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Watertown’s Trent Spradlin accepts the Region 3-2A runner-up plaque following the Purple Tigers’ championship game loss.

Watertown, Green Hill fall in region finals

MONTEREY — Watertown’s Cinderella run through the postseason hit a pothole Thursday night as York Institute’s boys controlled the Purple Tigers in a 63-45 win in the Region 3-2A finals inside a packed Troy Foust Memorial Gym at Monterey High School.

York led 19-11 at the first-quarter break. The Dragons went up by 16 during the first half before Watertown trimmed the margin to seven before going into halftime with York ahead 28-19. The team from Jamestown led 43-24 going into the fourth as the Dragons improved to 24-10. They booked a home sectional game with Cascade on Monday.

“We talked about it before the game,” Watertown coach Kevon Honeycutt said. “We said ‘Guys, we can’t get down early. Once we get down early this isn’t the type of team to let up. They’re the type of team to keep the foot on the throat and just finish the game.”

The Purple Tigers dropped to 12-20 but are still alive for a road sectional at 7 p.m. Monday at Pearl-Cohn as they seek their second state tournament berth, 10 years after their first.

“We’re in a situation now we never thought we’d be in,” Honeycutt said while holding a region runner-up plaque. “Our guys fought tooth and nail for the last seven games. We’re 5-2 in seven games and that’s something special for us because a month ago we didn’t think we’d be in this situation. We’re here now.

“It’s great for our guys… It’s great for our program. This is a program-type building situation for us. I got to give credit to all our guys. They fought tooth and nail. It’s not been easy for us. York’s a great program. We knew coming in they were going to do a lot of stuff that bothered us. That’s a credit to those guys that wore white. They can play. I think they got a shot and I’d love to see them play in Murfreesboro (state tournament).”

York did most of its scoring damage inside. Bryson Bilbrey led the Dragons with 18 points while Heath Wattenbarger added 11. The Dragons five 3-pointers all came from different players.

By contrast, eight of Watertown’s 14 field goals came from outside. Trent Spradlin sank four triples on his way to 17 points while J.J. Goodall’s 14 included three triples. Chase McConnell scored six points, K.J. Wood four, Manny Seay a late three-point play and Marcus Reynolds a free throw.

McConnell, Woods, Goodall and Spradlin were named to the all-tournament team.

“We’re really good, too,” Honeycutt said. “We made a believer out of some people and some people still doubt it. But we’re here for a reason and you can’t make it here by mistake or by luck. You make it by playing basketball.”

Hawks fall in 5-4A final in another down-to-the-wire OT thriller

MT. JULIET — Green Hill’s boys have played four straight cliffhangers, three of which reached at least one overtime and the other decided at the buzzer.

Thursday’s Region 5-4A final was the latest installment in Green Hill’s rollercoaster of a postseason. Only this time the ending didn’t go the Hawks’ way as Hendersonville’s own remarkable tournament run continued with a 42-37 overtime triumph at Mt. Juliet High School.

The Hawks had to rally to give themselves a chance to win in regulation. Kenny Ellis, playing with a bloody nose, hit two free throws with 1:44 to play to put Green Hill up 35-34. Hendersonville’s C.J. Hall hit a free throw to tie the score before both teams missed potential game-winners in the final 10 seconds.

T.J. Kolbe hit a 3-pointer for Hendersonville in overtime while Hall and Ty Lannom each sank two free throws, sending the Commandos to the championship with a 23-9 record and a home sectional game Monday with Hillsboro.

Green Hill slipped to 24-8 and will travel to 30-4 Independence at 7 p.m. Monday as the Hawks seek their first trip to the state tournament.

Kolbe connected on three triples to lead all scorers with 17 points while Holt had 11 for Hendersonville.

Jason Burch led Green Hill with 10 points while Ellis, Aaron Mattingly and Garrett Brown each scored six and Parker Overath five. Antjuan Welch hit a late key basket as he and Jordan Lukins tossed in two apiece.

Lady Hawks fall in region final

MT. JULIET — Green Hill’s girls were able to slow down the pace in Wednesday’s Region 5-4A final. But that didn’t keep District 9 champion Cookeville from gradually pulling away to a 50-25 triumph at Mt. Juliet High School.

Cookeville never trailed as the Lady Cavaliers led 13-6 at the first-quarter break. It was 22-15 at halftime after Green Hill’s Savannah Kirby banked home a corner 3-pointer to keep the Lady Hawks in range.

But Green Hill could only score two third-period points while Cassie Gallagher had six of her 17 as Cookeville opened a 39-17 margin going into the fourth.

“You can tell they have a lot of chemistry,” Green Hill coach Joseph Simmons said of the Lady Cavs. “They’ve played together for awhile. And those young players have grown so much throughout the course of the season and their seniors have done a good job of bringing them along.

“They’re not many weaknesses. I’d like to see some from other teams that play them that give them a game.”

Tournament Most Valuable Player Jordan Gillies tossed in 11 points for Cookeville.

Aubrey Blankenship led the Lady Hawks with 11 points while Cameron Bryan and Kensley Carter each finished with four, Kirby her 3, Sullie Gerik two free throws and Alyssa Potier one.

Blankenship and Gerik were named to the all-tournament team.

But the rubber will meet the road for both teams are at 7 p.m. today in the sectional as they try to take the final step to the state tournament. Green Hill will take a 16-16 record to Brentwood while 29-4 Cookeville will host Hillsboro.

“Anyone you’re one win away, you’ve got a chance,” Simmons said. “We’re going to be on the road. We’re used to playing in hostile environments. A lot of people look at our record and think we’re an average team. But I think our schedule has prepared us for postseason play. I think that’s why we’ve had our success we’ve had to this point.

“We’re not going to let this one game define us. Our girls will bounce back.”

Brentwood is the Region 10 champion with a 25-6 record. But one of those losses is a 43-39 verdict at Green Hill on Jan. 12.

CU men post dramatic 4-3 win over No. 8 Lindsey Wilson

No. 12 Cumberland downed No. 8 Lindsey Wilson in the Mid-South Conference opening men’s showdown with a dramatic 4-3 victory Wednesday at the Tommy Gray Memorial Courts.

“We have been preparing for this match for a while now playing tough competition over the last month knowing that we needed to win the doubles point to have a shot at beating a top-10 team,” Coach Thiago Lins said. “Our team was so tight together and goal oriented, it was a very close battle where Pavel found a way back to stay in the match and German and Julian played great tennis in tough windy conditions. Adrijan, Daniel and Fernando left everything out there too, but came just a bit short. Overall it was another epic team work day and we are looking forward to maintaining great momentum over the next couple months and hopefully have a chance to fight for a conference title. What a great day to be a Phoenix, Let’s go CU!”

The doubles matches set the tone for the match, with Cumberland winning two of the three matches. Pavel Kelo and Adrijan Hrzic clinched the doubles point at No. 1 defeating Lucas Marques and Santiago Diaz of Lindsey Wilson 6-3. Julian Parada and German Suarez defeated Tiago Almedia and Anatoily Voloshyn of Lindsey Wilson 6-2. However, Jan Silhavy and Ilyas Kouchairi of Lindsey Wilson picked up a 6-4 win over Daniel Wessels and Dan Slapnik Trost at No. 3.

In singles play, Pavel Kelo of Cumberland bounced back after losing the first set to defeat Ilyas Kouchairi of Lindsey Wilson 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 in a thrilling match to clinch the win for Cumberland. German Suarez of Cumberland dominated Anatoily Voloshyn 6-0, 6-2, while the Phoenix’s third point in singles came from a 6-4, 6-3 win by Julian Parada at No. 3. Lindsey Wilson’s Jan Silhavy defeated Adrijan Hrzic 6-1, 6-3, while Daniel Wessels lost to Tiago Almedia 6-4, 6-2.Fernando Flores lost 6-1, 6-2 to Lucas Marques at No.6

With the win, Cumberland improved to 9-5 on the season and 1-0 in Mid-South Conference play.

Women falter in MSC opener to No. 11 Lindsey Wilson

Cumberland’s women fell in their Mid-South Conference opener to No. 11 Lindsey Wilson 5-2 on Wednesday at the Tommy Gray Memorial Courts.

The Blue Raiders claimed victory in both doubles and singles matches.

In the doubles matches, the Blue Raiders picked up the doubles point as they were able to get wins at No. 2 and No. 3 The duo of Jessica Hernandez and Maria Arbelaez managed to secure a win at No. 1 defeating Mayra Gisone and Heyka Rodriguez with a score of 6-3. However, the Blue Raiders pairs of Reshma Challarapu and Parisa Rachdanone and Anastasiia Ivanchecko and Darija Mladenovic, winning in the second and third positions, respectively.

Moving on to the singles matches, Cumberland’s Jessica Hernandez claimed a hard-fought victory against Salome Sposseti Ponzetti from Lindsey Wilson in the first position, winning 1-6, 6-3, 10-8. Maria Arbelaez managed to secure a win in the third singles match defeating Anastasiia Ivanchecko from Lindsey Wilson with a score of 6-2, 6-3. However, the Blue Raiders dominated the remaining singles matches, with wins from Darija Mladenovic, Parisa Rachdanone, Mayra Gisone, and Heyka Rodriguez in the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth positions, to grab the 5-2 win.