Loudon Upsets Brainerd In Region 3-AA At East Ridge

District 5 Champ McMinn Central Also Ousted In Overtime

Monday, February 24, 2014 - by John Hunt

There were a couple of upsets in the girls' semifinals on Monday night at East Ridge's Catherine Neely Gymnasium in the Region 3-AA basketball tournament.

Both district champions got beat with 5-AA winner McMinn Central losing in overtime to the Sequoyah Lady Chiefs before Loudon's Lady Indians ended Brainerd's season in the finale.

Tuesday's schedule has the boys semis on tap with McMinn Central facing Brainerd in the opener at 6 with Tyner facing East Ridge in the second game.

Wednesday's 3-AA championship between Sequoyah and Loudon will begin at 7 p.m.

LOUDON 76, BRAINERD 68: This one looked like a runaway for the first three quarters before the Lady Panthers made an incredible comeback.

Brainerd never led in this one as the Lady Indians used the strong inside presence of Aspen Jordan to take charge in the first half.

With the 6-2 junior scoring 21 of her game-high 34 points in the opening two stanzas, the Lady Redskins forged to a 45-28 lead at the break.

Loudon's biggest lead of 60-37 came following a layup by Jordan with 2:29 left in the third stanza.

Brainerd then scored nine of the final 10 points of the quarter to trail by 61-46 with eight minutes to play.

Miriah Small canned a 3 to start the final quarter as Loudon's lead increased to 64-46 before the Lady Panthers went on another run -- this one good for 11 straight points -- before Rachel Kelley's 3 at the 5:06 mark got Loudon's lead back to 67-57.

Brainerd's sharp-shooting sophomore Jamee Ward, went down hard on the next possession and never returned to the game, suffering a possible broken right ankle under the Lady Panthers' goal.

Despite losing their go-to player, the Lady Panthers never backed down.

Three straight buckets by Jameka Brown got Brainerd to within five points at 73-68 with 25.8 seconds to play before the Lady Redskins sank three of four free throws in the waning seconds to prevent any further damage.

"We played about as well as we could play in the first half, but I wish that we had been more patient in the second half," said Loudon's first-year coach Ronnie Roberts after his team had improved to 16-14 overall.

"We couldn't control the Ward girl as she scored from everywhere, but I was sorry to see her get hurt.  But anytime you get to the region final, you have to be happy.  We won our district semfinal with a 3 at the buzzer, so we've been in some close games this year," Roberts added.

Brainerd coach Tyrus Ward couldn't have been more proud of his girls after the season ended at 19-8.

"That was a tough one as I just can't hold back my tears," he said after exiting the Lady Panther dressing room.

"Those girls just kept believing.  Then Jamee went out and we fell short.  These girls are used to being in tough situations.  That Jordan girl was as good as advertised as she did a great job of running the floor and finishing.  This is a setback, but it's a setup for a comeback," Ward concluded, noting that there are no seniors on Brainerd's team.

While Jordan finished with 34 points to lead both teams, teammate Bre Snow was also in double figures with 17.

Ward was tops for Brainerd with 28 points while Brown was next with 21.

SEQUOYAH 72, McMINN CENTRAL 60 (OT): This one was a dandy from the opening tip.

The Lady Chiefs had a 16-15 lead after one quarter while the Chargerettes had the upper hand at 29-28 when the second quarter ended.

McMinn Central still had the lead at 41-37 when the third quarter ended.

The Lady Chiefs forced the Chargerettes to play from behind most of the fourth quarter.

Central's Ally Coleman scored on a short jumper in the lane to knot the score at 55-all before the Lady Chiefs went back ahead on a pair of free throws by Hunter Simpson with 59 seconds left in regulation. 

Then with 43 seconds left, Peyton Williams scored on a drive down the lane to tie the score for the final time.

Simpson had a steal at midcourt in the waning seconds, but her 40-footer was off the rim as the horn sounded.

The overtime belonged to the Lady Chiefs.

Sequoyah scored the first six points before the Chargerettes got a putback from Jacobi Lynn and then a free throw by Lynn to get within 63-60 with 2:06 remaining.

The Lady Chiefs then put the game out of reach by scoring the final nine points to win by a dozen.

"It's been a long time since we've beaten them, so we're going to enjoy it for a little while tonight, but we'll go back to work tomorrow," said Sequoyah coach Eddie Gambrell after his team improved to 21-8 with its first win over the Chargerettes in 15 years.

"We lost to them twice by a total of five points, but we believed we could do it tonight.  There was never a doubt in my mind that we were ready when the overtime period began," he added.

Johnny Morgan, who has been coaching the Chargerettes for 36 years, was direct and to the point in his post-game comments.

"They were playing to win and we were playing not to lose," the personable Morgan began.

"We played hard, but tonight just wasn't our night," he added, his team concluding its season at 19-10.

Simpson had 33 to lead the Lady Chiefs while teammate Savanna Atchley was also in double figures with 16.

Lynn was tops for McMinn Central with 25 while Williams finished with 11.

LOUDON    20  25  16  15  --  76

BRAINERD   18  10  18  22  --  68

LOUDON (76) -- Jordan 34, Tucker, Peyton 4, Small 7, Malone 4, Kelley 7, Snow 17, Crabtree 1.

BRAINERD (68) -- Ward 28, Brown 21, Walker 4, Price, Ashley, McClendon 2, Sparks, Cosme, Calloway 3.

3-POINT GOALS: Loudon 6 (Peyton, Small 2, Kelley, Snow 2); Brainerd 4 (Ward 2, Brown 2).

SEQUOYAH       16  12  9  20  15  --  72

McMINN CENTRAL  15  14  12  16  3  --  60

SEQUOYAH (72) -- Simpson 33, Atchley 16, Ingram 2, White 2, Whited 5, Welshan 8, Isbill 4.

McMINN CENTRAL (60) -- Lynn 25, Martin, Wampler, Truelove, Williams 11, Cherry 6, Plaster 6, Coleman 7, Trentham 5, Atkins.

3-POINT GOALS: Sequoyah 2 (Atchley 2); McMinn Central 1 (Lynn).

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)



Covenant, Maryville Tie In USA South Match up

 In a key early season USA South matchup, and a battle for the Highland Cup, the Covenant men's soccer team tied with Maryville 0-0 on Tuesday night. The tie keeps Covenant in first place in the USA South with a 2-0-1 conference record. Covenant is 6-3-2 overall on the season. Maryville goes to 6-3-1 on the year and 2-1-1 in league play. Covenant had chances to break ... (click for more)

Tuesday Prep Volleyball Round Up

Ooltewah defeated Soddy Daisy High School 25-12, 25-16, 27-25 Ooltewah is  now 11-0 in District 5AAA and 36-6 overall.   Soddy-Daisy is now 33-17 overall and 6-5 in the district.  Ooltewah Stats:  Summer Williams - 6 digs, 2 aces Courtlyn Ison - 26 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace, 1.5  block Hanna Matthews - 1 kill, 1 dig, 1 ace, 35 assists Alex Biro ... (click for more)

Linear Park Planned As Extension Of Walnut Street Bridge In Front Of Planned Boutique Hotel

A linear park that will be an extension of the Walnut Street Bridge public space is planned in front of a new boutique hotel at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street). Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality on Tuesday night told nearby residents that "the city pushed this idea of a linear park, and we agree that it is a great idea." He said the current situation in which ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)