By Stephen Hargis
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. A commanding second half helped Grace Academy pull away for a 61-46 victory over East Robertson in the quarterfinals of the boys Class A state basketball tournament.
The Golden Eagles advance to the semifinals against Humboldt or Cosby, who play later today.
After trailing for the first four minutes, East Robertson closed the first quarter with an 11-0 run for a 16-8 lead. The Indians led by nine in the second quarter, but Grace countered with an 11-4 surge to pull within two at the half.
Graces 6-foot-10 sophomore Carter McMasters missed his first three shots, all three to four feet from the basket, but blocked four hots by halftime and caused the Indians to miss several other shots. McMasters first score was a 3-point basket opening the third quarter and giving Grace the lead.
The teams combined for 37 points in the third period, but the Golden Eagles subbed only once. After taking a six-point lead, they fell behind again but regained the edge in the closing seconds of the quarter.
A Davis Eldridge 3-pointer, followed by two free throws by McMaster, pushed the Golden Eagles lead to 52-43 with just under three minutes remaining.
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