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Posted On: 03/16/18 2:42 PM
Twelve teams met for six places, all in the final basketball games in Class A, Class AA, and Class AAA. There are few bigger moments in a teenagers life than his state semifinal basketball opportunity. Now that they earned their way, which players wanted more than a blip in TSSAA history? Which participants furiously chased that elusive three win week?
Defensive wizard Quinton Cross finished Northeast’s fifth loss with six steals and seven turnovers. Cross ripped the ball free from Alvin Miles alone five different times. Alvin is remarkably quick, short, and agile. His handle is rarely in question. Cross made him pay for momentary lapses in focus. The only reason Northeast won 30 games is because Cross and Jaleel Fletcher defended the arc with strength and alertness all season long.
Senior forward Anthony Whitmore set the defensive tone for Whitehaven before the chorus. Whitmore swatted away three shots in the first half. While his team denied six shots in the game the Eagles rarely entered the darkest recess of the Tiger cave.
Without James Wiseman (foul trouble) Chandler held the sputtering car together. Lawson defended the arc pretty well, but more importantly he scored 17 points and hauled down 11 rebounds. The Mustangs made just two field goals in the second quarter. Without Lawson or Wiseman the outcome could have changed.
Ques Please! The 5-fooot-10 scoring guard broke free of LaQuincy Parker, sprung in to the lane and met a 6-foot-8 forward Malcolm Dandridge. While most guards would hesitate before engaging in a certain block, Glover pulled a mystical up-and-under, punctuated by a bowling spin off the backboard.
Flying eagle Alec Kegler scored 47.6% of his team’s first half points. Though is production tapered off in the second frame, Kegler’s attacks established Northeast early as a team to fear. Whitehaven and Memphis East both believed they would win the first two games in Murfreesboro. Kegler and Cross were the initial impediment. The Bulldogs of Bearden did their best, but the unavoidable fate became a reality early Friday afternoon.
The saying, ‘It happens every summer’ needs to be edited. For Memphis East winning ‘Happens every winter’ thanks to the coal in the train’s engine, Alex Lomax. Nobody shoulders the media glitz, the team expectations better than A Lo. Lomax finished with 18 points (5-13 FG) and added seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals.
The rightfully-hyped forward scored 16 points, almost all in the second half. He missed virtually the entire first half with foul trouble. Wiseman’s impact was undeniable thanks to incredible post defense (three blocks) and 77.8% field goal shooting.
Monterey’s senior center controlled the lane with his power. Remarkably the defensive stalwart avoided foul trouble while banging and finished with a double-double. Most impressive might be Cody’s fitness. In this highly competitive Class AA semifinal, Dylan Cody managed to play the second most minutes of any Wildcat.