Tournament Most Valuable Player Corn Elder poured in 22 points and Ensworth to its second DII-AA boys state basketball championship in three years Saturday night.
The top-ranked Tigers broke a 47-47 tie at the end of three quarters with a 19-point fourth quarter to knock off McCallie 66-55 in the finals at Lipscomb Allen Arena.
“It was great for our school to have won in basketball after we won (DII state) in football,” Elder who scored 58 points in the two state tourney games and was also a standout player on the football team, said. “Everyone played hard. I think our defense was a big key.”
Conor McDermott added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Ensworth, which ended 17-3 and unbeaten in region and state play. Alex Thomas added 10 points, seven points and two assists. Both seniors, they joined Elder on the all-tourney team.
McDermott was named DII-A Mr. Basketball after the game. He and Elder were two of the three finalists.
FRA captures DII-A girls title
Franklin Road Academy won the school’s first girls state basketball championship with a 55-52 win over Knoxville Webb in the DII-A girls final Saturday.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Derica Wyatt poured in 27 points including a clinching layup with six seconds left which put her team ahead by three.
The Panthers (27-3) held off a furious Webb rally as they saw a 46-33 fourth-quarter lead almost evaporate in the closing seconds.
After Wyatt’s hoop, Webb rushed up-court and watched as Jane Romano’s three-point attempt bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
A duel of Miss Basketball finalists lived up to its billing as both Wyatt and Webb guard Marjorie Butler put in 27 points for their teams. Butler was selected DII-A Miss Basketball after the game. Wyatt won the award last year.
“Winning state was not what we talked about before the season started. It’s like coach (Chris) Hart kept telling us, just be the best team you can be, win or lose,” Wyatt who helped keep her team ahead by hitting 12-of-13 free throws and also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, said. “And it paid off, we’re state champions.”
Abby Wharton, Erin Ford and Mariah Canady all scored seven for FRA
“In the fourth quarter, I was trying to figure if Webb had enough possessions to get close,” Hart said. “At the end of a game like that, you never know what’s going to happen. Fortunately, we made some big plays.”
FRA boys rally falls short
Franklin Road Academy’s boys fell short in their bid to make it two state titles for the school in a single day as the Panthers fell to Memphis Evangelical Christian School 51-45 in the boys DII-A final.
ECS led 22-12 at the half and scored the first 11 points of the third quarter as the lead ballooned to 33-12. But the Panthers mounted a determined comeback and 23 points in the fourth quarter, which was one more than they scored the first three combined.
They pulled to within two at 47-45 on a rebound by sophomore center Kessler Bell, who led FRA with 15 points and seven rebounds. But ECS hit four of six free throws in the final 22 seconds and off FRA, which ended 27-7.
“Their defenses gave us a lot of trouble in the first half, they gave us a lot of looks,” FRA coach John Pierce said. “It was exciting to see our guys fight so hard and get to within two at the end. We have a nice nucleus of players coming back.”
Senior guard Connor Maitland had 10 points, six assists and four steals for FRA.
Tournament MVP Steven Kaspar led ECS (22-6) with 20 points and five steals before he fouled out.
TSSAA Division II championships
FRA 55, Knoxville Webb 52
Evangelical Christian School 51, FRA 45
GPS 55, Briarcrest 50
Ensworth 66, McCallie 55
Division I Girls Sectionals
Wilson Central 52, Hunters Lane 43
Clarksville 52, Ravenwood 27
David Lipscomb 52, Lewis County 51