The 2016 Claiborne County middle school basketball tournament continued Dec. 16 with the championship games for the varsity teams, featuring the HY Livesay and Soldiers Memorial Middle Schools who had teams in both games. It was certain to be an exciting night but before they named champions there were third place games to tip off.
The Powell Valley Lady Indians and Forge Ridge Lady Dragons took to the court to get the night started. The Lady Indians opened up with a 17-0 run. Down big going into the second period the Lady Dragons had to find a way to get the basketball in the net. They hit a single free throw to get on the board and slowed the Lady Indians down but by halftime the score was 27-6. After three periods the score was 31-12. During the final period Forge Ridge made a game out of it but fell by the final score of 37-25. Powell Valley took home the third place trophy. Powell Valley was led by Kayli Hinckley’s 18 points and Taya Ausmus with 13. Brooklyn Daniels led the Lady Dragons with seven.
The second game featured Midway’s Red Devils and the Powell Valley Indians in a boys third place game. The Indians came out focused and patient on offense. They went out on a 7-0 run and the period ended with the same score. The second period featured slower scoring but Midway struggled to get the ball down the cylinder. At the half the score was 13-7. After back to back fire alarms from burnt popcorn the Indians started scoring again. Midway turnovers created easy transition baskets that pulled the Indians ahead by a score of 21-7 Midway through the period. By the end of three the score was 27-9 and Midway looked confused. The Indians just steadily moved along and grabbed the third place trophy by the final score of 35-14. Peyton Wilder led the Indians with eight. Jimmy Del Ervin led Midway with five points.
The next game was for all the marbles on the girls side of the bracket as Livesay and SMMS tipped it off. The Lady Eagles were the number one seed and the Lady Blue Devils the two seed. The championship game jitters had the two teams making errors and the result was no scoring for half of the opening period. At 1:08 the Lady Eagles dropped in a basket. The only Lady Blue Devils point was from the stripe to make it 2-1 after one period. The Lady Eagles then found their stride and placed six up on the board quickly. The Lady Blue Devils came back and tied it at 11 with a big three at 1:14. The score at the half was 13-11 with the Lady Eagles holding the narrow lead. SMMS immediately tied it at 13 coming out of the locker room. The Lady Eagles shot started falling and they pulled out to a 10 point lead but the Lady Blue Devils closed it down to four at 25-21. The four point lead remained until 1:09 mark and a free throw made it a three point game. The Lady Eagles sealed the championship from the free throw line and finished with a 27-24 victory.
Leading the Lady Indians in the championship game was Ashtyn Meyers with 10. Jaden Brock was the gal on the spot as she hit shots and got rebounds when her team needed them the most and finished with eight points. Others recording scores were Savannah Caldwell, Emma Brooks, Allison McCorkel and Nevaeh Kerns. Meyers had a great third quarter with seven points and Brock put up four points on the board during the third as well. The Lady Blue Devils had four put scores in the book including Macie Sumner who led with 11. Kinsee LeFevers, Sarah Fultz and Hailey Sexton also put points in the book.
The final game was the boys championship also with the Eagles and Blue Devils. The Eagles were the tournament’s number one seed and the Blue Devils were the three seed. The two teams started finding the basket early and swapped the lead twice but the Devils went on a run that ended the period 13-5. The Eagles trapped during the second and caught back up at the mid point but the Devils went ahead by five. The halftime score was 17-14 in favor of the Blue Devils. The Eagles took a three point lead at 25-22 and was looking to build on their new found lead. The Blue Devils’ inside game kept them within a point and helped them later grab the lead back at 30-28 as the period came to a close. It was back and forth for most of the final period as the Blue Devils opened up a two point lead with 3:25 to go. The Eagles used the three point shot and the free throw line to catch the Devils then pull ahead by one. The next trip down, the Devils ripped a three and took a two point advantage 38-36. The two teams swapped scores once again with the Devils hitting a two and the Eagles a three to make it a one point game at 40-39. An HY trip to the free throw line gave the Eagles the lead by one at 41-40 with 17 seconds left. The Blue Devils missed on a good “look” and had to foul. After Livesay hit one at the stripe the Devils were left with a last second shot which did not find the mark and the Eagles were the champs at 42-40.
Jaden Schertz led the Eagles with 18 points including shooting eight out of nine from the charity stripe during the final period. Noah Robertson and Jeremiah Cannon had nine, Nate Rhylick had four and Elijah Lawson had two points. The Blue Devils were led by Braden Williams with 21. Five others recorded scores including Storm Livesay, Trevin Thompson, Landon Williams, Eli Stone and Logan Daniels.
Both Clairfield teams earned the sportsmanship awards. With the two basketball championships, Livesay won a total of four first place trophies including cheer and dance. Host school Powell Valley thanks everyone that had a hand in making the tournament a success.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @Pitchadude.