Going into the semi-finals on Groundhog Day we had eight teams still standing in the Middle School Basketball Tournament. The eight will be in the Sectional Tournament at Stewarts Creek on Feb. 6 (girls) and Feb.7 (boys) plus rounds on Feb. 9 (semis) and 11 (finals).
Punxsutawney Phil emerged on Thursday and decided that he didn’t like that the Rock Springs Lady Knights were unbeaten so Blackman won in an upset 37-35 behind 18 points from Crystal Dangerfield and 11 from Bria Dial. Rock Springs was led by Tyria Hughes with 12 followed by nine from Briana Ferbi and eight from Kyak Clark. The game went to the final buzzer.
Phil didn’t like the Christiana boys either as Blackman shot lights out and won 48-34. Miller Armstrong had a great game with 18 points for the Flames and Anthony Ochoa had 13. Jonathan Mathews had 14 for the Cougars followed by Preston Barge with 10.
Groundhog Day wasn’t kind to the Oakland Chargers as they dropped a 54-37 contest to Christiana. Oakland coach Charlotte Peay had a plan to stop Christiana center Jazz Bond and, with Becca Stockton playing brilliantly, it worked for a half as Bond was held to five points.
Unfortunately for Oakland a number of bad things happened. Stockton fouled out, Peay was ejected, Bond blocked eight shots and scored eight second half points.
Also on the positive side for the Cougars, Kailyn Strawbridge stepped up big time with 21 points and Aaliyah Patterson did the same with 11.
Oakland sparkplug Ansley Eubank tallied 13 in the loss followed by Olivia Rogers with 12.
Stewarts Creek really struggled without their injured center, Jalen Eady, as a red hot Siegel boy’s team won 60-35. This game was decided early as the Siegel zone drove Stewarts Creek out of their offense as the Cavaliers jumped to an early 19-2 lead. Omar Lyons led the Falcons in scoring with 13 and Jordan McCrosky had nine points. Siegel had balanced scoring as Braxton Eddings had 18, Brian Normand had 17, and Julian Martin tallied 15.
It turns out that it’s not such a good thing to be a No. 1 seed. The Rock Springs girls and Rockvale boys both lost. The Ravens are done, Rock Springs gets another chance in the Sectional.
On the final night in the consolation game the Rock Springs girls, behind Kesha Brady’s 15 points and Tyra Hughes’ nine and Kyah Clark’s eight, rebounded and beat Oakland 37-24. Becca Stockton led the Chargers with 12.
In the boy’s third place game, the Falcons of Stewarts Creek beat Christiana 56-32. Gentry Bonds had eight for the Cougars while Omar Lyons led the Falcons in scoring with 18 followed by Ikenna Okeke and Jordan McCroskey with 16 each.
The Championship girl’s game was a great one between Christiana and defending champion Blackman. With a sold out gymnasium, they were tied at the half 17-17 before the Cougars took a four point lead (32-28) entering the fourth quarter.
From that point, Blackman’s Crystal Dangerfield took over the game scoring 17 points in the final quarter and 26 for the game. It was an amazing performance.
Lexie Hayes joined the scoring with 12 for Blackman and Aalayih had 16 for Christiana as did Jazz Bond, who also blocked six shots.
In the Championship boy’s game, the Siegel Cavaliers continued to follow their script of good shooting, hustle and rebounding while attacking the basket and playing a tight zone.
So far so good as they slowly pulled away from a very good Blackman team and won the boy’s title 41-27. Siegel won the first quarter by five points, the second and third by two each before pulling away and winning by14.
Miller Armstrong and Anthony Ochoa were very impressive for the Flames, while the trio of Braxton Eddings, Brian Normand and Julian Martin all played great on this night and all week for the Cavaliers.
Next Sunday we will have the All Tournament team for you as well as the rosters, coaches and details of the first ever, eight grade only, Rutherford County Middle School All Star games. The event will be held Feb. 16 at La Vergne Middle.