Note: This story was last updated at 12 a.m.
For the second time in less than two weeks, the Oak Ridge Wildcats beat the Dobyns-Bennett Indians by more than 40 points.
The first time was at Wildcat Arena in the Rick McGill Toyota Classic on Friday, December 18, when Oak Ridge won 88-36.
The second time was on Saturday, December 26, when the undefeated Wildcats trounced the Indians 81-35 in the opening round of the 2015 Arby’s Classic basketball tournament at Tennessee High School in Bristol.
At 15-0, the Wildcats are off to their best start ever.
Junior Tee Higgins led Oak Ridge with 15 points and nine rebounds on Saturday. Senior Javien Johnson scored 14 points and also pulled down 15 rebounds.
The Wildcats had five players scoring in double digits. Besides Higgins and Johnson, they were junior Tajion Jones with 14 points (and six rebounds), junior E.J. Bush with 12 points (and four rebounds), and junior Anthony Gibson, who came off the bench to score 11.
The Indians, who are from Kingsport in upper East Tennessee, had no players who scored in double digits. They were led by Riamello Wadsworth with nine points and Brett Rogers with eight.
Oak Ridge shot 36 of 71 (50.7 percent) in two-point range compared to 14 of 44 (31.8 percent) for Dobyns-Bennett. The Wildcats also pulled down 48 rebounds, including 18 on offense, compared to 17 total and three on offense for the Indians.
The Wildcats (15-0) move on to play David Crockett (11-2) in a quarterfinal game at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 29. David Crockett High School is in Jonesborough in upper East Tennessee, west of Johnson City.
The Pioneers beat the Cardinals of Mentor (Ohio), 82-79, in double overtime in another first-round game on Saturday. Patrick Good of David Crockett scored 35 points, Dustin Day added 18, and Ian Martin had 11.
The Cardinals had four players in double digits and were led by Jack Korsok with 23 points.
See the Saturday game statistics here. The Oak Ridge-Dobyns-Bennett game was Game 5. The David Crockett-Mentor game was Game 6.
See the 2015 Arby’s Classic tournament bracket here.
In another opening-round game on Saturday, the 2014 Arby’s Classic champion, North Mecklenburg High School of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, beat Tennessee High of Bristol 79-52 (Game 4). Tennessee High’s Garrett Crandell had a game-high 24 points, but North Mecklenburg had four players in double digits compared to two for Tennessee High: Davion Mintz with 20 points, Kendall Coles with 16, Ethan Wacker with 13, and Greg Joyner with 10.
North Mecklenburg moves on to play Tift County, Georgia, in another quarterfinal game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tift County of Tifton, Georgia, rolled over Gate City (Virginia), 80-46, in Game 3 of the tournament. Tift County had four players in double digits, and the Blue Devils and Gate City each had a player who scored more than 20 points.
The winner of the North Mecklenburg-Tift County game will play the winner of the Oak Ridge-David Crockett game in a semifinal game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 30.
The 2015 Arby’s Classic features 18 teams from four countries. Most are from the United States, with seven from East Tennessee and others from Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. But there are also three teams from Germany, Grand Bahamas, and Canada.
Other East Tennessee teams competing in the tournament are Christian Academy of Knoxville and teams from Greeneville, Bristol (Tennessee High), Jonesborough (David Crockett High), and Bluff City (Sullivan East).
The 33rd annual tournament continues through December 31, and teams are competing for first through sixth place.
Besides some high-scoring players, some blowouts, and a double overtime, the tournament has also featured a new single-game record for three-point shots. That was set by Isaiah Sulack of CAK, who hit nine three-pointers in a 69-46 win over Tabernacle Baptist of the Bahamas.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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