Red Bank Advances With Overtime Win

Signal Mountain Boys Eliminated By South Doyle

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024
  • John Hunt

We had similar results in the semifinals of the Region 3-AAA basketball tournament at East Ridge High School’s Catherine Neely Gymmasium Tuesday night, the only difference being that these last two games were much closer than the two blowouts that took place with the girls on Monday.

District 5 champion South Doyle took care of business late in defeating 6-AAA runner-up Signal Mountain by a 62-58 final in the first boys game while 6-AAA champ Red Bank had to go overtime before eliminating 5-AAA runner-up Heritage, 58-54.

Heritage and Signal Mountain will battle for the girls region title on Wednesday night while South Doyle and Red Bank will battle for the honors among the guys on Thursday with both games tipping off at 7 p.m.

SOUTH DOYLE 62, SIGNAL MOUNTAIN 58: The Cherokees got off to a fast start early, building a 12-7 lead after the first quarter and then 29-19 by halftime, but Signal Mountain evened the score with a big third quarter before falling at the end.

Signal Mountain coach Steve Redman liked what he saw in the third quarter when his team overcame that 10-point deficit, but it just wasn’t meant to be as the Cherokees made a few more shots in the final quarter to advance.

“That was a tough one.  I liked how we really got after it in the third quarter, but basketball is one of those games where any given team can win on any given night,” he began after exiting the Signal Mountain dressing room.

“Ultimately, it comes down to which team can make the big shots and they were able to make more than we did at the end.  I’m sorry that we came up short, but this is the best we’ve done as a team in a while, so I’m not going to let tonight’s loss overshadow the season we’ve had,” he added after his team finished 19-11 overall.

Redman had watched plenty of film and he knew that T.J. Tipton was the go-to guy for the Cherokees.  He was right as the big man led his team with 17 points and also grabbed 16 rebounds as both teams ended the game with 23 rebounds apiece.  However, Tipton only scored three points in that final quarter when South Doyle finished the game with a 16-12 advantage in scoring.

Tipton did score seven of his team’s first 10 points as the difference was 10-2 after the slender young man made two free throws with 3:41 to play in the first.  The score was 12-7 in favor of the Cherokees when the first quarter ended and the guys from Knoxville used an 8-0 run midway through the second stanza to extend a 19-15 lead to 27-15 with 2:37 to play before the half.

Nate Thompson scored on a layup in the final minute to put the Cherokees up 29-19 at the break.

The Eagles came out firing in the third quarter and scored 14 of the first 20 points to make things close at 35-33 following a free throw by Blake Wolfard with 4:02 left in the third.

A 3 from Christopher Kennedy with 33 seconds left cut South Doyle’s lead to 46-43 before he sank three of four free throws 15 seconds later to knot the score at 46 with one quarter left.

Just as quickly as the Eagles got back in it, the Cherokees took charge again at the start of the final quarter by scoring six unanswered points for a 52-46 lead with 5:27 left.  A putback by Wolfard at the 2:55 mark got the Eagles within four at 52-48 before Tipton converted a three-point play with 2:08 left to give South Doyle a little breathing room at 57-50.

Zander Wilkerson sank two free throws with 11.3 seconds to put the Cherokees up by seven before Andrew Matukewicz bagged a 3 at the end for the final four-point difference.

Tipton led South Doyle with 17 points while Eigel Mikkelson was next with 16.  Troit Patterson finished with 10 points.  The Cherokees improve to 19-10 with the win.

Matukewicz scored 21 and Kennedy 16 to lead the Eagles while Wolfard was also in double figures with 11 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.  Josh Thompson finished with eight points and seven rebounds as the Eagles finished their season at 19-11.

RED BANK 58, HERITAGE 54 (OT): The Lions were able to pull this one out as they improved to 26-7, but they almost let poor shooting at the free throw line be their downfall as they hit only seven of 19 in regulation before making six of eight in the extra four-minute period.

Red Bank coach Nick Fike wasn’t concerned about scoring any style points as long as his team somehow found a way to win and advance.

“We all know that it doesn’t have to be pretty to count as a win, but all of those missed free throws almost cost us,” he said after exiting the Red Bank dressing room.

“We missed way too many free throws, but when push came to shove, it was a matter of how much heart we had and just how bad did we want it.  I thought we did a good job at the start of the second quarter, but weren’t as patient at the end and allowed them to get back in it.

“We all know that Anthony Bonner is our leading scorer, but there are other times when other players have to step up and contribute and that’s exactly what Jaylen Rice did tonight.  I thought he did a lot of growing up tonight, but he stepped in and really made some positive contributions.

“We haven’t played in a region championship in a long time, so this win for us was really important.  I’m just glad that we found a way to get the job done,” he added.

A 7-0 run in the second half of the first quarter allowed the Lions to turn an 8-7 deficit into a 14-8 lead that was eventually 14-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Another 7-2 run to start the second extended that lead to 21-12 following a drive down the lane by D.J. Wilbur.  The Mountaineers then got hot and scored eight straight points to get within 21-20 before Bonner scored on a putback just ahead of the horn to put Red Bank up by three at intermission.

Heritage made things interesting as they got within a point three times in the third quarter, including the last time at 34-33 following a short jumper by Eli Williams with 2:40 left.  Red Bank then scored the final four points of the quarter for a 38-33 lead with one stanza remaining.

Heritage scored 10 of the first 12 points in the final quarter for a 43-40 lead following a 3 by David Marsh with 5:22 to play before Red Bank rallied with six straight points for a 46-43 lead following a putback by Bonner with 3:55 left.

Colby Smith scored on a layup with 2:51 left to get the Mountaineers within one at 46-45 and Red Bank was content to run the clock the rest of the way.  Landon Crutcher went to the free throw line with 19.5 seconds and made the second for a two-point Red Bank lead before Williams sank  a jumper from the free throw line with six seconds left to force the overtime.

Five straight points from Rice put the Lions up 52-47 with 1:45 left in the extra period.  The Lions had missed seven of 19 charity tosses as mentioned before in regulation before sinking six of eight in the overtime, including two each by Rice and Crutcher at the end, the last two extending the Red Bank lead to 58-51 with 8.2 seconds to play.

Ty Keeble then swished a late 3 for the final four-point difference.

Bonner scored 22 points to lead the Lions while Rice stepped up big and followed with 14.  Williams had 19 to lead Heritage while Smith had 10 off the bench. 

Red Bank also had an unofficial 30-25 rebounding edge as Bonner snagged 11 and Kendrick Lloyd nine for the Lions.  Smith and Williams both had six for the Mountaineers while Parker King had five.

BOYS SEMIFINAL SUMMARIES

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN  7  12  27  12  --  58

SOUTH DOYLE  12  17  17  16  --  62

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN (58) – Andrew Matukewicz 21, Timblin, Christopher Kennedy 16, C. Thompson 2, Blake Wolford 11, J. Thompson 8.

SOUTH DOYLE (62) – Wilkerson 4, Lowe 2, Eigel Mikkelson 16, Troit Patterson 10, Elder 6, T.J. Tipton 17, Thompson 7.

3-Point Goals: Signal Mountain 1 (Matukewicz); South Doyle 5 (Mikkelson 4, Elder).

HERITAGE  10  10  13  14  7  --  54

RED BANK  14  9  15  9  11  --  58

HERITAGE (54) – Keeble 3, D. Marsh 5, Eli Williams 19, French 9, King 4, M. Marsh 4, Colby Smith 10.

RED BANK (58) – Collier, Anthony Bonner 22, Jaylen Rice 14, Johnson, Lloyd 7, Rizer 5, Crutcher 6, Wilbur 4.

3-Point Goals: Heritage 6 (Williams 3, Keeble, D. Marsh, French); Red Bank 3 (Rice 2, Bonner).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

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