The Oak Ridge Wildcats will play Siegel in the first round of the Class AAA state high school basketball championship on Thursday.
Oak Ridge (27-5) and Siegel (27-4) are two of eight Class AAA boys teams in the BlueCross State Championships in Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
The Wildcats and the Stars, a Murfreesboro team, are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Thursday (Central time). You can see the tournament bracket here.
Oak Ridge, which had finished second in Region 2, advanced to the state tournament by beating Dobyns-Bennett, which had finished first in Region 1, 65-61 in a Class AAA sectional game in Kingsport on Monday, March 8.
The sectional game on Monday was the third in three years for Oak Ridge, and the second one in two years that the Wildcats have won. (The sectional games determine which teams advance to the state tournament.) Oak Ridge beat Science Hill in last year’s sectional to qualify for the state tournament, but the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Siegel, the Region 4 champion, advanced to the state tournament this year by defeating Warren County 72-58 in another Class AAA sectional game on Monday.
Another local team, Bearden, is also in the state tournament. The Bulldogs (30-3) beat Oak Ridge 55-52 in the Region 2 championship on Thursday, March 4. Bearden will play Cane Ridge (13-0) in another state quarterfinal game on Thursday, with that match scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Central time.
The state semifinal games are scheduled for Friday, and the championship game is Saturday.
At Dobyns-Bennett on Monday, Oak Ridge was led in scoring by senior Jeremy Miller, who scored 17 points, according to Wildcats broadcaster David Clary. Lucas Searcy scored 12 points, and Kell Slater added 10.
It was the fourth year in a row that Dobyns-Bennett has played in a Class AAA sectional game. The Indians have lost all four games.
The Wildcats led the Indians by as many as 14 points in the third quarter Monday, but Dobyns-Bennett rallied and narrowed the Oak Ridge lead.
Dobyns-Bennett was led in scoring by Jonavan Gillespie with 15 points and Brady Stump with 13, according to the Kingsport Times News.
Learn more about the state basketball championships here.