It was a busy two-day stretch for the Creek Wood basketball programs in Centerville Friday and Saturday. The Lady Red Hawks edged out Stewart County in a District 11-AA Basketball Tournament Semifinal Game on Friday, then held off Lewis County Saturday to take the tournament championship. The Red Hawk boys took tough losses, however, falling to Stewart County in the Friday semifinal game, before getting upset by upstart Fairview in the third place game on Saturday afternoon.
The girls battled Stewart County in the 4pm opener on Friday, storming out to a 9-5 lead after one, but a 12-8 Lady Rebel second quarter tied the game at 17-17 at the break. Reagan Hohl went off for 2 threes and 10 points in a 14-10 Creek Wood third, and the number one overall seed ground out the win with a 17-14 fourth quarter. The game was called very tightly, and Lydia Edmondson was lost for most of the first half with two early fouls. However, after Creek Wood was called for most of the fouls in the first half, they were the beneficiaries in the second half; all 17 fourth quarter points for the Lady Red Hawks were scored on foul shots, as CWHS was able to salt away a 48-41 win. Hohl, Sam Kilian, and Elayna Gass each had 13 points, and Hohl was named game MVP, while Holli Shepherd was the only Lady Rebel in double figures, scoring 14.
The Creek Wood boys also faced Stewart County, in the 8:30pm nightcap of a quadruple-header. The game didn’t start until around 9pm, but Creek Wood took control early with a 14-9 first, led by Coulter Dotson with 7 and Allen Miller with 4. Devon Higgins had 5 points for the Red Hawks in the second, but otherwise the quarter belonged to the Rebels; Rye Nolen had a three, a pair of baskets-and-one, and 13 points as Stewart County hammered Creek Wood 28-12 and took a 37-26 lead into the locker room. Miller had a pair of threes in the third while Micah Westerman had 5 points, and the Red Hawks took the quarter 11-7, but the Rebels still held a 44-37 lead heading to the final frame. Creek Wood cut the lead to 2 points and tried to get a look for the tie or the win in the waning seconds, but Stewart County was able to hold the Red Hawks off. Creek Wood took the fourth 14-9, but the Rebels took the game 53-51. Dotson had 12 points and 2 threes for Creek Wood, while Miller had 2 threes and 10 points, and Higgins had 2 threes and 8 points. Nolen had a game-high 18 points for Stewart County without scoring in the second half, while Alessandro Casselli had 10.
Creek Wood played Fairview for third place on Saturday evening. The 5th seed in the District Tournament, the Jackets had upset Lewis County 61-60 before losing by 6 to top-seed Camden. The game was nip-and-tuck throughout, as a late bucket by Higgins game Creek Wood a 15-14 lead after the first. Dotson had 8 points and 2 threes while Aaron Daniel had 5 points for the Red Hawks, while the big men for Fairview were doing the heavy lifting: Alex Jones had 4 points and Nick Hester had 5 including a basket-and-one.
Reserve D. J. Estes came off the bench for a pair of Yellow Jacket threes in the second, and despite 7 points and two treys for Higgins, Fairview took the frame 13-12 for a 27-27 tie at the half. Dotson managed 8 more points in the third, but a balanced Jacket attack saw 4 players score at least 3 points, and Fairview took the third 17-16 for a 44-43 lead. Stephen Bledsoe played closer for Fairview with 2 threes and 9 points in the fourth. Creek Wood had a look to tie or take the lead late, but the physical play of the Jacket defense kept the Red Hawks from getting a good look at the buzzer. Indicative of the game, Fairview took the fourth by a point as well 15-14, squeaking out a 59-57 win. Dotson finished with a game-high 19 points and 3 threes while MVP Higgins had 2 threes and 11 points and Miller added 2 threes and 10 points. Bledsoe had 3 threes and 16 points to lead the Yellow Jackets, while Estes had 4 threes and 14 points and Hester had 13 points on the night.
The Lady Red Hawks relished the spotlight of a 7pm game for the District Championship. Lewis County and Creek Wood had split in the regular season. The two teams finished tied for the regular season championship, and CWHS got the number one seed on a tiebreaker. The prime-time matchup was exactly what everyone wanted–and Creek Wood was ready.
The Lady Red Hawks got physical, and were deliberate and focused in a 20-13 first quarter. Edmondson had 9 points while Kilian added 5, and only Mattie King had an answer for Creek Wood’s defense as she chipped in 8. The only dark spot for the number one seed was the second quarter, where they only scored a single point; fortunately for the Lady Red Hawks it was also their best defensive quarter, as they only allowed 8 points, and the two sides went to the break tied at 21-21.
Creek Wood came out of the locker room coached up once again, as Hohl put in 5 points, Kilian 4, and Edmondson 3 in a 14-9 frame that saw the Lady Red Hawks on top 35-30 heading to the final quarter. King went off for 2 threes and 8 more points for the Lady Panthers, but the game tightened up down the stretch. First Lainey Bell, then King, and finally Loren Runions all fouled out for Lewis County, and the Lady Red Hawks got comfortable in the bonus in the final minutes. Creek Wood hit 17 foul shots in the fourth on Saturday night, just as they did Friday night, and the regular season champs used a 21-12 fourth quarter to close out a 56-42 win for the District Tournament Title as well.
King finished with a game-high 20 points for the Lady Panthers while Runions added 9. Edmondson had 17 for Creek Wood, while Gass had 14 points including 12 made free throws in the fourth. The game ultimately turned in the fourth, amid all the foul calls, when the Lewis County coach was called for a technical foul disputing a foul call. The Lady Red Hawks missed both foul shots, but Gass hit both technical foul shots and the Lady Red Hawks scored 2 more on the ensuing possession, a 4 point swing in Creek Wood’s favor. Kilian chipped in 12 points on the night, including a first quarter three.
The picture is still not totally clear for Creek Wood in region play, as District 12AA doesn’t decide its championships yet. In girls’ action, 3-seed Page beat 4-seed Marshall County 29-21 for third place on Monday, sending Marshall County to Creek Wood on Friday. After losing back-to-back games by 2 points each, the battle-tested Red Hawks will have to travel to the District 12AA champion. That champion will not be CPA, however, as 5-seed Giles County beat Page by 5 before blasting the Lions 62-54 on Saturday. Giles County will play Tuesday night against the winner of Saturday night’s Cascade/Marshall County game, and the Red Hawks will travel to the winner of that title game on Saturday.
A win for either Creek Wood squad in those Region Quarterfinal Games next weekend would put the CWHS sides back home for the rest of the Region Tournament, as Creek Wood is hosting regardless. The girls would play on the following Monday with a win, and another win would see them in action on Wednesday; the boys would play Tuesday and Thursday. While the top 4 in the District advance to Region play, only the top 2 in the Region advance to Sectionals, the play-in game for the State Tournament.