One more: Rebels within win of basketball title

Murfreesboro -- Two weeks ago Jordan Damron's free-throw shooting lifted Maryville into the state tournament.

Friday, the junior guard shot the Rebels within a game of the title.

Damron made good on 8 of 10 from the line in the last minute, and Maryville held of White's Creek, 65-55, in a Class AAA boys semi-final at Middle Tennessee State University. The Rebels (29-7) will meet Clarksville Saturday in the AAA championship game at Murphy Center at 8 p.m. EDT. Clarksville beat Oakland Friday night after three overtimes.

Damron finished with 19 points to lead all scorers despite battling second-half foul trouble. Kent Basile, who scored the Rebels' first 8 points, finished with 15. Junior Aaron Douglas had his second double-double in as many days, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Maryville's fortunes changed with a five-point Tyler Maples run to close the third quarter. The senior and Tennessee football commitment buried a deep 3-pointer to close Maryville within 43-40 with 33 seconds to play in the period. With two free-throws following, the Rebels opened the fourth trailing only by a point. Damron's head-of-the- circle 3 with three minutes left put Maryville out front 54-47. Solid free-throw shooting did the rest.

If the Rebels can finish it off Saturday, Maples will claim his fourth state championship ring, having won three titles with the football Rebels. "We said all year we wanted to put Maryville on the map," Maples said. "It's always been known as a football school."

Maryville claimed its first ever state tournament victory in Thursday's quarter final. This is only the Rebel's third appearance in basketball at state.

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