It was senior day, and how, Saturday afternoon at Boyd-Buchanan.
The high school boys' basketball team's seven seniors were honored in a ceremony before the Buccaneers defeated Arts & Sciences 54-42 in a District 5-A game. And that group of seven combined for 50 of the points.
"I thought we handled the emotion of senior night very well," Boyd-Buchanan coach Cole Rose said. "You never know what's going to happen on senior night."
The victory leaves the Buccaneers 19-2 overall and 5-0 in the district. However, with CSAS (16-7) at 3-2, Boyd-Buchanan hasn't clinched as much as a share of the regular-season championship with district games remaining against Silverdale Baptist, Copper Basin and Grace Academy.
"This puts us in a good position for sure, with two of those five wins over CSAS," Rose said. "We know we've still got a couple of tests left. The trip to Copper Basin is always tough, and Grace is playing pretty well right now. Those are all on the road, too."
The Patriots scored the first two points against the Bucs for their only lead. The hosts' margin grew to eight late in the first quarter, but CSAS battled back within two points twice in the second quarter -- the last when Brandon Houston's short bank shot from the left side made it 17-15.
Boyd-Buchanan responded with a 9-0 run, led by 11 points at the half and built the advantage to 42-24 in the third quarter. Leading by 13 at the end of three, the Bucs scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter for their largest lead, 54-34, before the Patriots scored the game's final eight points.
"One or two days of practice would've helped," CSAS coach Mark Dragoo said of problems caused by Tuesday's ice and snow. "They're very efficient, but with seven seniors they should be. Our first seven players are two seniors, three freshmen and two sophomores. We're very different in makeup."
Dragoo said he thinks the Patriots are 12-2 when holding opponents below 50 points, and they held Boyd-Buchanan close to the mark. Then he added that not being in a gym since Monday, it's expected that timing and shooting could be a little off.
Indeed, the Patriots did not have a double-figure scorer. Houston and sophomore Todd Lansden, who was making his second start and was doing that with a stomach virus, were the leaders with eight apiece.
Colby Arendale came off the bench and topped the Bucs with 13 points, including all three of their 3-pointers. Austin Walker added 12 points.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
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 email@example.com.