Winning two games the first day, then knocking off an unbeaten power the second day gives Overton High a chance to make true some late-December championship dreams.
In a matchup of two of Nashville’s best boys teams, the Bobcats (10-4) toppled East Lit 63-59 in the semifinals of the Overton Christmas tournament Wednesday night. The win ended East Lit’s month-long unbeaten string and shoved the Bobcats into the championship game (9 p.m. Thursday) against Memphis power Westwood.
Senior guard Mookie Betts scored a game-high 19 points and dished out six assists as Overton held off East Lit (10-1). Forward Frank Lobasco added 13 points and did a Herculean job on the boards with 21 rebounds.
Justin Perry added 10 points for Overton, while Cheau Hendrix led East Lit with 15.
Trailing 55-51, East Lit missed four straight shots from underneath and Betts was fouled intentionally on a breakaway with 1:55 left. He made one free throw then added a reverse layup with 1:18 to go for a 58-51 lead, giving Overton control. Brandon McPhail clinched it with five seconds remaining when he made a free throw, which gave Overton a four-point lead.
“It got pretty hectic at the end, but we were able to handle their pressure,” Betts said just after the game. “Both teams really played hard.”
Overton is going for the hoops trifecta — a third straight championship in its own tournament. After going dry since 1995, the hosts have won the last two.
“That was a great high school game,” said James McKee, whose team has never lost a game in the tournament in his three years as Overton coach. “But we will have our hands full against Westwood. They really overpowered Whites Creek.”
Trailing 11-10 early, Overton rattled off 16 straight points for a 26-11 lead, then spent the rest of the game warding off the Eagles.
East Lit plays Whites Creek in the 6 p.m. consolation game, now a matchup of district teams.
Overton’s girls matched the boys with a trip to the championship game when they rallied to upset David Lipscomb 42-33 in the semifinals.
The game turned when David Lipscomb junior point guard Emily Easter sustained a knee injury early and did not return.
Overton meets Rossview 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the final.
Rossview halted Glencliff 39-35 in its semifinal contest.
In the closest game of the day, Spring Hill tripped David Lipscomb 60-59 on a layup by Doyle Kittinger with about 15 seconds to play in a boys consolation game. Lipscomb missed two game-winning shots in the final four seconds.
• Father Ryan Christmas Tournament: Patrick Pinkney led a balanced attack as host Ryan rolled past Centennial 58-44 and advanced to the championship game of its own tournament.
The Irish will meet neighborhood rival Hillsboro, 7:45 p.m. Thursday.
The Burros edged Mt. Juliet 45-43 in the most exciting of Wednesday's four contests.
In the consolation games, Clarksville drilled Oakland 72-56, and LaVergne zipped past Shelbyville 46-35.
• CPA reaches finals: Christ Presbyterian Academy crushed Red Bank 68-43 and reached the championship game of the Beech Christmas Tournament (8:30 p.m. Thursday). Craig Bradshaw led the Lions with 24 and Jalen Lindsey had 19.
CPA has won its two games in the tourney by 65 combined points.
Overton Christmas tournament
9 a.m. – Creekside vs. Glencliff, boys cons.; 10:30 a.m. – Maplewood vs. East Lit, girls cons; noon —Lipscomb vs. BGA, boys cons.; 1:30 p.m.—Ryan vs. USN, girls cons.; 3 p.m.—Spring Hill vs. Ravenwood, boys cons.; 4:30 p.m.—Glencliff vs. Lipscomb, girls 3-4 place; 6 p.m.—East Lit vs. Whites Creek, boys 3-4 place; 7:30 p.m. – Rossview vs. Overton, girls championship; 9 p.m.—Overton vs. Westwood, boys championship.
Father Ryan Christmas Tournament
3 p.m.—Shelbyville vs. Oakland, 7th place; 4:30 – LaVergne vs. Clarksville, 5th place; 6:15 – Centennial vs. Mt. Juliet, 3rd place; 7:45 – Ryan vs. Hillsboro, boys championship.