East Hamilton would not be denied on their home court Tuesday night. History was made as sophomore Ashton Munson scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to propel the Hurricanes to a 60-56 District 6-AAA tournament championship win over Red Bank. It was the first district tournament title in program history.
"This is such an amazing feeling," said Munson, who was named tournament MVP. "I know my seniors are so happy. This team was so hungry for this moment and we were pushing to get this title for our seniors. They are warriors. Tonight I was able to help us get our energy going. When our energy is sky high we are tough to stop."
East Hamilton (19-10) received huge rebounds from Cade Pendleton and Zachariah Laboo, while senior Zach Harris made a key 3-pointer in the final two minutes to hold off a furious rally from Red Bank (23-6).
Meanwhile, the Lady Hurricanes were able to win their first district championship since 2013 as they defeated Signal Mountain 50-38.
Senior Amya Sutton was crucial in the championship win as she hauled in half a dozen offensive rebounds and provided stellar defense for East Hamilton (18-11). Her sophomore sister Tristin Sutton also scored a game-high 12 points and made a highlight-reel spin move in the lane to finish past two defenders late in regulation to close out the win.
"We really pushed ourselves in our last three practices preparing for this game," said Sutton, who was named tournament MVP. "Everyone was locked in and we were really driven to be champions. I try to do what I can defensively and play with heart every night and I feel like the hard work is really paying off."
After falling two of three times in the regular season to Signal Mountain, a tough defense also led by McKenna Hayes (11 points) came through when it mattered most. Morgan Bone also scored seven first quarter points in a row to spark the victory.
"This was a very tough opponent for us this season," Lady Hurricanes coach Kayla Burse said. "These wins are huge for our programs and the school. For this group to win a title means everything to us. We want to keep pushing and have a chance to cut down more nets and make a deep run."
Red Bank was able to mount a late comeback in the boys' championship game as Haden Spurgeon finished with 20 points to go with 16 and 15 from Nick Smith and Eric Alex.
"Our guys were really tough and fought to the finish against a really good team," East Hamilton coach Andy Webb said. "Zachariah Laboo and Cade had some huge rebounds for us late and Ashton put on a show early. He has that type of spark that can fire up an entire gym and he did that again tonight. I am proud of all of our guys. They have worked so hard for this."
District 4-AA boys' consolation
> Arts & Sciences 49, Polk County 39: Chase Pride led the Patriots with 18 points and a 20-4 third-quarter run proved to be the difference.
District 6-AAA boys' consolation
> Central 82, East Ridge 76: The Purple Pounders won the rebound battle 37-25 and had four different players finish in double figures scoring in their double-overtime triumph. Central (10-18) was led by Matthew Sharpe's 23 points while DJ Sanderfer added 16 points. East Ridge (18-11) was given a lift by Cadion Harris who had 19 points and a trio of 3-pointers, while teammates Tyree Smith had 21 points and Devon Anderson added 16 in the hard fought loss.
District 3-AA championship
Sweetwater 57, Meigs County 51
District 5-AAAA championship
Walker Valley 55, Cleveland 52
District 6-AAA girls' consolation
> Soddy-Daisy 68, East Ridge 31: Alivia Hall scored 20 points and made four 3-pointers to ignite the Lady Trojans (20-12). Freshman Hannah Patterson was strong scoring nine of her 13 points in the third quarter for Soddy. Nia Barnes finished with a team-high 10 points for East Ridge.
District 3-AA championship
McMinn Central 63, Tellico Plains 40
Division II-AA state tournament first round
Father Ryan 35, Baylor 32
Division II-A state tournament first round
Middle Tennessee Christian 62, Notre Dame 49
Trinity Christian 63, Boyd Buchanan 44