BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
The Baileyton Dragons and Nolachuckey Lady Blazers are champions of Greene County for the 2013-14 basketball season.
Baileyton held off Mosheim Middle School 32-26 for the boys' tournament championship Friday night before a jam-packed gymnasium at South Greene High School, while the Nolachuckey girls were dominant in a 74-47 title game against southside rival DeBusk.
The DeBusk boys took third place, beating McDonald 40-37, while the McDonald girls earned the consolation crown with a 27-24 victory over West Pines.
DRAGONS EARN TITLE
The Baileyton boys were the regular season champs in the Greene County Elementary League, and they added the tournament title with a hard-fought victory over the Indians of Mosheim Middle.
Coach Arnold Loftis' Dragons got an MVP-performance from post Elijah Smith, who dumped in 15 points and was strong on the boards. He got good support from his guards, especially Andy Stevens, who hit double figures with 11 points, including three 3-pointers, two of them coming when it appeared Mosheim had the top seeded Dragons on the ropes coming out of the halftime break.
Mosheim, coached by Andy Williams, couldn't have gotten off to a worse start, trailing Baileyton 11-0 at the horn ending the opening quarter as shot after shot bounded away. The Indians got the first basket of the second to improve the lead to 13-0, but Mosheim then awakened and scrapped their way right back in it.
They held Baileyton to only four points in the second frame and pulled to within a 15-10 deficit by the intermission.
Mosheim's rally continued when play resumed in the third. The Indians scored seven straight points and suddenly jumped into a 17-15 lead with 4:30 left.
But Baileyton's Stevens stopped the oil leak for the Dragons by drilling two straight 3-pointers from out front and they settled for a 24-22 lead entering the fourth stanza.
It was time for Smith to go to work in the fourth as Baileyton showed patience and worked the ball to their big man on the blocks, and he responded with three buckets, the last of which boosted their lead to 30-24 with 1:30 remaining.
Mosheim got a basket from Preston Fox to close to 30-26, but they never scored again. Evan Pierce knocked down two pressure free throws with 30 seconds left to get the lead back to six at 32-26 and ice the outcome.
Mosheim was led by Julius Lane with nine points and Fox with eight.
MOSHEIM (26): Fox 8, Julius Lane 9, Smyth 3, Carson 2, Potter 0, Dixon 4.
BAILEYTON (32): Pierce 2, Andy Stevens 11, Stroud 0, Potter 4, Elijah Smith 15.
3-Point Goals: Mosh--2 (Lane, Smyth). Ba--3 (Stevens 3).
Score by quarters:
Mosheim 0 10 12 4--26
Baileyton 11 4 9 8--32
LADY BLAZERS CONTINUE MASTERY
The Nolachuckey girls, coached by Josh Arwood, continued to prove they are one fine basketball team, as the regular season champs rolled over DeBusk 74-47 to claim the tourney championship.
With their top scorer Taylor Lamb saddled with three fouls by the 3:25 mark of the second quarter and relegated to the bench, DeBusk had a fighting chance, and fight they did, trailing by 39-27 at the halftime break.
The Braves, coached by Tamara Wykle, stayed in it behind the brilliant play of Braelyn Wykle, who scored 19 in the first half and a game-best 25 for the game.
But the Blazers are not only talented, they are deep in scorers, rebounders and ball-handlers. Katilynn Franklin scored 24 points, 15 in the second half, and Lamb, named the tournanent MVP, chipped in with 20 despite sitting out a lot of time in foul trouble.
Katilynn Franklin scored six in the third while Lamb was in foul trouble, and Morgan Williams hit two buckets as Nolachuckey expanded their lead to 51-32 by the close of the third.
With all hands on deck to start the fourth, the Blazers put the game away as Franklin went to work from the perimeter and Lamb did her thing at post.
T.K. Franklin also had double figures for Nolachuckey with 13 points.
DeBusk was led by the Wykle sisters, Braelyn with 25 and Kinsley with 18 which accounted for 43 of their total 47 points.
DeBUSK (47): Braelyn Wykle 25, Kinsley Wykle 18, Howlett 2, Blevins 0, Harrison 2.
NOLACHUCKEY (74): Reaves 6, T.K. Franklin 13, Williams 6, Taylor Lamb 20, Katilynn Franklin 24, Seaton 3, Holland 2.
3-Point Goals: DeB--1 (B.Wykle). Nola--4 (K.Franklin 3, Seaton).
Score by quarters:
DeBusk 13 14 5 15--47
Nolachuckey 24 15 12 23--74
DEBUSK BOYS TAKE THIRD
The DeBusk boys earned third place in a struggle with McDonald, taking a 40-37 win after Sam Mease threaded in a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to give them a 39-37 lead.
The Braves then used their defense with key blocks down the stretch from Noah Compton and Mease.
The game see-sawed back and forth the entire way with neither team able to gain a sizeable advantage. The score was knotted at 16-16 at halftime and McDonald led 31-29 after three.
DeBusk got the lead back with a 3-pointer by Mease and a baseline jumper by Payton Bailey to start the fourth quarter. They kept it until McDonald's Lucas Bennett hit a rebound bucket with two minutes left, then converted a pair of free tosses with 1:34 left to put the Hornets back up 37-36.
Mease's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left got the lead back for keeps for the Braves.
Mease and post Koby Hume each scored 11 points for the winners while Compton added eight. McDonald was led by Kyler Clowers and Bennett with 12 apiece and Austin Anderson with eight.
DeBUSK (40): Compton 8, Sam Mease 11, Brown 5, Bailey 5, Koby Hume 11.
McDONALD (37): Austin Anderson 8, Kyler Clowers 12, Lucas Bennett 12, Roe 0, Barrus 3, Long 2.
3-Point Goals: DeB--4 (Mease 3, Bailey). McD--1 (Barrus).
Score by quarters:
DeBusk 10 6 13 11--40
McDonald 4 12 15 6--37
LADY HORNETS GRAB THIRD
The McDonald girls won their third place tussle with West Pines 27-24 in another tight game from the opening whistle.
Kelsey Ball scored eight and Madison Warner had seven to lead the winners. West Pines got a game-high 12 points from Katie Bolton and six from Anna Reed.
McDonald was up only 9-8 in a low-scoring first half, but managed to expand it a bit to 17-13 entering the fourth quarter. West Pines was never able to catch up although they had opportunities as both squads missed a bunch of free throws down the stretch.
The Hornets were up by five early in the fourth, but West Pines closed to 25-24 when Bolton hit a foul shot with 16 seconds to go. Fouled on the inbounds, Ball made two from the line with 14 seconds left and iced it as the Panthers could not find the range from outside.
WEST PINES (24): Keys 3, Rector 3, Ryans 0, Reed 6, Katie Bolton 12.
McDONALD (27): Kelsey Ball 8, Roe 3, Hurst 4, Julian 0, Williams 2, Warner 7, Rose 3.
3-Point Goals: WP--2 (Reed 2). McD--1 (Ball).
Score by quarters:
West Pines 6 2 5 11--24
McDonald 2 7 8 10--27
*The boys' all-tournament team: Elijah Smith (MVP), Zane Potter, Evan Pierce and Andy Stevens of Baileyton; Julius Lane, Noah Carson and Preston Fox of Mosheim; Koby Hume and Sam Mease of DeBusk; and Kyler Clowers of McDonald.
*The girls' all-tournament team: Taylor Lamb (MVP), Katilynn Franklin, T.K. Franklin and Morgan Williams of Nolachuckey; Braelyn Wykle, Kinsley Wykle and Hailey Howlett of DeBusk; Kelsey Ball and Karsey Hurst of McDonald; and Katie Bolton of West Pines.
*The boys' all-season team: Tristan Wisecarver and Matthew Martin of Glenwood; Dawson Aiken of Camp Creek; Levi Myers of Nolachuckey; Kyler Clowers, Austin Anderson and Lucas Bennett of McDonald; Matthew Smyth, Julian Lane and Noah Carson of Mosheim; Ethan Jones and Jamison Palmer of Ottway; Austin Cutshaw of West Pines; Zane Potter, Tyler Stroud and Evan Pierce of Baileyton; and Noah Compton and Koby Hume of DeBusk.
*The girls' all-season team: Samantha Crowder of Glenwood; Alexis Jones and KK Brown of Mosheim; Jacinth Crawford of Baileyton; Taylor Lamb, Kaitlynn Franklin, Morgan Williams and T.K. Franklin of Nolachuckey; Kelsey Ball and Grace Roe of McDonald; Hailey Howlett, Kinsley Wykle and Braelyn Wykle of DeBusk; Katie Bolton and Abby Keys of West Pines; Calista Hensley of Ottway; Bailey Haire and Harlee Bailey of Camp Creek.