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December 23, 2012

Prep roundup: Indians go 3-0 at ‘Classic’

CHATSWORTH — For the second night in a row, Murray County boys basketball coach Greg Linder had little to complain about when it came to his team’s defensive performance. The Indians also did a good job of cleaning the boards.

Murray County limited Heritage-Catoosa to just three offensive rebounds in the second half and used an 11-0 run that straddled the third and fourth quarter to take a 46-32 win over the Generals in the closing game of the Farm Bureau Christmas Classic at Murray County’s Kenneth Ross Gymnasium.

The victory left the Indians as the only undefeated team in the three-day, six-team, round robin-style event.

“I am very pleased with our effort, and the guys are buying into what we have been preaching about defense and hustle,” Linder said. “I thought the last two games they really sold out to play defense and really worked hard the entire game.”

The Indians head into the Christ-mas break on a three-game winning streak and are above .500 at 7-6 with Region 7-2A play to greet them when they return to the court in January.

In other action Saturday at Murray County, Dalton suffered its only loss of the tournament, falling 53-52 to Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, and Northwest Whitfield spanked county cousin Coahulla Creek 84-47.

Farm Bureau provided individual awards to the all-tournament team, which was Tanner Quarles and Kaleb King (Northwest); Taylor Poteet and Jordan Tant (Coahulla Creek); Brandon Houton and Patrick Taylor (CSAS); Cody Sanders and Cameron Sherlin (Heritage); Matthew Corbin and Brady Todd (Murray County); and Dalton’s Rico Mears.

In the finalé, Murray County showed the same sort of denial to the basket that saw the Indians hold CSAS to just 30 points on Friday night. They were on pace to keep Heritage similarly in check, but the problem was the Indians couldn’t score. The Generals were showing the same defensive toughness

“Both teams played solid defense all night,” Linder said.

Midway through the third quarter, Cody Sanders sunk the first free throw of the game and gave the Generals (5-7) a 25-22 lead before the offensive switch was finally thrown for Murray County. Content to take most of its shots in the first two-and-a-half quarters from the perimeter and on drives from the perimeter, Linder said his team made a conscious effort to go inside from that point on. It worked as Murray County turned a three-point deficit into a 33-25 lead before the Generals finally scored again with 4:55 left in the game.

By that point, the Indians were able to maintain their lead and their defensive intensity, holding Heritage to just five more points the rest of the way.

Matthew Corbin led Murray County with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Jacob Sturgill added 10 points. The Indians kept all of the Generals’ scorers under double digits.

Northwest Whitfield 84, Coahulla Creek 47: First-year varsity player Dustin Stanley scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as the Bruins rolled to the easy win.

Andy Whisenant (14 points), Quarles (12) and Tanner Bailey (10) all reached double digits for Northwest (9-2), which led 23-8 at the end of the first quarter and 50-21 at the half.

Coahulla Creek (0-10) was led by Poteet’s 14 points, while Levi Wilson added 13 and Tant chipped in 10.

CSAS 53, Dalton 52: A late technical foul swung the momentum of the game, and the Cats lost when they gave up a basket with 2.6 seconds remaining against the Patriots (5-4).

Dalton led by three points with 1:10 to play, but the Cats were whistled for a foul and then called for a technical foul as well. CSAS hit all four free throws and then scored on the possession for a six-point swing that saw the Cats go down by three. Dalton regained the lead with 14 seconds left in the game, but the Patriots scored to take the one-point victory.

“It was a good game for us to play against a quick, athletic team,” Dalton coach Mike Duffie said. “We were up seven at the half, and I am just disappointed with how we finished. We lost our lead and lost our composure and lost the basketball game.”

Alex Bautista led Dalton (6-2) with 19 points, while Mears and Demond Rucker each scored 10.

Girls Preparatory School (Chattanooga) JV 42, Northwest 40: In the championship game of a three-day junior varsity tournament at Northwest, Whitley Brooker scored 11 points and Lexi Storey added 10, but it wasn’t enough as the Bruisers edged the hosts for the title.

Brooker and Peyton Maret made the all-tournament team for Northwest, which suffered its first loss in eight games to start the season.

Buford JV boys 50, Christian Heritage 38: Chase Tidwell scored 16 points while Tyson Cooper tallied eight for the Lions (7-4) in their loss.

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