The Claiborne County Middle School Varsity Tournament began the second day of games Dec. 15 with a meeting between two rivals. Cumberland Gap High School was the venue as the Lady Dragons of Forge Ridge tipped off against the Lady Eagles of HY Livesay.
Livesay came out looking like the team to beat and ran off to a 19-7 first period advantage. The Lady Eagles continued their pressure defense, which allowed them many good looks on the offensive end. They kept dropping the basketball through the net until they led at the half 35-8. The Lady Dragons kept battling during the third period and slowed down the Lady Eagles somewhat, but they still increased their lead to 39-13. During the final period, the Lady Eagles went to their reserves as did the Lady Dragons, and the clock slowed down with many fouls including a technical on the Dragons’ bench which was in reality a misunderstanding between the coaches and officials. The game clock eventually ticked off, and the Lady Eagles advanced to the championship game following a 41-18 victory. Ashtyn Meyers led the Lady Eagles with 17 points. Abbi Fultz led the Lady Dragons with seven points.
The Livesay boys were next on the court to do battle with Midway’s Red Devils. The Eagles made a run off the tip and led 11-0 by the 4:02 mark. The Eagles hit only one basket the rest of the period but held Midway scoreless. Down 13-0 going into the second period, the Red Devils needed something positive to happen, and it came in the form of an early basket. Livesay’s defense made passing hard for Midway, and it transitioned into easy baskets on the offensive end of the floor. The score was 25-8 at the half with the Eagles still leading. A 38-8 lead in the third period allowed Livesay to go to the bench and allowed them to finish the period 42-8. Livesay even continued to put the ball in the cylinder and after the clock read all zeros, the Eagles had a 48-13 win. The Eagles were led by Noah Robertson with 11 and Elijah Lawson with eight. Midway was led in scoring by Sammy Day and Jimmy Del Ervin with four each.
The third game was a girls’ match up between Soldier’s Memorial Middle School Lady Devils and the Powell Valley Lady Indians. From the start this was a good game. The Lady Blue Devils struck first and then the scoring was back and forth. By the end of one, it was SMMS holding a four point advantage at 10-6. The Lady Indians made some progress early during the second period but by halftime were down 21-10 due partially to a last second three pointer. Coming out of the halftime break, the Lady Indians made yet another run and were behind only four points, but the Lady Blue Devils hit a few at the end to lead 26-18. The Lady Indians pulled to within three points early during the final period and were showing a no-give-up attitude. Around the two minute mark, the Lady Indians were down by a single point. A banked in three gave the Lady Devils a four point lead with 42 seconds left. An Indian basket pulled them to within one point again with 25.2 seconds left and the Lady Blue Devils had the ball. The ball game ended 34-33 with the Devils getting the win. Kinsee LeFevers led the Lady Blue Devils with nine and Hailey Sexton had eight. Taya Ausmus led the Lady Indians with 14, and Kayli Hinckley dropped in 10.
The final game of the night featured the boys’ teams of the same two schools. Both teams had a few players with injuries and sickness. The Indians jumped ahead 5-2, but the Blue Devils rallied back to get it to a one point game, 5-4. The Blue Devils got their first lead around the 4:14 mark at 7-5. The Indians and Devils swapped the lead with SMMS breaking a 9-9 tie at the half to lead 11-9. The Blue Devils opened up a 10 point lead at the end of the third and finished the period leading 19-9. The Devils continued to pull away during the start of the final period but had to withstand one last Indian run and secured a spot in the championship by the final score of 34-22. The Blue Devils were led by Storm Livesay with 17 and Braden Williams with six. Powell Valley was led in scoring by Jon Graves with eight and Peyton Wilder with seven.
Both the boys’ and girls’ teams from SMMS and HY Livesay moved on to the championship games held Dec. 16.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.