CLINTON—Oak Ridge senior Tajion Jones was named most valuable player as the Wildcats won their fifth straight District 3-AAA championship with an 86-58 victory over Powell at Clinton on Tuesday.
Oak Ridge (26-2) will play West, which finished fourth in District 4-AAA, in a first-round Region 2-AAA game at Wildcat Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday. West (15-17) lost to Hardin Valley 64-58 in the third-place District 4 game on Tuesday.
The Wildcats, the top seed in the District 3-AAA basketball tournament, advanced to the district championship at Clinton High School on Tuesday by beating Clinton, which had been the number five seed, 111-77 in a semifinal game on Saturday.
Oak Ridge was led against Powell on Tuesday by senior Anthony Gibson. He scored a game-high 24 points, with 22 of those in the first half. Gibson knocked down three three-point shots.
Oak Ridge senior Tee Higgins, a Mr. Basketball finalist last year, was also in double digits, with 14 points. Higgins continued to be a dominating force on defense near the basket, blocking shots and pulling down rebounds.
Powell (21-9), which had been the number three seed, was led by Jack Richards with 14 points and Matt Samples with 11.
The Panthers had a brief five-point lead about halfway through the first quarter, but the Wildcats soon took a 12-10 lead on a three-point shot by Gibson and they never trailed again. They led 49-31 at halftime.
Oak Ridge also defeated Powell twice during the regular season.
Besides Jones, other Wildcats named to the District 3-AAA All Tournament Team were Higgins, Gibson, and senior Tyshawn Young.
Other district players named to the All Tournament Team were Richards and Samples of Powell, Jacob Walden of Campbell County, Daraon Jones and S.J. Powers of Clinton, and K.J. Hawkins and Isaiah Keeter of Karns.
The Panthers, the District 3 runner-up, will play Hardin Valley (16-14), the third-place District 4 team, at Powell in another Region 2 game on Saturday.
Clinton (12-17) lost to Karns (21-6) in the third-place game in District 3 on Monday. The Dragons will play at Bearden (19-8) on Saturday. Bearden beat Maryville 75-70 in the District 4 championship on Tuesday.
Karns, which had been the number two seed in the District 3 tournament, finished third, and the Beavers will play at Maryville (23-5), the District 4 runner-up.
The Oak Ridge girls also played Powell in a District 3-AAA championship game on Tuesday. The Lady Wildcats beat the Lady Panthers 59-34, and the Oak Ridge girls will play Bearden in a first-round Region 2-AAA tournament game at Wildcat Arena at 7 p.m. Friday.
It’s the second year in a row both the Oak Ridge boys’ and girls’ teams won the district championships. For the second year in a row, both teams also finished undefeated in the district, which is a first.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See our previous story on the District 3-AAA basketball tournament here.
See more photos here.
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