Note: This story was last updated at 7:45 p.m.
CLINTON—Oak Ridge senior forward Javien Johnson scored a game-high 25 points in a 72-46 district tournament semifinal win over Powell on Saturday. The Wildcats advance to play Karns in the District 3-AAA championship on Tuesday.
The Wildcats (30-2) held the Panthers to six points in the first quarter and three points in the third on Saturday. But they allowed 21 points in the second.
“We quit guarding them in the second,” Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said.
But the Wildcats responded well in the second half and played better defense, Green said.
The District 3-AAA semifinal at Anderson County High School on Saturday was the third meeting this year between Oak Ridge and Powell (20-10). The Wildcats have won all three games.
Oak Ridge, the top seed in the district, will play Karns (20-6) in the district championship at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Anderson County High School. The Wildcats prevailed in both regular-season games against the Beavers, the number three seed.
Johnson, who finished with seven rebounds against Powell, had 17 points for Oak Ridge at halftime on Saturday.
“He’s been a force on the interior,” Green said.
Junior Tee Higgins, who finished with 13 points, had five rebounds at the half. Junior Tajion Jones helped Oak Ridge stretch its lead in the second half, scoring nine of his 11 points in the third quarter.
Senior point guard Geevantay Gee had nine assists total, and junior Anthony Gibson came off the bench to score 10 points.
Green said Oak Ridge will need to play good defense and rebound the basketball against Karns.
Karns beat Central, the number two seed, 61-33 in the other semifinal game on Saturday to advance to Tuesday’s championship game against Oak Ridge.
The Beavers’ game against Central (20-10) was their best game of the year, Green said. He said Karns is very athletic and shoots well. The Beavers, who were led by sophomore K.J. Hawkins in another district tournament game on Friday, made 14 three-point shots in a 70-58 win over Clinton. They hit 10 more three-pointers in the semifinal game against Central on Saturday.
After their semifinal losses on Saturday, Powell and Central will play in a consolation game at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Karns was led in the semifinal game Saturday by junior guard Taylor Everett, who scored 12 points. Hawkins had 11, and Cartez Campbell added 10.
Central, which beat Karns twice during the regular season, had no player who scored more than six points.
After two losses to Central in the regular season, “We were hungry,” Karns Coach Lee Henson said.
Central, Karns, Oak Ridge, and Powell, the number four seed, will all play in the Region 2-AAA tournament that starts next weekend.
The Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats will also play in a District 3-AAA championship game on Tuesday. The girls’ game starts at 6 p.m. The Lady Wildcats advanced to the championship game with a 54-28 win over Anderson County in a semifinal game on Saturday.
The Lady Wildcats will host either Hardin Valley or Heritage in the Region 2 tournament at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Wildcats will host either Maryville or Farragut at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Watch a dunk by Higgins below, with video courtesy of Myles Hebrard.
— Myles Hebrard (@myleshebrard) February 21, 2016
See photos below. See more photos here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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