There's A Familiar Ring To Ooltewah-White County 3-AAA Matchup

Coaches Nayadley, Mitchell Were Teammates At Tennessee Tech

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Former college teammates will be opposing coaches Saturday night when Ooltewah plays at White County in the Region 3-AAA tournament quarterfinals.

Ooltewah’s Jesse Nayadley and White County’s Eric Mitchell were basketball teammates from 1991-95 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.

“We lived next door to each other for three or four years,” Nayadley said after Wednesday’s region coaches meeting at Cleveland High School. “He played a 2-guard and I was a 3 (forward) or 4 (power forward). We played pretty well together.”

On Saturday, White County (19-11) and Ooltewah (17-9) will meet in the region tournament for the third time in four years. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. EST at Roy Sewell Gymnasium in Sparta.

The Owls won both previous tournament games, beating the Warriors 70-56 in 2010 and 53-41 in 2012. Ooltewah also swept White County in a regular season home-and-home series in 2010-11, winning 87-74 and 77-54.

The two former Tech teammates also coached against each other when Nayadley was at Notre Dame and Mitchell at Pickett County.

“Jesse has put me out (of the postseason) a couple times in recent years,” Mitchell said, “but has to come to our place this year.”

White County is 11-4 at home this season.

The Warriors have won five of their last eight games. They lost to Cumberland County, 43-33, in Tuesday’s District 6-AAA tournament title game, three days after routing Warren County, 82-44, in the semifinals.

Ooltewah has been up and down in its past nine games, losing five that included a stunning 62-59 semifinal setback – the Owls were the top-seed – against Walker Valley in the District 5-AAA tournament when the Mustangs’ Caio Hysinger hit a desperation half-court shot at the final buzzer.

Nayadley hopes the Owls’ 75-69 consolation victory over host Cleveland rejuvenated his team.

“The one difference I saw (Tuesday) is we concentrated on offense and we pushed the ball. I even a saw a couple smiles during the game. They were actually enjoying themselves a little bit. We’ve so hammered the idea of playing defense that they weren’t having fun playing the game.

“They were trying to win, but something was missing. We had a different feel after the Cleveland game. There was a lot more excitement.”

Against the Blue Raiders, sophomore Daaron Maston scored a career-high 23 points, Ron King had 16, Antonio Jackson 11 and Jacqueze Robinson 10.

The Owls were playing without junior starter Ben Snider, who was suspended for violating team rules. Nayadley said Wednesday that Snider will have to earn his way back into the lineup. It’s not a sure bet Snider will start on Saturday.

Ooltewah and White County both like to play an up-tempo style of basketball, but Mitchell has seen teams “pull the ball out” in slow-down tactics against his Warriors in recent games.

After beating rival Cookeville 88-51 to seal first place in the district, Coffee County refused to run with the Warriors, who also went through a poor shooting performance. The Warriors lost, 51-36.

“Then,” Mitchell said, “the district tournament started and we beat Warren County pretty handily (82-44) and Cumberland County stalled it on us in the district (tournament) championship.”

The Warriors lost that game, 43-33, on their home court and the Jets stalled throughout the second quarter.

“We’re a guard-oriented team and like to run,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know if we run as much as Ooltewah, but we are an up-tempo team. I’m almost 100 percent sure that Jesse won’t be slowing it down against us Saturday.”

Nayadley said he’ll have his Owls ready for whatever White County throws at them.

“We don’t favor a half-court game,” Nayadley said, “but we may have to do that some. Even when it’s half-court, we still want to attack. That’s what we did against Cleveland. Even on a dead ball, we still ran it up the court and tried to keep the flow of the game going fast.

“I believe deep down Eric wants to run. I don’t know what he’ll do, but it should be a really good game.”

The Warriors are led by seniors Kane Young and A.J. Wilkerson, who has signed a golf scholarship with Tennessee Tech. Sophomore Kordell Henderson starts and two other second-year players contribute in reserve roles. Freshman Cade Crosland starts.

Junior point guard Dalton Nash was forced into the lineup when a three-year starter suffered a broken leg during the football season.

Henderson, Young and Nash were selected to the all-tournament team.

Having faced each other several times, Nayadley and Mitchell were ahead of the game in terms of scouting reports even prior to Wednesday’s coaches meeting.

“We have some good ideas on one another,” said Nayadley, 113-44, in five seasons at Ooltewah. “(Mitchell) will still want to see on tape what we have. He’s got most of his guys back from last year, so I’ve got an idea of what he’ll probably do.”

The two coaches exchanged video discs at the meeting.

Region 3-AAA Tournament Schedules

Girls Quarterfinals

Friday

Cumberland County (10-21) at Bradley Central (25-2)

White County (19-11) at Cleveland (17-9)

Walker Valley (15-15) at Cookeville (21-10)

McMinn County (19-8) at Coffee County (15-14)

Boys Quarterfinals

Saturday

Ooltewah (17-9) at White County (19-11)

Cookeville (26-7) at Bradley Central (16-12)

Cleveland (18-11) at Cumberland County (17-15)

Warren County (13-20) at Walker Valley (18-11)

All Games Start At 7 p.m. Local Time

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats Secure NCA Nationals Bid

April 2018 is still some eight months away, but the Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats have already got plans for Spring Break. They'll be spending it in Daytona Beach, vying for another national championship. The Cheer Cats earned a bronze bid for the NCA/NDA National Championships after qualifying during a team camp on July 21. The 12-member team will compete in the All-Girl ... (click for more)

ABCA Recognizes Chattanooga State Baseball For Excellence

The Chattanooga State Tigers 2017 baseball program was recognized by the American Baseball Coaches Association as one of 200 colleges (at every level) and high school programs earning Team Academic Excellence Awards. The awards recognize teams coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 2016-2017 academic year. ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council Votes 4-2 To Pass A 46-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Cleveland City Council, with scant public notice, voted 4-2 on first reading on Monday afternoon to approve one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. Richard Banks, Bill Estes, Tom Cassada and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson voted for a 46-cent property tax boost. Opposed were Charlie McKenzie and David May. Dale Hughes and Mayor Tom Rowland were absent ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chik-fil-A Commits To East Ridge And Camp Jordan Development

In less than three weeks after a plan that could enhance Camp Jordan in East Ridge was announced, it has been learned that a Chik-fil-A restaurant will break ground at Jordan Crossing this fall. While developers John Healy, Matt Woods and Ethan Woods cannot make a public comment, the news is every bit as profound as James Earl Jones saying, “If you build it, they will come,” in ... (click for more)