Upshaw Brothers Lead Baylor Past McCallie

Red Raiders Prevail With Late Free Throws, 57-56

Saturday, January 26, 2013 - by John Hunt

The Upshaw brothers were the difference for Baylor Saturday night.

Playing against arch-rival McCallie in a packed Jimmy Duke Arena, older brother Reggie made a triumphant return from a broken foot to score 31 points.

However, it was younger brother Gage who had the biggest rebound and made the two biggest free throws of his life as the host Red Raiders rallied for a 57-56 victory.

Baylor is now 9-7 overall and 2-2 in region play while McCallie falls to 9-10 overall and 1-4 in the region.

Reggie scored on a short jumper off an inbounds play with 37 seconds to give Baylor a 55-53 lead.

McCallie worked patiently for a late shot, but Baylor's man-to-man defense smothered Jamaal Calvin as he drove the baseline, forcing the talented senior to dish off to teammate Jorden Williams in the corner.

Williams is equally good as a shooter, but his shot was off the mark and Gage Upshaw was in the right place at the right time to claim the rebound.  He was fouled in the process and went to the charity stripe with five seconds remaining.

The muscular freshman never flinched as he calmly swished both ends of a one-and-one to give his team a seemingly-safe four-point lead.

Calvin hit a long 3 at the buzzer to make the final score 57-56.

"I'm exhausted, but I'm happy we won," said Reggie after exiting a subdued Baylor dressing room.

"I'm not really happy with the way I played as I'm still not in good shape, but I wanted to get my teammates more involved.  When Gage went to the free throw line, I knew he could make them as I was totally confident in his ability," the 6-7 senior added.

Baylor coach Austin Clark knew from the start that his star player would be a difference maker.

"I felt like he'd play well because he's a competitor.  That wasn't too bad, considering he's practiced with us for two days, but it was such an emotional game.

"It's a big win, first because it's a league game and second it's McCallie.  We were very impatient at times on offense as we took some bad shots, but we shifted to a man defense at the end because we didn't want to get beat by a long shot.

"I'm really proud of the way these guys bounced back after getting totally whipped at Bradley earlier this week.  Of course, it helped that we were playing our biggest rival," Clark added.

McCallie coach Dan Wadley was certain that Upshaw would play.  The Blue Tornado used several different players in an attempt to be more physical in an attempt to slow him down, but nothing seemed to work.

"You just saw a heck of a game.  We knew that Reggie would be playing and we tried to be more physical with him, but he did an outstanding job for them," the veteran McCallie coach praised.

"They went to a man defense at the end and that sort of confused us. We were wanting Jamaal to take the last shot, but he was covered and it went to Jorden.  He's a good shooter too, but it just didn't fall.

"Just a typical Baylor-McCallie basketball game.  Sometimes they go our way and sometimes they don't, but I was really proud of our effort," Wadley added.

While the Upshaws were the two biggest heroes for Baylor, it was a dorm student from Switzerland named Amedgo Giussanni who also nailed a couple of critical 3s at the end.

Calvin had nailed a 3 to give McCallie a 49-45 lead with 3:31 to play before Giussani nailed a 3 of his own to answer on Baylor's next possession.  Then with McCallie holding a 51-50 lead with just over two minutes to play, the slender forward nailed another to give Baylor the lead.

"I can hit those long shots when I'm open, but we're so glad to have Reggie back.  It gave our entire team a huge lift tonight," Giussani added.

Williams scored on a drive with 1:23 to play as McCallie tied the score once again at 53-53, setting up the frantic finish for the Upshaw brothers.

While the older Upshaw had 31 points to lead both teams, teammate Matt Clendenen hit some key buckets along the way to finish with 10 points.

Clay Born and Giussani both followed with six points apiece.

Calvin had 20 points to lead the Blue Tornado, including 17 in the second half.

Nick Jacobs was next with 14 while C.J. Fritz and Williams added 10 each.

McCallie had a 19-13 rebounding edge in the first half and finished with 29 while Baylor claimed 26.

Jacobs was tops for McCallie with eight while Calvin snagged six.  Clendenen had seven for Baylor while Reggie Upshaw had six and Gage Upshaw five.

McCallie    13  11  16  16  --  56

Baylor       14  15  14  14  --  57

McCALLIE (56) -- Fritz 10, Williams 10, Moxey 1, Jacobs 14, Whitener, Calvin 20, Clark, Hobbs, Wolf 1, Couch.

BAYLOR (57) -- Born 6, Bowens, Clendenen 10, Maum, G. Upshaw 2, Lupas 2,. R. Upshaw 31, Giussanni 6.

3-POINT GOALS: McCallie 5 (Calvin 5); Baylor 6 (Born 2, R. Upshaw 2, Giussani 2).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Marcus smith And Jerry Caldwell Talk About Tennessee Football At Bristol

The following transcript contains excerpts from Monday’s press briefing regarding the status of the transition of converting the infield of the raceway to a football field at Bristol Motor Speedway from Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith and Bristol Motor Speedway Executive Vice President/General Manager Jerry Caldwell. The Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol featuring the Tennessee ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestler, Former Wrestler Taken To Jail After Chattanooga Zoo Caper

A member of the UTC wrestling squad and a former Moc wrestler wound up taken to jail after a caper at the Chattanooga Zoo early Saturday morning. Michael Pongracz, 21, was charged with two counts of evading arrest, public intoxication, criminal trespass and vandalism. Hunter Manley, 20, was charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass. An officer said he responded ... (click for more)

Residential Project At 1st And Cherry To Finish Out Units On Hill Above Market Street

More residential units are planned downtown near the riverfront on a steep lot at First and Cherry streets. The River City Company is currently seeking requests for proposals from developers for the steep 95-foot-by-65-foot lot behind the First and Market condos. River City officials said, "We are excited about how this parcel will put a finishing touch on this well established ... (click for more)

TBI Adds Jereme Little To Top 10 Most Wanted; Was Set Free By Judge Stern And Then Higher Court Overruled Her

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list Jereme Dannuel Little, who was freed by order of Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern, whose decision was recently reversed. Little is wanted by the Chattanooga Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for especially aggravated kidnapping. The TBI said, "Little has a history of ... (click for more)

Proud To Be A Conservative Conservationist

I was born and raised in Chattanooga and was brought up to be a Tennessee conservative. That means that my family conserved our spending, our resources, and yes, even our environment.  I think we were inspired to do so because Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States. We have stunning mountains, wild rivers and quiet backcountry. And many of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Georgia’s Weak Attacked

The United States Attorney’s Office and our nation’s Justice Department just thrust an unwelcomed spear into the heart of the state of Georgia. And while I am scared to death the same war party is now headed into Tennessee and other states, I wish the DOJ had stopped in Chattanooga for lunch and a quick visit at our Orange Grove Center before filing last Tuesday’s lawsuit against ... (click for more)