Tennessee High jumped into the fray Friday night, making big plays when it really mattered and handing Dobyns-Bennett its first league loss in a 61-60 nail-biter at Viking Hall.
Both teams now stand at 4-1 in the Big 7, along with Science Hill.
“Going into the season I felt these kids could compete and tonight they did, with a whole lot of boys stepping up and doing a whole lot of good things,” said veteran Tennessee coach Roby Witcher. “We’ve been waiting for this opportunity here on our home floor and we got it done.”
Cade Mitchell got it done in the end, breaking a 60-60 tie by making the second of two free throws with 18.7 left in the game. He led Tennessee High (14-5 overall) with 21 points.
D-B (14-3 overall) called two timeouts in the waning seconds before Marae Foreman missed a contested 13-foot runner as the clock evaporated.
VIKINGS COME BACK
Tennessee High, which led virtually the entire first half, received big contributions across the board.
The Vikings were up 34-24 just after halftime before D-B made a charge behind the inside game of 6-foot-7 Charlie Browder, who turned in three three-point plays to help the Tribe assume a 48-42 lead with 6:58 left in the game.
Tennessee High began to chip away behind the long ball — six in the game — with fourth-quarter 3-pointers from Mitchell, McHale Bright and Brandon Brown.
Brown’s bomb with a hand in his face tied the game at 60 with 1:05 left. D-B played for the final shot, but the Indians were guilty of an unforced turnover.
Mitchell then provided the winning margin after getting hacked on a drive.
“We’ve shot a lot of free throws these last few weeks since we felt like we could have won some (prior) games if we’d made a few more at the line,” the senior guard said. “That first one was in and out, but I just took a deep breath and I was confident I was going to hit the second one.”
Bright provided excellent support for Mitchell, knocking in 16 points. Nolan Wishon, a 6-6 junior, also came up big for the home team, scoring 12 points, blocking five shots and dishing out a fair number of assists.
Browder was outstanding inside for the Tribe, leading all scorers with 22 points before dealing with a bit of foul trouble in the fourth quarter.
Foreman finished with 14 points and teammate Riamello Wadsworth added 10.
LADY INDIANS WIN BIG
Dobyns-Bennett’s girls had absolutely no trouble against Tennessee High, steamrolling to a 55-14 win.
Courtney Whitson was the game’s lone double-figure scorer, tossing in 18 points in the Lady Indians’ 16th win in 19 outings.
D-B pitched a shutout in the first quarter and led 17-0 at the initial stop. The Tribe, which held a 28-4 advantage at halftime, was up 39-5 before the Lady Vikings (5-13) hit a pair of 3s to close the third quarter.