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Jr. Lions survive TNT opening game

Jr. Lions survive TNT opening game
Jr. Lions survive TNT opening game | Dresden Middle School Lions, Waverly Junior High Wildcats, TNT Middle School Tournament, Springfield Tennessee

Heavy traffic — Dresden Middle School Lion Tyler McPeak finds himself surrounded by Waverly defenders during the Lions’ win in the TNT State Tournament Friday night.
By Sara Reid
Special to The Press
Holding on to overcome several turnovers and comeback attempts, the Dresden Middle School Lions eventually got the better of the Waverly Junior High Wildcats in a 44-40 nail-biter Friday night to move on to the next round of action at the TNT Middle School Tournament in Springfield.
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on baskets from McKenzie Etheridge, but Dresden’s Joseph Sipes and Josh Bone tied the score. At the 2:19 mark, a Gatlin Hatchel 3-ball gave the Lions an 8-6 lead, but the score was tied again at eight on a Franklin basket and at the end of the first quarter, the teams had played each other to a 10-10 standstill.
Scoring remained close in the second frame and Dresden edged ahead 14-13 on a Sipes basket. With 3:25 left in the half, Dresden led 17-16, but Franklin caught fire and scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers, to give the Wildcats the lead. Dresden paced itself, however, and stayed close on another Hatchel 3-pointer and three points from Tyler McPeak. With less than a minute left on the clock before halftime, a shot inside from John Paul Winstead closed the gap to 23-22 in favor of Waverly.
A Sipes shot from the corner gave the Lions a 24-23 lead at the beginning of the third frame and Bone followed with another basket to increase the lead to three at 26-23. Winstead hit from the inside to continue the Dresden scoring run, but Franklin ended the flurry of Lion points with a pair of free throws to make the score 28-25 in favor of Dresden. A McPeak lay up put DMS ahead by five, 30-25, with 2:33 left, but the Wildcats picked up six points from Will McLead to regain the lead and at the end of three, Waverly again held a one-point advantage, 35-34.
Bone opened the final frame with a trifecta to take back the lead for Dresden and Winstead hit two from the line to increase the lead, 39-35. The Wildcats, however, pulled closer and with three minutes and change, trailed by two, 39-37, on a Daniel Burns shot. Winstead converted a layup to increase the lead to four again, but with 22.8 seconds left in the contest, Franklin hit a three to close the Dresden advantage to a single point. The Lions entered the bonus, though, and sealed the deal with free throws to take the 44-40 win.
McPeak led Dresden with 11 points. Hatchel scored 10. Franklin had 21 for Waverly.
Dresden will now face St. Jo-seph’s at 6:40 on Friday night at the Springfield Middle School.
By Sara Reid
Special to The Press
Holding on to overcome several turnovers and comeback attempts, the Dresden Middle School Lions eventually got the better of the Waverly Junior High Wildcats in a 44-40 nail-biter Friday night to move on to the next round of action at the TNT Middle School Tournament in Springfield.
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on baskets from McKenzie Etheridge, but Dresden’s Joseph Sipes and Josh Bone tied the score. At the 2:19 mark, a Gatlin Hatchel 3-ball gave the Lions an 8-6 lead, but the score was tied again at eight on a Franklin basket and at the end of the first quarter, the teams had played each other to a 10-10 standstill.
Scoring remained close in the second frame and Dresden edged ahead 14-13 on a Sipes basket. With 3:25 left in the half, Dresden led 17-16, but Franklin caught fire and scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers, to give the Wildcats the lead. Dresden paced itself, however, and stayed close on another Hatchel 3-pointer and three points from Tyler McPeak. With less than a minute left on the clock before halftime, a shot inside from John Paul Winstead closed the gap to 23-22 in favor of Waverly.
A Sipes shot from the corner gave the Lions a 24-23 lead at the beginning of the third frame and Bone followed with another basket to increase the lead to three at 26-23. Winstead hit from the inside to continue the Dresden scoring run, but Franklin ended the flurry of Lion points with a pair of free throws to make the score 28-25 in favor of Dresden. A McPeak lay up put DMS ahead by five, 30-25, with 2:33 left, but the Wildcats picked up six points from Will McLead to regain the lead and at the end of three, Waverly again held a one-point advantage, 35-34.
Bone opened the final frame with a trifecta to take back the lead for Dresden and Winstead hit two from the line to increase the lead, 39-35. The Wildcats, however, pulled closer and with three minutes and change, trailed by two, 39-37, on a Daniel Burns shot. Winstead converted a layup to increase the lead to four again, but with 22.8 seconds left in the contest, Franklin hit a three to close the Dresden advantage to a single point. The Lions entered the bonus, though, and sealed the deal with free throws to take the 44-40 win.
McPeak led Dresden with 11 points. Hatchel scored 10. Franklin had 21 for Waverly.
Dresden will now face St. Jo-seph’s at 6:40 on Friday night at the Springfield Middle School.

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