Ooltewah Races Past Cleveland, 75-69, For Third Place In 5-AAA Tournament

Maston Scores 23 As Owls Roll; Walker Valley Beats Bradley, 51-41, For Title

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Ooltewah sophomore Daaron Maston scored a career-high 23 points and the Owls survived an exasperating defensive meltdown in the fourth quarter to defeat Cleveland, 75-69, Tuesday night in the District 5-AAA high school basketball tournament at Cleveland High School.

 

5in 0.0001pt 0in;">“Offensively, all we did was push the ball,” said Ooltewah coach Jesse Nayadley, now 4-10 against the Blue Raiders. “We haven’t been doing that and some of that is our fault because we were stressing defense. If we could ever put those two things together we could go on a nice little run.”

 

Nayadley’s pre-game plan was simple: “Let’s go out there and even if they beat us by 20, let’s score 80. Let’s run and make them run, too. That’s what we do best.”

 

The Owls never stopped running, but they did stop defending and almost blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead.

 

“Our defense was not very good tonight,” Nayadley said. “It was actually very poor the whole game.”

 

Ooltewah’s offense was more than sufficient to withstand Cleveland’s furious comeback and push aside any lingering effects of Saturday’s heart-stopping, 62-59, semifinal loss to Walker Valley on Caio Hysinger’s half-court desperation heave at the final buzzer.

 

Tuesday’s win gave the Owls (17-9) third place in the tournament and moved them into the Region 3-AAA quarterfinals on Saturday at White County (19-11), which lost to Cumberland County, 43-33, in the District 6-AAA championship game.

 

Cleveland (17-11) travels to Cumberland County (17-15).

 

Walker Valley finished strong – junior Lukas Korn scored eight straight points during a key fourth-quarter spurt – to defeat Bradley Central, 51-41, for in the championship showdown before another standing-room-only crowd at the Raider Dome.

 

Walker Valley (18-11) will host Warren County (13-20) on Saturday while Bradley Central (16-12) entertains Cookeville (26-7). Cookeville routed Warren County, 63-44, in the 6-AAA consolation game.

 

Ooltewah, playing without junior starter Ben Snider following his one-game suspension for violating team rules, sprinted out of the gate and never let up. They resorted to their favorite weapon – fast-break opportunities – to gain the upper hand against the host Blue Raiders.

 

Behind Maston’s 11 first-half points, the Owls built a 41-32 lead at intermission. Maston, who battled through a deep thigh bruise for several weeks around midseason, scored seven of Ooltewah’s first 12 points, setting the tempo for what was to come.

 

“This is my best varsity game,” the 6-foot-2-inch Maston said. “I started off with a few mid-range shots and once I started hitting them I moved out a little farther.”

 

Maston made two of his five 3-pointers in the third period when the Owls pushed their lead to 50-36 with 2:59 on the clock.

 

Junior Ron King’s base-line drive and Maston’s 3 maintained the Owls’ double-digit lead at 55-42 and King’s 3 with 0.7 seconds left in the period gave Ooltewah a 58-46 advantage.

 

Maston started the fourth quarter with a 3 from the left wing and Jacqueze Robinson made a free throw before Cleveland’s Jahmal Johnson scored the Blue Raiders’ first points of the period on two free throws.

 

King hit a layup to push Ooltewah’s margin to 64-48.

 

Cleveland then unleashed its courageous rally, scoring 10 straight points, including four each by Kendrick Thompson and Dustin Little, and trailed 64-58 with 4:39 remaining.

 

King hit a bucket from the left wing and Maston hammered another 3 from the left corner to momentarily stem Cleveland’s surge. The Owls led 69-58 with 3:56 on the clock.

 

“Ron King is a hustler,” Nayadley said. “And this is how Daaron shot the ball at the beginning of the season, and in the last four or five games. That thigh bruise hampered him for a while, but he’s shot it really well in our last few games.”

 

Cleveland’s 5-8 senior guard C.J. Bryant scored 11 consecutive points, including a streak-ending 3, and the Blue Raiders were within 72-69 with 2:03 left. Bryant’s first eight points in the one-man scoring spree came on two free throws and three drives to the bucket.

 

“We started to relax, they started coming back and we had to turn it up again,” Maston said.

 

Nayadley wasn’t happy at all with the Owls’ defensive play.

 

“We got very content on defense and Cleveland scored 12 or 14 straight points on layups,” he said.

 

Robinson dropped in 3-of-4 free throws in the final 45 seconds to nail down the Owls’ impressive win.

 

King finished with 16 points, senior guard Antonio Jackson had 11 and Robinson added 10.

 

Bryant led Cleveland (17-11) with 20 points – he scored 53 in the last two games against Ooltewah. Thompson scored 18 points and Johnson had 10.

 

“We fully expected Ooltewah to run tonight, but we didn’t expect them to shoot that well,” Cleveland coach Jason McCowan said. “(Maston) was aggressive and really shot the ball well. It was like a coming out party for him.”

 

In the title game, the county rivals battled toe-to-toe for three-plus quarters before Korn ignited a game-changing streak with power moves to the hoop, pushing the Mustangs’ margin to 43-37.

 

“We needed points and I felt like I had to do something,” the 16-year-old Korn said. “I wanted to do my best and come through for us. This feels amazing.”

 

It was Walker Valley’s third tournament title in nine years under coach Bob Williams, who is 8-16 against the Bears and his former boss, Bradley Central coach Kent Smith. All three Walker Valley titles have come at the expense of Bradley Central.

 

“I knew these guys had the ability to have a shot at this,” Williams said. “We were picked to finish fifth in preseason, but this team has come a long way. I thought Korn really stepped up tonight. He’s never been in a game like this before, but he wasn’t nervous. It’s just his demeanor. He doesn’t let the surroundings get to him.”

 

Smith was hobbling around in obvious pain after having his knee drained earlier in the day – he’s facing knee replacement surgery – and made no bones about why the Bears lost in their bid for a 10th tournament championship in his 17-year tenure.

 

“We didn’t deserve to win the way we shot the ball tonight,” he said. “We shot 32 percent and had some awfully good looks. (Walker Valley) went to the rim with a purpose and we didn’t. They outplayed us.”

 

After Bradley’s Matt Whitmire hit a bucket with 38.3 seconds left in the game, Walker Valley’s lead was 45-39.

 

Caio Hysinger made four straight free throws and Tucker Godfrey drove for a layup down the stretch for the knock-out blows down the stretch.

 

Korn finished with a team-high 16 points. Tucker Godfrey and Austin Harwood each scored 11 and Hysinger had 10.

 

Senior Bryce Copeland, whose sister Brooke helped Bradley’s girls capture their third straight tournament title on Monday, led the Bears with a game-high 21 points.

 

SUMMARIES

 

Consolation Game

 

Ooltewah                               21 20 17 17 – 75    

 

Cleveland                              14 18 14 23 – 69  

 

Walker Valley (75) – Antonio Jackson 11, Jacqueze Robinson 10, Ware 3, Presley 7, Daaron Maston 23, Bass 5, Ron King 16.

 

McMinn County (69) – C.J. Bryant 20, Ware 2, Kendrick Thompson 18, Beaty 6, Scott 2, Brown 2, Little 6, Jahmal Johnson 10.

 

3-Point Goals – Ooltewah 11 (Maston 5, Presley 2, King 2, Jackson, Bass); Cleveland 2 (Thompson 2).

 

Championship Game

 

Walker Valley                     10 6 14 21 – 51

 

Bradley Central                  7 10 10 14 – 41

 

Walker Valley (51) – Tucker Godfrey 11, Austin Harwood 11, Caio Hysinger 10, Cartwright 1, Lukas Korn 16, Brownfield 2.

 

Bradley Central (41) – Bryce Copeland 21, Whitmire 4, Cain, Terrell 4, Cox 5, Clark 4.

 

3-Point Goals: Walker Valley 2 (Godfrey, Harwood); Bradley Central 3 (Copeland, Cox, Terrell).

 

District 5-AAA All-Tournament Team

 

Jackson Brownfield               Walker Valley

 

Lukas Korn                             Walker Valley

 

Caio Hysinger                                    Walker Valley

 

Bryce Copeland                      Bradley Central

 

Matt Whitmire                       Bradley Central

 

Logan Cox                              Bradley Central

 

C.J. Bryant                             Cleveland

 

Dustin Little                           Cleveland

 

Daaron Maston                      Ooltewah

 

Andrew Ware                         Ooltewah

 

Nick McWherter                    Rhea County

 

Corey Edgemon                     McMinn County

 

James York                            Soddy-Daisy

 

All-District 5-AAA Team (Regular Season)

 

Name                                      School

 

Jacqueze Robinson                 Ooltewah

 

Antonio Jackson                     Ooltewah

 

Ben Snider                               Ooltewah

 

C.J. Bryant                               Cleveland

 

Kendrick Thompson               Cleveland

 

Bryce Copeland                       Bradley Central

 

Matt Whitmire                        Bradley Central

 

Nick McWherter                     Rhea County

 

Jalen Smith                             Rhea County (MVP)

 

Tucker Godfrey                      Walker Valley

 

Caio Hysinger                         Walker Valley

 

Tucker Landreth                    Soddy-Daisy

 

Quintin Versa                         McMinn County

 

Coach of the Year: Bob Williams, Walker Valley

 

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 

 

 

 



Prep Volleyball Schedule

Aug. 27  Baylor at Signal Mountain Warren County at Grundy County Aug. 28 Bledsoe County at Notre Dame Boyd-Buchanan at CGLA Bradley Central at East Hamilton Howard at Central CCS at Hixson CSAS at Copper Basin Grace at Silverdale Grundy County at Whitwell Lookout Valley at Sale Creek Central, Ooltewah, Sequoyah at McMinn Central ... (click for more)

Brandon Morgan: UTC's O-Line Veteran

It’s a family tradition in the Morgan household to play in the trenches where the football wars are won or lost on gridirons in the fall. And it has been a successful tradition. Owner of a deep voice and pleasant smile along with solid football technique on his 6-2, 300-pound frame, Mocs redshirt junior Brandon Morgan and his O-Line (Offensive ... (click for more)

City, County Pull The Plug On Downtown Shooting Range

City and county officials have decided to keep the police firing range at Moccasin Bend rather than building an expensive new indoor facility at the former Farmers Market property. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Sheriff Jim Hammond and new Police Chief Fred Fletcher met recently and decided to "pull the plug" on the project. He said officers felt that the Moccasin Bend range ... (click for more)

Reception Honors County's 2nd-Longest Serving Employee

General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, at a County Courthouse reception, asked anyone who was working at the courthouse in 1966 to raise their hand. Only Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson was able to do so. Judge Shattuck said he believes only Edna Camp of the Criminal Court clerk's office, has been at the courthouse longer. Ms. Thompson did not seek re-election, ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)