Just as Maryville is getting healthy, Alcoa has been dealt another setback.
The Rebels welcomed back Stian Romberg last week, the junior swingman cleared to play for the first time season after injuring the thumb on his shooting hand during Maryville’s run to the football state championship game last month.
Romberg joins an already strong Rebel lineup paced by senior Cameron Langley and freshman T.J. Kimble. With footballers Patton Robinette and Desmund Horne also onboard, the Rebels are beginning to resemble the district contender they were projected to be prior to the season.
The Tornadoes are also receiving a boost with football players like Darrell Warren and Steven Isom getting up to speed, but it could be an undermanned team that visits Maryville’s James Campbell Gymnasium tonight for the first of two meetings with the Rebels this season.
After losing point guard and leading scorer Logan Sharp for the season with a broken toe last month, on Thursday Alcoa could be without Sharp’s backup, sophomore Hunter Ramsey, who’s battling back pain.
The Rebels are sure to be limited in the sympathies for Alcoa’s plight. Tuesday saw Maryville playing host to top-ranked Bearden, the Rebels making a game of it throughout before falling to the Bulldogs, 62-60, a far cry from the 67-44 loss Bearden inflicted in December.
After tangling with the Tornadoes, the Rebels are sure to receive a stern test one night later, visiting a surging District 4AAA rival William Blount team on Friday.
The Governors dealt Catholic a 69-58 loss on Monday, the same Irish team that escaped the Rebels clutches, 58-52, two weeks ago.
William Blount is a lot more than all-district forward Micah Ballard these days. The Governors recently minted 1,000-point man finished with only seven points in Tuesday’s win. Ty McBrayer went off for the Governors with 19, with two others, Dylan Keith (15) and Zach Sievers (13) joining him in double figures.
Friday’s other area contest will see Heritage’s Mountaineers and Lady Mountaineers playing host to district foe Lenoir City. The Lady Mountaineers fell in a close one, 51-47, to Knox West on Tuesday and could really use a win to stay in the thick of the district race. The way senior and Milligan commitment Tracy Hardiman is shooting the ball these days, Heritage has the firepower to make it happen.
All girls’ games tip at 6:30 p.m., with the boys to follow.