Oak Ridge senior Tajion Jones bounced back with 24 points and the Wildcats beat a young, talented Bearden team 86-73 in the Region 2-AAA championship at home on Thursday.
It’s the second consecutive regional championship for the Wildcats and their third in the past five years.
Oak Ridge (29-2) will now play David Crockett, the Region 1-AAA runner-up, in a sectional at Wildcat Arena at 7 p.m. Monday.
Bearden (21-9) will play at Science Hill, the Region 1 champion, in another sectional at 7 p.m. Monday.
The eight sectionals will determine which teams get to play in the Class AAA state basketball tournament from March 15-18 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said the Thursday night win over Bearden, which started four sophomores, was a collective effort. [Read more…]
Maryville senior guard Easton Upchurch scored 25 points and made seven three-point shots on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to keep Oak Ridge from advancing to its fifth straight regional championship.
The Wildcats were held to their lowest offensive output of the season in the 46-43 Region 2-AAA semifinal win over the Rebels at Wildcat Arena. No Oak Ridge player scored more than 13, which is unusual.
Maryville Coach Mark Eldridge said Oak Ridge has better players than the Rebels, so his team tried to limit the number of possessions. More possessions mean the better team wins, Eldridge said.
The Wildcats probably had about half as many possessions as they normally do, Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green said. Maryville has guards who are good enough that the Rebels could run time off the clock—and they did.
“Sometimes you have to find ways to grind them out,” Green said. “Our guys haven’t had a lot of close games, and our guys kept their composure.”
Oak Ridge (28-2) advances to play Bearden (21-8) in the Region 2-AAA championship at Wildcat Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday. The season is over for Maryville (24-6). [Read more…]