Lady Tigers take home Clinch tourney title

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor


It wasn’t easy, but the Rockwood Middle School Lady Tigers won four games in three days to capture the Clinch Valley Holiday Classic title.

Rockwood’s four wins came by a combined 11 points, with three of the four being decided by two points or less.

Rockwood’s first when came on Thursday when they knocked off Oneida, 45-33. The Lady Tigers then won two games on Friday. The first was a 34-33 victory over Greenback and that was followed by a 36-30 victory over Dayton City.

Dayton City was again the opponent on Saturday in the championship game. Rockwood would prevail again as they downed the Lady Sweat Bees, 39-37.

Game One

Rockwood’s key to success this season has been a tenacious defense, but that defense was nowhere to be found in the early going on Thursday. Oneida started strong, racing out to a 17-12 lead after one period of play.

The second quarter, however, would see the Lady Tigers’ defense come to life. Rockwood allowed just four points in the frame and would take a 26-21 lead at halftime.

The third quarter would see Oneida answer, winning the frame by six points to take a 34-33 lead into the final period of play.

Things remained tight in the fourth quarter, but Rockwood found just enough offense to take the 45-43 victory.

Karlee Bowling led the Lady Tigers with 13 points while Kaley Legg and Camryn Evans added 12 each.

Rockwood (45) Legg 12, Evans 12, Tilley 8, Bowling 13.

Game Two

Rockwood’s second game was also a nail-biter, but Jeff Allen’s squad held on in the end for a 34-33 victory.

Neither team did much in the opening period as the score was tied at 5-5 after six minutes of play.

The second quarter would see Rockwood’s Cassidy Tilley put on a show. Tilley pumped in all of Rockwood’s 14 points in the frame to give the Lady Tigers a 19-12 lead at intermission.

The third quarter played out like the first. Both teams scored seven points to leave Rockwood up 26-19 heading into the final period of play.

The final stanza would see Greenback rally. The Lady Cherokees outscored the Lady Tigers 14-8 in the frame, but they would come up one point short at the end.

Tilley led all scorers on the afternoon with 21 points.

Rockwood (34) Evans 9, Tilley 21, Bowling 4.

Game Three

Rockwood’s only breather in the tournament came in a 36-30 victory over Dayton City.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 12-6 lead after one period of play. Rockwood then used a 14-5 advantage in the second period to take a 26-11 lead at halftime.  

Rockwood continued to play well in the third period as they took a 34-18 lead into the final period of play.

The Lady Sweat Bees did cut 10 points off Rockwood’s lead in the final period, but they didn’t have enough time to catch the Lady Tigers.

Bowling (12 points) and Olivia Metcalfe (10 points) scored in double figures for Rockwood.

Rockwood (36) Evans 4, Legg 6, Tilley 4, Bowling 12, Metcalfe 10.

Championship Game

Rockwood jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in Saturday’s rematch with Dayton City, but there would be no pulling away from the Lady Sweat Bees this time around. Dayton City would end the first period on a 9-3 run to tie the score at 11 after six minutes of play.

The second quarter belonged to Dayton City. The Lady Sweat Bees outscored Rockwood 11-5 in the frame to take a 22-16 lead at halftime.

Rockwood, however, turned up the intensity in the third period. The Lady Tigers opened the period with a 10-2 run and would hold a 31-28 lead after three periods of play.

Things remained tight in the fourth period and it would take one last spurt for Rockwood to claim the championship.

With Dayton City leading 37-35, Bowling tied the game at 37 with a layup. She then came up with a steal and dished ahead to Evans for a basket that gave the Lady Tigers a 39-37 lead.

There would be no scoring after that as Rockwood took home the Clinch Valley Holiday Classic title on its home floor.

Bowling led Rockwood on the afternoon with 16 points, nine rebounds and five steals.

Rockwood (39) Bowling 16, Tilley 8, Metcalfe 4, Legg 4, Evans 7.