Coach Brad Harris of host Notre Dame looked nice and laid back most of Tuesday night as he sat on the Tennessee bench and watched the ninth Tennessee-Georgia All-Star boys’ high school basketball game. Then all of sudden, he had to start coaching.
The Tennessee All-Stars never trailed after taking the lead with the final basket of the first quarter, but they had to hold on for a 101-92 win.
Tennessee led by 13 points twice in the second quarter and 49-38 at halftime. Their largest lead was 73-56 after Notre Dame’s Stewart Gunter, who led the winners with eight rebounds, made two free throws with 56.2 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Tennessee, up 6-3 in the series, led 85-71 with a little more than five minutes to play after Ooltewah’s Wesley Richey made a layup in the typical run-and-gun style of all-star games. Then after Dade County’s Travis Core dunked off a lob from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe’s Seth Weaver and Georgia immediately called time out with 1:22 remaining, the score was 93-89.
“They snuck back up on us,” Harris said. “We let them have a lot of good looks in the second half. They have such good shooters.”
During the timeout Harris set up a play in which Brainerd’s Damon Warren slipped ahead to the frontcourt. Arts & Sciences’ Alex Stallion, who was chosen the game’s most valuable player despite scoring less than double figures, laid his long inbound pass on the mark to Warren for a layup and one of his eight assists.
“We thought they would probably come out and press, so we wanted to send one of our jumpers long,” Harris said. “It worked out pretty good.”
Georgia got a 3-pointer from Weaver on the trip back down the floor, but Tennessee put the game away by scoring six consecutive points in the final 37.5 seconds.
Stallion’s points came on three 3-point shots, and he also finished with with six rebounds and two steals. Warren, Tennessee’s player of the game, had 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
Richey totaled 16 points and Stallion’s high school teammate Sharif Cobb added 14. Red Bank’s Nick Ross, winner of the 3-point shooting contest at halftime, scored 13 for Tennessee. McCallie’s Chad Lee contributed five points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Core ended with 28 points and eight assists and was selected Georgia’s player of the game. He also won the dunk contest between the girls’ and boys’ games.
Murray County’s Chase Jones scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Dade County’s Andrew Reid contributed 11 points. Sonoraville’s Justin Zachary set a series record with nine assists in addition to scoring nine points for Georgia.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.