When Waverly and Creek Wood get together in basketball, tempers typically flare at some point. The boys’ rivalry has been particularly intense in recent years, as the Tigers were the last team to hand Creek Wood a regular season district loss. Though Thursday night was the two year anniversary of that loss, the only real drama came from a third quarter altercation in the boys’ game. Otherwise, the visitors came away with double-digit wins, and took care of business despite worries about winter weather the next morning.
The Waverly girls were greatly improved since last season, but the Lady Red Hawks were intent on avoiding a repeat performance after needing overtime to take out Fairview on Tuesday night. Caroline Edmondson attacked for 8 points in the first quarter, and despite 6 points from Allanna Brooks and 4 from Leanna Moore, Creek Wood led 15-10 at the end of one. The Tigerettes rallied in the second as Ansley Graves hit a three and Moore added a basket plus a free throw, but the Lady Red Hawks had an answer again. Edmondson struck for 6 more, while Taylor Moore added 4, and a 12-10 quarter grew the Creek Wood lead to 27-20 at the half.
Ally Kerr led the charge for the physical Lady Red Hawk defense in the third, and Creek Wood took the frame 8-6 for a 35-26 edge. Edmondson added 3 more points, while Moore and Sam Killian struck for baskets; Waverly countered with just two made field goals–a three each by Graves and Kaylie McIllwain. Once Creek Wood got the lead into double digits, the margin remained around 10 for much of the night, and despite Waverly’s best efforts to make a comeback the Lady Red Hawks took the fourth 13-10 for a 48-36 win. Killian had a basket-and-one for Creek Wood in the fourth, while Moore had 4 points and the trio of Edmondson, McKenzie Broadway, and Elayna Gass each had 2 points. For Waverly, Brooks scored for the first time since the first quarter and added 5 points, while McIllwain had 4 and Moore just 1, as their rally came up short.
Edmondson finished the night with 19 points, while Moore had 10 and Killian 7 for the Lady Red Hawks, while Broadway added 5, Gass 4, and the defensive specialist Kerr added 3. Creek Wood won without hitting a single three pointer on the night. Brooks led the way for Waverly with 11 points, while McIllwain added 9 and Moore 8.
The boys’ game was not too different from the girls’ game, with ebbs and flows but with Creek Wood standing out as the better team. The Red Hawks started off hot with a couple of threes, but Waverly made it a game early. Creek Wood was up 9-4 before a mini run made it 9-8; the Red Hawks reeled off 10 unanswered to get some breathing room, and at the end of one led 22-12. Jemykal Smith had 5 points including a three and Taylor Rudolph added 3 points for Waverly, but the three was kind to Creek Wood; Ross “Chico” Plunkett had 3 threes and 10 points in the first, while Gabe Cummings hit a three and Clay Ruf had some key rebounds and a basket-and-one.
Things tightened up in the second quarter. The Tigers got to the line more, and managed 8 points just on free throws as they tried to cut into the Creek Wood lead. Trey Tidwell hit a big three and had 5 points, while Chasen Warren used his physical post play to offer 6 points and Jordan Hughey broke free for 4 points on the post as a demonstrative leader of the Tiger squad. Creek Wood had an answer, however, as Ross Cummings hit 2 big threes and had 10 points in the frame while twin brother Gabe hit his second longball of the night. Plunkett canned another 3 and had 5 points in the quarter, and Coulter Dotson’s second basket of the half capped a 20-19 Red Hawk frame that stretched the halftime lead to 42-31.
Both sides came out of the locker room fired up, and Hughey added a couple of free throws and a three for Waverly while Ross Cummings had a big trey and a pair of free tosses of his own. The physical play, the recent history in the series, a double-digit Creek Wood lead, and a first half overhead-reverse alley-oop slam dunk by Ross Cummings with two hands had all set the stage for a testy contest against a Waverly team known for a short fuse. When Cummings leaped into the side of the lane for an authoritative offensive rebound in the third and was fouled trying to put back the miss, all that intensity boiled over. The RFC Sports Network broadcast perch was on the second level and more than 40 feet from the incident, which involved pushing and shoving, and not all of the details were clear at press time. However, the players, coaches, and fans were fired up for both sides following the incident, and after a long discussion the officials gathered the two head coaches at mid-court for a discussion. Something was not to Waverly’s liking, as their head coach got angry with the officials–as did his assistant coaches–and the crowd got angry. Both Ross Cummings and Hughey were pulled from the game, and neither returned. Aaron Daniel came in for Cummings and hit both free throws, but the incident seemed to fire up the Red Hawks. Gabe Cummings connected on 3 threes, while Plunkett and Ruf added 4 points each in the frame, as Creek Wood took the third 23-19. Tidwell and Warren had 5 each for the Tigers.
The margin stayed around 10-15 points no matter how many times Waverly made a run, and despite the Tigers playing out every second of regulation the Red Hawks salted away a statement win on the road in the district 79-62 to stay perfect on their first pass through District 11-AA. Gabe Cummings added a three and 2 free throws in the 14-12 fourth, while Plunkett added another longball. Smith led the way for Waverly in the fourth with 9 points.
Plunkett led the day with 22 points and 5 made threes while Gabe Cummings had 6 threes and 20 points and Ross had 19 points and 9 threes. Ruf added 9 points and Dotson added 6. Smith led the Tigers with 18 points, while Warren had 13, Tidwell 12, and Hughey 11.
Creek Wood’s game at Lewis County has been moved to next Thursday, weather permitting. The Red Hawks and Lady Red Hawks will have 3 double-headers next week, with Tuesday night’s games hosting Montgomery Central and Thursday night’s in Hohenwald being broadcast on 101.5 The One FM. The Friday night contest at Nashville Christian will be broadcast on RFCsports.com.