Sig­nal Moun­tain joins Tyner in re­gion fi­nal

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - SPORTS - See a gallery of im­ages on BY KEL­LEY SMIDDIE STAFF WRITER times­free press.com

Wil Allen cel­e­brated his 17th birth­day Tues­day at Red Bank, and a whole bunch of his school­mates from Sig­nal Moun­tain cel­e­brated with him.

Allen was in a chase for a re­bound headed to­ward the side­line late in over­time against Sweet­wa­ter in the sec­ond Re­gion 3-AA boys’ high school bas­ket­ball semi­fi­nal. He got to it first.

When Allen turned around, he had a clear look at the bas­ket and put up a jump shot from the left side of the court that dropped through the net as the horn sounded, lift­ing the Ea­gles to a 54-52 vic­tory.

Tyner de­feated Red Bank 76-61 in the first semi­fi­nal, cre­at­ing a re­match Thurs­day night at Red Bank of the Dis­trict 6 cham­pi­onship that Sig­nal Moun­tain won 46-40 on Feb. 20 at Howard. Tipoff is set for 7.

› Sig­nal Moun­tain 54, Sweet­wa­ter 52: When Allen’s shot fell, he stood there all alone. His first re­ac­tion was a stoic one.

“I was in shock, hon­estly,” Allen said.

But by the time his team­mates charged to­ward him to mob him, he got in a jump with a high leg kick and a fist pump.

“We had just missed a shot and the re­bound came my way,” Allen said. “When I grabbed it I just turned around and I was wide open. I took one drib­ble and put it up there.

“It was money.”

Said Sig­nal Moun­tain coach Steve Red­man: “What a per­fect play. He was just bat­tling for a loose ball, just mak­ing a play. Wil has come so far. Yeah, we didn’t draw that up.”

The Ea­gles were trail­ing 36-23 clos­ing in on a minute to go in the third quar­ter. They took their first lead of the game at 38-37 when Owen Hon­roth made two tech­ni­cal free throws with 4:51 re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion.

“We wanted the game as low-scor­ing as pos­si­ble,” Red­man said. “The first quar­ter we weren’t do­ing what we were sup­posed to be do­ing. Ev­ery­thing started with our de­fense. We started get­ting a stop here and there, and good things started hap­pen­ing. We couldn’t make any layups or free throws at times, but we did enough to win.”

Jar­ren Rad­den led Sig­nal Moun­tain (21-12), which has set a school record for wins in a sea­son, with 17 points. Hon­roth added 15 and K.T. Webb scored nine of his 11 in the sec­ond half.

This also marks the first re­gion fi­nal in pro­gram his­tory for the Ea­gles, along with their first state-sec­tional berth.

› Tyner 76, Red Bank 61: The Li­ons were up 38-35 at half­time, but Tyner turned things around with a 25-7 scor­ing edge in the third quar­ter.

“We went to a three-fourth­scourt de­fen­sive press,” Rams coach E’Jay Ward said. “What went well for us was that Kameron Dozier came off the bench and gave us that spark we needed. He kept say­ing, ‘Get me in. Get me in.’ To­day he showed me he’s ready to ma­ture.”

Red Bank coach Nick Fike said he was pleased with his team’s ex­e­cu­tion in the first half, but then things went awry.

“We came out in the third quar­ter and we couldn’t get into our of­fense be­cause we couldn’t get it across half-court,” Fike said. “Credit them. We didn’t have a chance to ex­e­cute our of­fense be­cause they were tak­ing our turnovers and turn­ing them into layups.”

Jeremy El­ston, who was the quar­ter­back for the Rams’ state-fi­nal foot­ball team, was a main ben­e­fi­ciary of the Li­ons’ mis­cues and scored 18 of his game-high 22 points af­ter half­time.

“Each game gets big­ger,” Ward said, ac­knowl­edg­ing Thurs­day’s win­ner gets to play at home for its sec­tional. “Jeremy El­ston has been in some big foot­ball games as a quar­ter­back. We’re go­ing to get on top of his shoul­ders, and hope­fully he can carry us to the state tour­na­ment.”

Af­ter a score­less first quar­ter, Javon Crad­dock to­taled 19 points for Tyner (18-10), and Solomon Bridge­man was next with 18.

The Li­ons were led by Will Thomas, who scored 10 of his 19 points in the first quar­ter and over­all made five 3-point goals. Lu­cas Brown scored 11 of his 13 in the first half and Jamel Davis fin­ished with 11 for Red Bank (14-20), which was the No. 6-seeded team in the Dis­trict 6 tour­na­ment and would’ve been No. 7 had Brain­erd been el­i­gi­ble for post­sea­son.

“I al­ways thought this team had the po­ten­tial,” Fike said. “They started re­al­iz­ing some of that po­ten­tial late in the sea­son and in post­sea­son.”

Con­tact Kel­ley Smiddie at ksmid­die@times­freep­ress.com or 423-7576653. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @Kel­leySmid­die.

STAFF PHOTO BY C.B. SCHMELTER

Tyner’s Javon Crad­dock, right, passes the ball in front of Red Bank’s Calvin Jack­son (10) dur­ing the Re­gion 3-AA semi­fi­nals Tues­day at Red Bank High School. Tyner won 76-61.

STAFF PHOTO BY C.B. SCHMELTER

Tyner’s Mar­quis Hin­ton puts up a shot against Red Bank dur­ing the Re­gion 3-AA semi­fi­nals Tues­day at Red Bank High School. Tyner beat Red Bank 76-61.

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