TENNESSEE 72, GEORGIA 58
Georgia 7 - 18 - 15 - 18 -- 58
Tennessee 16 - 14 - 18 - 24 -- 72
Georgia (58) — Rattanaxay 3, Bell 7, Baer 6, Thomas 7, Fisher 4, Bradley 6, Sherlin, Dean 3, Shropshire 2, McAllister 1, Armour 7, Grier 1, Daniel Oliver 11.
Tennessee (72) — Watkins 8, Woods 6, Thompson 5, Cox 2, Matt Clendenen 10, Allen, Josh Scudder 14, Sadik Spence 14, Bentley 7, Young 6.
3-point goals: Georgia 5 (Oliver, Dean, Armour, Rattanaxay, Bell); Tennessee 4 (Scudder 2, Bentley, Thompson). Highlights: Alex Watkins 11 r; Clendenen 6 r, 3 s; Kendrick Thompson 5 a (T); Oliver, Dakota Baer each 7 r; Isaac Thomas, Ryan Armour, Isaac Bradley each 6 r (G).
Sadik Spence showed Tuesday at Notre Dame that as baseball players go, he's got plenty of basketball ability.
The multisport Tyner standout has signed a baseball scholarship at Valley College in Los Angeles, but before he goes he worked in one more basketball game and ended up being chosen Tennessee's player of the game after sparking his team to a 72-58 victory in the Tennessee-Georgia high school all-star game.
Tennessee leads the series 8-4.
Spence came off the bench, as did McMinn Central's Josh Scudder, and the two each had 14 points for the Tennessee team. Hamilton Heights' Zach Ferrell coached the Tennessee boys and often substituted five for five.
"It was great," said Spence, who played shortstop for the Rams and is expecting to be in Los Angeles next week when the Tennessee-Georgia baseball game is being held Wednesday. "I loved every bit of it. I knew all the guys and we all played together. Nobody was selfish. We played as a team."
Tennessee never trailed but never owned a double-digit lead until the second half. Georgia was within 32-31 early in the second half before Tennessee went on a 13-3 run.
Georgia got back within five points near the end of the third quarter, but after Tyner's Alex Watkins started the fourth-quarter scoring with a basket off a rebound to make it 50-40, Tennessee led by double figures the rest of the way.
Among the highlights of the night, Dade County's Clynt Bell made a 30-foot 3-pointer for Georgia and Spence lobbed to Howard's Jo Jo Young for a dunk at the third-quarter buzzer.
"I love all that stuff," Ferrell said. "It was exciting and fun. Those are great memories for the kids.
"For me, I just wanted to make sure that they would have fun and enjoy the game. They needed to enjoy their last time as a high school basketball player."
Sewanee-bound Matt Clendenen from Baylor chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals for Tennessee. Watkins led all rebounders with 11, and Cleveland's Kendrick Thompson, who is headed to Florida to play at Daytona State College, was the assists leader with five.
Georgia's player of the game was Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe's Daniel Oliver, who led with 11 points and tied Ringgold's Dakota Baer for the team lead with seven rebounds.
Meigs County's Levi Woods, who has signed with Lee University, won the slam-dunk competition held before the game. Boyd-Buchanan's Hall Allen won the halftime 3-point shooting contest.
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.