Wildcats score a victory over Vina in Wildcat ClassicPublished 5:38pm Monday, December 16, 2013
By Brannon King
For the FCT
The Tharptown Wildcats outlasted the Red Bay Tigers for a 65-62 victory in the Wildcat Classic on Friday.
The two Franklin County schools matched up in the final game of the first night of the two-day event held at Tharptown.
Tharptown and Red Bay played to a 14-14 tie during the first quarter. Red Bay then used a good second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats by a score of 14-10 to take a 28-24 lead into the half.
Tharptown came out strong in the third quarter getting contributions from five different scorers to cut the lead down to two entering the final period.
Red Bay’s Barry Reach scored eight points in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers to hold off the Wildcats.
Max Nolen and Kelby Hallmark scored nine points apiece for Tharptown in the fourth quarter to help the Wildcats to the exciting win.
Nolen led all scorers in the game with 19 points. Hallmark had 16 followed by Drake Lawson (11), Riley Nolen (9), Heath Hatton (8) and John Staggs (2).
Red Bay’s Barry Reach had 14 points, followed by Fred Nethery (13), Jesus Kelly (12), Dylan Gresham (8), Tate Ozbirn (6), Kyle Fuller (5), Nick Thorn (2) and Isaiah Jackson (2).
Tharptown head coach Jonathan Odom was proud of how his team battled.
“We had to dig down deep and fight hard,” Odom said.
“We’re a three-point shooting team. We need shots to fall to win games and they just didn’t fall for us tonight but we found other ways to win.
“We got a couple of good steals and made some free-throws at the end and found a way to pull it out somehow.”
The two-day Wildcat Classic tournament featured Tharptown, Belgreen and Red Bay from Franklin County. Other schools making the trip to Tharptown included Rogers, Winston County and Elkmont.
Tharptown went 3-0 in the event while Belgreen was 2-0 and Rogers was 2-1. Red Bay (1-2), Winston County (0-2) and Elkmont (0-3) all found the going tough in the competition.
In the first varsity game, Red Bay came up short against Rogers by a score of 51-24. Rogers used a strong first half to pull away and was able to easily hold on for the victory. Jesus Kelly led Red Bay in scoring with 5 points.
The next game had Belgreen defeating Elkmont by a score of 86-67. Belgreen was led in scoring by Chase Landers (24), Will Barnwell (24) and Dustin Smith (24).
Saturday’s first game saw Tharptown defeat Winston County by a score of 82-62. Riley Nolen led the way for Tharptown with 23 points.
Red Bay went on to play Elkmont and defeated them by a score of 57-53 in overtime.
Elkmont held the lead for three quarters until Red Bay heated up and was able to outscore their opponents 22-11 in the fourth period. Tate Ozbirn of Red Bay hit a three-pointer with only seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into OT.
Belgreen was then able to keep their perfect record on the season intact in the next game as they defeated Rogers by a score of 55-45. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Dustin Smith’s 21 points.
The event came to a close as Elkmont tried a furious comeback attempt late in the game but came up short against Tharptown who won, 91-84.