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Tigers, Lady 'Cats win Area 4 titles

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By Brody Jones

Saturday afternoon was a special afternoon for the Oliver Springs Middle School Lady Bobcats and Rockwood Middle School Tigers as both wrapped up Area 4 AA Tournament titles in Harriman.

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The Lady ‘Cats and Tigers both entered the tournament with No. 1 seeds and both rolled in Saturday’s title games. Oliver Springs downed Wartburg 36-21 in the girls title game while Rockwood also beat Wartburg, 42-27.

With the victories, the Lady ‘Cats and Tigers earned a berth in the TMSAA East Tennessee AA Sectional Tournament that begins Feb. 12 at Pigeon Forge Middle School. By winning their respective championships, Rockwood and Oliver Springs will also receive a first round bye at Pigeon Forge.

The Midway boys also earned a berth to Pigeon Forge Saturday thanks to a 49-41 victory over Lenoir City in the consolation game.

The news wasn’t as good for the Lady Waves as their season ended with a 34-28 setback at the hands of Lenoir City in the girls consolation game.

Girls Consolation

For a little more than a half, the Midway Middle School Lady Waves had the Lenoir City Middle School Lady Panthers on the ropes, but a 14-4 deficit in team steals proved too much to overcome as Lenoir City took a 34-28 win to end Midway's season. 

Midway had a 4-3 lead at the end of the first period and stretched the lead to 9-7 at halftime. 

Midway had a 13-7 edge at one point in the third period before Lenoir City embarked on a 16-5 run to make score at the end of the third period 23-20. Lenoir City doubled that leading margin in the final period for the 34-28 win. 

Midway had the edge in rebounding (36-21), but lost in team steals (14-4). 

The Lady Panthers were led by Amberlee Zeller (12 points), Maegan Hudson (9 points) and Ashlyn Zeller (8 points). 

Midway was led in defeat by Abby Bertram (7 points, 8 boards) and Alexis Taylor (7 points). 

Raygn Hall (9 boards) and Jessie Lewis (6 boards) each played well in the loss.

Midway (28) Taylor 7, Bertram 7, Lewis 4, Tuttle 4, Leffew 2, Hall 2, Lewis 2.

Boys Consolation

The boys from "South Of the River" rolled to an impressive 49-41 win over the Lenoir City Middle Panthers, giving the Midway Green Waves third place honors in the district. 

The scored was deadlocked at 6-6 at the end of the first period then Lenoir City got out to a 12-6 lead in period number two. But the balance of power shifted in favor of the Waves before halftime thanks to a 19-4 surge to blast the Green Waves to a 25-16 halftime advantage.

Lenoir City used a 12-6 third period to cut the deficit to 31-28. Lenoir City got within striking distance, but a 7-0 run by the Waves down the stretch submerged the Panthers victory aspirations in the form of a 49-41 win.

Midway had a 38-30 edge on the boards, but lost in team steals, 14-5. 

Midway was led in scoring by Jason Gaus (14 points, 10 boards), Griff Dishner (13 points, 5 assists), Cameron Hashmi (9 points) and Zach Edwards (8 points, 7 boards). 

Seth Colyer and Mason Woody each added 7 boards each in the win. 

Lenoir City was led in scoring by Joe Pace (22 points) and Jacob Mealer (14 points, 15 boards, 5 steals).

Midway (49) Gaus 14, Dishner 13, Hashmi 9, Edwards 8, Woody 3, Colyer 2.

Girls Championship

The Wartburg Middle School Lady Bulldogs gave the Oliver Springs Middle School Lady Bobcats a fight in the first half, but the old saying "speed kills" rang true in the second half as the Lady 'Cats took the 36-21 victory and the tournament title. 

Oliver Springs had a 7-6 lead at the end of the first period and used an 11-5 run in the second period to get out to an 18-11 halftime lead. 

A 10-0 third period made the score 28-11 going into the final period and the Lady 'Cats cruised to the 36-21 win.

Oliver Springs had a 30-29 edge on the boards, but did their biggest bulk of damage in steals with a 17-11 advantage in that category. 

Oliver Springs was led in scoring by Rachel Griffith (9 points, 7 steals), Emily Duggins (8 points, 5 boards), Sydney Duggins (8 points, 9 boards) and Emily Griffith (7 points). 

Wartburg was led by Victoria Hamby (10 points, 13 boards) while Nina Carter (6 boards) and Hannah Barnette (5 boards) each played well in the loss.

Oliver Springs (36) R. Griffith 9, E. Duggins 8, S. Duggins 8, E. Griffith 7, Jones 4.

Wartburg (21) Hamby 10, Barnette 4, Carter 4, Christian 2, Morgan 1.

Boys Championship

The Rockwood Middle School Tigers truly had, as the band Survivor once sang about, the "Eye Of The Tiger" as they rolled to a 42-27 win over the Wartburg Bulldogs. 

Rockwood had a 15-4 first period and scored 14 points in period number two to make the halftime score 29-8.

The lead was stretched to 37-12 at the end of the third and Wartburg closed out the game on a 15-5 tilt to make the final score 42-27. 

Rockwood had a 29-26 edge on the boards and a 23-7 advantage in team steals. 

The Tigers were led by Colby Turner (14 points, 7 boards) and Drake Long (12 points, 5 steals). 

Colyer Hicks (8 boards) and Jarrod Neerman (6 steals, 5 boards) each played well in the win.

Wartburg was led by Jordan Williams (10 points, 9 boards) and Bronson Beasley (8 points, 6 boards).

Thomas Carroll had five assists in the loss.

Rockwood (42) Turner 14, Long 12, Cooper 4, Hicks 4, Miller 3, Inman 2, Mayton 2, Neerman 1.

 Wartburg (27) Williams 10, Beasley 8, Jones 4, Carroll 3, Smith 2.