Category Archives: Girls Basketball

Lady Hawks Give Dickson a Scare, State Tournament Starts Wednesday

Dickson was pushed to the brink on Saturday night but survived Rossview to advance to their second straight AAA Blue Cross State Championship. Unlike the first matchup between the teams, when Dickson shot 58 percent from the floor, defense was the highlight of the sectional game.

Early on the teams proved evenly matched, playing to a 12 point tie after one quarter. Dickson jumped out to a 9-4 lead behond six points by Lea Lea Carter and a three from Cierra Smith. Rossview responded with a layup by Haylee Croom and back to back threes by Hadley Brown and Holley Spears. The Lady Cougars got two more points from Carter and a free throw from Emily Beard to send things to the second quarter knotted up.

Momentum flipped over to the Lady Hawks side in the second quarter. After opening with a 4-0 run, Rossview maintained a four point edge for most of the quarter. Dickson’s offense only managed five points, a Carter layup and another Smith three, prior to Lainey Reed’s buzzer beating three. That shot trimmed the halftime lead to 21-20 for Rossview and gave the Lady Cougars a lift heading into the break.

Dickson’s halftime adjustment played a huge role in the second half. After pressing Rossview most of the first half, the Lady Cougars switched to a half court man defense. Kailey Rosenbaum gave Dickson a brief lead 22-21 to start the half and the two teams played even for half the third quarter. Trailing 26-23, Reed knocked down a three from the top of the arc to tie it up at 26. Right after the shot, Dickson returned to an intense full court defense. The switch flipped the game completely in Dickson’s favor. On the next possession a turnover led to a Carter layup. After a missed three by the Lady Hawks, Smith stole the ball off the rebound and Carter scored again. Smith got another steal in the back court for a layup of her own and followed it with a free throw to cap a 10-0 run putting Dickson up 33-26. Rossview responded with a 7-2 run but a Rosenbaum free throw and a Carter buzzer beating putback gave the Lady Cougars a 38-33 lead after three quarters.

The fourth quarter saw another adjustment by first year head coach Greg Tipps. With Dickson up five, Coach Tipps took the air out of the ball by having Carter and Beard dribble the clock on. Their first possession of the quarter ran more than a minute off the clock before Carter turned the ball over and Macy Rippy laid it up to trim the gap to 38-35. Dickson stuck with the stall offense, capping another long possession with another Smith three pointer. Mickey Head answered with a deep three of her own but time was quickly becoming a factor for the Lady Hawks. Beard took over the dribbling antics on the next trip but missed a floater in the lane. Dickson pulled the board and Carter knocked down a two point shot to extend the lead to 43-38. From there it became of free throw game. Dickson closed the game going seven of eight from the line to seal the victory while Rossview managed just two more shots and a pair of free throws making the final margin 50-45.

Dickson was led in scoring by Carter with 22 points in her final game in the DCHS gym. Smith added 14 points with four made three pointers. No other Lady Cougars finished in double figures.

The win pushes the Lady Cougars into the AAA Blue Cross State Championship where they will face Bradley Central at 11:30 Wednesday morning. The Lady Bears defeated Stewarts Creek 68-58 to advance in their sectional Saturday night. Coach Tipps is very familiar with Bradley Central after facing them three times last season at Stone Memorial, all three games went in favor of the Lady Bears.

No road team won in the AAA sectionals Saturday. The other AAA girls game are, Oak Ridge and Dyer County at 10am, Wilson Central and Memphis Central at 1:15, and Morristown West and Riverdale at 2:45.

State-Ready East Nashville Picks Apart CW, Ends Lady Red Hawks’ Season

The Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks thrilled their fans with an improbable win over Giles County, guaranteeing two more games for the young Lady Red Hawks. CPA handled Creek Wood in the Region Championship Game, sending CWHS to East Nashville Magnet High School for a TSSAA Class AA Sectional contest for a spot in the State Tournament. The Lady Eagles had only lost two games all season–a one point home loss to Lipscomb Academy, and a loss in the first game of the season to a Riverdale team that’s in the Class AAA State Tournament.

East Nashville got off to a hot start, and turned away the Lady Red Hawks 69-38 on Saturday night, sending the Lady Eagles to the playoffs and ending the season for Creek Wood.

East Nashville started the game on a 7-0 run, but the Lady Red Hawks answered the bell to trim the lead to 7-5. East found Quentarra Mitchell on a back cut to the basket to make it 9-4, and the Lady Eagles kept Creek Wood at arm’s reach for most of the contest after that. Mitchell had 7 points at the end of the first, and East Nashville led 12-8. Taylor Moore had 2 threes in the opening quarter to help keep the Lady Red Hawks close.

East stretched the lead with a 12-6 second quarter, as Kaia Upton scored 6 points herself and Dwayneisha Woodland came off the bench for 4 more. Caroline Edmondson had 4 points for Creek Wood in the second, but the Lady Eagles led 24-14 at the half.

East Nashville took over in the second half, taking the third 22-6 and triggering the mercy rule in the fourth. Erica Haynes-Overton had 15 points in the second half and Le’Jzae Davidson had 5 threes in the second half for the quick-but-physical Lady Eagles. Edmondson had 6 in the second half for Creek Wood, while Raegan Hohl had a three and a basket-and-one in the fourth. The polished, bruising style of East Nashville was too much for the young Lady Red Hawks, and the Lady Eagles finished off Creek Wood 69-38.

Davidson had 6 threes, two of them while getting fouled, and made a free throw for a 4 point play on a 19 point night, while Haynes-Overton had 17 points for the Lady Eagles, who draw CPA in the State Tournament Thursday night at 6:00pm. Upton and Mitchell had 10 points each.

Edmondson led the way for Creek Wood with 10 points, while Hohl, Moore, and Sam Kilian each had 6. Lydia Edmondson had 4 points while Sam England hit a 3 and McKenzie Broadway had 3 points as well. The Lady Red Hawks end the season on a tough note, but despite replacing 7 starters in 2 years, CWHS won a District Championship, finished as Region Runner-Up, and fell just one game short of returning to the state tournament for the first time since Rachel Bell’s senior year.

In addition to the CPA/East Nashville game, the AA State Tournament has 30-2 McMinn Central facing Grainger, Haywood facing 33-2 Upperman, and 31-2 Westview battling 33-0 Elizabethton.

Celebrations, Pregame Festivities Planned for Lady Cougars

Prior to Saturday night’s sectional game the Dickson County fans will have several chances to support the Lady Cougars. On Thursday night, starting at 5:30, Buffalo Wild Wings will be hosting the team to celebrate their 56-25 region championship win over Ravenwood. Ten percent of all sales during the celebration will go to support the Lady Cougars program.

Tickets for Saturday night’s sectional game with Rossview will go on sale Friday morning at 8am and will be available at DCHS for $7 a piece. Principal Joey Holley has a program in place to allow fans to ‘donate’ tickets to students who would like to attend the game. Donations of any amount may be dropped off at front office at DCHS, preferably before noon on Friday.

On Saturday night DCHS has planned to host pregame festivities prior to the sectional matchup. The evening will begin with a bonfire bonfire for the community beginning at 5pm at the high school. The gates will open and there will be a ‘Lady Cougar walk’ for the players and fans at 5:30. At the game. students and fans are asked to ‘white out’ the gym in support of the Lady Cougars as they try to reach the state tournament for a second consecutive year.

Dickson Takes Advantage of Ravenwood, Secures Home Sectional

With a second straight region title and home sectional game on the line Wednesday night, Dickson County took care of business against a depleted Ravenwood squad. The Lady Raptors lost their leading scorer, Kierra Downey, to a season ending knee injury Monday night against Cane Ridge. Downey’s 17 points per game were also good for a selection to the All-District and All-District tournament teams. Without her shot creating ability Ravenwood was in for a struggle against a Dickson defense that had held its region opponent to 28 point per game coming into the championship game.

That struggle became all too real in the second half but early on Ravenwood was able to keep the Lady Cougars in check. Dickson built and early 9-3 lead that ballooned to 13-5 before the end of the quarter bu Ravenwood had an answer in the final seconds. Emma Altizer knocked in back to back threes to cut the lead to two, 13-11, at the end of the quarter. Nine of the eleven Ravenwood points came on three pointers in the quarter and none of their point qualified at “points in the paint.”

Defense prevailed again in the second quarter. With Dickson holding a two point lead Ravenwood took a lead on an Emmy Allen three to start the period. Dickson’s next four points all came at the line with Kailey Rosenbaum and Lea Lea Carter each going one for two and Emily Beard hitting a pair to put Dickson back on top by four. Those free throws were the start of an 11-0 run by Dickson that was capped by a Carter runout layup that put Dickson in front 25-14. After trading baskets, Bailey Swayze scored the final points of the half and sent the teams to the locker room with Dickson leading 27-16.

After an extended halftime talk from head coach Greg Tipps, the Lady Cougars came out with an edge that they had not shown all season. Rosenbaum and Reagan Purvine hit back to back shots to put Dickson up 12 before Melan Hawken scored the only point of the third quarter for the Lady Raptors on a single free throw. From there Dickson took complete control. Emily Beard hit back to back threes from the left corner to put Dickson in front 39-20. On the next possession Beard, who had been dealing with a foot injury, picked up her third foul and headed to the bench for the rest of the night. The rest of the starters would soon follow. Dickson finished the quarter on a 19-0 run that had all but insured a region title. At the end of the third they led by 30, 50-20.

To start the fourth quarter, Carter extended the lead to 54-20 on back to back shots that would end her night as well. Ryan Roberts would be the final Lady Cougar to score as the teams played out the string. Carter and Roberts won the fourth quarter 6-5 and cemented a second straight region championship for Dickson with the 56-25 runaway victory.

Dickson County was led by Carter who had a 20 point, 11 rebound, double-double, Beard added 13 points in limited minutes. Both players made the All-Region team along with Rosenbaum. Carter was the tournament MVP after averaging 16.3 points and 12.3 boards per game.

In the region tournament Dickson average 67.3 points per game, allowed 27 points per game,and had an average margin of victory of 40.3 points. No team scored more than 32 points and no team shot better than 33% against the Lady Cougars.

The win also locked up a home sectional game on Saturday night against Rossview. Rossview fell to Wilson Central on 56-45 on Wednesday night. In their previous meeting Dickson defeated the Lady Hawks, 62-42, on December 17th.

CPA Upends CW Girls, Sends Them On Road

Creek Wood started strong against the CPA Lady Lions in Wednesday night’s Region 6-AA Basketball Tournament Finals, taking a 2-0 lead on the champions of District 12-AA to open the game. Christ Presbyterian quickly tied the game at 2-2, then a stop, a three, a turnover, and a basket-and-one made it 8-2 Lady Lions before the Lady Red Hawk fans could even react.

It was that kind of night for the Navy and Red, as CPA built a double-digit lead in the first half and would never relinquish it, beating the Lady Red Hawks 57-39.

Despite the 8-2 start for the Purple and Gold, Creek Wood clawed back in the first and trimmed the gap to a single score before the Lady Lions scored on the last shot of the quarter and went to the second up 15-10. Seniors McKenzie Broadway and Caroline Edmondson each had a basket in the first while Raegan Hohl and Elayna Gass each had threes for the Lady Red Hawks. Carrington Washburn had a three and a basket-and-one for the Lady Lions, while Chelsea Burt had 4 points in the opening frame.

CPA hammered Creek Wood 12-4 in the second, as Edmondson had all 4 points for the Lady Red Hawks. Libby Long and Savannah LeGate each canned threes for Christ Presbyterian in the second, while Burt worked for 3 more baskets, giving her 6 points in the quarter and 10 in the half.

Up 27-14, CPA went on another run to open the third, but the Lady Red Hawks weathered the storm and trimmed the lead back to 10. The Lady Lions righted the ship, but Creek Wood took the quarter 13-12 and cut the lead to 39-27 going into the fourth. Edmondson had 6 points and Broadway 4 for the Lady Red Hawks while Gass buried her second trey of the night, but LeGate was huge inside for CPA–scoring 8 points in the quarter and warming up on defense with some key second half blocks.

After the emotional win just two days earlier, Creek Wood seemed to wear down a little against the physical Lady Lions team in the fourth, and after cutting the lead back to 11, the Lady Red Hawks could get no further. Washburn buried 2 threes and had 8 points in the fourth and CPA hit its free throws, pulling away 18-12 to salt away the 57-39 win and the Region Championship.

Washburn had 17 points, 3 threes, and a basket-and-one to lead CPA and tie for the game-high in points. Burt finished with 14, Kenedi Hambrick added 13 points and 3 longballs, and LeGate had 10 points and a number of key blocks. Edmondson equaled the game-high with 17, the only Lady Red Hawk to score in each quarter, while Broadway added 10 points and a three; not only were they the only Lady Red Hawks in double figures, but the senior duo also represented Creek Wood on the All-Region Team. Gass added 2 threes and 6 points, while Hohl and Killian each had a trey.

Creek Wood will travel to East Nashville Saturday night at 7pm for a Sectional contest. The winner will advance to the TSSAA Class AA Girls’ Basketball State Championship Tournament.

Lady Cougars Punch Ticket to Region Championship and Sectional

Monday night was a big night for the Lady Cougars as they secured their second straight Region 6AAA Championship game appearance with a 59-32 win over Summit and ensured a second consecutive Sectional matchup Saturday night.

Coming off their 87 point explosion on Friday, the Lady Cougars’ defense led them on Monday night. Facing the Lady Spartans for the third time this season, Dickson seemed tight early on. Only Lea Lea Carter had offensive success in the first quarter. She accounted for nine of Dickson’s 14 points in the opening frame and was the reason they held a 14-9 advantage at the end of the quarter.

Dickson started off the second quarter by building their first double digit lead. Lainey Reed opened the quarter with a three pointer and Cierra Smith followed to put Dickson up 20-9 early in the quarter. Zacharyia “Z” Esmon followed with back to back shots of her own but Dickson responded with another 6-0 run to double up Summit 26-13. Summit drew a little closer on a free throw by Natalie Rolen but Dickson held a 26-14 lead at the half.

In the third quarter the Lady Cougars took complete control of the game. Dickson started the half on a 13-2 run that put them up 39-16 midway through the quarter and forced a timeout by Summit. Out of the timeout the Lady Spartans had a bit of a spark. Esmon put together a 5-0 run of her own before Emily Beard answered with a three pointer. The teams exchanged baskets before Esmon knocked in a two pointer to end the quarter with Summit trailing 44-26.

With only eight minutes seperating Dickson and another region championship game, the Lady Cougars had arguably their best quarter of the night. Already leading by 18, they extended the lead to 22 with scores from Carter, Reed, and center Kailey Rosenbaum. Summit got one final shot from Sydney Forrest before the Lady Cougars hit seven of eight free throws in the final four minutes to lock up the win.

Dickson was lead in scoring by Carter who had a 21 point, 18 rebound, double-double. Beard was also in double figures with 13 points. One game after hitting 17 three pointers, Dickson took only 17 against Summit, going 7-17 from downtown.

The Lady Cougars will now prepare for a Wednesday date with Ravenwood, the fourth meeting between the two teams. Dickson had won all three previous meeting double digits but each game has been closer than the last. Ravenwood lost All-District player Kierra Downey to an apparent knee injury Monday night. Despite the loss of Downey the Lady Raptors edged out a 37-31 victory over Cane Ridge. The winner of Wednesday night’s matchup will host the winner of the Region 5AAA championship game between Rossview and Wilson Central.

CW Girls Advance to Region Championships, Sectionals

It was the perfect storm. A tough, physical, quick Giles County opponent. A neutral site game far from home, at Spring Hill High School, with the early 6pm start time. And a new Interim Head Coach in Charlotte Middle’s Russell Wilson, who only got one practice to coach the Lady Red Hawks up.

As it turns out, the perfect storm was all Creek Wood needed, as the adversity galvanized the resolve of the team, the coaches, and the entire community, and the Lady Red Hawks led for most of the game, outlasting the Lady Bobcats 53-46 on Monday night.

Creek Wood opened the game with a 5-0 jolt, but the Lady Bobcats quickly erased that lead and tied the game 5-5. The two sides would trade the lead, but Giles County held for the final shot and ran a play to perfection to take a 13-12 lead into the second. Taylor McNairy had 6 points and star post Keneisha Love added 4 for the Lady Bobcats, while Sam Killian had 8 points and 2 threes for Creek Wood in the first.

An 11-6 second helped Creek Wood take back over, as Caroline Edmondson got free for 4 points against the physical Black-and-Gold defense, while Elyana Gass buried a three, Raegan Hohl nailed a long two, and Killian dropped in another basket. McNairy converted a basket-and-one, but no Lady Bobcats managed two scores in the frame and Creek Wood took a 23-19 lead into the locker room.

Edmondson went off for 8 points in the third, but Love managed 5 and Alexis Rose came off the bench for a three. Ultimately the third was a 12-12 wash, and the Lady Red Hawks would head to the fourth up 35-31. Love would manage 7 points in the fourth for Giles County, but all 5 starters for Creek Wood scored in the final frame, helping the Lady Red Hawk lead balloon back out to 7 points. Creek Wood hit its free throws down the stretch, and the margin would bear out, as the Lady Red Hawks would hold on for a 53-46 win in the Region 6-AA Basketball Tournament Semifinals.

Edmondson would lead all scorers with 17 points, while Killian would add 13 including 3 threes for the Lady Red Hawks. Broadway would add a three en route to 9 points, while Gass chipped in 2 threes and 8 total points. Love led the way for Giles County with 16 points, while McNairy added 15 and Jayla White 6.

Creek Wood battles 24-4 CPA Wednesday night at 7pm with the Region 6-AA Championship on the line. The winner of that game hosts the loser of East Nashville/Cheatham County in Saturday’s Sectional round, while the 6-AA loser travels.

Lady Cougars Decimate Glencliff, Cougars Fade Against Hillsboro

The Lady Cougars continued their warpath through the postseason in the opening round of the Region 6AAA tournament Friday night against Glencliff. The Lady Colts provided little resistance as Dickson ran away in route to an 87-24 thrashing.

Dickson exploited Glencliff’s soft zone to perfection in the first quarter. When the Lady Cougars realized the defense would not come out to contest three pointers, their shooters took aim. Of the seven field goals made by Dickson in the first quarter five of them were three pointers. The hot shooting propelled Dickson to a 22-10 first quarter lead but the fireworks were far from over.

In the second frame, the Lady Cougars continued to pour in three pointers, tacking on another six before the end of the half. Glencliff attempted to keep pace but with five minutes left in the half they had 15 points and would only score two free throws the rest of the quarter. Meanwhile Dickson continued to build on their lead, dropping 30 points in the second quarter to lead 52-17 at halftime.

While the offense cooled off in the second half, the results continued. In this half it was the defense that excelled. Glencliff managed only three points, all from the free throw line. On the other side the Lady Cougars put up their third consecutive 20 plus point quarter with 23 and extended the lead to 75-20 with eight minutes left.

Coach Greg Tipps began substituting liberally with two minutes remaining in the third quarter and Reagan Purvine was the only starter to see any fourth quarter action. Even with subs and a running clock the Lady Cougars still managed 12 points and held Glencliff to just four. The Lady Colts had only made field goal in the second half and shot just 27% (7 of 26) on the night.

Dickson was led in scoring by Emily Beard who had 29 points and seven three pointers. Cierra Smith came off the bench for 18 points on six made threes. The Lady Cougars hit 17 threes in the game, and 11 in the first half alone. Every Dickson player who took a shot scored at least two points on the night.

The Lady Cougars face Summit in the region semifinals Monday night at 6pm at Cane Ridge High School after Summit ran over Antioch 52-27. In their previous two meetings Dickson has won by an average of 19.5 points.

In the bottom half of the girls bracket, Franklin lost to Cane Ridge 49-44 and Ravenwood topped Hunters Lane 49-33. Cane Ridge and Ravenwood will play immediately following the Dickson County, Summit game on Monday night.

The Cougars saw their season come to a close on Saturday night. After starting strong against Hillsboro, Dickson faded in the second half and came up short, 62-53 in the region quarterfinals.

Hillsboro came out flat in the first quarter as the Cougars worked to build a lead early. Hunter Wolcott scored nine of Dickson’s 13 first quarter points and the Cougars held Hillsboro to just three made shots. Thanks to stout defense Dickson led 13-6 after the first eight minutes.

Defense continued to be the name of the game in the second quarter. Methodically the Cougars build a ten point lead behind Wolcott. Coach Jason Tigert said after the game that defensively the Cougars felt comfortable letting Edwin Broadnax shoot threes in favor of better defensive pressure on other players. In the second quarter, Broadnax took advantage of that choice. While Dickson led, Broadnax had 12 of Hillsboro’s 16 points in the quarter, all three pointers. Two of those threes came inside the final two minutes of the half. With the Cougars up 26-16 Broadnax drilled back to back threes to trim the lead to four, 26-22, at the break.

In the second half, the Burros wore Dickson down as they struggled to find any offensive rhythm.  Hillsboro faceguarded Walker Purvine all night, effectively removing Dickson’s best three point threat. With the offense listing, the defense started to tail off as well. The Burros put together their best quarter and scored 21 points behind Broadnax and guard Collin Herron who had four made threes in the third. The big quarter gave Hillsboro a narrow 43-39 lead heading into the final quarter.

In the fourth the Cougars continued to fight back but Hillsboro steadily increased their lead. After every Cougar basket, the Burros would knock down back to back shots. Eventually Dickson wore down and Hillsboro ran the lead out to 15, 60-45. The Cougars cut the lead to single digits with the reserves on the floor for the final margin of 62-53.

Dickson was led by Wolcott who had 22 points in his final game as a Cougar.

CW Boys’ Season Over in Heartbreaker; Girls Advance

Very little went according to plan on Friday night in Charlotte, as the Creek Wood Red Hawks and Lady Red Hawks hosted Cascade for a pair of Region 6-AA Quarterfinal contests. The Creek Wood girls drew a 6-win Lady Champions team that on paper should have been a cakewalk. However, Cascade had clearly won the games that mattered to be in that situation, and proved its mettle in a defensive, gritty battle on the road. As for the boys, they hosted a Champions team that tied for third in its district, finished fourth in the tournament, and traveled to a very full Creek Wood gym from the Wartrace and Bell Buckle areas. After all, the Red Hawks had lost just 4 times on the season and just 6 games in 2 years–including a blowout win last year in the only other meeting between the Red Hawks and the Cascade boys.

Unfortunately, Cascade came in as a 21-7 team that was battle tested out of a district with CPA, Marshall County, Giles County, and Page. The Champions led for more than four quarters, and shocked the world on a circus shot that ended the season for the Creek Wood boys, just as they were preparing for overtime.

The Lady Red Hawks had to endure some runs from the scrappy Lady Champions throughout. As Caroline Edmondson was triple and quadruple-teamed for much of the game, it fell on the outside shooting to lift Creek Wood. Taylor Moore answered the bell and nailed 2 threes in the first while Edmondson worked for a basket inside. A 5-0 start turned into an 8-2 start for the Lady Red Hawks, and an Edmondson free throw plus the second of two Cascade baskets from post Brooke Sudduth made it 9-4 Lady Red Hawks at the end of one.

Sensational senior post Shaina Schneider got behind the defense in the second and managed 8 points for the Lady Champs, and the 8-2 Creek Wood lead in the first was erased as Cascade tied the game 11-11 and 13-13 in the second quarter. The resilient Lady Red Hawks answered back, winning the quarter 13-9 for a 22-13 halftime lead, as Moore added 8 more points including 2 more threes, while Elayna Gass had a trey and Edmondson found another 2.

The third was a 7-7 wash as freshman Raegan Hohl hit a three for Creek Wood while seniors Edmondson and McKenzie Broadway each had baskets, but Cascade had answers with a three from reserve Keely Sutton and buckets from Bailey Sudduth and Schneider. Up 29-20, the Lady Red Hawks needed to close out strong, so they went to two things that worked well for them all season–the leadership of Edmondson and the patient, ball-control offense that burns clock and leads to free throws. Edmondson scored twice and drew a foul each time, earning 5 points in the quarter, and overall Creek Wood made 7 free throws in the final frame; Cascade scored 7 points as a team in the fourth, so the Lady Red Hawks slammed the door on a 42-27 win, and a trip to the Region Semifinals Monday night at Spring Hill.

Schneider led the way for the Lady Champs with 10 points, while Brooke Sudduth added 6 points. Three other Cascade players had 3 points each. Moore led the way for Creek Wood with 16 points and 4 threes, while Edmondson had 12 points and Gass 6. The Lady Red Hawks draw Giles County Monday night at 6. The Lady Bobcats pummeled East Hickman Friday night, as Lady Eagle starters Olivia Martin and Hannah Pendergrass went down with leg injuries in the loss.

Cold shooting put the Red Hawk boys in a hole early on against visiting Cascade. Creek Wood won the opening tip and immediately went to work bombing threes–which all rimmed out or caromed off. The Red Hawks got multiple offensive boards, and 4 or 5 looks at the basket on its opening possession, but came away with nothing to show for it. The Champions took the ball up the floor and quickly scored, so Creek Wood got another look at an equalizer…and again, nothing. Cascade built an 11-0 lead before Ross “Chico” Plunkett finally got a three to go, but only reserve Devon Higgins could put anything else through for CWHS in the opening quarter as he buried a three and would not score again in the game. When the smoke cleared at the end of one, the Red Hawks were in a strange place: down 14-6 with a fourth of the game gone by. Hayden Edmondson, cousin to Creek Wood graduate Isaac Edmondson who led the team last year, had 5 points and a three for Cascade, while Austin Gentry canned a trey and Lane Simpson had a basket and a couple of free throws. The signs were beginning to show–Creek Wood was in for a fight.

Things settled down in the second, as Mercer signee Ross Cummings had 6 points and Plunkett hit 2 more threes, but Edmondson, Gentry, and backup Jaden Chumley each had treys of their own for Cascade. Gentry had 7 points in the quarter and a 10 point first half, and all of the Red Hawks’ work was for naught; they had doubled their first quarter output but were still outscored 13-12 and trailed 27-18 at the half.

The tide began to turn for the Red Hawks in the third, albeit slowly, as the home side took the period 12-10. Plunkett canned his fourth three, while Coulter Dotson turned his guard-oriented game into a post game, with great results. Good defense in the first half became great defense in the second half, and he managed 7 points in the third quarter after being shut out in the first half. Garrett Dolinich was also a big factor defensively, joining Dotson and Cummings to try to shut down the big bodies of Simpson and Dacota Newcomb; Dolinich would have 2 free throws in the frame. Gentry would add 5 points and his third three in the Cascade third, while Seth Gardener would strike from distance and Edmondson added a basket, but the Red Hawks chipped the lead down to 37-30 heading into the final 8 minutes.

Creek Wood played its best ball in the fourth quarter, and took its first lead of the game on a Ross Cummings three to make it 42-41 with around 4:30 left in regulation. The lead swung back and forth, but the Red Hawks got it back and stretched it out to a 4 point lead late before a Simpson basket-and-one cut the CWHS lead back to a single point. Creek Wood struggled to but the game away at the free throw line, but the Champions rushed a play late and threw the ball away into the bench, giving the Red Hawks new life, and a made free throw gave Creek Wood a 2-point lead in the final minute, 49-47. The Red Hawks denied the perimeter, and allowed Cascade to settle for a long two point jumper that tied the game at 49-49 with around 10 seconds left. Creek Wood took the ball up, and Gabe Cummings swung the ball from the right wing to the left wing and his twin brother, fellow senior Ross Cummings, trying to find a look for a buzzer-beater to give the Red Hawks the come-from-behind win and get them one step closer to a return trip to state. Instead, Ross tried to go behind the back to get away from a defender, and the ball goes ever so slightly out of his reach. With the final seconds ticking off the clock in a tied game, no one has time to react–except for Edmondson. He scooped the ball up at half court, let it fly as time expired….and buried it.

The unthinkable happened.

On a scoop-and-toss, half-court, buzzer-beater three….the Red Hawks went from at best winning on a buzzer-beater of their own and at worst going to overtime with all of the momentum from overcoming an 11-point deficit and trailing for most of the game….to losing the game and their season. In shock and awe, plus incredulous disbelief, the Red Hawks went through the handshake line as their season came to an abrupt, painful end 52-49 at the hands of Cascade and Coach Mike Edmondson.

Seniors Ross Cummings and Chico Plunkett fittingly led the team with 16 points each as Plunkett had 3 threes and a basket-and-one while Cummings had a lone trey and a basket-and-one on a tough shooting night for the Red Hawks. Fellow senior Gabe Cummings dished the ball well, but only had 1 point of his own, while sophomore Colter Dotson had 11 big points. Gentry was the scoring hero for Cascade with 19 points and 3 threes, while Edmondson had 13 points and 3 treys including the half-court game-winner. Simpson fouled out with 9 points while Gardner added 8.

The Red Hawks finish the season 24-5, while the Champions move on to face Marshall County, which squeaked by Camden 53-51. In the other semifinal matchup, Stewart County was the only District 11-AA team to advance; they will take on CPA Tuesday night in Spring Hill.

District Champs! CW Girls Survive Lewis Co

Going into the season, the Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks would not be a lock to win a district championship. In fact, the Navy and Red might not have even been a favorite, having to replace four starters and just two years removed from a State Tournament run with current Vanderbilt Lady Commodore Rachel Bell.

In spite of all the nay-sayers, the Lady Red Hawks nearly ran the table, riding a 15-1 regular season district record to a number-one seed in the District 11-AA Tournament, and Creek Wood put a lid on the district slate with a 62-46 pasting of Lewis County to take home a tournament crown.

The game was a see-saw affair, as each team made several runs. Lauren Graves, who missed the last game in the series with a sickness, was back in a big way for the Lady Panthers, draining 2 threes in an 8 point first quarter. Sam Killian continued her torrid pace of late, earning the start and burying 2 longballs of her own in the first, but Lewis County took the opening frame 13-12.

The home team on the scoreboard took over in the second, however, as freshman Raegan Hohl added 2 more longballs after hitting one in the first quarter. Caroline Edmondson and the opportunistic Killian each had baskets in a 15-8 second quarter, as the Creek Wood defense allowed just 2 made field goals–a basket each by Taylor Arledge and Maggie West–and the Lady Red Hawks carried a 27-21 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was a 12-12 draw, but the stars came out for each side as Edmondson scored 5 points for CWHS while Graves hit another three. Still, Creek Wood carried a 39-33 lead into the fourth, and looked poised to salt the game away. Instead, Lewis County made one final charge and trimmed the fourth quarter lead to just 2 points…before the District Champions showed their skill and immediately stretched the lead back to 10. The sides would haggle over the margin, but 8 points from Edmondson, 6 from McKenzie Broadway, and 5 from Elayna Gass would prove too much for the Lady Panthers. A 23-13 fourth would lift Creek Wood to a 62-46 win, a tournament crown, and a home date with Cascade Friday night in the Region Tournament Quarterfinals.

Graves led the way for Lewis County with 16 points, while Arledge had 10, Mattie King 6, and Loren Runions 6. Graves had 4 threes for the Lady Panthers, who host Page on Friday night, while King added a pair of longballs. Edmondson had a game-high 18 points for Creek Wood, and took home All-District MVP and Tournament MVP honors. Hohl added 14 points and 4 threes, locking up an All-Tournament Team selection, while Broadway ground out 10 points on a three and 7 made free throws, taking home All-District and All-Tournament honors. Killian drove in 2 threes and 8 points and booked All-Tournament honors, while Gass and Taylor Moore had 5 points each and took home All-District honors as well. Coach Tom Mullinicks was also awarded District 11-AA Coach of the Year.

The Creek Wood boys battle Stewart County for a district crown Tuesday night, then will play in the Region Quarterfinals Saturday night in Charlotte. The Lady Red Hawks will await the Lady Champions of Cascade Friday night, in a must-win game in the Region Tournament.