

Hardin Valley vs. Gallatin, 8 a.m.

Webb vs. CPA, 10 a.m.

Oak Ridge vs. Notre Dame, Noon

Maryville vs. Father Ryan, 2 p.m.

CAK vs. Science Hill, 4 p.m.

Farragut vs. Hendersonville, 6 p.m.

Bearden vs. Greeneville, 8 p.m.

Sunday’s Games

At Bearden

West vs. Notre Dame, 8 a.m.

Oak Ridge vs. Science Hill, 10 a.m.

Webb vs. Father Ryan, Noon

Maryville vs. Greeneville, 2 p.m.

Justin Zachary hired as basketball coach at The King’s Academy

Justin Zachary, a Farragut High School graduate and middle school coach at Christian Academy of Knoxville, has been hired as boys basketball coach at The King’s Academy.

The hire was announced in release from TKA athletic director Marc Weekly on Friday.

“In the short time I have spent with Justin, his passion and knowledge of the game is evident,” Weekly said in the release. “He is a young, spirited coach with a passion for TKA basketball.”

Zachary replaces Ian Britton, who resigned as coach to focus on his role as TKA’s director of boys’ resident life.

Zachary began coaching at CAK in 2011, taking over the middle school program and assisting on Shane Wells’ high school staff. Zachary graduated from Farragut in 2001, when he was team captain and garnered All-Region and All-KIL honors.

Boys basketball state tournament schedule

State Tournament

At Murfreesboro

Murphy Center

All times Eastern

Boys

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals

Class AAA

Brentwood 72, White County 57

Memphis East 68, Oak Ridge 57

Blackman 65, Maryville 45

Hamilton 55, Hillsboro 34

Class A

Grace Christian 54, Clay County 52

Mitchell 69, Columbia Academy 40

Thursday’s Quarterfinals

Class AA

Chris Presbyterian Academy 77, Brainerd 43

Haywood County 74, Carter 69

Ripley 84, Chattanooga Central 69

Fulton 71, Creek Wood Creek Wood 63

Class A

Loretto 68, Van Buren County 52

Union City 57, Hampton 53

Friday’s Semifinals

Class AAA

Brentwood 53, Memphis East 44

Hamilton 59, Blackman 43

Class AA

Haywood County 60, CPA 54

Ripley (30-11) vs. Fulton (27-4), 7 p.m.

Class A

Memphis Mitchell 72, Grace Christian 37

Union City 55, Loretto 40

Saturday’s Championships

Class AAA

Brentwood (30-6) vs. Hamilton (15-15), 3 p.m.

Class AA

Haywood County (34-2) vs. Fulton/Ripley winner, 8 p.m.

Class A

Mitchell (31-6) vs. Union City (33-3), 5:30 p.m.

Class AA Championship: McMinn Central vs. Martin Luther King



McMinn Central (30-5) vs. Martin Luther King (28-6)
What:
Class AA State Championship Game
When: Sunday, 7 p.m. (TV: MyVLT)
Skinny: Sophomore McMinn Central wing Jacobi Lynn has established herself as one of the area’s premier slashers. The 5-foot-6 point guard scored six of her 18 points in the final two minutes of Saturday’s semifinals, helping the Chargerettes break a 43-43 tie and fend off elimination against Grainger. McMinn Central hasn’t played in a state championship game since winning Class AA in 2011, when it beat Macon County 48-37. But MLK isn’t short on momentum, either. The Lady Royals, making their second straight trip to Murfreesboro, stunned top-ranked and defending-champion Elizabethton 69-57 on Saturday, ending the Lady Cyclones 52-game winning streak. MLK’s Jordan Majors (6-foot, Sr.) scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in that game, and Briana Smith (5-4, Sr.) added 20. Containing both of them obviously will be key for McMinn Central, which overwhelmed Grainger early on Saturday with its traditional press.

Relive Oliver Springs’ run to the Class A state semifinals

QUARTERFINAL: Oliver Springs 67, Riverside 41

Oliver Springs' Rachel Griffith (22) steals the ball from Riverside's Holly Chumney (3) during first half of the Class A Oliver Springs versus Decatur County Riverside girls' state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfeesboro Friday, Mar. 6, 2015. Oliver Springs defeated Riverside 67-41. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Oliver Springs’ Rachel Griffith (22) steals the ball from Riverside’s Holly Chumney (3) during first half of the Class A Oliver Springs versus Decatur County Riverside girls’ state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfeesboro Friday, Mar. 6, 2015. Oliver Springs defeated Riverside 67-41. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

STORY/GALLERY: Rachel Griffith’s second-half surge pushes Lady Bobcats into semifinals

SEMIFINAL: Clarkrange 63, Oliver Springs 45

Oliver Springs' Emily Griffith (11) makes a fast-break to the basket while Clarkrange's Lexi Smith (31) tries to stop her during the first half of the Class A Oliver Springs versus Clarkrange girls' state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Oliver Springs’ Emily Griffith (11) makes a fast-break to the basket while Clarkrange’s Lexi Smith (31) tries to stop her during the first half of the Class A Oliver Springs versus Clarkrange girls’ state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

STORY: Small gamble doesn’t pay off for Oliver Springs
GALLERY: Clarkrange 63, Oliver Springs 45

Reliving Grainger’s run to the Class AA state semifinals

Sectional: Grainger 59, Fulton 46

Grainger's Ashlyn Hodge (14) hugs a member of the crowd after the Grainger County's win against Fulton at Fulton high school Monday, Mar. 2, 2015. Grainger County defeated Fulton 59-46.(JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Grainger’s Ashlyn Hodge (14) hugs a member of the crowd after the Grainger County’s win against Fulton at Fulton high school Monday, Mar. 2, 2015. Grainger County defeated Fulton 59-46.(JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

STORY: Grainger girls end years of heartbreak, advance to state tournament
GALLERY: Grainger 59, Fulton 46

Quarterfinal: Grainger 36, Westmoreland 30

Grainger Marisa Hipsher (40) makes a move underneath the basket during the first half of the Class AA Grainger versus Westmoreland girls' state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfeesboro Friday, Mar. 6, 2015. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Grainger’s Marisa Hipsher (40) makes a move underneath the basket during the first half of the Class AA Grainger versus Westmoreland girls’ state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfeesboro Friday, Mar. 6, 2015. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

STORY: Second-half run propels Grainger in quarterfinals

SEMIFINAL: McMinn Central 49, Grainger 44

Grainger's Kylie Cabbage (4) drives the ball against McMinn Central's Jessie Truelove (15) during the first half of the Class AA McMinn Central versus Grainger girls' state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Grainger’s Kylie Cabbage (4) drives the ball against McMinn Central’s Jessie Truelove (15) during the first half of the Class AA McMinn Central versus Grainger girls’ state final basketball game at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015. (JESSICA TEZAK/NEWS SENTINEL)

STORY: Grainger rallies, but falls short in semifinals
GALLERY: McMinn Central 49, Grainger 44