Cleveland, McMinn Send Soddy-Daisy Teams Packing In 5-AAA Tournament

Blue Raiders, Lady Cherokees Post Third Wins Of Season Over First-Round Foes

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – It was rout night Wednesday.

Unfortunately, the Soddy-Daisy boys and girls were victimized in blowouts as the District 5-AAA high school basketball tournament opened at Cleveland High School.

The second-seeded Cleveland Blue Raiders unleashed two back-breaking runs in the first half and went on to demolish the Trojans, 69-42, for their third win over Soddy-Daisy this season.

In the night’s first game, McMinn County’s Lady Cherokees held the Lady Trojans to 10 first-half points and rolled to a 53-29 victory. It was also McMinn’s third win over Soddy-Daisy and second in three days.

With the opening-round victories, the Blue Raiders and Lady Cherokees advanced to the semifinals and earned spots in the Region 3-AAA tournament, which also will be held at Cleveland High.

Two more first-round games are scheduled tonight.

The third-seeded Cleveland girls (15-8) play Ooltewah (5-19) at 6 p.m. and the third-seeded Bradley Central Bears (14-11) tangle with No. 6 McMinn County (8-15) at 7:30 p.m.

The Blue Raiders never gave Soddy-Daisy a chance.

Cleveland (17-9) and Soddy-Daisy (9-15) were tied at 5-5, but the Blue Raiders ran off 12 straight points – four by Jahmal Johnson – and led 17-5 after one quarter.

Following a Soddy-Daisy 3 by James York to start the second period, Cleveland outscored the Trojans, 12-2, and stretched the lead to 29-10 and 51 seconds later the margin was 33-11.

That was it.

“The fast start was very satisfying,” Cleveland coach Jason McCowan said, “because it means your kids are listening and doing it at the right time of the season. We sure didn’t want to put ourselves in a hole we’d have to dig out of. We didn’t have to call a timeout to get their attention. I don’t think I called a timeout all night.”

It wasn’t necessary.

Cleveland was racing away, 35-14, at halftime.

“That’s what they do,” Soddy-Daisy coach Kevin Templeton said. “It’ll be 15-14 and then you look up and it’ll be 26-15. They can do those things.

“They’re pretty good. I thought we were ready to play. We’ve played better than this and it’s certainly not typical of how we’ve played the second half of the season. That’s what makes this so disappointing.”

Cleveland kept up the pressure, forcing Soddy-Daisy into numerous turnovers and forced shots. The Blue Raiders outscored the Trojans, 12-7, to start the third quarter and had a 47-21 advantage with 2:44 on the clock.

Soddy-Daisy scored eight of the game’s next 10 points, but still faced a 20-point deficit at 49-29. C.J. Bryant’s 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in the quarter gave the Blue Raiders a 52-29 lead.

Johnson dropped in a layup, Isaiah Beaty converted a three-point play and Johnson hit another goal to extend the Blue Raiders’ lead to 59-29 with 7:05 left. Bryant drilled two 3s in the next two minutes and the spread was 67-35 at the 4:17 mark.

“Cleveland is deep,” Templeton said. “They’re fast. You know, speed never takes a day off. No doubt they were the most aggressive team out there and they had us reacting to them. We don’t want to be the reactor. We want to be the ‘actor,’ but we were on our heels the whole night.

“I’m not upset with my kids because they battled to the end. You have to give Cleveland all the credit. It was more about what they did than what we didn’t do.”

Despite having beaten the Trojans twice during the regular season by 82-63 and 60-36, the Blue Raiders came out with fire in their belly, avoiding a letdown in what often is termed as a “trap” after two previous victories over the same team.

“We’re playing well right now,” McCowan said. “I want them to focus on continuing to do that. This time last year was one of the few teams I’ve had that wasn’t playing better as the season went on. These kids are maturing and taking these games serious.”

Bryant led the Blue Raiders with a game-high 22 points, including three 3s. Johnson and Kendrick Thompson each scored 14 points.

York, a junior, scored 14 points and was the Trojans’ lone player in double figures.

In the opening girls game of the tournament, the Lady Cherokees (18-7) started strong against the Lady Trojans and quickly built a 19-5 lead with five points to open the second quarter.

The Lady Trojans (10-15) got a field goal by Mallory Wade from the left wing, but McMinn County’s Keke Smith scored seven straight points and opened a 31-12 advantage with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

McMinn County, which swept Soddy-Daisy in 20- and 28-point victories during the regular season, outscored the Lady Trojans, 8-2, during one fourth-quarter stretch and led, 49-25, with just over two minutes left.

“I’m really happy with the 17 turnovers we forced, but not with a lack of offensive production in the first half,” McMinn County coach Tim McPhail said. “Soddy-Daisy was outhustling us in the first half. I told our girls at halftime that if we wanted a chance at the championship they would have to make some changes in the second half, and they did that.”

Smith led the Lady Cherokees with 17 points. Haley Ward scored 12 points and Alisa Guardiola finished with 11.

Sydney Orr, the lone senior on the Lady Trojans’ roster, scored 11 points in her final prep basketball game for Soddy-Daisy.

“We had to break McMinn’s press and we knew it was coming,” Soddy-Daisy coach David Casteel said. “We did a better job against their pressure, but it wasn’t good enough.”

 

GIRLS SUMMARY

 

Soddy-Daisy                                    5 5 10 9 – 29   

 

McMinn County                             14 10 17 12 – 53  

 

Soddy-Daisy (29) – Harris 5, Hale 2, Sydney Orr 11, Mitchell, Smith 2, Hopkins 2, Ward 2, Hancock, Phillips, Duncan, Wade 5.

 

McMinn County (53) – Cornett 2, Wilson, Simbeck, Haley Ward 12, Burke 8, Dispensa 3, Kelley, Alisa Guardiola 11, Thompson, KeKe Smith 17.

 

3-Point Goals – Soddy-Daisy none; McMinn County 3 (Ward 2, Smith).

 

BOYS SUMMARY

Soddy-Daisy                                    5 9 15 13 – 42 

 

Cleveland                                          17 18 17 17 – 69   

 

Soddy-Daisy (42) – Amos 7, Landreth 8, Carter 6, Wright 4, James York 14, Floyd 3, Millsaps, Kearney, Shaughnessy.

 

Cleveland (69) – C.J. Bryant 22, Ware 2, Kendrick Thompson 14, Beaty 5, Scott 3, Brown 2, Constant 2, Little 2, Jahmal Johnson 14, Bunion, McRee, Dykes, Gibson.

 

3-Point Goals – Soddy-Daisy 5 (York 3, Landreth, Floyd); Cleveland 5 (Bryant 3, Thompson 2).

 

Thursday’s Schedule

 

Seeds In Parenthesis

 

6 p.m. – (6) Ooltewah vs. (3) Cleveland, girls

 

7:30 p.m. – (6) McMinn County vs. (3) Cleveland, boys

Friday’s Schedule

6 p.m. – (5) Rhea County vs. (4) Walker Valley, girls

7:30 p.m. – (5) Rhea County vs. (4) Walker Valley, boys

 

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming@gmail.com)

 

 

 


Ex-Lookout Joc Pederson Gets First At-Bat In Majors

LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson had the stage, had the drama, had family in the stands, had everything he needed Monday to make his first Major League at-bat the stuff of legend -- a true Hollywood debut. Pederson even had a pitch to hit -- a 2-0 fastball right in his wheelhouse. The left-hander ripped it with the kind of swing that earned him top-prospect status -- that earned ... (click for more)

No.13 UTC Prepares for No.9 Jax State

“The Jacksonville State defensive front four is as good or better than Central Michigan’s.”   -- UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden. It’s “Whiteout Saturday” at Finley Stadium as Chattanooga hosts its oldest rival in Jacksonville (Ala.) State in a battle of two top 15 nationally ranked FCS teams. Both teams – No.9 Jax ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)