December 23, 2012

Miss one, make the other

North Murray splits in tourney title matchups

CHATSWORTH — One of North Murray boys basketball team’s goals this season is to win every home game.

That means the Mountaineers also had the goal of winning their own tournament.

One goal fulfilled.

The Mountaineers won the Mistletoe Madness tournament, beating Gilmer 54-40 in Saturday’s championship.

In the girls championship, the Lady Mountaineers lost 45-38 to Calhoun. In the tournament’s third-place games, Calhoun’s boys beat Polk County (Tenn.) 57-44 for third place while Sonoraville’s girls beat Polk County 59-30. In the fifth-place games, Christian Heritage’s boys beat Sonoraville 65-64 while Gilmer’s girls beat Christian Heritage 73-44. In the girls seventh-place game, Dalton beat Coahulla Creek 78-46.

In the boys title matchup, after North Murray (9-1) squandered a 15-point lead thanks to a 15-7 run by Gilmer (11-2), the Mountaineers led 46-40 with just less than three minutes to play in the game. Following a timeout, Brady Swilling scored his first two points of the game off an alley-oop layup from the inbounds pass.

Swilling, who missed the first half due to playing in the D.L Scott Coalition Bowl all-star football game in Atlanta, scored the next four points. North Murray never allowed another basket the rest of the game, giving reason to mark off one of the team goals for this season.

“Our goals are on the board in there,” Mountaineers coach Tim Ellis said. “They’re all team goals. We’re going to check them off as we go, or we’re going to put an X by them.”

Not winning Southeast Whitfield’s Hoopfest tournament got an “X,” while winning their own gets a check. And another is still pending — North Murray hasn’t lost at Mountaineer Gymnasium yet.

“The way coach Ellis says it, ‘We bleed on this floor, we sweat on this floor, we get griped at on this floor every day and no one is going to come in here and ain’t nobody going to come in here and take that from us,’” senior Austen Horn said.

Trailing 13-12 after one quarter, Horn hit a 3-pointer to start the second followed by a Drew Mosteller layup. Horn got a steal and passed to Mosteller for another layup, forcing a Bobcats timeout with the Mountaineers ahead 19-13.

North Murray’s defense held the Bobcats to just six second-quarter points and carried a 30-19 lead into halftime.

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