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North, Central score early Action Athletics wins

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 27, 2019 at 1:05 AM

KINGSPORT — Practice made perfect for Trey Williams in the opening game of the Action Athletics Christmas Tournament at Sullivan North.

Williams hit a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left to lift the homestanding Golden Raiders to a 53-52 win over Chuckey-Doak on Thursday in the basketball tourney at Richard Carroll Gymnasium.

Surprisingly, Williams, who finished with 15 points, said there wasn’t any pressure with the game on the line.

“Our coach always stresses to us about making free throws. We stay after and shoot free throws,” he said. “We shoot before the game, and with all that, we practice too much to feel the pressure. Practice makes perfect and that’s what happened.”

The finish was closer than Golden Raiders coach Travis Cain would have liked. North (7-4) held a 42-33 lead in the fourth quarter before Chuckey-Doak rallied to pull ahead 52-51 on Tyler Ramsey’s jump shot with nine seconds left.

Once North got possession, Williams was tripped driving to the basket to set up the winning free throws.

The Black Knights’ Corwin Ramsey missed a halfcourt heave at the buzzer.

“We’ve got to do a better job taking care of the ball. We had too many turnovers in the fourth quarter,” Cain noted. “We’re lucky we scored one more point than them. It was an ugly win, but a win is a win.”

C.J. Mardis led North with 17 points, guards Williams and Bryant Herron repeatedly finding him free inside for open layups. Mardis had been experiencing a bit of a slump.

“That was the first game this year that C.J. has played that well for us,” Cain said. “That’s a good sign for us. If we can get him going, we will be a lot better off.”

Isaiah Pruitt added eight points for North, which led 22-14 at the half and 36-33 after three quarters.

Alex Maupin paced Chuckey-Doak (3-11) with 18 points. Tyler Ramsey came through with 13 and Corwin Ramsey had eight.


The Cougars (4-10) rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to top the Falcons (6-10).

Ty Barb and Joltin Harrison went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line over the final 35 seconds for the final points. Harrison led Central with 13 points, Barb finished with 10 and Noah Beverly added six.

Volunteer held Central to just 12 first half points, but the second half was another matter. The Cougars were within two, 29-27, at the end of the third quarter. The Falcons still led most of the fourth before falling behind in the final minute.

“We came out flat in the first half. I brought them at 8 o’clock for practice to try to get them out of that,” Central coach Derek McGhee said. “It didn’t matter as they beat us to every loose ball and got every rebound. We had a little talk at halftime. We still didn’t play offensively like I wanted, but we made a run by getting to the loose balls we didn’t get to in the first half and being tough. I’m super proud of them. It’s a big win for us.”

Freshman guard Bradin Minton led Volunteer with 11 points. Andrew Knittel added eight and Garrison Barrett seven.


Hunter Shell scored 25 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Highlanders (6-3) over the Panthers (5-3).

Elijah Blair added 12 points for Cloudland, which jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never trailed. The ’Landers led 32-23 at the half and withstood several rallies in the second half.

Conner Birchfield and Bentley Gilbert each scored nine.

Nate Fuson had a team-high 18 points and Jake Templin contributed 15 for Cumberland Gap.


Tied at 16 at the end of one quarter, the Eagles (2-3) routed the Warriors (4-5) from that point on.

Adam Pigeon dominated inside with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Drew Correll accounted for 17 points and eight rebounds. Gavyn Etter totaled 11 points and five assists and Jesse Young added eight points and four assists.

“We tried to bring the defensive intensity and tried to not let them do what they wanted to,” Tri-Cities Christian coach David Blythe said. “Adam and Drew, it’s the first time we’ve had a 1-2 punch in the post. They like to run the floor and they want to get up the floor.”

Luke Roberts scored 16 points and Alex Lunceford had 15 to lead Happy Valley.