Posted On: 03/15/18 11:44 PM
The 6th and final game of Thursday’s Tennessee AA Boy’s Basketball championship quarterfinals featured Stratford High School (25-6) and Tyner Academy (20-11). Stratford opened up a 21-point lead in the 1st, going up 26-5 in the opening frame. The fast pace would continue into halftime with Stratford taking a 47-30 lead into the break. Stratford extended the lead in the 3rd quarter and was into the bench by the 4th, taking the game 78-55.
Stratford’s Ivan Buford had a great game. I was looking for hustle plays and he had many, diving for balls in the passing lane, getting on the floor, and grabbing hustle offensive rebounds. He was also poked in the eye early in the game after a steal and played through despite being hit in the face several more times during the game. Buford finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
After Tyner’s Little Michael hit a corner 3 to cut the lead to 11 in the 2nd quarter Juwon Carpenter found Ivan Buford on a beautiful pass to the middle for an easy layup that killed the momentum on a strong Tyner run.
Stratford’s Juwon Carpenter was the game’s leading rebounder from the point guard position pulling down eight rebounds.
They may not have brought the largest crowds, but what they lack in size they make up for in volume and enthusiasm. Stratford and Tyner were exchanging chants even after the game was far out of reach. It was a little mean, but I have not heard the ‘Start the Bus’ chant in quite some time. They were a crowd that showed the bench time warriors lots of love at the end of the game, going crazy every time one of them had a positive play.
He may not have made the stat sheet explode with blocks or steals, but Tyner Academy had a hard time scoring with Mike Wallace in the game. He gave Tyner JR Forward Solomon Bridgemon trouble all evening, limiting him to nine points in his 21 minutes.
Juwon Carpenter ran an efficient attack for Stratford. He finished the game with 11 points, dished out a game high eight assists, and pulled down a game high 8 rebounds. Tall and quick with excellent ball handling skills, Carpenter is a tough player to cover.
This was a real tossup between Mike Wallace and his big dunks and Juwon Carpenter, but Carpenter is my player of the game. He was two rebounds and assists away from a triple double in the state tournament and was a great creator on the floor all night for Stratford.
Stratford will take on Fulton (24-8) at 6:00 pm Friday March 16.