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Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Cleveland's JaCobi Wood lays the ball up during the Blue Raiders' home game against Oak Ridge on Feb. 11. Wood has helped lead Cleveland to a 27-0 record so far in the 2019-20 season, the best start in program history, and Thursday he was named a TSSAA Class AA Mr. Basketball finalist.

Updated with more information at 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2020.

With a laundry list of accomplishments in her athletic career, anyone offering congratulations to Madison Hayes needs to be specific in what they're celebrating.

East Hamilton coach Hunter Gremore learned that lesson Thursday when he stopped Hayes in the hall to offer a generic congratulations.

"For what?" asked Hayes, before being told she had been named a finalist for the TSSAA's Miss Basketball award for Class AAA.

Hayes is one of three local girls who are finalists for the state award in their respective classifications, joined by Baylor's Raegyn Conley in Division II-AA and Silverdale Baptist Academy's Laney Bone in DII-A. Cleveland's JaCobi Wood is the only Mr. Basketball finalist from the Chattanooga area, earning one of the three spots in Class AAA.

Photo Gallery

Finalists for Mr. and Miss Basketball awards

"It's an honor to be recognized and able to represent my school for this award," said Hayes, who won the Miss Basketball award last year and has averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, 3.5 assists, four steals and three blocks per game this season. "Any recognition like this just pushes me more to keep grinding and trying to help my team get to the state tournament."

The Mississippi State signee already has been named a McDonald's All American — the first girl from a Hamilton County public school to be so honored. She had 14 double-doubles through the Lady Hurricanes' first 21 games this season and is closing in on 3,000 career points.

Conley, a junior, has averaged 19 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 2.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game to help the Lady Red Raiders to a 20-win season so far.

Also a junior, Bone has averaged 21.3 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.8 blocks per game this season, and she already has scored more than 1,200 points in her prep basketball career.

The Mr. and Miss Basketball awards for all five classifications will be presented on the floor of the Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University during a ceremony at 8 p.m. on March 10, the day before the start of the Division I girls' state tournaments.

Wood has helped lead Cleveland to a 27-0 record — the best start in program history — and the No. 1 ranking in Class AAA. The 6-foot-2 guard, who has signed with Belmont, leads the Blue Raiders in points (27.9), assists (five) and steals (2.7) per game, and he also averages 5.7 rebounds. He has scored 50-plus points in games twice this season, including a program-record 53 against Cookeville.

He is only the second Mr. Basketball finalist in school history, joining former All-America forward Vincent Yarbrough, who won the award in 1998 and went on to play at the University of Tennessee and with the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

"I'm so excited and proud to see Jacobi accomplish another goal that he has set for himself," Blue Raiders coach Reggie Tucker said. "He's everything our basketball program stands for, and this honor is well deserved."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

TSSAA MISS BASKETBALL FINALISTS

Division II-A
Melaina Bone, Silverdale Baptist
Macey Lee, Trinity Christian
Carrington Washburn, CPA

Division II-AA
Raegyn Conley, Baylor
Dontavia Waggoner, Ensworth
Kaiya Wynn, Ensworth

Class A
Tess Darby, Greenfield
Chloe Moore-McNeil, Greenfield
Karly Weathers, Loretto

Class AA
Keeley Carter, Macon County
Reagan Hurst, Upperman
Khyla Wade-Warren, McNairy Central

Class AAA
Denae Fritz, Maryville
Alasia Hayes, Riverdale
Madison Hayes, East Hamilton

TSSAA MR. BASKETBALL FINALISTS

Division II-A
Alex Anderson, Tipton-Rosemark
Moussa Cisse, Lausanne
Dante Harris, Lakeway Christian

Division II-AA
Kennedy Chandler, Briarcrest
B.J. Edwards, Knoxville Catholic
Chaz Lanier, Ensworth

Class A
Lucas King, McKenzie
Dalton Marsh, Red Boiling Springs
Ryley McClaran, Eagleville

Class AA
Edward Lacey, Fulton
Johnathan Lawson, Wooddale
Tyrone Marshall, Pearl Cohn

Class AAA
Joe Anderson, Maryville
Will Pruitt, Mt. Juliet
JaCobi Wood, Cleveland

 

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