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RMS girls, HMS boys reach title game

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

A day off for ice delayed the Area 4-AA Tournament at Oliver Springs on Friday, but after play on Monday the Rockwood Middle School Lady Tigers and Harriman Blue Devils would be playing championship games on Tuesday.

On the girls side, Rockwood advanced to the title game with a 45-39 victory over Oliver Springs in Saturday’s semifinals.

Rockwood’s opponent on Tuesday was Loudon. Loudon knocked off Harriman in Saturday’s other semifinal, 43-32.

The girls consolation game was won by Harriman on Monday as they knocked off Oliver Springs, 29-22.

The top three teams, Rockwood, Loudon and Harriman now advance to the East Tennessee AA Sectional Tournament that starts Saturday in Pigeon Forge.

Tuesday’s championship game on the boys side will see Harriman taking on Lenoir City. 

Harriman advanced to the title game with a 42-32 victory over Oliver Springs in Monday’s semifinals while Lenoir City downed Rockwood, 49-42.

Rockwood and Oliver Springs made their way to the semifinals with a pair of exciting wins in Saturday’s first round action.

Rockwood, the No. 4 seed, knocked off No. 5 seed Midway, 49-39, while No. 7 Oliver Springs stunned No. 2 Wartburg, 44-39.

Harriman, Lenoir City and the winner of Tuesday’s consolation game between Oliver Springs and Rockwood will advance to the East Tennessee AA Sectional Tournament that starts Saturday in Pigeon Forge.

Girls Games

Semifinals

Loudon 43 Harriman 32

Sometimes you can’t buy a basket and that was the case for the Lady Devils on Saturday as despite out-rebounding Loudon, 49-25, the Lady Devils dropped a 43-32 decision.

Despite their cold shooting, Harriman was in good shape in the first half. The two teams battled to an 8-8 tie in the first quarter before Harriman took an 18-15 lead at halftime.

The third quarter would see Loudon make their move. The Lady Braves outscored Harriman 12-6 in the frame to take a 27-24 lead into the final period of play.

A key moment in the game occurred with 5:12 remaining when Harriman’s Jada Johnson fouled out with the score 29-26. Harriman never made a run after that as Loudon went on to the 43-32 victory.

Johnson (8 points, 12 rebounds), Marie-Claire Crass (8 points, 9 rebounds), Katie Kring (7 points, 14 rebounds) and Rachel Crass (5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) led Harriman in defeat.

Harriman (32) Johnson 8, Kring 7, R. Crass 5, Pack 2, M. Crass 8, Goins 2.

Rockwood 45 O. Springs 39

The top-seeded Lady Tigers received a huge scare from the host team, but in the end Jeff Allen’s squad advanced with a 45-39 victory.

Rockwood’s game plan was to keep Sarah Channell and Alyssa Suttles in check.

That planned took away Channell and Suttles in the first quarter, as the duo combined for just two points, but it didn’t account for Keeley McDonald. The Lady ‘Cat point guard scored nine points in leading Oliver Springs to a 12-8 lead after one period of play.

Things remained tight in the second period as Rockwood pulled to within 19-17 at halftime.

Rockwood’s leading scorer, Lexie Hill, spent much of the first half on the bench with foul trouble, scoring just two points, but she came out on fire in the third period. Hill pumped in eight points as the Lady Tigers won the quarter 15-6 to take a 32-25 lead into the final period of play.

Oliver Springs kept things close in the final period and pulled to within 40-37 with 23.8 seconds remaining when Alivia Baker buried a three-pointer, but Rockwood would hit five of six free throws in the closing seconds to secure the victory.

Lexie Hill (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) led the way for Rockwood with Olivia Metcalfe (8 points, 8 rebounds) and Zoie Hill (7 points, 11 rebounds) also putting up solid numbers.

McDonald led Oliver Springs with 14 points and three steals while Suttles added seven points and six rebounds.

Oliver Springs (39) McDonald 14, Hackworth 3, Baker 4, Suttles 7, Bradshaw 2, Armstrong 4, Channell 5.

Rockwood (45) Z. Hill 7, Evans 6, Metcalfe 8, L. Hill 16, Bowling 2, Tilley 2, Golliher 4.

 Consolation Game

Harriman 29 O. Springs 22

In a game where points were hard to come by, the Harriman Lady Blue Devils used a 15-2 second half run to knock off the Lady ‘Cats in Monday’s third place game.

The first half of Monday’s game was a defensive battle as the game was tied 3-3 after one period of play. Harriman did score the first four points of the second period, but Oliver Springs ended the half on an 8-1 run to take an 11-8 lead at halftime.

Oliver Springs was holding a 16-12 lead midway through the third period, but that’s when Harriman started their run. The Lady Devils scored the final six points of the third period to take an 18-16 lead after three periods of play. Harriman then scored nine of the first 11 points in the final period to take a 27-18 lead with three minutes left to play.

Oliver Springs did score the next four points to pull within 27-22, but the Lady ‘Cats would get no closer as Harriman went on to finish third in the tournament.

Jada Johnson led Harriman on the night with 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks. Katie Kring (6 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals) and Katie Hall (5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) also put up solid numbers for Harriman.

Alyssa Suttles led Oliver Springs with six points, nine rebounds and four steals while Ashley Armstrong added 11 rebounds.

Oliver Springs (22) Suttles 6, Channell 3, Baker 3, McDonald 4, Hackworth 4, Bradshaw 1, Armstrong 1.

Harriman (29) Johnson 12, Kring 6, Hall 5, R. Crass 2, Breeden 2, M. Crass 2.

Boys Games

First Round

O. Springs 44 Wartburg 39

Most people thought it was a fluke when Oliver Springs upset Wartburg at home during the regular season. 

Saturday afternoon, however, the Bobcats proved it wasn’t a fluke as they ended the Bulldogs’ season, 44-39.

Oliver Springs came roaring out of the gate Saturday with 10 unanswered points, but Wartburg settled down quickly, pulling to within 12-8 by the end of the period. Things remained tight in the second period with the Bobcats holding an 18-16 lead at halftime.

Things were also close in the third quarter, but Wartburg still couldn’t wrestle away the lead as Oliver Springs took a 34-30 lead into the final period of play.

The final period would remain close, but the Bobcats wouldn’t give up their lead. The Bulldogs did pull within three points late in the game, but the Bobcats hit their free throws to hold on for the five-point victory.

Jeremiah Johnson (13 points) and Jacob Grace (11 points) led the way for Oliver Springs while Thomas Carroll pumped in 27 points to lead the Bulldogs.

Oliver Springs (44) Johnson 13, Gaylor 5, Carroll 9, Grace 11, Madewell 6.

Wartburg (39) Carroll 27, Hopper 4, Layne 2, Harlan 6.

Rockwood 49 Midway 39

Saturday’s game between the Green Wave and Tigers was close throughout, but Rockwood used a strong second half to pick up the 10-point victory.

Midway led for much of the first half as the Green Wave led 12-8 after six minutes of play and 22-21 at halftime. 

Things seemed to be going in Midway’s favor when they pushed their lead to 28-23 midway through the third period, but Rockwood answered with a 9-0 run and eventually took a 32-29 lead into the final period of play.

The lead remained at three early in the final period when Rockwood posts Ryan McCain and Josh Neerman combined to hit three straight jumpers, pushing the lead to 40-31 with 3:40 left to play.

Midway closed to 43-39 with 1:17 left to play after Jake Woody hit a pair of free throws, but the Tigers hit six of eight free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Neerman (17 points, 16 rebounds), Jared Campbell (10 points), Jackson Hicks (10 points, 5 assists) and McCain (7 points, 16 rebounds, 4 blocks) led the way for Rockwood while Woody (17 points, 6 rebounds), Landon Atchley (9 points, 8 rebounds) and Landon Davidson (5 points, 9 rebounds) paced Midway.

Midway (39) Woody 17, Thompson 1, Davidson 5, Fowler 2, Lyle 5, Atchley 9.

Rockwood (49) Campbell 10, Hicks 10, Neerman 17, McCain 7, Gaus 2, Nuckols 3.

Boys Semifinals 

Lenoir City 49 Rockwood 42

Rockwood gave the No. 1 seeded Panthers all they wanted Monday night, but in the end it was Lenoir City advancing to the championship game with a 49-42 victory.

The Tigers led 10-9 after one period of play as four different players scored in the opening quarter. Lenoir City, however, took the lead for good after outscoring Rockwood 15-8 in the second period, making the score 24-18 in favor of the Panthers at halftime.

Rockwood did score the first five points of the second half to pull within 24-23, but they couldn’t pull even. The Panthers went on to take a 35-27 lead into the final period of play. 

Lenoir City held an 8-10 point lead through much of the final period, but the Tigers did have one last run as they closed to within 45-40 late. Lenoir City, however, withstood the charge and advanced to the title game with the seven-point victory.

Colton Nuckols led Rockwood on the night with 16 points and five rebounds. Jackson Hicks (9 points, 4 steals), Ryan McCain (8 points, 15 rebounds) and Josh Neerman (6 points, 10 rebounds) also put up solid numbers for Rockwood. 

Rockwood (42) Neerman 6, Hicks 9, McCain 8, Nuckols 16, Campbell 3.

Harriman 42 O. Springs 32

Two days after upsetting Wartburg, Oliver Springs was looking for another upset, but it wasn’t to be as Harriman advanced to Tuesday’s championship game with a 42-32 point victory.

Harriman started strong Monday as Isaiah McClain and John Johnson scored six points each in leading the Blue Devils to a 12-5 lead after one period of play.

Harriman, however, was unable to deliver a first half knockout as Oliver Springs closed to within 20-14 late in the half before McClain hit a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Devils a 23-14 halftime lead.

The third period was played to a near draw with Harriman holding a 33-25 lead. The Bobcats never got closer than seven in the final period as Harriman went on to the 10-point victory. 

McClain (15 points, 3 steals), Johnson (9 points, 13 rebounds), T.J. Phipps (6 points, 9 rebounds) and Hunter Clark (6 points) led Harriman on the night while Jeremiah Johnson (13 points, 5 assists) paced Oliver Springs.

Oliver Springs (32) Johnson 13, Carroll 5, Grace 5, Madewell 3, Andrews 6.

 Harriman (42) Johnson 9, McClain 15, Clark 6, Phipps 6, Duncan 2, Haynes 4.