Bledsoe County's Early Lead Proves Too Much For Signal Mountain

Warriors Win District 7-AA Championship 66-54

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In the first minutes of the District 7-AA championship game, Bledsoe County came out hard and strong. Their early and commanding lead proved to be too much for the Eagles to overcome down the stretch. Despite tremendous effort from the Eagles and several strong rallies, the Warriors took the 66-54 win and the district title.

Coach Mark Cagle's team was well prepared for Tuesday's intense and physical game. The Warriors had already faced Signal Mountain twice this season, and Coach Cagel knew they were going to throw a lot of different defensive sets at them.

"We wanted to be prepared for anything they were going to throw at us," Cagel said, "the boys knew what we wanted to do against each defense and they did it."

Of course credit had to be given to tournament MVP, Nathanial Collins.

"Collins played a great game inside," said Cagel. "He was so in the zone and he wasn't hesitating."

Collins finished the night with 31 points. The Warriors had four players who scored in double digits Tuesday night.

Bledsoe County jumped out to an early lead, finishing the first quarter 18-5. Signal Mountain answered in the second quarter outscoring the Warriors by three, but still trailed 28-18 at the half.

The two teams were neck and neck through the rest of the game.

Bledsoe led 46-35 heading in to the final quarter. With about five and a half minutes remaining, the Warriors tried to keep possession of the ball for as long as possible, while letting the clock run down. They were limiting their shots, but when the ball landed in Collins hands, he was too hot to not shoot and sunk two three-point shots in a row, followed by another long shot from outside.

Despite Collin's hot shooting, Signal Mountain pulled within six points with a little more than a minute in the game, but just couldn't close the gap. Bledsoe made eight of twelve free-throws and finished on top 66-54.

"We dug ourselves into a hole we couldn't get out of," Signal Mountain Coach Steven Redmond said after the game. "The boys absolutely played their hearts out."

Lannom Sowell led the scoring for Signal Mountain tallying 19 points for the night. Jack Teter finished with 11.

Eric Hale had 13 for Bledsoe, Taylor Warden had 12 and Blake McCloud scored 10.

The Warriors are now 24-1 for the season and 11-1 in District 7-AA. They handed their only district loss to Notre Dame on the road earlier in the season.

Signal Mountain is 22-9, with an 8-4 record in the district.

Both teams will host a quarterfinal region game Saturday at 7 p.m.

Notre Dame defeated Chattanooga Christian School 46-27 in the consolation game Tuesday night. Both Notre Dame and CCS will travel for their Region 4-AA quarterfinal game on Saturday.

Tyler Byrd had 20 for Notre Dame.  CCS was led by Aaron Jones with eight points. 


Bledsoe County        18  10  18  20 - 66
Signal Mountain        5   13  17  19 - 54

Bledsoe County (66) - Nathanial Collins 31, Eric hale 13, Taylor Warden 12, Blake McCloud 10

Signal Mountain (54) - Lannom Sowell 19, Jack Teter 11, Luis Guitierrez 8, Austin Nolan 5, TaDarius Hodge 5, Preston Elwell 3, Alex Greer 2, Stephen Heinichen 1

3-Point Goals: Bledsoe County 8 (Collins-4, Warden-2, McCloud-2); Signal Mountain 2 (Teter-2)


Notre Dame         12  12  13  9 - 46
Chattanooga Christian    8   5   5   9 - 27

Notre Dame (4) - Tyler Byrd 20, Flemester 6, Orr 6, Green 4, Wheeler 4, Harris 3, Ballard 3

Chattanooga Christian (27) - Jones 8, Fikkert 5, Aldridge 4, Fortmiller 4, Matthews 3, Youngblood 3

3-Point Goals: Notre Dame 5 (Byrd-3, Flemister 2); Chattanooga Christian 3 (Jones-2, Matthews) 

2014 All-District 7-AA Team (Regular Season):
Tyler Byrd, Notre Dame
Nathanial Collins, Bledsoe County
Josh Fikkert, CCS
A.J. Flemister, Notre Dame
Luis Gutierrez, Signal Mountain
Eric Hale, Bledsoe County
Trevor Hamption, Grundy County
Nic Matthews, CCS
Blake McCloud, Bledsoe County
Kareem Orr, Notre Dame
Lannom Sowell, Signal Mountain
Jack Teter, Signal Mountain
Taylor Warden, bledsoe County

2014 Coach of the Year - Mark Cagle, Bledsoe County

2014 7-AA All-Tournament Team:
Josh Fikkert, CCS
Tyler Byrd, Notre Dame
Lannom Sowell, Signal Mountain
Eric Hale, Bledsoe County
Nathanial Collins, Bledsoe County

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