Lady Canes Beat McMinn, 48-28, Secure No. 2 Tourney Seed

East Hamilton Boys Roll, 78-68, And Also Will Be A No. 2 Seed

Monday, February 12, 2018 - by Larry Fleming

(Story has been updated with District 5-3A tournament matchups)

Pushed into a must-win game to secure the highest possible seed to close out the District 5-3A regular season, East Hamilton’s girls shuffled their defense and got the effort needed Monday night to defeat McMinn County, 48-28, at East Hamilton.

The Lady Hurricanes, who lost 5-foot-5 senior Maleiah Moon for the second straight postseason to another knee injury, inserted 5-10 sophomore forward Eliziah Laboo into the lineup and the plan by coach Hunter Gremore paid dividends.

Leading 42-26 going to the fourth quarter, the Lady Canes (23-4, 8-4) held the Lady Cherokees (13-10, 6-6) to two points and got the win.

“We were very good defensively,” Gremore said. “It reminded me of last year when we had to grind it out on defense, get some scoring and win low-scoring games. I thought we might struggle tonight, but having three bigs on the floor rather than four guards turned out OK.”

The Lady Hurricanes, one win shy of tying a school record for wins in a single season (they have won 24 three times), nailed down the No. 2 seed and a spot in the semifinals for the tournament starting Wednesday at Walker Valley High School.

The Lady Canes tied Cleveland with an identical 8-4 district record, but won the tie-breaker in a coin toss last week as the coaches meeting in Cleveland.

East Hamilton won’t play until Saturday. Monday’s win, which avenged an early-season loss to the Lady Cherokees, also secured a berth in the Region 3-3A tourney to be held at Rhea Central.

The Lady Canes were led by Madison Hayes’ 19 points – she had coaches from Wake Forest and Georgia watching from the stands – and Laboo finished with 10 points.

East Hamilton (20-6, 9-3) used its game against the McMinn boys as a final tune-up for the tournament. Although the play was ragged at times by both teams, the Hurricanes withstood a late Cherokee surge and came out on top 78-68 behind the strong 24-point performance by senior DaVae Hughley.

The Hurricanes, trying to reach the boys’ state tournament for the second straight year, also will be a No. 2 seed in the tournament and, like the girls, have a bye into the semifinals.

Moon suffered a torn ACL in her right knee on Feb. 6, 2017, underwent surgery and missed the postseason. On Feb. 8, 2018, Moon tore the ACL in her right knee and will have surgery next Thursday. She attended Monday’s game, but will again watch the action from the sidelines.

“She’s our best on-ball defender,” Gremore said of Moon, “and one of the best kids I’ve ever coached.”

Laboo scored East Hamilton’s first points on a layup, but the Lady Canes went scoreless for five-plus minutes while turning the ball over six times and missed three shots.

Gremore’s girls held McMinn to three second-quarter points and went to the locker room with a 25-12 lead. East Hamilton used a 12-2 run to start the third period and that pushed the lead to 35-14. The Lady Canes started the scoring spurt with two straight back-door cuts for layups.

“Coach Gremore noticed they were overplaying us a lot, so he gave us those plays and we ran them right,” Madison Hayes said. “We felt we could win this game even though they beat us earlier in the year. That first loss motivated us for this one, but we still had to be focused and our defense was key tonight.”

DeZah Lacy, a sophomore point guard, said Monday’s win would help keep the Lady Canes focused for tournament play.

“We were really mentally focused tonight and we’ll have to play the same way in the district tournament,” she said. “We’ll be focused and our goal is to reach the finals and beat Bradley.”

Said Gremore, “We were able to figure some things out tonight with our lineup and we’ll probably have to grind it out and beat you on the boards. Tonight we looked a little lost with our offense because we weren’t used to having three bigs on the floor, but we got it back and I’m proud of the girls’ focus after that tough loss to Cleveland last week.”

East Hamilton’s boys went up by seven in the early action and used a 17-6 run in the second period to build a 41-23 advantage. Hughley, scored eight of the last 10 points in the spree on three field goals and two free throws.

“I was feeling it offensively,” Hughley said. “My teammates were setting me up perfectly in open spots on the plays we were running. This sets us up pretty good for the tournament.”

Hughley had a combined 18 points in the second and third quarters, including the last six in the third that extended the Canes’ lead to 59-44.

“Hughley was huge tonight,” East Hamilton interim coach Zach Roddenberry said.

McMinn (9-15, 5-7) had its best moments of the game in the fourth period as Taurean Jones scored nine of his 14 points and Sam Hammonds, Landon Wilson and Brayden Runyan each made 3-pointers.

Wilson matched Jones’ 14 points while Jake Elkins scored 13 and Hammonds 12.

Drew Williams tossed in 15 points and Cam Montgomery added 11 for the Hurricanes.

“This was all about execution tonight,” Roddenberry said. “We were sloppy at times, but a win is a win even if it’s ugly."

Boxscores

Girls Game

McMinn County                    9 3 14 2 – 28

East Hamilton                      11 14 17 6 – 48

McMinn County (28) – Pickel, Liner 2, Hannah Burns 10, Hennessee 2, Green, Manney 2, Hicks 3, Schiestel 1, Baxter 2, Gleaton 4.

East Hamilton (48) – Lacy 6, Suttles 6, Madison Hayes 19, McKenna Hayes 3, Zeh 3, Johnson, Abernathy, Eliziah Laboo 10.

3-Point Goals – McMinn County 2 (Burns 1, Hicks 1), East Hamilton 5 (M. Hayes 2, Lacy 1, Mc. Hayes 1, Zeh 1).

Boys Game

McMinn County                    17 10 17 24 – 68

East Hamilton                       24 17 18 19 – 78

McMinn County (68) – Evans 5, Sam Hammonds 12, Landon Wilson 14, Runyan 5, Sharp 3, Jake Elkins 13, Brown 2, Taurean Jones 14, Buckner.

East Hamilton (78) – Wilson 5, Drew Williams 15, Cam Montgomery 11, Paisley 2, DaVae Hughley 24, Dozier 9, Schramm 6.

3-Point Goals – McMinn County 8 (Elkins 3, Hammonds 2, Wilson 2, Evans 1, Runyan 1), East Hamilton 3 (Montgomery 1, Wilson 1, Dozier 1).

District 5-3A Tournament

At Walker Valley

Wednesday

Ooltewah girls vs Soddy-Daisy, 6 p.m.

Ooltewah boys vs. Soddy-Daisy, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday

Cleveland girls vs. Ooltewah-Soddy-Daisy winner, 6 p.m.

Walker Valley boys vs. Ooltewah-Soddy-Daisy winner, 7:30 p.m.

Friday

McMinn County girls vs. Walker Valley, 6 p.m.

McMinn County boys vs. Walker Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Girls semifinal (Bradley Central), 3 p.m.

Boys semifinal (Cleveland), 4:30 p.m.

Girls semifinal (East Hamilton), 6 p.m.

Boys semifinal (East Hamilton), 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 19

Girls third place, 6 p.m.

Girls championship, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 20

Boys third place, 6 p.m.

Boys championship, 7:30 p.m.

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 

 



Cleveland Boys Second In Large Division Track

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Keegan Jones won the 200 dash and teammate Benjedi Casseus won the 110 high hurdles to help the Cleveland boys finish second in the Division I-Large class division of the state track meet at MTSU Thursday night. Brentwood was first with 62 points while the Blue Raiders were a close runner-up with 58. Jones won the 200 with a time of 21.10 seconds after ... (click for more)

Summertown Beats Sale Creek, 1-0, In Class 1A State Softball Tourney

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – After winning its first two games in the TSSAA Class 1A state softball tournament, Sale Creek ran into Summertown in the winner’s bracket final on Thursday. The Lady Eagles beat the Lady Panthers, 7-1, and advanced to the championship game on Friday at 2 p.m. For Sale Creek to get another shot at Summertown, it has to knock off Cascade in Friday’s ... (click for more)

Donaldson Tells Jury He Shot Son-In-Law After Knife Was Pulled On Him; Medical Examiner Says Fatal Shot Was From 3 Inches Away

Glen Donaldson took the witness stand Thursday in the attempt to explain how two good friends ended up with one dead and the other facing a first-degree murder charge.   On the night of Dec. 29, 2016, he texted his son-in-law, Adam Levi, and arranged to pick up bed rails for his daughter, who had left items when she moved out of their house. After loading the rails, ... (click for more)

East Ridge Discussing New Animal Shelter, As Well As Field House At East Ridge High

Two new projects suggested by citizen groups dominated the discussion at the East Ridge City Council meeting  Thursday night. Because they were not published on the agenda, no decisions could be made, but the council was in agreement that more consideration was merited about the city building a new animal shelter and dog park, and for building a field house for athletics at ... (click for more)

Speaking Of A Cove

Mr. Sole Commissioner Whitfield,   I live in  a cove in western most Chattanooga. My back yard is woods. My front yard is woodland too. My neighbors and I had chance to voice our disagreement in 1996 to the proposed sale of a portion of the farm that dominated this cove and we did. There weren’t very many of us. One member of the group that listened to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 'Don't Dare Endorse Me!'

When Joe Smith, a member of the Hamilton County School Board, met with officials of the UnifiEd political action committee on Tuesday, his instructions to his somber listeners were very specific. He told the leaders of the now-tainted education non-profit group. “Do not endorse me. I extended the courtesy of answering your questions … I am eager to do the right thing. But I am saying ... (click for more)