Lee Takes 85-80 Win Over Freed-Hardeman

Friday, November 9, 2012
It was billed as a showdown between two of the top contenders in the NAIA for the 2012-13 hoop season. No one left Walker Arena disappointed with the hard fought battle they witnessed on Thursday evening before a pair of talented squads.

Lee and Freed-Hardeman meetings usually go down to the wire and that is one reason why the Flames hold only a slim 12-11 in the series after nipping the Lions 85-80. No more than seven points seperated the two powers the entire night.

After falling behind in the early going, the Flames rallied last in the first half to squeeze out a 47-45 lead.
Both teams were extremely hot from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Lee shot a sizzling 60 percent overall (18-of-30) and made 8-of-14 3-point attempts (57 percent). Freed countered with 53 percent overall (16-of-30) and hit 5-of-10 treys (50 percent). The Lions were also an perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.

As expect both teams cooled somewhat in the final half. and the Flames still hit 48 percent overall for the evening and 44 percent from behind the arc. Freed closed out the contest with 45 percent overall and 50 percent from behind the 3-point line. It was simply a deluxe shootout despite some ruggest defense on both ends.

"We changed it up a little in the second half and went to the dribble-drive," noted coach Tommy Brown. "Jason Shelton (Freed coach) is so smart, I knew he'd figure out how to slow our offense down in the second half, but we had a new wrinkle for him."

The switch to the dribble-drive opened up more opportunities for guard Chase Dunn, Will Barnes and Duran Blue. Dunn paced all scorers with 20 points. Barnes was right behind with 19. Blue finished with 13.

Sophomore Corey Billingsley was on fire in the opening half. He nailed four 3-pointers and completed the evening with 14 points. Big Steve Bennett had 12 points and eight rebounds.

"Duran and Will missed some free throws at near the end that almost cost us," noted Brown. "We will need to work on that. You usually can't get away with that against teams like Freed."

If a star of the game award was presented it would have to go to a Flame who scored only five points. Sophomore Chad Lee turned in a Dennis Rodman-type show. He grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds and got a hand on at least another half dozen loose balls. "Chad has that special ability to know where the ball is coming off the glass and he usually reacts quicker than the other guys," said Brown. "He was everywhere tonight on offense and defense and made some amazing plays."

Freed had four players reach double figures. Chandler Mack displayed his talents with 19 points. Kyle Teichmann tossed in 13 before leaving the game with a knee injury early in the second half. Jonathan Milewski and Reginald Gilmore finished with 10 apiece.

Lee won the battle of the boards, 42-29 and that was a big turning point late in the contest. The Flames totaled 34 points in the paint and got 20 markers off second chances. Freed only turned the ball over 11 times and Lee 14.

"That was a big win for us," pointed out Brown. "I'll give the guys a couple days off. We've played four games over seven days. Now we got to get ready to begin conference play at Auburn-Montgomery and Mobile next weekend."

Randy Smith: Some SEC Games To Watch This Fall

We're a month away from college football's opening weekend. While I'm still pondering my annual pre-season picks, I have noticed a few "must see" games in the SEC this season. And while I say "must see" games, they will all likely have serious implications as to how the final standings will shape up. September 3rd : Alabama vs Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas.  ... (click for more)

Former UTC Lineman Lott Signs With Raiders

  Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football student-athlete Derrick Lott signed with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders this week.  Lott played three seasons at UTC (2012-14) after transferring from Georgia.    Lott signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but eventually spent the season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice ... (click for more)

Man, 28, Shot And Killed In East Chattanooga

A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in East Chattanooga early Friday morning. The victim was identified as Jeremy Clark, a brother of House candidate Dennis Clark. Dennis Clark said, "Jeremy, a beloved son, my younger brother and dear friend to many, was taken from us too soon. The pain from our sudden and tragic loss is Indescribable. He was a compassionate and fun-loving ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)