Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Cleveland's Kley McGowan (23) celebrates after hitting a three as he was fouled during the second half of the boys basketball game between Oak Ridge and Cleveland on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in Cleveland, Tenn.

Photo Gallery

Cleveland turns away Oak Ridge

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — With Oak Ridge looking to take down Tennessee Class AAA's lone unbeaten boys' basketball team, No. 1-ranked Cleveland would have none of it.

Raider Arena was rocking in the second half as junior Kley McGowan sent the Blue Raiders fans through the roof to help spark a 66-51 victory Tuesday night.

After an offensive rebound, Michael Dale hit McGowan in the left corner for a 3-point shot he made while being fouled to the court in front of his team bench. Just seconds after completing a rare four-point play, he skied for a two-handed jam off a steal for a 35-32 lead.

Chants of "fear the mullet" coursed through the home crowd as McGowan took off for 11 third-quarter points and also added a charge to help provide fuel to the fire.

"When we get momentum we are really dangerous," said McGowan, who scored 18 points. "We have such a great fan base who helps us out a lot. When they start chanting for me, it really hypes me up. They have embraced us all and push us nightly."

Wearing a pair of neon green shoes with a tribute written to his late brother on them, senior JaCobi Wood turned a slow starting performance into another special one for the Mr. Basketball candidate.

Wood shot 8-of-12 from the field from the second quarter on, finishing with a game-high 26 points. The Belmont signee also dished out seven assists, which included a no-look pass to McGowan and an around-the-back delivery to Grant Hurst.

"A young fan and friend of mine, Maguire Evans, bought me these shoes he had been saving for," explained Wood, who scored 18 second-half points with some step-back 3-pointers. "Green is my family color for my brother, and for him to give me these green Currys (Stephen Curry brand of shoe) means a lot to me."

The Wildcats (20-4) came out strong early, building a 14-8 lead, but the Blue Raiders (26-0) gained control and used a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter to end senior night with a bang.

Hurst added 10 points, while senior Mo Schramm added nine points and 10 rebounds.


Lady Raiders 54, Lady Wildcats 40

Cleveland junior Kara Williams caught fire for four first-quarter 3s and knocked down six to finish with a game-high 21 points.

The Lady Raiders (18-9) also were propelled by senior leader Bailey Anderson. The standout defender and high-motored guard scored 18 points and helped build a 22-5 lead with seven first-quarter points. Her team also honored her as she shot the ball soon after the final buzzer, swishing a 3-pointer.

"This was an emotional night," Anderson said. "I didn't think I was going to cry, but out there it's a different story. It's been a fun journey. The people in my locker room will be some of my closest friends for the rest of my life. This win tonight was a big step for us."

Oak Ridge (24-5) had beaten Cleveland, 70-51, on Jan. 18.

Contact Patrick MacCoon at