by darren reese
NEW TAZEWELL - Chuckey-Doak boys' head coach Sam Broyles appeared to have just made it through 12 rounds of a heavy weight fight Saturday night.
In actuality, his team had went blow for blow with No. 2 seed Cumberland Gap in the District 2-AA tournament - and came out victorious.
The Black Knights got a three-pointer from senior Cory Swinney with 22.5 seconds left and went on to upset Gap 55-52 to earn their first trip to a district championship game since 1997.
Chuckey-Doak's last district title in boys basketball came in 1990.
Afterward, Broyles, who was a junior on the last championship team, had to catch his breath after celebrating with his team.
When asked if he would be able to make it out of bed the next day, he grinned, "Yeah, I've got to make it to church."
"Unbelievable, just unbelievable. Cumberland is tough. They are physical inside. But we were able to hit the shots outside to get the job done. This is just a great thing for our guys."
Chuckey-Doak placed three players in double figures, led by the senior guard combo of Swinney and Garrett Johnson, who recorded 18 and 14 points respectively. Bikir Viddison added 10 points to the victory.
The trio combined to hit seven threes in the contest.
"It was a tough game, but our hard work we have put in this season paid off," Johnson said. "It was a team effort. Everyone contributed for us."
"We are happy to have the opportunity to play for a district championship."
Chuckey-Doak, the third seed, will take on No. 4 Grainger Tuesday night at 8 p.m. The Grizzlies upset top seed Greeneville Saturday night.
The Black Knights were swept by Cumberland Gap during the regular season, including a 52-45 decision in Afton a week earlier that gave the Panthers the No. 2 seed over Chuckey-Doak for the tournament.
The Black Knights weren't going to be denied on this night, though.
They fell behind 50-47 with just under two minutes left to play.
Viddison answered with a lay-up and was fouled on the play. He missed the ensuing free throw but Taylor Johnson was there for the rebound and Josh Lamb eventually scored on the possession to put the Black Knights in front.
Swinney later made one of two foul shots to make it a 52-50 score as the clock ticked under one minute.
Cumberland Gap tied to score on its next possession, setting up Swinney's game-winning shot from the left corner of the arc.
Trevor Graves' potention tying shot at the buzzer was off the mark and the Chuckey-Doak bench erupted in celebration.
Graves finished with a game-high 22 points for the Panthers, including 16 in the first half.
Isaac Daniels added 18 points for Gap.
Graves had eight points in the first quarter to help the Panthers open up a 17-12 lead.
Six different Chuckey-Doak players scored in the second quarter and the Black Knights pulled within 28-27 at the break.
Chuckey-Doak moved in front early in the third quarter and led 38-32 after a trey by Swinney at the halfway point of the period.
Viddison added a long-range shot of his own as time expired on the third to make it a 43-38 game.
CHUCKEY-DOAK 12 15 16 12 55
CUMBERLAND GAP17 11 10 14 52
CHUCKEY-DOAK (55): Cory Swinney 18, Bikir Viddison 10, Garrett Johnson 14, Gridley 3, Meredith 4, Taylor Johnson 2, Josh Lamb 4.
CUMBERLAND GAP (52): Trevor Graves 22, Isaac Daniels 18, Franklin 2, Hatmaker 9, King 2.