Swafford Shot Puts Central In Wildcat Final

Saturday, December 29, 2012 - by David Jenkins

On a night when his poor decision making earned him a place on the Central High bench, senior point guard Dewaun Swafford made the right one at the right time.

 

After seeing a 17-point lead over north Georgia powerhouse Northwest Whitfield disappear in a wonderfully intense fourth quarter, the Pounders were able to salvage a 59-57 win on Swafford's 15-footer with five seconds to play. His teammates made that lead stand with a lockdown sequence on defense and as a result get to play host Hixson tonight in the finals of the Wildcat Classic.

 

The Wildcats earned their berth with a 62-47 win over Warren County. That game will follow the girls title match between Lincoln County and Fort Payne at 7. Lincoln County downed Rhea County 62-41 in the first girls semi, while Fort Payne, with only four wins coming into the tournament, was gunning for Cinderella designation with a 47-35 romp over Loretto..

 

In the consolation games earlier Friday, the Central girls downed Lookout Valley 53-34, Warren County claimed a girls win over Hixson 34-23, the Lincoln County boys dispatched Sale Creek 61-60 and Rhea County barely survived a rally from Lookout Valley's boys 53-50.

 

The rest of today's schedule looks as follows: the host Hixson girls take on Lookout Valley at 10 a.m.; the Lookout Valley and Sale Creek boys meet at 11:30; the Central girls meet Warren County at 1 and the Rhea County boys tackle Lincoln County at 2:30.

 

The Rhea County and Loretto girls and the Northwest Whitfield and Warren County boys play for third place beginning at 4, while the championship finales should get going around 7 p.m.

 

Zero to hero? Swafford bounces back

 

The final play of the first half, put the first 16 minutes of Central's win in a nutshell. Opportunistic and already up 31-18, the Purple Pounders got an uncontested follow-up by Jerome Stewart at the buzzer. Stewart flew it to clean up a missed 3-pointer while five Bruins remained on terra firma. It was a lesson Northwest coach Ryan Richards did not have to convey.

 

“This is a veteran team; they've heard me scream and yell,” Richards said. “Tonight wasn't one of those times. I just said that you can afford a letdown. I hope it's a lesson we take into region play next week. If we learned that, I'll trade a two-point loss for it.”

 

It was certainly taken into the second half. After Central scored first to stretch its lead to 17, the Bruins followed the rainbows of 3-point specialist Tanner Quarles all the way to a 14-0 run. While the battle was joined, Central answered and did not actually lose its lead until Quarles' four-point play with 1:18 left, making it 57-56.

 

Stewart, whose hustle served him so well in the first half, earned a pair of free throws with 1:10 left and converted one. The Bruins tried to place the dagger, but Quarles missed a trey and Central – getting Swafford back in the game to control the possession, ran most of the minute down before nailing the game-winner.

 

Then came the final defensive stand. Rogers and his team had the right idea, at least.

 

“I looked up on the scoreboard and saw we had committed only two personal fouls all half,” explained. “They had five seconds to get off and shot and we had five fouls to give. We could foul our way to the buzzer.”

 

Northwest inbounded the ball, and Central's five defenders grabbed, bumped, jostled – but could not get a single foul called. But the aggressive defense worked in and of itself, and a one-handed fling by Quarles was the closest thing to a shot the Bruins could manage.

 

David Holley led the winner with 14 points, followed by Robert Cobb with 12. Quarles led all scorers with 19 points, and teammates Oshea Hill and Tanner Bailey scored 11 apiece

 

Hey Abbott! Cats explode late

 

On many, if not most, winning occasions this season, the Hixson Wildcats have climbed onto the strong back of D'Mondte Smith and let him carry them. Friday night, they returned the favor.

 

Plagued by foul trouble and turnovers, Smith failed to build on his career night (23 points, 17 rebounds) in the first round. Instead, he watched from the sidelines as his teammates dazzled the Pioneers with a nine-point flurry in all of 52 seconds.

 

The sequence began when Smith was hit with his fourth foul with 2:00 still to play in the third quarter. He's already sat out a chunk of the first half after getting his third foul and the Pioneers quickly cut into the Wildcats' big early lead (16-7 after a quarter).

 

But not this time. A Chandler Abbott 3-pointer rang the bell on a 9-0 run, one that extended to 13-3 into the fourth quarter and was a 22-7 run when Smith finally returned for the final two minutes. Abbott led all scorers with 18 points.

 

“Two good games in a row from him,” acknowledge Wildcats coach Alex Disbrow. “In fact, when we needed it, he kind of turned it up a notch, wanted the ball.

 

“I think everyone in the gym expected us to give up the lead when he went out,” Disbrow continued. “But not this time. It's a credit to everyone on this team.”

 

Disbrow happily pointed out his team evenly doled out 14 assists in the game. Allan Diaz added 10 for the Wildcats, now 5-9. Lee Carden and Tucker Smith had 14 points each to lead Warren County (9-10).

 

Balanced Lincoln girls earn spot in finals

 

Rhea County's Julie Brown came up big in her team's semifinal, but her 23 points (which included five 3-pointers) were not supported by her teammates. Lincoln County had eight different players score, three in double figures.

 

It was a three-point game at halftime before it began raining 3-pointers. In all, Lincoln hit seven treys in the game.

 

In the other girls semi, Fort Payne, which has taken on the best/worst Alabama has had to offer, shut down the Loretto offense unconditionally, holding the team to exactly eight first-half points. Both teams opened things up in the fourth quarter, but Fort Payne's Peyton Lacey (12 points) and Lexi Stoner (13) combined to hit 9 of 10 foul shots

 

Morning glory for Central's Jones

 

Evidently, Central's Shemiyah Jones is a morning person. Playing in the 10 a.m. Consolation opener against Lookout Valley, Jones took the game over after halftime, scoring 15 of her game-best 18 points in the last two quarters. Sandrea Sylman added 13 for the winners, who had only a three-point lead at the half.

 

The Lady Pounders were coached by boys coach Rick Rogers, as Rick May was required to be out of town at a family function.

 

In the other girls consolation, Warren County threatened to skunk Hixson in the second quarter, but settled for a 13-1 game-deciding outburst.

 

In the boys consolation games, Lookout Valley's Kenqual Dozier missed a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer as Rhea County hung on for a 53-50 win. Jalen Smith was golden for the Eagles with 25 points, while Dozier finished with 22 to lead Lookout Valley.

 

New tournament arrival Sale Creek gave Lincoln County a scare for a quarter, but the Panthers managed only five points in the second quarter to allow Lincoln to pull away for a 61-39 win.

 

Boys Semifinals

 

Warren County 7 15 14 11 – 47

Hixson 16 11 17 18 – 62

 

WARREN CO. (47) – League 2, Lee Carden 14, Rutledge 8, Tucker Smith 14, Morales 7, Clark, Taylor 2, Jennings.

 

HIXSON (62) – Alameda, Nelson 6, D'Mondta Smith 9, Hayes 9, Allan Diaz 10, Chandler Abbott 18, Novene 4, Murphy 6..

3 pt. Goals: WC 1 (Carden); Hixson 3 (Abbott 2, Hayes). Records: Hixson 5-9; WC 9-10.

 

 

NW Whitfield 9 9 24 15 – 57

Central 14 19 15 11 – 59

 

NW WHITFIELD (57) – King 4, McDaniel, Tanner Bailey 11, Branson, Whisenant, Oshea Hill 11, Storey 6, Tanner Quarles 19, Stansbury 6.

 

CENTRAL (59) – Swafford 5, Tiller, Robert Cobb 12, Billingsley, Hill 4, Morgan 9, David Holley 14, Smith 6, Stewart 9.

 

3-point goals: NWW 7 (Quarles 5, Storey 2); Central none. Records: NWW 9-3; Central 8-3.

 

 

Girls Semifinals

 

Rhea County 13 11 10 14 – 41

Lincoln County 16 11 `14 21 – 62

 

RHEA CO. (41) – Revis 2, Freeman, Miles, Wallis 6, Purser, Brown 23, Thompson 2, Levi 12, Boys 4.

 

LINCOLN CO. (62) – Miller, Storey 10, Higgins 7, Buchanan 5, King 12, Slayton 11, Hone 2, Graham 5, Faulkner 8, Watson.

 

3-point goals: RC 5 (Brown 5); LC 7 (Slayton 4, Faulkner 2, Graham).

 

 

Loretto 3 5 9 18 – 35

Fort Payne 7 12 9 19 – 47

 

LORETTO (35) – Burden 6, Johns 2, Huntley 3, Santiago 4, Moore 5, Sirmones 8, Brodie 7.

 

FORT PAYNE (47) – Bain 9, Steifel 2, Nolan 9, Townson 2, Peyton Lacey 12, Lexi Stover 13.

 

3-point goals: Loretto 3 (Huntley, Moore, Brodie); FP 3 (Bain, Nolan, Stover). Records: Fort Payne, 5-11.

 

Girls Consolation Games

 

Lookout Valley 12 8 7 7 – 34

Central 10 13 18 12 – 53

 

LOOKOUT VALLEY (34) – Foster 4, Walker 9, Mitchell, Hayley McBee 11, Hoge 1, Hall 2, Evers 8

 

CENTRAL (53) – Shewlyeh Jones 18, Reynolds, Rogers 8, Davis 4, Powell 44, Sandrea Sylman 13, Corley 6, Mitchell, Prater, Jones, Ransom.

 

3-point goals: LV 3 (Evers 2, McBee); Central 3 (Rogers 2, Corley).

 

 

Hixson 6 1 5 11 – 23
Warren County 7 13 3 11 – 34

 

HIXSON (23) – Hill 5, Taylor 3, Harmon 3, Staten 6, Massengale 6, Slaughter, McReynolds.

 

WARREN CO. (34) – Newby 9, Brittney Myers 10, Melton, Winfree, Martin 7, Holmes, Hitchcock, Nokes 2, Holmer 2, Dishman 4.

 

3-point goals: Hixson 1 (Harmon); WC 3 (Myers 2, Martin).

 

Boys Consolation Games

 

Lincoln County 17 19 11 14 – 61

Sale Creek 16 5 14 4 – 39

 

LINCOLN CO. (61) – Xavier Talley-Hyde 10, Thompson 4, Hadley 2, Christian 8, Lewter, Jones 3, Grimes 4, B.J. Thompson 10, Boyd 1, Justin Blackwell 15, Malone 4.

 

SALE CREEK (39) – Lance Burton 4, Logan Burton 9, Cody Daniel 10, Turner, Reavis, Chris Janow 11, Mobley 4, Heard 2, Hooker, Lawson.

 

3-point goals: LC 4 (Christian 2, Talley-Hyde, Jones); SC 1 (Logan Burton).

 

 

Lookout Valley 11 8 18 12 – 50

Rhea County 12 12 22 7 – 53

 

LOOKOUT VALLEY (50) – Clounch 2, Kenquel Dozier 22,. Pickett 5,. Morris 7, Jones 4, Parham 6, Taylor 4.

 

RHEA CO. (53) – G. Hill 2, Jalen Smith 25, Harrison 1, N. Patterson, B. Patterson, Nick McWhorter 21, Horton, Laden, Pendleton 2, Jenkins 5, L. Hill 3.

 

3-point goals: LV 5 (Dozier 3, Pickett, Morgain).RC 1 (Smith).

 

 


CCS Names Weekley Head Soccer Coach For Retiring Stanton

Chattanooga Christian School has announced that David Stanton will be retiring as head boys soccer coach and high school history teacher at the end of this school year. Coach Stanton coached soccer and taught history at CCS for 43 years. He started the soccer program at CCS and was instrumental in the construction of three different soccer fields on campus. The current stadium ... (click for more)

Lookouts Fall To Generals, 7-0, In Final Game Of Series

Jackson, Tenn.  - Ryan Yarbrough was brilliant on his way to his fifth win of the season as and D.J. Peterson had three hits including a home run as the Generals defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 7-0 in the series finale at The Ballpark at Jackson on Monday night.  Omar Bencomo (1-2, 3.32) took the loss for the Lookouts after four strong innings. The righty gave up ... (click for more)

Police Chief Says Community Will Have Input On Placement Of Crime Cameras; To Be Tied In With New Real Time Intelligence Center

Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Tuesday that the community will have input on the placement of cameras designed to deter crime. He told the City Council at a budget hearing that the cameras are part of a Real Time Intelligence Center designed to quickly analyze crime patterns so officers and detectives can react faster and with more knowledge about the situation. Chief Fletcher ... (click for more)

Robbery Arrest Made After Victim Gets New Replacement Phone And Pics Of Robbers Are Uploaded To New Phone

A robbery arrest was made after the victim got a new phone and then had pictures from her stolen phone uploaded to the new phone to her Cloud account. Among the pictures uploaded were photos of the robbers. The female victim identified Seth Benjamin Hardnett, 18, of 1703 E. 14th St., as one of the robbers from the incident on April 12. Hardnett was charged with aggravated ... (click for more)

Late-Night Harassment By The Signal Mountain Police - And Response (11)

I am writing about the misconduct of the Signal Mountain Police Department. This is a repetitive civil rights problem, systemic within their department, with no hint of remorse or regret or a notion to change, though they have been confronted numerous times.   I live on Signal Mountain. In the last few months, I have been pulled over three times while I was driving three ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Rod’s Catfish Dinner

It could well be the best part of playing a prank is in the delicious moments until your “fish” takes the hook. So yesterday afternoon, as I tried repeatedly to talk to a man I haven’t spoken to in 27 years, rather than leave my name I popped off the Happy Birthday song in a snappy, loud way and then ended it with a simple, “Call me,” adding my number. John “Hot Rod” Talley spent ... (click for more)