Mary Blount’s Lady Bears really know how to throw a goodbye party.
Mary Blount coach Betty Wilson is retiring at the end of the school year. To send Wilson out on a high note, the Bears pulled away from Alcoa early and never looked back in winning the big school division of Blount County Elementary Tournament, 23-9, last week at Heritage Middle School.
“Put in a good word that Mrs. Wilson is a great coach,” said Bears leading scoring Kassi Knight, who led Mary Blount to the championship with nine points.
The Lady Bears, who also got six points each from Amber Click and Montana Coffey, concluded Wilson’s final season as coach with a 12-1 record.
“It’s been a great year,” Wilson said.
The Lady Bears didn’t start the year well, she said, “but we came on strong. These girls have really worked hard.”
Hannah Trout was the high scorer for Alcoa with four points.
National Conference, boys Alcoa 31, Porter 29, OT
Alcoa led throughout, only to see Porter’s Andrew Pryor knock down his third 3-pointer of the night with 19 second remaining in regulation to send the National Conference championship game to overtime tied at 27-all.
Duncan Gregg’s layup early in the extra session out of the press, followed quickly by a baseline basket from Brenden Teeter, put Alcoa ahead to stay.
“We got two quick baskets out of that and got a little momentum,” said Alcoa coach Brad McBride, whose team finished the season an unbeaten 12-0.
Jonathan Decker pulled the Panthers (9-4) within the final margin with two minutes left but Porter could get no closer.
Daniel Brimer led Alcoa to the championship with a game-high 12 points, with Teeter adding eight. Pryor finished with nine for Porter. Decker had seven for the Panthers, with Hunter Bailey adding five including a trey.
American Conference, boys Montvale 22, Townsend 20
With 57 seconds remaining, Dillon Whaley drained a shot from left of the key. Townsend got one last shot at it following a timeout with 10 seconds remaining, but the Knights held on to claim the American Conference trophy.
It was give and take the whole way, with Townsend holding a 6-5 lead after a quarter. Montvale (9-4) rallied to take a two-point edge, 14-12, at the half. After three quarters, the Knights led by the same margin at 17-15.
Townsend pulled even at 19-19 on Spencer Rothery’s put-back basket with two minutes to play in the fourth. It would remain that way until Whaley put home the game winner inside the final minute.
“These boys have worked hard,” Montvale coach Brad Gardner said. “They learned a lot. I’m tickled to death with this. They never quit.”
Devan Gardner carried much of the scoring load for the Knights, ringing up a game-high 11 points, including a 3-pointer. Whaley would add eight for the champions. Matt Smith led Townsend with nine points, with Rothery adding five, J.T. Roberts four.
Townsend upset tournament favorite Middlesettlements, also in overtime, to reach the finals.