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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


No. 3 UTC Travels To ETSU Saturday

The third-ranked Chattanooga Mocs are back on the road this week, visiting ETSU for the first time in 13 years.  Game time is set for Noon (E.D.T.) on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Tipton Stadium at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn.   Chattanooga is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1979, but is 2-0 in SoCon action for the third year in a row.  ETSU ... (click for more)

Lee Women Ranked No. 6 In NCAA DII

The Lee women’s soccer team became the second program to be ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division II this week when the NSCAA listed the Lady Flames as No. 6 in its weekly rankings. Lee moved up seven places from No. 13 after a 5-1 win at Shorter University  on Sunday . The men’s golf team was the first to be ranked in a top 10 poll last season.   Grand Valley ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)