COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Stone Memorial helped District 6-AAA avoid a region tournament sweep by District 5-AAA schools on Thursday with a 72-54 victory over Walker Valley at Cookeville High School.
The Panthers (27-6), who stretched their winning streak to 10 games, built an early lead over the District 5-AAA champion Mustangs and cruised to the easy victory.
On Wednesday, Bradley Central’s Bearettes (5-AAA) edged Cumberland County, 76-72, in overtime for the girls’ championship.
Stone Memorial used a controversial nail-biting 59-57 win over Cleveland -- Justin Simmons hit two free throws with 1.8 seconds left after a questionable blocking foul on the Blue Raiders – in the semifinals to get a shot at the Mustangs for a region title in their first season in Class AAA.
The Panthers defeated Cookeville for the 6-AAA championship.
Walker Valley got past Cleveland for the 5-AAA crown and went into Thursday’s game riding a 12-game winning streak.
The Mustangs (23-10) will travel to Siegel (30-1) in Mufreesboro for a Sectional game on Monday at 7 p.m. local time with a spot in the Class AAA state tournament on the line.
Siegel defeated Blackman, 59-52, for the Region 4-AAA championship. Siegel won its first 27 games this season before losing to Blackman, 80-65, in the District 7-AAA title game on Feb. 18.
Stone Memorial will host Blackman (24-6) in the Sectional round.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org)