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Rockwood Middle School traveled up the highway to take on rival Harriman Middle Friday night, making up one of several games that were snowed under last week.
Despite a low turnout from fans due to game conflicts with high school contests across Roane County, Rockwood looked impressive, sweeping action against their cross-county opponents.
The Lady Tigers took advantage of several Harriman turnovers to begin the night with a 31-25 victory. The turnover bug affected the Blue Devils as well during the boys' game, with Rockwood jumping out to a huge win and cruising to a 44-25 win.
Rockwood plays again Tuesday at Midway while Harriman travels to Lenoir City on Thursday.
The Lady Tigers got off to a great start, building a 13-4 run at the end of the first quarter. Rockwood's defensive pressure forced several turnovers from Harriman, which also struggled from the field shooting. The Lady Devils had a big size advantage inside, but was unable to make the entry pass on most occasions due to Rockwood's swarming defense.
Baylee Young opened the scoring with a long three-pointer giving the Lady Tigers a lead they would never relinquish.
She would toss in another first-quarter basket and along with four points from teammate Carson Evans, Rockwood seized control heading into the second quarter.
A pair of free throws from Ivory Peddicord and an offensive rebound basket by Taylor Sells were the only offense from the Lady Devils in the opening stanza as head coach Baron Tapp's team struggled to find an offensive rhythm.
But the second quarter started different as the Lady Devils picked up the defensive pressure and forced Rockwood into early turnovers. That allowed Harriman to crawl back into the game, with Peddicord and Hailey Goldston scoring early to trim the Rockwood lead to 13-8 with 4:51 left in the second.
Rockwood's Evans would knock down a free throw at the 3:39 mark of the second to end the Lady Devil run.
After a pair of free throws by Harriman's Sells, the Lady Tigers scored four-straight to take a 18-10 lead. Kelsy Underhile worked inside for a basket and free throws from Lexi Hill and Evans were part of that run.
As the first half came to a close, Peddicord drilled a long jumper to keep Harriman close, trailing 18-12.
Young started the second half with a basket, as she would lead the Lady Tigers in scoring with 12 points on the night. Goldston would answer for Harriman, but scores from Underhile and Hill helped Rockwood maintain a lead heading into the final stanza, leading Harriman 26-18.
The teams were flat offensively in the fourth and despite a long three-pointer by Lady Devil Kierra Turner at the end of the game, Rockwood celebrated the 31-25 win over Harriman.
Rockwood (31) Young 12, Underhile 10, Evans 6, Hill 3.
Harriman (25) Goldston 8, Peddicord 6, Turner 5, Sells 4, Higgins 1, Goins 1.
Rockwood really had its way with Harriman in the boys game, racing out to an impressive 15-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looking back. It was a night both teams were able to play everyone on the roster, with the game out of hand in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers used the inside game early with Colby Turner powering inside for two quick baskets. He would score six in the quarter and along with help from Jared Neerman, dominated the paint.
A three-pointer by Drake Long offset scores by Harriman's Dwight Farmer and Grant Jenkins and the Tigers eased into the second quarter with the nine-point lead.
Rockwood scored the first six points of the second quarter, all off steals. Neerman, Kyron Inman and Colyer Hicks made consecutive defensive gems to give the Tigers a 21-6 lead before Farmer stopped the bleeding for Harriman with a free throw at the 3:58 mark of the second.
Inman made a dazzling pass inside to Turner, who on the next trip down the court returned the favor with a slick pass of his own to Inman as the Tigers were ahead 29-9 heading into the halftime break.
Long got hot in the third quarter, lifting the Tigers to a 36-13 advantage. Christian Upton scored for the Blue Devils, but the Tigers were in control, ahead 36-15 heading into the fourth.
Rockwood head coach Bryan Powers emptied the bench to start the fourth, as did Harriman coach Denard Bertram.
The Blue Devils were led by Isaiah McClain in the fourth, as he made a couple of sweet drives to the basket. But Rockwood saw Will Warner do the same as the Tigers coasted home with a 44-25 win.
Rockwood (44): Long 13, Neerman 9, Turner 8, Warner 4, Inman 2, Miller 2, Hicks 2, Cooper 2, Neerman 2.
Harriman (25) Upton 4, Farmer 4, McClain 4, Luna 4, Johnson 3, Gresham 2, Jenkins 2, Mullins 2.