Note: This story was last updated at 12 p.m. March 19.
Oak Ridge advanced to a state semifinal basketball game on Friday with a 68-57 win over Siegel in a Class AAA quarterfinal game on Thursday.
The Wildcats (28-5) will play Houston (21-3) of Germantown, east of Memphis, at 8:30 p.m. Central time Friday. The BlueCross Basketball Championships are in Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
Oak Ridge took an early lead with a quick three-point shot from the top of the key by senior Jeremy Miller. The Wildcats led Siegel (27-5) most of the game, but the two teams were tied 30-30 at the end of the first half and 44-44 at the end of the third quarter.
The Stars trailed by only one point, 58-57, with about three minutes left in the game after Siegel senior Jaylan Wetzel scored eight points, including two three-point shots, in about 1.5 minutes halfway through the fourth quarter. But after a three-point shot by Siegel senior Martise Jackson (seven assists, four steals) with three minutes left, the Stars never scored again.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats had a jump shot by Miller, a block by 6-foot-8 senior center Jonathan Milloway, four made free throws by Miller and Milloway, and layups by seniors Stafford Shanklin and Johnathan Stewart.
The Wildcats outscored the Stars 24-13 in the final quarter, with eight of those points in the final three minutes.
They held Siegel to 34 percent shooting from the field and had a rebounding advantage, 41-34.
The match featured Oak Ridge coach Aaron Green and one of his former assistants, Dyron Birdwell, who is now coach of Siegel, a Murfreesboro team.
The Wildcats were led in scoring during the quarterfinal game Thursday by Milloway, who had a game-high 20 points. He also had nine rebounds for Oak Ridge and three blocks.
Stewart added 16 points, and he had four steals for the Wildcats.
Miller scored 10 points for Oak Ridge, and he had 10 rebounds and six assists.
Shanklin also had 10 rebounds, as well as eight points.
The Stars were led by senior point guard Zion Swader with 18 points. Six-foot-five senior Matthew Schneider scored 12 points for Siegel, and he had a game-high 16 rebounds. Wetzel, who had the eight points midway through the fourth quarter, also scored 12 points for the Stars.
(You can see statistics and a play-by-play summary of the Thursday quarterfinal game here.)
Houston advanced to Friday’s semifinal game against Oak Ridge by beating Clarksville 70-58 in another quarterfinal game on Thursday.
In the other two quarterfinal games on Thursday, Collierville beat Cleveland 62-56, and Cane Ridge defeated Bearden 50-47. Collierville and Cane Ridge will play in the other semifinal game on Friday. It is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Central time.
The championship game will be at 5 p.m. Saturday. (See the tournament bracket here.)
This is the second year in a row that the Wildcats made it to the state tournament, but last year’s tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.