Grace Academy Earns First District 5-A Victory

Monday, December 9, 2013 - by Jaime Barrett
As happy as Grace Academy boys’ basketball coach Jon Mattheiss was to see his team earn its first District 5-A victory, he knows Tuesday night’s game wasn’t a typical matchup with rival Silverdale Baptist.

The host Golden Eagles pulled away early on the way to a 60-23 victory against a Silverdale team that is still adjusting to the return of players from its football team. The Seahawks ended their season in the Class 2A state quarterfinals on Nov. 22, and since then have turned their attention to basketball.


“They’re exactly where we were a couple of weeks ago,” Mattheiss said. “They just got all their football players back last week, and chemistry takes a while. We were making all those same mistakes two weeks ago, so I expect they’ll be a lot better in a couple of weeks once they get into the flow of things with their football players.”

The Golden Eagles dropped their first District 5-A game to Copper Basin on Friday, but rebounded with a quick start against the Seahawks on Tuesday. Brandon McQueen opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, and four points and strong defense from Will Slack helped Grace open with an 11-0 run.

“Everybody started out well, but Will Slack had several early steals that really got our defense going,” Mattheiss said. “I told him that was huge to get us started on the right foot by playing really solid defense.”

Blake Savard hit one of the Golden Eagles’ six 3s to give his team a 20-8 advantage at the end of the first period, and Grace extended its lead to 30-15 at the half. The Golden Eagles opened the third quarter with a 10-run that included two 3-pointers, and their bench finished out the 60-23 victory.

Slack and Savard ended the game with 10 points apiece for Grace (3-4, 1-1), while McQueen followed with nine. Mattheiss said his team also benefitted from the play of guard Andrew Godsey, who was playing in his second game after returning from elbow surgery.

“Our ball handling has already been helped by having Andrew back,” the coach said. “He’s only had three practices since coming back, but he’s definitely helped us. He’s one of the kids with a lot of experience from last year, so we’re really excited about having him back, both for his leadership and his ball-handling.”

Godsey’s injury is one of several that have slowed the Golden Eagles in the early part of the season, but Mattheiss said his team is just one player short of returning to full depth. Once that happens, Grace can focus on gaining experience for a group of upperclassmen who are playing more significant roles this season.

“We’re not really young; we’re more inexperienced,” Mattheiss said. “I’ve only got one sophomore playing varsity, and the rest are juniors and seniors. It’s just that most of them haven’t played a lot of varsity minutes. I’ve got a lot of kids playing tons of varsity minutes this year who didn’t even dress varsity last year, or didn’t get in many games. But when you’ve got juniors and seniors, even though the experience isn’t quite there, they’ve got the maturity and that helps a lot.”

Grace will host Red Bank and Hixson in the Golden Eagle Classic this Friday and Saturday, while Silverdale travels to face Copper Basin on Friday.

(E-mail Jaime Barrett at jaimenbarrett@gmail.com)

GRACE ACADEMY 60, SILVERDALE BAPTIST 23

Silverdale   8     7   2   6   --  23
Grace        20  10  14  15 --  60

Silverdale (23) -- Jordan Delashmitt 10, Walls, Keylon 4, Mossburg, Boggess 7, Hawkins, Huggins, Rogers, Glenn, Marshall 2.

Grace (60) --  Will Slack 10, Roberts 2, Lyons 4, Blake Savard 10, Russell 7, Hughes 7, Armao 2, Godsey 2, McQueen 9, Matheny 4, Cooke 2.

3-point goals: Silverdale 1 (Delashmitt); Grace 6 (Savard 2, Hughes 2, Russell, McQueen).

Lee Women Fall to West Florida 74-69

 After trailing by as many as 20 points in the first half the Lee women's basketball team saw its comeback effort come up just short in falling to West Florida, 74-69 on Thursday night. The win sealed the first ever Gulf South Conference regular-season championship for the No. 20 Argonauts as they improved to 22-5 and 17-4. The loss drops Lee into third place in the league ... (click for more)

Bryan Women Upset Third Seeded Point University In AAC Tournament

On Thursday evening at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn., the No. 6 seed Bryan College Lions Women’s Basketball team kept their season alive with a 63-50 upset of No. 3 seed Point University (Ga.) in Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal play. The win sets up a meeting between the Lions and No. 2 Reinhardt University ... (click for more)

St. Elmo Woman, 45, Dies At County Workhouse On Wednesday Night; Investigation Underway

An inmate died at the county workhouse at Silverdale on Wednesday night, and an investigation is underway.   She was identified as  Dana Shunice Palmer, 45, of St. Elmo.   Ms. Palmer was booked into the Hamilton County Jail from the Chattanooga Police Department on Feb. 14 on a public Intoxication charge. She was transferred from the jail to CoreCivic ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Raising Rates At Money-Losing Walker County Landfill; Moratorium Placed On Fracking, Deep Well Drilling, Tiny Homes

New Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield is raising rates at the money-losing Walker County Landfill. The higher charges go into effect on March 1. Mr. Whitfield, during his campaign, said the landfill had been losing about $500,000 per year for many years. He said other area landfills were making a profit, but Walker County was having to subsidize its landfill. ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)