Championship rounds for the Claiborne County middle school junior varsity tournament were held Dec. 9 at the Claiborne County High School gymnasium. It was day three of games and the opening two were the third place games for both boys and girls.
Taking the court first were the Midway Lady Red Devils and the Powell Valley Lady Indians. Midway wasn’t having a great first period but it was good enough to build up a 5-0 lead. The Lady Indians got their first basket early during the second and were playing some good defense but Midway still found a way to score and led at the half 10-3. The Lady Indians could not find the answer to slowing down the Red Devils and during the third they pulled even more ahead. It was a 20-3 score going into the final period. The Red Devils took a 24-7 victory and the third place trophy.
For the boys’ third place it was Midway and Soldiers Memorial Middle School doing battle. The two teams came in ready to play. With two minutes left in the opening period the score was 4-4. Midway got a run late and finished the period leading 11-4. The Blue Devils activated their press and forced Midway into a few mistakes and had the score down to two at 11-9. At the two minute mark the Blue Devils had tied it at 11. At the half the Devils led 17-13. During the third period Midway made a run and led 18-17 with two minutes left. The period ended with a 18-17 Midway lead. During the final period the two teams swapped the score back and fourth with Midway using free throws to get the win despite a shot by the Blue Devils that would have forced overtime that hit the front rim. The final score was 25-22.
At long last it was championship time for the girls as Springdale and H.Y. Livesay tipped it off for the trophy. A single free throw gave the Lady Eagles a 1-0 lead and by working inside and out they pulled out to a 8-0 lead. The first period ended without Springdale placing a point on the board and the Lady Eagles lead was 9-0. The Lady Owls dropped in the first points of the second period and it seemed to turn the momentum. The second period was mostly the Lady Owls who was within two points 9-7 with just over a minute left and that was the score at the half.
The teams made adjustments during the break and they both were ready defensively. A scoring burst by the Lady Eagles allowed them to lead by three points at 15-12 going into the deciding period. Livesay built up a five-point lead that looked comfortable but the Owls kept trying. It was still a five-point game near the 1:22 mark. At the one minute mark the Owls trailed by only three points. In the end, those three points would be the ones for the Lady Eagles to win the 17-14 game and the Claiborne County JV Championship. Livesay was led in scoring by Taylor Pressnell with eight. Lily Norris had six and Addie Brooks had three points. Springdale was led by Carlye England with eight. Ily Bussell had four and Jordan Fultz two.
The boys’ championship was next with Livesay and Springdale tipping it off. Scoring wasn’t an issue for these teams as they scored frequently. A 5-4 Eagles lead was all but erased by the start of the second period. The Owls scratched and clawed to within one at 9-8. Springdale took the lead 10-9 at the start of the second and it started to be a back-and-forth contest again. Springdale made a five point run in the middle of the period and led 18-13 with 2:25 left in the half. After a time out the Eagles responded to their coach and tied the game at 18 before the Owls hit a basket finishing the second period with the lead 20-18.
Springdale came out with a six point run before it was broken by an Eagles basket. Leading 24-20 the Owls had to withstand an Eagles run and they did. They led at the start of the final period 28-24. During the final period Livesay used full court pressure defense to slow down the Owls and shot the ball well enough to tie the game at 38 with 3:08 remaining. Springdale went on a four point run to lead 36-32 at the 2:11 mark. It was a five point Owls lead with 39 seconds left and the Eagles controlled the ball. Livesay missed a three and were left with 21 seconds to make something happen. The Eagles scored one more basket but the Owls won the championship 37-34. Springdale was led by Ethan Cupp with 18. Brennan Fugate and Cole Poore had six. Brady Hamlin had four, Gabe Keck two points and Asher Shelton a single point. Livesay was led by Dylan Foster with 11. Alex Douglas had eight, Jake Barton had seven and Lane Bunch had four. Will Douglas and Evan Thomas dropped in two points each.
The sportsmanship trophy went to Clairfield in both the boys and girls. Livesay finished first on the girls bracket followed by Springdale, Midway and Powell Valley. On the boys side, Springdale was the champion followed by H.Y., Midway and Soldiers Memorial.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.