A near-capacity crowd at Creek Wood gym on Saturday night saw the host school take down both titles in the TSSAA Class AA District 11 Tournament Championships. The Creek Wood girls blanked Camden Central in the overtime frame to take a 62-53 win, while the unbeaten Red Hawks stayed perfect with a 100-82 triumph over rival Waverly.
The Lady Red Hawks had a challenge in their District Title Game in Camden. The 17-1 Lady Lions came in as the number one seed, and were the last team to beat Creek Wood in the district; the 16-2 Lady Red Hawks were on their own home floor as the “road” team with a solid crowd, and they were the only district team to beat Camden this year.
The lead see-sawed back and forth in the opening frame, but Creek Wood held on for a 14-10 lead after one. Reserve Caroline Edmondson was the only Lady Red Hawk to score a 2 point basket, but McKenzie Broadway and Candace Meadows each hit a three and McKenzie Haislip buried 2 treys in the frame. Arizona Harper came to life in the second quarter, scoring a three while getting fouled (hitting the free throw for a 4 point play) and adding a basket-and-one on her way to a 10 point frame. Edmondson chipped in 6 points as CWHS took the frame 18-14, despite 5 points each from Kristen Capps and Jenna Taylor; the Lady Red Hawks led 32-24 at the half.
Harper and Broadway did the heavy lifting in Creek Wood’s 13-12 third, with Harper adding 5 while Broadway poured in 2 threes and 8 points. Starting post Baylee Pafford and reserve post Brittney Minor kept the Lady Lions close with 5 points each, but Camden trailed 45-36 heading into the final frame. Camden Central had some reservations about an early exit however, and the Lady Lions blasted Creek Wood 17-8 in the fourth. Karlie Hudson scored 8 points in the quarter before fouling out; she would finish with a total of 12 in the game. Capps added 5 while Minor added 4, and despite 6 points from Brianna Spicer and 2 more from Harper, the Lady Red Hawks could not regain the lead and the title game went to overtime tied 53-53.
In the extra 4 minute session, the Creek Wood defense and Arizona Harper’s offense took all the drama out of the game. Harper scored a bucket to put CWHS up 55-53, and from there the rhythm was established–get a stop, get the ball, run the clock, get fouled, and hit your free throws. The Lady Red Hawks blanked the Lady Lions 9-0 in the overtime period and Harper added 4 free throws for 6 points in the frame, while Spicer netted 2 free throws and Haislip 1. Creek Wood took the win 62-53, and took home the trophy in their own home gym.
Harper finished with MVP honors and a game-high 23 points for Creek Wood, while Broadway added 11 and Haislip 10. Capps had 14 for the Lady Lions, while Hudson fouled out with 12 and Minor poured in 10 off the bench.
By the time the extra session started, the gym was already packed full, with all 30 rows on the home side near capacity, and a solid crowd on the road side as well. It was no secret that the third battle between the 27-0 Red Hawks and the 24-6 Waverly Tigers was the main event, the blood feud, and the entree everyone was waiting for, and the raucous crowd was ready well before the opening tip which was delayed into the 9:00 hour.
Waverly dominated the first quarter, never trailing, though as the period rolled on the Red Hawks kept trimming the advantage to a slim point. The Tigers led 18-17 after one off the strength of 6 points from Tyler Dell and 4 each from J’Honathyn Smith, Jordan Hughey, and Rhyse Randolph, but 9 points from Ross Cummings kept Creek Wood hot on their heels. The Red Hawks finally broke through in the second, and after a bit of back and forth Creek Wood took control. Coulter Dotson poured in 6 points off the bench while Isaac Edmondson and Gabe Cummings added 4 each and Ross Cummings added 5. Dell had a respectable 7 point quarter for Waverly, but a 21-11 frame made it 38-24 Creek Wood at the half.
Creek Wood stretched out the lead with a 26-21 third, but Waverly was not giving ground, and both sides played starters and key reserves throughout. Ross “Chico” Plunkett poured in 9 third-quarter points, while Edmondson added 7 and Gabe Cummings 6. The home side needed a strong fourth to close out Waverly, but a 36-32 final period put the Tigers away for good. Both sides bombed away threes in the early minutes of the fourth, including a Gabe Cummings rainbow from well beyond NBA range, but in the final minutes both sides were called for a succession of fouls that ultimately helped the Red Hawks hit 100 points for the third time in school history and this season, as Gabe hit a free throw in the final minute to touch the milestone. He finished with 12 points and 3 threes in the fourth, while twin brother Ross had 10, and Creek Wood took a 100-82 win.
Ross Cummings led the way with a game-high 26 points, while Gabe added 22; Plunkett had 17 points, Edmondson 15, and Dotson fouled out with 9. Randolph led the way for Waverly with 22–13 in the fourth–while Dell added 18 and Smith 12; reserve Daisuan Whitfield had 12 points off the bench for the Tigers.
Edmondson, Plunkett, and Gabe Cummings were named All-District and All-Tournament for the boys, while Ross Cummings took All-District MVP and All-Tournament MVP. After her breakout performance in the title game, Arizona Harper took home Tournament MVP honors, while McKenzie Haislip and Candace Meadows were named All-District and All-Tournament. Brianna Spicer took home All-District honors, while McKenzie Broadway made the All-District Tournament team.
Both Creek Wood squads host Cascade for Region semi-finals action. The Lady Red Hawks host the Lady Champs on Friday night, with the winner playing the Giles County/East Hickman winner the following Monday. The Creek Wood boys welcome in the Cascade Champions on Saturday night, with the winner facing Marshall County or Camden the following Tuesday night.