Thursday, March 15, 2018

TSSAA Blue Cross Boys State Tournament.

MURFREESBORO, TN- Like last week with the Girls State Tournament, the TSSAA Boys Blue Cross State Tournament has come to the Murphy Center for a chance at the State Championship.
The Murphy Center has held the most State Tournaments in the states history. Back in the 40's and 50's the state tournament alternated between Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Memphis State (Memphis U.), and Knoxville, among others.

Since 1975, the Murphy Center has been the place every Tennessee High School Basketball player wants to end their season in this great environment and to compete for a State Championship.

In the first game of the day, Whitehaven beat Powell 53-36 to move on to the State Semi-Finals on Friday at 10 AM. The Haven had no problem with the Tigers as they made quick work of the team from East Tennessee.

Following that game, the Clarksville Northeast Eagles (30-5) beat the #7 Riverdale Warriors (26-8) 56-36 to take on the Tigers  of Whitehaven in the Semi-Finals Friday morning at 10 AM. Should be a great matchup between two up and coming teams.

In the biggest game, not including the state championship, the two time defending Class AAA State Champion Memphis East Mustangs (27-3) took on the hometown #3 ranked Blackman Blaze (32-1) in a packed Murphy Center. The Mustangs came up victorious in a low scoring affair as the Blaze tried to cool the Mustangs off with their half court offense.

The last Class AAA game of the day between the #10 ranked Mt. Juliet Golden Bears (27-8) and #2 Bearden Bulldogs (38-1). It was back and forth the entire game but the Bulldogs were too much as they will take on the #1 Memphis East Mustangs Friday at 11:30 AM.

In the first Class A game of the tournament, the lowest class in Tennessee came up with two dandy's once again. 

The North Greene Huskies (29-8) beat the Oakdale Eagles (28-7) 82-72 in overtime. However, Oakdale made a half court shot to send the game into overtime where the Huskies ended up wearing down the Eagles.

The last game was a dandy as well, as the #1 ranked Douglass Red Devils (31-1) from Memphis took on the upset minded Clay County Bulldogs (21-13). The Bulldogs were going up against arguably the best team in Class A and gave it all they had.

However, the Red Devils are well coached and have phenomenal athletes and were able to wear down the Bulldogs to come away with a 70-67 win.

During the second day of the TSSAA State Tournament, the first game saw the Monterey Wildcats (31-6) take on the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering Phoenix (22-8).

This game had just about everything you could imagine. MASE came out on fire as they knocked down back to back to back three pointers. However, on the other end the Wildcats were just as hot as the phoenix. They knocked down back to back threes and got a and one play to go through. 

In the second half, it was much of the same as it was a see-saw battle from the get-go. In the fourth period, the Wildcats were able to get the lead and keep it for a 53-50 win over MASE to make it to the Semi-Finals.

The team they would face would be the winner of the #9 ranked Loretto Mustangs (27-5) and #10 ranked Columbia Academy Bulldogs (26-7). 

In the first half, you couldn't ask for a better way of starting a game off as Loretto shot the lights out on 73% shooting and leading 18-10 after the first. 

In the second, the Bulldogs struck back, shooting 75% from the field and 2-of-3 from behind the arc, however, Loretto and Ryan Weather were able to shoot 54% from the field and go 3-of-5 from three in the second quarter as they led 35-33 at the half.

In the second half, both teams once again came out hot as the Bulldogs of CA shot 64% from the field and 67% from behind the arc. The Mustangs shot 60% from the field and from three point land. The hot shooting of the Bulldogs pulled them ahead 51-50 going into the fourth and final period.

In the fourth, both teams cooled off a little bit as CA shot 43% and Loretto was still hot at 57%. It was never written in stone, or pen, as this game had so many lead changes and ties it was hard to count. As the dust settled, the Loretto Mustangs came away with the win 70-69 after going 10-for-11 from the line in the fourth period.

Next up: Semi-Final Friday. 

Class AAA-
Clarksville Northeast vs. Whitehaven, 10 a.m.

Bearden vs. Memphis East, 11:45 a.m.

Class A-

North Greene vs. Douglass- 1:15 p.m.

Loretto vs. Monterey- 2:45 p.m.

Class AA- 

Livingston Academy vs. Hamilton- 4:30 p.m.

Stratford vs. Fulton- 6:00 p.m.