HALLS—The Oak Ridge Wildcats will play for a district championship against Powell at Halls tonight (Saturday, February 17).
The Wildcats (20-6) advanced to the title game by beating Anderson County 69-61 in a District 3-AAA semifinal game at Halls on Friday.
Powell (18-10) made it to the championship game with a 75-45 win over Karns in the other boys’ district semifinal game on Friday.
The Wildcats and Panthers also played in the district championship game last year, when Oak Ridge won 86-58.
On Friday at Halls, the Oak Ridge gained a 16-2 lead over Anderson County (20-12) in the first four minutes of the district semifinal, but the Mavericks then scored nine straight points to keep it close.
The two teams then battled the rest of the game, with Oak Ridge up 20-14 at the end of the first quarter and leading 28-25 at the half. The Wildcats narrowly outscored the Mavericks 16-13 in the third quarter to widen their lead to 44-38 going into the final quarter.
After that, Anderson County was never able to narrow the Oak Ridge lead to less than eight points.
Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green was not pleased with the how the Wildcats played, but he said they found a way to win.
Oak Ridge was led by senior Levert Smith, who had a game-high 22 points.
Two other Wildcats were in double digits, Marcus Smith with 19 points and Joe Kesterson with 13. Marcus Smith and Kesterson each made three three-point shots.
Anderson County was led by Spencer Chandler and Brandon Irwin, who each had 13 points. Marquis Gallaha and Jordan Hembree added 11 each.
Oak Ridge, which remains undefeated in the district this season, beat Powell twice during the regular season, 61-51 at Powell on December 1 and 67-57 at Oak Ridge on January 25.
The Wildcats also defeated the Mavericks twice during the regular season, 83-59 at home on December 12 and 72-60 at Anderson County on January 26.
Today’s District 3-AAA championship game between Oak Ridge and Powell starts at 7:30 p.m. at Halls High School.
Anderson County and Karns will play in the district tournament consolation game at 4:30 p.m.
Oak Ridge has earned a Region 2-AAA tournament game at home next Saturday, according to broadcaster David Clary.
The Lady Wildcats (22-5) will play Campbell County (19-8) at 6 p.m. today (Saturday, February 17) in the girls’ district championship game. The two teams met twice during the regular season, and each team won one of those games and lost one. It was the only district loss for either team this season.
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More information will be added as it becomes available.
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