The Middle School League Basketball Tournament marched on this week.
First, and perhaps of most importance, what a performance from the folks who actually ran the tournament at Whitworth-Buchanan Middle School: Principal Avy Seymore, tournament Director Janice Howse, clock operator Covin Skelton, coach Chris Hooper and scorekeeper Debra Todd.
Todd, by the way, is a longtime friend who kept a basketball scorebook for the final time this season. She is taking a break until she takes over keeping score for the Yellow Jackets softball team this spring.
The league should be happy because the crowds have been good and six of the 11 schools will play two games each on the final two nights.
In girls, La Vergne, Siegel, Smyrna, Central, Rockvale, Oakland middle schools and host Whitworth-Buchanan were all eliminated on the first, second or third night of the tournament.
There was not really a result that you could call an upset with the possible exception of Stewart Creek’s 27-22 win over Smyrna. The game was decided in the last minute.
In girls, the semifinals featured a No. 2 seeded Blackman Middle School squad looking for three championships in a row and another trip to the area tournament. They faced a well-coached No. 3 seed Stewarts Creek Middle School team that was poised to upset the Flames.
The other side of the bracket featured the Rock Springs Middle School No. 1 seeded girls taking on the No. 5 seeded Christiana Middle School Cougars. Both squads seem to get better every time I see them play.
In boys, Siegel, Rock Springs, Rockvale, Whitworth-Buchanan, Central, Blackman and Smyrna middle schools were all eliminated during the first three nights.
There were some upsets, though.
Smyrna picked up its 10th win of the year in the first round, and Stewarts Creek beat Blackman 34-33 in the second round.
The boys' semifinals featured quick on quick as the No. 2 seed Christiana Cougars took on the No. 6 seed Stewarts Creek and No. 1 seed Oakland, with a very good press and fast break, took on a No. 4 seed La Vergne squad, which needed an overtime period to beat a vastly improved Siegel Cavalier team 34-29.