MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The 11 Rutherford County middle schools are in the middle of another competitive basketball season.
Brad Decker’s Oakland Chargers have reloaded after a championship in 2013 and are in a close battle with Whitworth-Buchanan, Christiana, Blackman, Siegel and Rock Springs. Who is best in girls is equally undecided with Christiana, Blackman, Oakland, Whitworth-Buchanan and Rock Springs all at or near the top.
Last week, Rockvale girls coach Jerry Chestnutt had his Raven starting lineup of Nya Caruthers, Jamaya Clayborn, Alyson Bigley, Elaine McGill and Mia Metcalf, along with substitutes Abriana Gonzalez Jaida Hunt, Michaela Price and Aniyah Martin open in a suffocating press. The result was a 49–10 win over Smyrna. Caruthers and Martin led Rockvale with eight points each. The Rockvale girls JV team also won and is unbeaten.
Smyrna started Vanessa Westfall, Nakia Drew, Lexie Hooper, Makeyla Kelley and Ja’Lynne Catlett, who had four points to lead the Panthers. By the way, coach Chesnutt’s Rib Plus business won first place in a recent Rib cooking contest sponsored by the Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club.
Rockvale coach Omar Smith and his Ravens won the boys game 44–19. It sounds like a rout, but it wasn’t as Smyrna coach Bill Hockenberry had his Smyrna Panthers within 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Rockvale started Corey Black (four points), Gabriel Martin (11), Jerry Young (four) Mar Stoudemire(12) and Corey Rankins (four).
Smyrna started Baily Woodal, Danion Davis, Quinton Smith, Daniel Castro and Brent Sewell and LaParus Dixon came off the bench for six points. Monday night Christiana hosted Oakland in a two games that did not disappoint.
Coach Charlotte Peay’s Oakland girls kept the matchup with Christiana close for a while with a very good 2–3 zone, but the Cougars of coach Cory Bransford (he coaches both teams) had a 21-point third quarter, with some fast break baskets and good defense, to pull away and win 55–21.
Christiana forward Alexis Whittington led the way with 15 points while the other Christiana starters all helped. Correra Ellis had 12 points, Faith Lokey had six while Amanda Whittington had five and Brylee Puckett had two. Tomajai Rodley came off the bench for 13.
Center Sydney Gibson led Oakland with eight followed by Faith Adams with four and Nakiya Russell and Dakawa Puckett with two each.
The boys game was tight throughout, but Oakland pulled away late and won the tough matchup 43–35 in front of a good crowd and Christiana pep band. Oakland led by only one at the half as the home standing Cougars played well.
Lativious Wilson led Christiana and all scorers with 2,2 but it wasn’t enough. Timmy Goodrich had five for the Cougars, while Jarek Campell had four and Trevin White had two.
For Oakland, Kareen Aaron led the way with 13, while Keishawn Davidson had 10 and a good floor game: Brandon Thomas and Dre Litaker had seven each, and Marcus Hardy chipped in with six. The second half of the season begins soon and the tournament is in late January at Blackman Middle.