Senior guard Braxton Moore of Halls scored 34 points and hit six three-point shots against Oak Ridge on Friday, but a game-saving block by Ted Mitchell in the final seconds preserved a 58-56 win for the undefeated Wildcats.
The Red Devils scored almost half of their points on three-point shots, knocking down nine of them for 27 points.
But Oak Ridge’s depth and the number of players it used—along with the critical stop with less than six seconds remaining—allowed the Wildcats to prevail and improve to 9-0 overall and 3-0 in District 3-AAA.
Oak Ridge led most of the game, but the two teams were tied at 56-56 with one minute remaining.
Oak Ridge junior guard Geevantay Gee broke that tie and gave the Wildcats their two-point 58-56 lead on two free throws with six seconds left.
The Red Devils got the ball back to Moore as time wound down, and he tried one last three-point shot. But Mitchell blocked it.
“He put the ball right up in my face,” said Mitchell, who is also a senior guard. “It was either block it or let him shoot it.”
Moore was able to get open much of the night, and he sank eight of nine free throws and knocked down three three-point shots in both the second and third quarter.
“He hit a lot of big shots,” Oak Ridge junior varsity coach Jeremy Carringer said. “That’s what great players do.”
But no other Halls player scored more than eight points.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats had two players in double digits: sophomore Tee Higgins with 16 points, including a two-handed dunk that fired up Oak Ridge fans, and junior Javien Johnson with 13. Junior Darel Middleton added nine, and Gee had eight.
Oak Ridge plays in its fourth district game of the season on Tuesday, December 9, at Anderson County (7-5, 2-2). That game starts at 7:30 p.m.
The Wildcats last played Halls in February, when they repeated as district champions with a 61-43 win.
More information will be added as it becomes available.