Youngsters pay tribute to Central senior class by leading 13AA sweep

Youngsters pay tribute to Central senior class by leading 13AA sweep
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
A collection of juniors commanded the headlines at Obion Central’s Senior Night.
The junior trio of Bryan Morris, Shaw Logan and Zach King combined for 42 points and fellow 11th-grader Coleman Dunn hit the game-winning shot with 17 seconds to play to help the Rebel boys escape with a 63-61 overtime triumph over Milan on Tuesday.
The District 13AA win was the third straight for OC, which is now 10-12 overall and 6-9 in league play heading into a critical road game at Crockett County Friday night.
A win, and the Rebs could likely avoid a first-round play-in game in the upcoming district tournament, while a loss would in all likelihood relegate the county locals to such status.
Tuesday’s girls’ opener was a classic matchup of the ‘haves’ vs. the ‘have-nots,’ No. 2-ranked Obion Central playing the first of those roles in a 57-19 blowout of the Lady Bulldogs.
OC (24-1, 15-0) clinched its second straight outright District 13AA regular season title with its 44th straight league win and won for the 12th consecutive time overall this season.
With the Lady Rebel starters playing only sparingly in the first half against the struggling visitors who’ve now lost 20 of 24 games in all, reserves logged the most minutes and Central junior sub Kelsey Gibson led Central with 13 points.
Obion Central does have one more home game prior to the beginning of the postseason, vs. Covington Feb. 10.
OC 63, Milan 61 (B)
Though Morris (16 points) was the Rebels’ top scorer, it was the play of Logan (14 points, five assists) and King (12 points, eight rebounds) that finally tipped the scales in Central’s favor after it had beaten Milan by 26 points in an earlier meeting.
“Those two have really started to come on in the last three games,” said OC coach Bill Kail, who is 2-0 since welcoming his third son, Treyton Ray, into the world early last Friday morning. “Shaw not only shoots the ball well, but he’s getting much better at distributing it. And the biggest thing with Zach is confidence. He’s gained some lately and it shows in his play.”
Logan’s personal highlight was a made midcourt shot at the halftime buzzer, though his 3-pointer in the overtime with the Rebels down by four was likely more critical.
King had a stretch in the second quarter when he helped Central rally from an 11-point deficit with a pair of short jumpers and another hoop, then came up with steals on consecutive possessions in the fourth, giving his team a two-point lead with 2:08 to go after converting the first of those thefts into points.
And Dunn sank the ultimate difference-maker on an off-balance runner in the lane after a similar shot 20 seconds before went in and out.
Brett Scillion made a couple of key plays beforehand to set up Dunn’s heroics, converting a stickback to get Obion Central within a point, then tying the game with 1-of-2 free throws after chasing down another offensive rebound.
Milan, which fell to 1-14 in league play, turned the ball over on three straight possessions in the most critical stages of the extra session. The Bulldogs then missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the horn.
“Even though we didn’t play that well, we somehow found a way to win tonight,” Kail added. “It’s a confidence builder, I hope. We’ve had some other opportunities like this earlier in the year and we let them get away from us.”
OC 57, Milan 19 (G)
Macy Wright — one of four Central seniors — scored all 10 of her points in the first quarter, then was a cheerleader for the remainder of the game as the Lady Rebels cruised to the easy win.
Whitney Dodd had six markers in a rare starting role to commemorate the Senior Night occasion with twin sister, Brittany, also on the floor for much of the first half.
Easily the biggest ovation of the night was reserved for Kris Storey, the fourth OC senior who was elevated to the varsity squad for this particular game and banked home a 3-pointer late in the first period that ended with the Lady Rebs on top 25-2.
The remainder of the contest was a mere formality with the mercy rule coming into play in the fourth quarter.
Gibson and Wright each made two of Central’s eight 3-pointers.
Head coach Lyle LaRue did not comment after the contest.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 2.1.12

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