Cleveland's Randazz Mee puts pressure on Siegel's Stephen Hurt during the TSSAA Sectional game at Siegel High School Monday evening. (Photo by Jim Davis/Daily News Journal)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Siegel weathered Cleveland’s 3-point bombers in the first quarter Monday night.
Then Treyton Harris and Cedrick Williams went to work.
The duo combined for 48 points to lead Siegel back to the TSSAA boys’ state basketball tournament with a 69-61 win over Cleveland.
“Coach [Ben] Dotson told us they were going to come out and hit 3s,” Harris said. “They got up on us. But we weathered the storm and kept fighting back and doing what we do.”
Cleveland (19-10) led 14-4 with 4:50 left in the first quarter before the Stars (33-2) got on track. Harris, a junior point guard, scored eight straight points to start a 12-0 run for a 34-29 lead with 2:11 left in the first half.
And Siegel never relinquished it.
“We’ve talked all year about weathering the storm,” Dotson said. “We’re senior led. We’re not going to get rattled. We talked about just weathing the storm and we’d be OK.
“I think they finally woke up and wanted to play defense.”
The win was the Stars’ 20th straight heading into next week’s state tournament at Murphy Center.
SIEGEL 69, CLEVELAND 63
Cleveland 20 12 13 18 — 63
Siegel 14 23 15 17 — 69
Cleveland (63) — Rutledge 2, Mee 5, Boles 17, Davis 2, Rhodes 6, Davis 17, Hiddleson 4.
Siegel (69) — Harris 17, Butler 9, Thomas 3, Williams 31, Hurt 7, McCord 2.
Williams, a UNC-Wilmington signee, had 31 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. He finished the game 11-of-14 from the field and 9-of-11 from the foul line.
“They are huge,” Cleveland coach Jason McCowan said. “You don’t see that in East Tennessee, or southeast Tennessee for sure.
“You’ve got to give them credit because they go with their strengths. Our kids did a good job battling inside. I know that’s their bread and butter.
“We’re midgets compared to them. And they can shoot over top of us.”
Harris added 17 points and five rebounds.
D.J. Boles and B.J. Davis led Cleveland with 17 points each. They combined to hit nine of Cleveland’s 12 3-pointers.
The Blue Raiders finished the game 12-of-32 from the 3-point line, including eight makes in the first half. However, several of the misses came in the final moments with the game out of reach.