SMYRNA — Oakland Middle School's boys basketball survived and advanced to Saturday’s TMSAA State Championship with a 38-34 nail-biter over Knox Doss.
“We knew coming in they were a great team, but I was proud of our kids and the way they finished,” Oakland Chargers coach Scott Thomas. “It is that time of the year where you just take a win, roll with it, and make adjustments on the fly.”
The Chargers took a comfortable 26-11 lead out of halftime. Knox Doss slowly chipped away, and Deandrew Wokings' thre3e tied the game at 30-30 with two minutes left.
Kemarion Bass scored consecutive transition layups to regain the lead for Oakland. Bass scored once more from the free throw line to ice the game.
“(Bass) hit some big shots for us when we almost let the game get away from us,” Thomas said. “Give credit to Knox Doss for hitting the shots we gave them. We sped ourselves up, turned the ball over, and allowed them back into the game.
Bass contributed seven points, six steals, four assist and three rebounds.
“I am so proud of the grit we played with after trailing by 15. We had a chance to just mail it in and take it home,” Mustangs coach Brent Cothron said. “(Wokings) played both sides of the ball so well and kept us in the game with big threes.”
Knox Doss’ Wokings finished with a 14-point, 18-rebound double-double and four blocks.
OAKLAND (38): Steve Ellison 12, Kemarion Bass 7, Bronson Crisp 5, Braylon Vanderbilt 5, Korey Smith 4, Landon McCullough 3, Tre Johnson 2
KNOX DOSS (34): Deandrew Wokings 14, Joseph Lyles 8, Glen Helson 8, Odell Bradley 3, Garrett Tunks 1