The Ooltewah Owls have shown throughout this basketball season that they can attack opponents in waves in the course of a game. Thursday night against Ringgold, the eruption came in the second quarter.
Trailing by three after a quarter, the Owls outscored Ringgold 23-8 in the second period and built a double-digit lead. They went on to advance to the semifinals of the Times Free Press Best of Preps tournament with an 83-54 win at Chattanooga State. Ooltewah (6-4) will face Boyd-Buchanan tonight in a semifinal at 8:30; the Tigers (5-6) will face Baylor at 2:30.
Jaymcal Johnson led a balanced scoring attack for the Owls with 20 points, while Ben Snider and C.J. Fritz each had 16. Jarek Boyd added 12.
"We should have balanced scoring like that the way we play," Ooltewah coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery said. "If we play defense the way we're supposed to, we should be shooting layups and free throws, but as a coach I'm definitely pleased by the scoring being spread out like it was tonight."
Montgomery wasn't pleased with his team's defensive effort early, as Ringgold was able to beat the Owls downcourt with full-court passes for layups and fouls. Yet after the Tigers scored 16 points in the first quarter, it took them 13 minutes of game time to score another 16. By then the Owls led 50-32. They were up 58-39 after three quarters and cruised in the fourth.
"I thought we did a good job of staying in front of the ball in the second half," Montgomery said. "We communicated better, and defense is predicated on talking and communicating. We do take for granted that we can go on those runs, but we can't have that mentality. We've got to be ready to play from Jump Street.
"We can't rely on those runs."
Dakota Baer led the Tigers with 11 points, while Jordan Ransom added 10.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.