The middle school junior varsity teams of Claiborne County once again assembled at the Claiborne High School gymnasium for day two action Dec. 8. Winning this night propelled the teams into the championship games Dec. 9.
It all began with the H.Y. Livesay Lady Eagles doing battle with the Lady Red Devils of Midway. Midway came out and led the favored Lady Eagles 4-3 after one period of play. The Lady Eagles tied the game then went ahead by two early during the second period. H.Y. rallied and had the lead at the two minute mark. A quick burst of scoring let the Lady Eagles enjoy a 10-5 halftime lead. Another run gave the Lady Eagles a comfortable 16-5 lead as the third period was winding down. Midway’s defense stepped up during the final period and helped the offense get some good looks but in the end it was Livesay taking home a 19-11 win. Livesay led in scoring by Taylor Pressnell with nine and Midway was led by Maddie Lynch with 8.
The next game was in the boys bracket with the Eagles of H.Y. playing the favored Blue Devils of Soldier’s Memorial. The Devils scored four points early and then watched the Eagles struggle to score the basketball. The Eagles pressure defense helped get them back in the game and by the end of the period were only down two at 8-6. During the second a basket off a steal tied the game and the and one free throw gave the Eagles the lead. With the Eagles enjoying a three point lead the scoring for both teams slowed down. The Devils made a comeback and were down by one point 11-10 at the end of the half. A last second three pointer gave the Eagles a six point lead after three periods, 16-10. The final period was just as defensively contested as there was no scoring during the initial two minutes. The fourth period was chaotic but in the end it was the Eagles with the 17-12 victory. H.Y. was led by Lane Bunch with 11 and S.M.M.S. was led by Tommy Hicks with six.
The second girls game of the night featured Powell Valley versus Springdale. Turning defense into offense is how the Lady Owls ran out to a 8-0 run. With a minute left in the opening period the Lady Indians put their first point on the board from the charity stripe but at the end it was Springdale enjoying a 8-1 lead. The larger portion of the second period was played on the Lady Owls end of the court and it showed on the scoreboard as they led the game 16-1 at the half. During the third period, Staying aggressive on defense the Lady Owls kept adding to their total and by the end of the third led 27-6. The final period went the way of the Lady Owls as well and they advanced with a 27-7 win. Springdale’s Jordan Fultz led all scorers with 13 and Powell Valley was led by Hailey Smallwood with five.
The final game of the evening went back to the boys side of the bracket. The Springdale Owls and the Midway Red Devils tipped it off with the winner going to the championship game. Springdale jumped ahead then Midway battled back. The period ended with a last second Red Devils shot that missed the mark. It was an 8-4 Springdale lead. Midway hit a big three to draw to within one point but the teams decided to swap baskets. Springdale pulled ahead but Midway had tied the game at 14 just before the half ended. During the third period the Red Devils defense made some plays that the offense did not capitalize on and Springdale made them pay immediately with a basket. Staying busy on the offensive boards allowed Midway to tie. Tied at 22 with 1:30 to go in the third period these two teams were putting on a show for the fans. At the end of the period the score was now 24-22 with the Red Devils leading.
This game was decided in the final six minutes as Midway steadily marched out to a five point lead. The Owls passed the ball great and tied it again at 27 with 2:51 left. An Owls free throw gave them a one point advantage but Midway had multiple chances at the stripe to tie or lead but failed. Springdale hit another free throw and the lead was now two. The Owls were up by two and the ball with less than a minute remaining. Midway pressured the throw in and an Owl got behind the defense and was fouled. After the free throws they held a four point lead with 19 seconds remaining and were able to take the victory at 35-27. The Owls’ Brennan Fugate led all scorers with 19 and Tyler Myatt led Midway with 13.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.