Whatever happens on Saturday, Tullahoma is guaranteed to be the home of this year’s Central Tennessee Conference Tournament Boys Champion based on Thursday’s semifinal matchups in Shelbyville.
In two completely different games, both East and West middle school boys’ basketball teams won their respective matchups, setting up an all-Tullahoma championship game this Saturday. The CTC Title Game will take place at 1:15 p.m. at Harris Middle School in Shelbyville.
East first secured its championship slot Thursday after beating White County 37-36 on a buzzer-beater. West followed by crushing Warren County 49-18 to move to the title game.
Sam Bobo was able to play hero not just once, but twice for East in Thursday’s first semifinal matchup. With 4:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, White County held a 34-24 lead over the Panthers.
From there, East began chipping away at its deficit, first on a free throw by Logan Prosser. Keegan Taylor followed with two free throws of his own to cut the Panther’s deficit to 34-27 with 2:11 remaining in the final period.
East then forced back-to-back turnovers on the defensive end to cut it to a one-possession game. Khani Johnson knocked down a jumper, before Taylor added a bucket to make it a 34-31 matchup.
After forcing White County to turn the ball over again, East took advantage. After moving the ball inside and finding no luck, the Panthers found Bobo on the outside and he drained a 3 to even the score with 36 seconds remaining on the clock.
With 7.2 seconds remaining in the contest, White County grabbed the lead with a bucket to pull ahead 36-34. East didn’t hesitate and quickly moved the ball up court.
After not being able to find a shot, Johnson laid off a pass to Bobo with 1 second left on the clock. Bobo immediately got off a 3-pointer in front of the Panther’s bench that quickly erupted in celebration as the East guard knocked down the shot to give his team the 37-36 victory.
Taylor led East in scoring in the victory after he netted 15 points. Tre Palmer added seven points for the Panthers, while Bobo finished with his six points. Prosser scored five points for East, while Johnson and Alex Bobo both added two points.
West routs Warren County
While East’s semifinal went down to the wire, West took care of business early, dominating Warren County from the very start.
In fact, the Bobcats netted the first 13 points of the contest and held a 15-2 advantage after one quarter. West went on to shut out Warren County in the second quarter and took a commanding 30-2 lead into halftime.
DeAndre Jenkins netted 14 points in the first half and put up seven points in each of the first two quarters for the Bobcats. Xavier Farrell and Jacob Hall both added six first-half points to help give West the dominating lead.
The Bobcats put up another 11 points in the third quarter and led 41-8 heading into the final period of play. Justis Haggard led West with four points in the third quarter, while Farrell hit a 3-pointer and Jenkins and Ryan Denby both added a bucket.
With a running clock in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats put up just eight points in the final stanza. Jayden Thompson was responsible for all eight of those points for West to help his team secure the victory.
Jenkins led the Bobcats in scoring in the win after he netted 16 points. Farrell finished his night with nine points and Thompson scored eight points.
Hall added six points, while Haggard finished with five points for the Bobcats. Caden Finchum hit a 3-pointer and Denby rounded out the scoring for West with two points.