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)

 

 

 



Moc Hoopsters Fall At Tennessee Tech 82-76

Makinde London’s 21 points led four in double figures in the Chattanooga Mocs 82-76 loss at Tennessee Tech Sunday afternoon. The loss dropped the Mocs to 5-6, while the Golden Eagles improved to 8-4. Nat Dixon added 19 points for UTC as James Lewis, Jr., tallied his first career double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Makale Foreman chipped in 14. Aleksa Jugovic ... (click for more)

#13 Roadrunners Fall To Red Hawks

#13-ranked Dalton State came up short in their third conference game of the season against Martin Methodist (Tn.) with the final score of 65-64 at Curry Christian Life Center in Pulaski, Tn.  on Saturday . To start the game, the Roadrunners jumped out a quick lead on the back of a 9-0 run in the first three minutes of the game. The run was quickly halted by Red Hawks ... (click for more)

1 Killed, Another Injured In Shooting On The Southside Early Sunday Morning; Delivery Driver Carjacked On Southside Earlier

One person was killed and a second person injured in a shooting on the Southside early Sunday morning. The victims are Sharone Porter, 22, who was killed, and Torrie Porter, 24, who had non-life threatening injuries.  At 2:47 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 1400 Cowart St.  on a person shot. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police found two victims suffering ... (click for more)

Bradley County Deputy Shoots And Kills Stabbing Suspect At Charleston

A Bradley County deputy shot and killed a man who was a suspect in a stabbing early Sunday morning. The Sheriff's Office said, "At approximately 11:54 p.m. on Saturday, a call was received at the Cleveland/Bradley County 911 Center to report a stabbing at a residence on Leyland Drive in Charleston. "The caller indicated a male had been stabbed and another male had fled from ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the late 1970s and every year about this time I am asked repeatedly about it. It is far and away the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries, it’s included in teaching manuals and people I haven’t seen in years get in touch when they read it ... (click for more)