|High seeds make up championship pairings for county tourney |
|Posted: Monday, December 19, 2011 7:02 pm |
| By RANDY CAVIN |
Special to The Messenger
Three of the top four seeds are in the finals.
No. 1 seeds Lake Road (girls) and South Fulton (boys) and girls’ second seed South Fulton will be joined by No. 3 boys’ seed Ridgemont in tonight’s championship games of the Obion County School System junior high basketball tournament.
Action begins at 6 tonight at Obion County Central High School with SF and LR meeting in girls’ action.
The boys’ championship game has Ridgemont playng SF at 7:30.
The South Fulton girls had to hold off a stubborn Ridgemont team with a 32-28 win, while Lake Road remained unbeaten by using its size advantage to easily handle Hillcrest 43-16 in Saturday night’s girls’ games.
The Ridgemont boys used their strong post play and a nine-point run in the fourth period to eliminate Lake Road 50-43, and then the South Fulton boys went on a 15-0 run in the second period to close Saturday’s four-game slate with a 40-28 win over Hillcrest.
SF 32, Ridgemont 28 (G)
South Fulton’s Aariel Wright hit the game-winning free throws with 38.2 seconds left in the game, and Cassidy Ruddle made it a two-possession game with 13.8 seconds to play to send the Lady Red Devils to the championship game.
With the Lady Devils (12-3) leading 26-24, Madison Shaw of the Lady Mustangs (6-9) tied with a pair of free throws. The Lady Devils retook the lead 10 seconds later with a pair of free throws from Taylor Rogers. With 1:23 on the clock, Bailey Daniel hit a short jumper to tie the game at 28-all and was fouled while making the shot only to miss the free throw that would have given Ridgemont the lead.
South Fulton missed two free throws after they took a 28-26 lead and then missed two more after Ridgemont tied it at 28. Then, Wright hit her two shots from the charity stripe to give South Fulton the win.
“We missed some free throws right there and early in the game,” SF head coach Curt Lee said. “We also missed some easy jumpers around the basket. Wright hit those two big free throws and then Ruddle hit those right there at the end. She looked good shooting them.”
Rogers had a game-high 11 points for South Fulton, and Daniel had nine for Ridgemont.
Ridgemont 50, LR 43 (B)
The Mustangs (9-6) took full advantage with their size difference under the rim to eliminate Lake Road (7-5) from the tournament. Big man Noah Cooper scored 20 points, 12 coming from under the basket.
The Mustangs used an eight-point run going from the end of the first period into the beginning of the second to put the Generals behind 16-9. By the end of the second period, the Mustangs had a 32-17 lead and outscored the Generals 19-8 in the second frame.
The Mustangs all but put the game out of reach in the fourth period with a nine-point run started by Nathan King and his two quick baskets. Brennan Whaley of Lake Road hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 to go to stop the bleeding.
Houston Snead had a game-high 19 for the Generals. King led the Mustangs with 17 points.
LR 43, Hillcrest 16 (G)
The Lady Generals (12-0) could do very little wrong against the Lady Cougars (3-9) as they remained unbeaten on the season thanks to a stout defense and dominating post play on offense.
Lake Road outscored the Lady Cougars 16-5 in the first period and 12-4 in the second to go up 28-9. Center Avery Partin scored eight of her 12 points in the first half, sharing the game-high with Courtney Heuck of Hillcrest. Hannah Cavness chipped in nine points for Lake Road.
“It’s nice to have all five of your starters who are bigger than you are,” Lady Generals’ head coach Emily McGee said. “In junior high, that is a nice thing to have. Another plus to being big is you can cover a lot of floor. They have long arms and long legs.”
Lake Road has beaten South Fulton, its finals opponent, twice in the regular season, but McGee believes it will be a battle between the two teams.
“It’s going to be a good game. It’s been a good game all season and coach Lee is a good, smart coach. It’s going to be a big battle.” McGee said.
SF 40, Hillcrest 28 (B)
The Red Devils’ athleticism was too much for the Cougars in the second period as South Fulton went on a 15-point run that lasted virtually the entire period.
Cain Aaron tied the game at 10-all when he made a free throw with 5:38 to play in the period after he was fouled making a jump shot. From that point on, it was all South Fulton in the second period. Chris Morris hit the front end of two free throws to get the ball rolling for the Red Devils.
“I think that the conditioning program that we do and the way that they work hard is the key,” SF head coach Wes Miller said. “This is the most focused of any group of kids I have ever coached. They wanted to play, they wanted this game and they wanted to be in the finals.”
The Cougars got within five points of South Fulton midway into the final frame, but the Red Devils scored the last seven points of the game.
Morris had a team-high 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for SF. Jyriq Jones had 12 rebounds, five assists and five steals for the Red Devils, and Zaccius Mays had 11 rebounds. Aaron led all scorers for the Cougars with 16 points. Published in The Messenger 12.19.11